Tweet, Post and Pin: A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media (Part 1 of 3)
Social Media has become an integral part of marketing plans for businesses, small and large. It supports the strategy of creating word of mouth referrals and marketing for your business. Whether you Instagram everyday, or barely know what a Tweet is, the important thing is to know how to use each channel of social media properly. The only thing more ineffective than not using social media at all is using it incorrectly. Content appropriate for Facebook may be too long or confusing for the 140-character world of Twitter. And something with great visual appeal may be lost on Twitter, but really sing on Pinterest.
Social media – like any marketing program – should be selected as a marketing activity because it is the right way to reach your customers AND you have the resources to support that activity. For example, if you’re interested in using Twitter, ask yourself these questions: (a) are your customers using Twitter? (b) are they on Twitter following companies like yours? (c) do you have something they care to talk about? (d) do you have the time, energy and content to sustain long-term and frequent communication?
Choose the social media channel that is best for you, your business and your customers. Don’t worry about mastering every channel out there. Tackle one or two, and do them right.
In each post of this 3-part series, we’ll give you background on a popular social media channel and tips and examples on how to use it effectively for your business.
Let’s start with the big one: Facebook.
Facebook is the most-used social network in the world. Did you know that over one billion people like and comment an average of 3.2 million times every day?
When you have a strong presence on Facebook, you can become a part of those conversations and have access to instant word-of-mouth marketing. By “liking” your Facebook page, your fans will see whatever you post in their daily news feeds. It can be a great way to build your community and share locally relevant content with your customers and potential customers.
That being said, what should you share on Facebook?
- News relevant to your business / industry
- Photos of your products or menu offerings
- Photos of happy customers
- Updates on events hosted by your company
- Questions / statuses to engage with your followers
Since there is no character limit (unlike Twitter), you can say what you’d like, in full-length, complete sentences. You can attach photos or links to your posts, or share posts from other users on Facebook to start a conversation.
Let’s use examples to demonstrate how to communicate with your followers on Facebook.
Say you own a restaurant, and you want to tell everyone that you received a new shipment of Virginia red wine from ABC Vineyard. You think it pairs perfectly with the cheese plate on your menu, and customers should come in and try it.
Winter weather getting you down? Come on over and have a glass of Virginia Merlot. We just received a delicious new vintage from ABC Vineyard [link to their Facebook page], and it pairs perfectly with our gourmet cheese board. Stop by and warm up this weekend!
Note: By linking to other company’s Facebook pages, you might appear on their Facebook page and your message will be delivered to all of their followers. Also, make sure to attach a great photo of a glass of wine and some cheese – posts accompanied by photos are more likely to be “liked” and commented upon.
Here’s an example for a retail store that’s having a President’s Day Sale.
We just unpacked boxes and boxes of beautiful Spring merchandise and we can’t WAIT for you to see it. But first, we have to clean out our closets! Stop by today through President’s Day to stock up on Winter items for up to 70% off!
Note: Make sure to attach a great photo of your Winter merchandise (a stack of scarves, or a rack of puffy coats) or a beautiful photograph of a snowy day.
Putting It To Use
Facebook is a great way to connect with your customers and gain virtual word of mouth marketing referrals.
Our Top Tips for Facebook:
- Attach a photo to every post – the more visual your Facebook homepage, the better.
- When possible / appropriate, include links to vendors, your Chamber of Commerce, business neighbors and fans in your posts. This way, your message is spread to their social networks, as well.
- Don’t “set it and forget it!” Maintain the comments or posts from followers on your Facebook page. It’s a great opportunity to immediately address / resolve customer service issues, say thank you for a compliment or just engage with your audience.
For more information on making Facebook work for your business visit: http://www.facebook.com/business
Up next… Twitter! We’ll explore the world of tweets, hashtags and short URLs and how to make each of them work for your business.