Get more out of social media marketing

Social media columnist
Social media columnist
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Social media marketing is an effective means of getting the word out about your products and/or services.

It’s often very clear that a small business is not doing all that it can do when it comes to using social media marketing to its full advantage. You might think social media marketing ends at sharing a few posts each day, but nothing could be further from the truth.

CREATE CONSISTENT AND COMPLETE PROFILES

No matter which social media network you’ve determined is important to use for your niche, it’s imperative that you create consistent and complete social media profiles. Include a professional headshot, and keep the text of your profiles very similar in nature ensuring that one doesn’t contradict the other. You want visitors to realise who you are immediately without having to guess.

HOST LIVE EVENTS

With services like Google Hangouts you can host live events, such as a round table, that are open to the public (open air) to watch, while your group discusses a hot topic within your niche. Another way to have a “live” event is to host a Twitter party, or a Facebook party where everyone is allowed to post links to their own business or blogs for a specific amount of time. One way to do this is ask everyone to write a blog post about a specific topic and link to it within 24 hours, share it and use a specific hashtag to promote the event.

CONGRATULATE PEOPLE

If you notice anyone having a special day on any of your social media accounts, be sure to congratulate them and wish them well. It’s a good chance to make a connection with someone whom you’re friends with or connected with that you don’t necessarily know well.

While a lot of people may be doing the same thing, people still like to be noticed for their achievements, accomplishments and special days. If you know their address, it’s a good idea to also drop a card in the mail to make it even more special.

USE MORE IMAGES

This has become almost a rallying cry for me for 2016. People who use social media prefer sharing and engaging with images over text. You should always include text with the images though, particularly keywords. Creating images and memes using software like Pixlr.com, Canva.com or Inkscape.org is simple, fun and easy. You can do something as simple as a quote on a nice peaceful background and see a huge difference in the amount of engagement from your connections.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO SURVEY YOUR AUDIENCE

A great way to use social media to help get more engagement is to use it as a way to survey your audience to find out what they really need and want. However, don’t give them too many choices. It should be more like when you get your child ready for school - give them two choices: this or that? Give your audience a choice between two different videos you can create or webinars that you will host. Then, ask them to vote or decide.

CAPTURE INFLUENCERS’ ATTENTION

This can be tricky, but you want to find a way to call out influencers within your niche. If you can get a popular “guru” or authority within your niche to like, share, and connect with you, it’s possible to quickly expand your audience. There are many different ways to do this, but one is to comment intelligently on their posts and share with your audience what the influencer is doing.

Finally, to get more out of social media marketing it’s important to be truly engaged. Don’t put everything on automatic. If you decide to hire someone to do your engagement for you, make sure you’ve briefed them well. Make intelligent and purposeful comments, share freely, and you’ll get more out of your social media marketing than if you automated it all.

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook

Facebook Broadens Audience Network to Support Mobile Web: “The Audience Network is expanding to include support for mobile web, bringing the value of native ad formats and people-based marketing to a new set of publishers.”

Facebook Expands Live Video to More Users: Facebook announced it will “expand the ability to share live video to everyone in the US via iPhone” and plans to roll out this service “to the rest of the world over the coming weeks”.

Facebook Rolls Out Audience Optimisation: Facebook’s new Audience Optimisation is “an organic targeting tool to help publishers reach and engage their audiences on Facebook and better understand the interests of people clicking on their posts.”

Facebook Optimises 360-Degree Video System for VR: Facebook “replaced its video processing system with [the] Streaming Video Engine (SVE) [which] splits files into several parts in order to upload and encode them separately all at once, speeding up both the encoding process and the playback by 10 times.”

Twitter

Twitter Launches Enhanced Video Player and Auto-Looping GIFs: Twitter introduced “a new custom video player in Twitter Kit” and announced that GIFs will “receive special treatment with a unique badge (showing “GIF”) and auto-looping playback to maximize your users’ viewing pleasure.”

Snapchat

Snapchat Makes Adding People Easier with Profile URLs: Users can copy their “unique URL or instantly share it through other apps like Twitter” and in places such as email signatures. When tapped on a mobile device, the URL “opens a preview of your profile on Snapchat with an ‘Add’ button.”