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BELCHATOW, POLAND – APRIL 11, 2014: Photo of social network homepage on a monitor screen.

5 Things you need to know about social media in business

Getting your business into social media is tricky, but it is a way to access a much broader audience. Many people use social media as their main access point to the rest of the internet. If you’re not promoting yourself there you may not be found easily.

The tricky part is not to get overwhelmed. Too little or too much social media interaction can both be detrimental. It has to be done just right. Here are some tips to help keep you and your business on track.

Find your audience

Too many businesses rush to join every social network they can find and try posting to them all. This is a big mistake. You have to know where your audience hangs out. A simple example is a B2B business. Most B2B companies aren’t making contacts of Facebook. They’re going to a place like LinkedIN. If you are just starting, find one social media channel to research and focus your efforts on. You will save yourself a lot of headaches.

Content is king

The whole purpose of social media is to force a response from the viewer. That conversion activity could be to go to your website, to reply to your post, participate in your contest, or whatever you wish the customer to do. To make that happen you need to make your bait compelling enough to make them respond. Content is that bait. There’s a reason we call certain kinds of articles “clickbait”.

Good content provokes reactions. A controversial viewpoint can get just as many clicks as a supportive one depending on the topic and how you spin it. You should also learn how to check the analytics of your social media platforms so you can measure engagement. It’s important to discover h​ow to make your content compelling.​

One good form of content is to ask questions of your audience. Find out how they feel on a particular topic related to your business. Ask for customer testimonials. These are ways to get a conversation started.

Post regularly, but not too much

This is where most businesses fail in their campaigns. Social media channels must have a steady stream of information to remain on the radar, but if you post too much you’ll burn yourself out, turn off your customers, or both. In most cases and platforms, 1­3 times a week is enough to start. If you aren’t getting the response you want, improve the quality and the targeting of your posts before you think about improving the quantity.

It can be very helpful to write an editorial calendar marking when you will write and post the content for your website and for your social media portal. Pencil in when you’ll check your analytics too. Once a week is good for that.

Be noticed

You should have links to your social media portals on your other marketing channels. Blog posts and other pieces of content you put on your website should have sharing buttons so others can easily share your content. Put your Facebook page on your business card. Spread the word about yourself and where you can be found in social media.

In the beginning it can be difficult to get the critical mass necessary to start getting noticed. Ask your family and friends to interact with your social media channel. That can help get the fire sparked. Great content and promotion of your channel to the right audience will do the rest.

Always respond

Repeat after me: Social Media Is Not A Billboard! Social media is meant to be just that. Social. Someone should be monitoring the accounts and responding to messages. Otherwise you just have a fancy billboard that everyone will ignore.

Whoever is your social media front­person must be willing to be the face of the company, even if they are hiding behind a brand logo. And remember, nothing posted on the Internet truly goes away, as so many big companies found out when they started interacting poorly on social media.

Remember to take social media slow. It’s powerful but once you get on the treadmill of posting regular content it never ends. But the results from exposure can be well worth it.

About the author:

Nick Jakubowski is the SEO Manager with Adficient and has been working in the SEM field for over 8 years. A graduate of Arizona State University, Nick regularly posts to the Adficient site along with other online marketing sites.

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