How Businesses Can Leverage Social Media Without Wasting Time

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How Businesses Can Leverage Social Media Without Wasting Time

If you want people to find and engage with your business on social media, there are few things you need to stop doing and a few things you need to start doing.

I’ve done more social media and website audits than you could shake a stick at. Whether insurance, real estate, fitness, oil and gas – there are a few things that consistently come up that can impact how your key audience finds and interacts with you. Read on to learn how to increase your appeal and visibility on social channels.

Once our first impression is made, we can’t get it back. Take a few minutes to scan all of your social media channels to make sure you’re presenting the image you think you are. Do you pass the 5-second test? (If someone visits your social channel, will they know who you are, what you do and why it matters?) Below are a few tips that can help you create a consistent and valuable presence online.

 

example of fully completed about section on Facebook business page Complete your entire profile.

Do you have a header image? This is prime real estate; it’s essentially a mini-billboard, are you sharing your most important message? Is your bio complete? For example, Facebook gives you the opportunity to basically share everything about your business (except your fingerprints!) You want to fill all of this information out because it can help with your social proof and optimization.

 

 

nike facebook page exampleCreate cohesive profiles across social channels. 

Your pages and profiles – whether Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – are potentially your first introduction to your people. Make sure that they match your brand. If you’ve set your audience up with a certain expectation (e.g.: “We share funny jokes daily”) but you fall short, you run the chance of upsetting them (which can potentially impact your bottom line.)

 

 

example social media handles mismatched

Lockdown branded social media handles.

Can you imagine how confusing it is to ask a customer or client to follow you across social channels, but then when they ask your handle you have a different one for each channel? Depending on your business or brand name, it can be challenging to nab branded usernames, handles and URLs. If you can’t get branded names, you’ll need to get creative. Take a look at the images to the left. Which one is easier for your clients to remember?

 

Screenshot of Facebook Add A Button FeatureUse Call-to-Action Buttons or Links

Make sure you take advantage of buttons and linking options that are available to you. For example, in Facebook you have the option to add a button that can do a variety of things (see image.) You can create a button that is completely dependent on your overall business goals (encourage the download of an app, set up an appointment etc.) In Instagram, you can connect one link or use a service called Linktree to connect a bunch of different pages.

 

TAKCAM facebook page example of responding to comments on social media postRespond to comments on posts
Social media is a place to engage with your people, so it’s important for businesses to remember that it’s not a one-way broadcast. What we see a lot of the time is businesses either setting up profiles, posting a few times and forgetting about it. Or alternatively, they’re super active but it’s all about them (no real value to the audience.) Ultimately, if we want to increase our appeal and visibility, we need to engage with people who visit us (PLUS it takes a ton of work to get people interested in what we’re sharing – have you been online lately? Stimulation overload.)

 

 

classroom at MRU with writing on whiteboard Stop selling so much. 
Another mistake businesses make on social channels is just using it as another place to sell. Sure you can use Social Media to generate awareness and leads for your products or services. With that said, in order to generate interest in you, they must find you and then they have to trust you. Think about walking into a new store for the first time – do you enjoy being bombarded with sales pitches? Social media is no different. Always think about your audience; what do they expect from you? Always offer value. Put the 80/20 rule to practice. 80% of the time you should be sharing content that is helpful, educational, entertaining and useful to your audience. 20% of the time you can post something that ‘asks’ them for something in return.

 

press release from Facebook about click baitingStop baiting with headlines or posts. 
First, social channels like Facebook are coming down hard on social posts that are considered ‘bait and switch’ – meaning, you bait someone to click on your post with a promise of something, but when they click through they land somewhere they weren’t expecting. When your audience is hyped and set up, expecting one thing, just make sure whatever it is matches their expectations and hype.

 

 

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data and insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.