The best social media practices to help market your business

It is important to utilise social media in your business strategy. It is one of the fastest ways to get your name out there. It is a great means of marketing your services, products, and help boost your brand. Not only that, it also gives you the chance to connect with customers and prospective customers on a more personal, human level.

In this article, we dive into the deep sea of social media - with a focus on the three titans; Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook - and try to understand how each network and its audience works, know what kind of posts will be the most successful as well as how to respond to each audience.

Facebook

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It has about 1.65 billion monthly active users, making Facebook one of the most popular platforms not only for personal use but business as well. Content that does not inspire emotional responses will have little impact, therefore aim to create consistent posts that are informal and friendly. Engage your fans with posts that are ‘shareable’ or likely to prompt a user to share with their friends. Don’t be afraid to ask your ‘friends’ questions or even ask them to share a post directly. Some businesses share short stories that their fans really enjoy and comment on, while others keep their posts short and sweet.

Let your personality and unique voice shine through by being real and authentic. You can also try to appeal to your fans with multimedia. Posts with images or videos produce 93-96 per cent engagement for small business Facebook Pages.

People will want to connect with you here, so let them get to know you better by sharing images of new products, a video from your latest event and links to places where they can find out more about your product or services. Facebook offers tools to aid you drive traffic.

You can download the Facebook Badge and put it in your business’s window to let customers know you’re on Facebook, or post a button on your website so customers can easily ‘like, your business.

Twitter

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With over 310 million registered users, Twitter is a sea of information of 140 character or less content waiting to be read, clicked, followed, and re-tweeted. Twitter is an easy way to connect with your audience, generating over 175 million tweets daily. As more people follow you, your business gains exposure to potential customers. It’s best to actively tweet throughout the day if possible.

Twitter has a more fast-paced, concise stream than other networks, and consequently followers will expect you to tweet multiple times a day and they’ll be more likely to see your tweets if you do.

Prioritise responding quickly as well because since Twitter moves at hyper-speed, 72 per cent of users expect mentions to be responded to within one hour. Just as you should be actively posting, expect to be actively responding as well.

Tweet information that’s valuable to customers. You can re-tweet or forward others’ tweets or tweet links to useful information, which helps build your reputation as an expert.

You could tweet today’s menu at your restaurant, news of an upcoming event or sale, or a special promotion code.

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Use limited-time offers (good for a day or a few hours) to drive users to take action.

Also use hashtags to reach a wider audience than just your followers by getting involved in existing conversations. People searching for specific information will often check hashtags. Essentially, the ‘perfect tweet’ consists of a link, an image, and two hashtags.

LinkedIn

It is different from the rest of the outlets because it is specifically designed for business and professionals.

Support your business’s brand with posts that are professional and display thought leadership in your field. That doesn’t mean you should lack personality in LinkedIn, it just means you present yourself in a different tone. Share your goals, your accomplishments, your new hires and open positions, as well as what makes you the best at what you do.

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To grow your network, you have to put some effort in, but you will reap the benefits. Even if you spend 15 minutes a day adding people you know to your profile, you can quickly grow your connections. Try and post yourself or comment on other people’s posts daily.

Whether you share content you’ve found outside of LinkedIn or within LinkedIn, ensure it’s relevant to your industry to get the highest levels of engagement. Status updates should contain a link to rich content or thought provoking images or text that will stimulate a conversation.

LinkedIn also gives you the capability to target the audience of each post by using a Company Page. A Company Page sanctions you to create posts for a specific segment of your audience and give them the opportunity to weigh in on company or industry news and other hot topics thus encouraging a dialogue between you and others in your industry.

No matter the social outlet you choose, you need to know your audience or at the very least be actively learning about it and respond to interactions.

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