Social Media Success Tips for Local Business
Local Social Media Success Tips for 2017 and Beyond
Social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram, are complex but extremely powerful marketing platforms. Constantly evolving, and something that wasn’t quite on the forefront of business just a few short years ago, social media has become relevant across every market, niche, and business sector. Unfortunately, not all businesses know how to effectively use social media to grow their business, which is why we put together a list of social media success tips.
If you are a business owner and find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed with the whole concept of social media marketing, you aren’t alone. You may not be convinced that its right for your business or may not be sure how you can make it relevant to your practice or firm. Rest assured, there are methods and tactics you can use to harness the power of social media and make it work for your business.
When done properly, social media can be a game changer for any business. Regardless of your profession, there are some tried and true methods and tactics that you should be using in your social media strategy. With the right strategy, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your firm’s website and get your business in front of many new potential clients.
Here are a few social media success tips that will get you moving in the right direction.
1. Create A Monthly Social Media Calendar
The most crucial component of an effective, on brand, and cohesive social media campaign all starts with proper planning. Regardless of which social media platforms you choose to work on, you will want to create a content calendar. This content calendar will help you carefully and purposefully plan your content in advance.
Content planning can be overwhelming. Take a minute to think about what it is that you want your customers to know about you, your office, and your business. Whatever that may be, now choose images and captions that reflect what you want to promote to your customers and fans.
As far as the actual creation of the calendar, you have a few options. When starting out you can use a spreadsheet, a text document, paper and pen, or a workflow management and organizational tool like Trello. Choose whichever method you are most likely to stick with and this calendar will soon be keeping you organized and on track.
2. Schedule Your Social Media Posts
Once you have created your social media calendar, you will need to move on to scheduling your pre-planned posts. The best and easiest way to do this is with a social media management application.
Once your content is planned, simply choose which social media scheduling application you would like to use and schedule out your posts in advance. Applications like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Co-Schedule are just a few examples of applications that you can utilize to streamline, automate, and manage your social media campaigns.
You may be asking, “why not just post in the moment when I have some free minute?” You absolutely will want to do that, but relying on that may not be the best strategy. Spontaneous content will usually be your most popular content. However, over the course of the day you will inevitably run into distractions that may prevent you from posting. Scheduling some content ahead of time will ensure you have consistent content on an ongoing basis. Your audience will see consistent posts, at consistent times, and you will be free to go about your day and attend to your number one priority – your business, clients, and patients.
3. Take More Pictures
Make it a point to take more pictures of you, your environment, your office, and your staff as often as you can. If you don’t have the time to do this, get help from your office manager or another employee that you feel may enjoy or have a talent for this.
If you have a dental practice, for example, ask your patients if they would be willing to have before and after shots taken of their cosmetic dentistry work, orthodontics, or teeth whitening procedures. Your patients will most likely feel honored to be featured, and the image may give you future business. You can also take images of your boardroom, offices, and patient rooms. Then, use these images to give your followers a behind the scenes peek into your business on a day to day basis. If you have state of the art equipment for your practice, photograph it and work it into your social media strategy.
4. Use Stock Photos Sparingly
Stock photos are a necessary part of the social media wold, but you will want to use them sparingly. The biggest concern is that they are easy to spot and there is nothing genuine about them. The last thing that you want for your practice is to have the same stock photos that your competition is posting.
Stock photos can be worked into your social media strategy as filler images. For example, they are super effective for when you want to overlay creative copy and text on stock photos for seasonal promotions and events. You can choose a paid stock photo subscription, which is recommended for more elevated photographs. Paid subscriptions also ensure that you are not infringing on any copyrighted images, or trademarked images.
5. Be Authentic & Provide Value
You want to ensure that you are showcasing your genuine and authentic business and self in your social media posts. This is another reason why it is best to keep the use of stock photos to a minimum. Your customers and clients can tell the difference and if you want their buy in and trust, then you should take the time to create your own relevant content. Stock photos can never really showcase your practice or show how unique your business is the same way that custom images can.
This may seem like a difficult task, but if you really think about it, you know deep down what makes your business better than your competitors. You know what value your team brings to the table. Harness that knowledge and drive it into your social media posts. The more authentic you are, and the more you give your customers a “peak behind the curtain” of your business, the more social media benefits you stand to gain as a result.
6. Be Focused and Patient – You Don’t Have to Be Everywhere
Finally, although it may be a good idea to have a profile on each social media platform, remember that quality is more important than quantity.
Your clients and target audience may not be on YouTube, Pinterest, or Twitter, and that is perfectly ok. However, they may be on Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, or one of the many other social media platforms.
Take the time to do your research and create your best possible social media profile on the platforms that are most important and relevant to your clients and customers. You don’t have to be everywhere, you just have to be where it counts and where you will get the most attention.
Good Luck! As always, feel free to send us your questions if there’s anything we can do to help you get started or improve your current social media campaigns.