How to Use Social Media Effectively

The best way to understand social media is to first understand what it ISN’T.

Social media is NOT for self-promotion. It IS for interacting with your customers and piquing their interest. It’s also an excellent vehicle to address their concerns. You don’t want to be one of those companies that hammer people to death with the same posts about discounts, etc. You’ll quickly become like that person at a cocktail party who uses a blow horn to tell everyone how great you are.

In previous blogs, we’ve discussed which social media platforms are better suited to what types of businesses. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or others, be sure to use the strengths of each platform to get your message across. For example, Pinterest is very visually oriented, so you must include imagery and/or videos.

Interact with your customers, don’t yell at them.

You can schedule an online chat session or participate in online discussions. For example, photographers like to compare notes about digital techniques they’ve learned or which lens is the best to get, etc. Let’s say you have a photo service business. You can offer some valuable input and information that will make your core audience take notice.

Remember, you must resist the urge to try to hard-sell them with the next sale you’ll be having. This is not the stage to do that. Social media requires patience. It’s about building long-term relationships, name recognition, perception, reputation—these things are earned over time.

At this stage, you can include links to your website where they can learn more about you and read your blog. This will show them that:

  • You have expertise in your industry
  • You’ve won any awards
  • Previous customers have had a positive experience working with you (if you have testimonials)
  • You have helpful advice to offer

Solve your customers’ problems.

Offering helpful information in your blog is one of the major keys to gaining loyal customers. If you provide something they need or want, they’ll bookmark your site and even better, they’ll return.

For instance, a landscaping company could share helpful hints on lawn care and exotic plantings—for residential and commercial customers. They could answer questions such as: Which fertilizers work best? Are there organic, environmentally-friendly alternatives to pest control products?

With social media, information is worth more than advertising. It positions you as a trusted, authoritative brand, and subsequently an obvious choice the next time customers need your products or services.

Understand that social media will NOT give you instant results. As anyone who’s been on Twitter will tell you, it takes a while to build up a strong following. However, once you do, there is no greater advertising than loyal customers who are shouting your praises for you.

The bottom line:

If you use social media wisely, it can be an excellent secret weapon in your overall marketing strategy. If you have greater patience than your competitors, you’ll be able to reap the rewards and leave the competition behind.

To take your business to the next level in 2016, contact Your Page Today.

Your Page Today is a full-service web development company serving central Massachusetts—Barre, MA; Holden, MA; Auburn, MA; and Oxford, MA.