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How to Use Social Media

May 8, 2013

 

One thing is certain: social media is here to stay. Whether you’ve dabbled in facebook or twitter already or are finally now considering how to use these sites to grow your business (what took you so long?), this post will answer the most pressing questions business owners have on how to use social media.

 Q: Which site(s) should I use?

A:

It depends. You first need to know if there are any restrictions in your industry on how you can use social sites. For example, I know financial advisors who either can’t have a facebook page with company name on it or have to go through a lot of hoops to get one approved. Make sure you aren’t violating any kind of regulations first.

Assuming you’re clear, which one you choose depends on your goals. Always create goals for your marketing activities and track your progress periodically. At Acceler8 we can help you to do this.

Facebook is still #1 (see graphic below) and is absolutely default. With facebook you get a potentially huge audience for FREE.

Create a facebook page (you have to have a personal account to do this) that promotes your brand. Also consider twitter, which is good for broadcasting news, events, pictures, and any other updates about your company. Google+ is a must as well because of the “google juice” it will give your website. What this means is posting links to your site on google+ will help get your website ranked higher on google, which means more traffic to your site and hopefully, more sales.

Photo sites like Instagram and Pinterest are best for retail stores such as jewelry or clothing stores because you can showcase your goods. Service firms are better off sticking with the big 3 already mentioned: facebook, twitter, and google+.

And let’s not forget youtube! Youtube is good if you want to make short “how-to” videos to provide value to your target market.

LinkedIn is good for networking with other professionals and is great for business to business marketing.

To summarize: Get your facebook page first, then twitter and google+, and if applicable to your business sign up for either pinterest or youtube also.

Q: How often and what should I post?

A:

Facebook: Post up to 3 times every day (video, quotes, tips, true/false or agree/disagree questions, thoughts on a topic, etc.) and always ask for a like and/or share.

Twitter: Post up to 3 times every day items such as news articles relevant to your target market, quotes, events you’re promoting, questions for followers to answer.

Google+: Same as facebook

Instagram/pinterest: When you have new items come in or special sales you want to show followers.

Youtube: It’s up to you. You may want to create a short series and end it there, or post periodically on topics relevant to your target market.

The key is to always post valuable content.

The goal is to engage your audience. The more interaction you have with followers on social media, the more your prospects will see your valuable content, which will lead to future sales. This is a long term strategy.

Q: How Much Time Should I Invest on Social Media?

A:

Just 15 minutes a day should be all it takes to post value to your followers, answer or reply to any comments/questions they post on your pages, and like/follow/comment on other pages related to your niche.

Consider using hootsuite or some other automated social media management site so you don’t waste a lot of time going to each site posting similar stuff. You should still go on the sites themselves every day though and post value on other businesses sites and like/follow other people/pages. People want to engage with other people, not an automated message, so you will attract more prospects to you if you are active on your sites.

Q: Should I use any paid advertising services on social media sites?

 

A:

It depends on your budget and goals. The objective of paid advertising is different from general social media marketing; in the case of paid advertising you’re trying to make a sale quickly rather than simply attract and engage an audience. Therefore, your plan and goals should be separate but coordinated.

There are many ways to use facebook pay per click, for example you can run ads that will get you more likes, ads that go to an outside link (a sales page perhaps), ads that go to a post on your page, ads about events you are hosting. This is a whole other topic that I will write on in the future. Oh and by the way, facebook keeps adding new features for paid advertising and changing it, so it is a lot to keep up with!

If you want to do facebook PPC effectively you should consider a budget of at least $10/day. If you can do more than that then that’s even better because what you’re doing is bidding against other marketers for advertising space. The more you bid, the better the chance your ad will be shown to your prospects.

A few tips for creating ads:

-Have a narrow target to make the ad effective. An ad showing to millions of people may seem like a good way to get business, but it’s highly unlikely that millions of people are going to see and click on your ad. A couple thousand to a few thousand is targeted enough.

-There are many options to specify demographics of the ad so make sure you know who your target market is (i.e. single moms, professionals in the state of AZ, people who like fishing). This again helps your ad get shown to more of the right prospects.

-Create the same ad for different age groups so you can split test, i.e. one ad for ages 20-29, one for 30-39, one for 40-49, and one for 50+

-Ads have to have a picture. There are specific requirements for what can be in this picture, see facebook’s help page for guidelines.

-Pictures with a neon green or red border around them tend to be more clickable (i.e. attract more clicks)

-You should use cost per click as opposed to cost per impression (this is an option when creating the ad). It is generally less expensive and more effective.

-The ad must be tied to very specific landing pages and have a clear value proposition and call to action. You only have 3 seconds to catch your prospect’s attention!

 

Remember the key elements to social media campaigns are CONSISTENCY and FREQUENCY.

 

Now it’s time to take action! Get on over to facebook, twitter, google+, and linked in and get yourself and business some social media profiles if you don’t have them already.

Have some more questions? Head on over to our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/acceler8 and post your questions on our page. We will answer promptly!

At Acceler8 we help our clients create effective internet marketing plans. Contact Us today for a free consultation!

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