So you've heard about the 1.11 billion active monthly users on Facebook and the 115 million on Twitter and decided this is something you need to be a part of. You’ve set up a business page with your logo and added a brief description of your company—now what?
Many people get excited about the statistics listing all the users on social networking sites and rush to create pages; however, they dismiss the SOCIAL aspect of maintaining these sites.
There are billions of users on social networking sites, what is going to make them stop on your page? It’s not enough to just have a page. What do you have to say that’s so important?
Here are some things to consider when building your social media presence:
- Develop a Social Media Plan. Setting up a Facebook profile or Twitter account seems simple enough, right? Well you have to know what you want to accomplish through this page. Determine what success looks like and set goals to track your progress (i.e. Gain 100 users within the first month). You already have a website. What information can you provide on your social sites that may not be available on your website?
- Know your target audience. Knowing your audience is an extension of your social media planning. Are you using your social media pages to attract new clients or cater to your existing market? What do your clients care about?
- Promote your page. Do your clients know you have social media pages? Once you have set up your social media pages, be sure to include the corresponding buttons on your website and in employee signatures. Facebook also has advertising which allows you to narrow down your target audience and promote accordingly. Twitter hash tags are a great way to get your tweets noticed. * BONUS TIP: Always check the hash tags that are popular for your location and try to create tweets that correspond; this is a great way to connect with people locally.
- Give your company a face. People love to see the faces behind companies. Include photographs of company conferences, outings and special celebrations. Including photographs lets customers know that you want to connect with them.
- Offer incentives. Contests and drawings are always a great way to not only keep users engaged, but also build up your online network. In order to participate, users have to “like” or “follow” your page. There are many cost-effective contests you can use to attract people to your page.
- Stay current. You should create a posting schedule for your social media pages. Pick the days in which you will add new content to your pages. Facebook and Twitter both allow you to schedule posts for later dates and times. Your page should be consistently updated with fresh content. If your last post was 2 months ago, your chances of having repeat visitors to your page will be very slim.
- Have Fun. Your social media pages should be consistent with your brand. Remember that this is an extension of your website, not your actual website. It’s ok to post “Fun Friday” posts weekly or conduct polls. The one thing that social media provides that your website doesn’t is the opportunity to interact with clients—don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect.
- Be Social. After all it’s called “social media.” Make sure that you are making an effort to interact with the members who come across your page. Twitter gives you the opportunity to follow users who follow you as well as tag them and thank them for follows and re-tweets. Interacting with users leaves a lasting impression. Interacting with site users lets them know you care about what they have to say and encourages them to explore the content on your page. Clicks can most certainly turn into clients.
Monisha Yowell is the Marketing Coordinator for Lawyers Mutual. Monisha connects Lawyers Mutual with our insureds and the legal community through the use of social media. You can reach Monisha at 800.662.8843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.