Social Media: Get Strong, Stay Strong

web3-social-mediaGaining a strong following when it comes to social media is no easy task. With so much competition and other causes clogging up people’s news feeds, it can be extremely difficult to get your voice heard. However, holding onto that following once you’ve established it is also no walk in the park. Recent research has suggested that the average American now spends more time on social media than any other online activity. That includes, gaming, checking emails and just generally surfing the web. The majority of business owners have already realized this and are spending much more time and effort developing their brand in this arena.

Ask any business owner and the chances are that they’ll tell you they have gained new business through social media, even on a small scale. Being able to do this successfully is more than just a daily activity that has been scheduled by the marketing department. Getting ahead on social media is all about strategy, timing and understanding the audience to which you are speaking. Simply being there is no longer enough.

To make sure you don’t lose your following it is important to share more than just your business interests with them. If your agenda is always sell-sell-sell then people aren’t going to be interested. The very essence of social media is sparking conversation and genuine customer engagement. Sending out links to your latest offers every single day doesn’t encourage your following to do either. Sure you might get the odd click through and perhaps even a sale but you’re not doing anything to boost your brand image.

Sharing too much, too frequently is also a big social media sin. Over-posting quickly becomes annoying and you have to remember that anyone who is seeing all of these posts can choose to un-follow you at the click of a button. Twitter is probably the only platform that you can get away with this as the news feed moves so fast anyway. However, you should certainly avoid doing this on Facebook where high quality, infrequent posts are your best bet. Similarly, you should avoid sharing content that has been shared in abundance by other people. If it is already something that your followers are likely to have seen then there’s absolutely no point in sharing it again. You’ll gain no points for originality and it will look like you have nothing interesting to say.

Understanding your audience is key to success and a little market research will go a long way. If you sell second hand cars then the chances are your followers don’t always want to see photos of cars or info pieces about them. Find out some relevant, connected interests and show the world that you are in touch with them. Customer engagement also goes a long way. If someone takes the time to follow you, then follow them back. If someone posts a relevant photo then be sure to comment on it! If a customer or a potential customer reaches out to you with a question or comment then make sure you always respond to them! Nobody likes to be ignored and doing so will quickly get you un-followed.

Remember, be genuine, be creative and be brave enough to try new things. Be a trend-setter, be a friend to your followers and always give your customers the time they deserve.  If something isn’t working then shake things up. There is no social media rules set in stone and it’s up to you to discover what works for you and your business!

By Alix Jones