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I don’t know about you, but I am past the honeymoon phase with social media.

The beauty of connecting with friends old and new has faded behind the clamor of opinions and personal information I could have done without ever seeing.
But just because I’ve seen social media’s, er, less-attractive side doesn’t mean I’m leaving it. Nope. This is a long term relationship, and in spite of a few loveable flaws, social media has strengths that enrich my life. And that’s not all: social media engagement is still growing, which means plenty of potential growth for your business.
Here are 4 tips that will help you tap into that potential and keep your business on your customers’ minds.

1. Use more photographs.

Posts with relevant images get 94% more views than posts without an accompanying image. We are drawn to visual content, because it’s easier to process and more interesting to the eye. (Source)
So it’s no wonder that the fastest growing social media platforms—such as Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, Vine, and SnapChat—are all centered on providing a connected way to view photographs and/or video. For Engenius social media clients, I find images to accompany 95 to 100% of all Facebook and Twitter posts. We have also integrated more video over the past three months than ever before.
Free resources to use today:
Free Stock Photography – Download any of these high res images for free and use without fear of copyright infringement.
How to Take Good Photos – Improve the quality of your visual content with these super simple tips!
Online Photo Editing App: Pixlr – Edit photos in your browser; this app includes a built-in filter feature.

2. Enjoy social media.

Once you’ve created a profile for your business on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever your target audience is active, your business should begin communicating and interacting like other users do. This means you can let your hair down and have a little fun. Today’s social media crowd prefers brands that show a little bit of creativity, humor, and humanity.
taking photos on a phone
It also means responding to comments, liking and sharing others’ posts, and communicating information that will be valuable to your audience. If each of your posts reads like a billboard advert for your business, it’ll turn people off. Such a strategy discourages engagement on your page and defeats the purpose of the hours you just spent writing (and getting distracted while writing) all of those posts.
One action item:
Put the right person in charge. If you personally do not use social media regularly (or, if you use it but don’t really enjoy it), put someone else at the helm of your social media management. In addition to being well-acquainted with your company, the ideal manager should be familiar with the platforms, enjoy using them, and be able to handle customer complaints calmly and positively.

3. Get engaged. And stay engaged.

As I mentioned above, social media platforms aren’t billboards. Don’t just shout your sales pitch as people unwittingly scroll past in hopes of getting into their heads.
Sure, today’s consumer is fine with a little bit of self-promotion (you are using social media like the average user, after all), but they are looking for more than that: users want and expect engagement. They expect questions to be answered quickly and honestly—before they buy. Consumers also respond to platform-specific promotions, such as photo contests entered via hashtags, because they build the community feel that social media users love.
Once you’ve won your prospective client over, expect to continue engaging in conversation with them via social media. And, be sure your followers know they are a part of a mini-community, made up of all of the brilliant people who interact with your brand.
Quick ways to up your engagement:

  • If you don’t have one, establish a plan (and person) for handling customer questions, comments, and complaints online.
  • Establish times during the day to be present and active on social media. Use this time to leave friendly comments on others’ profiles and pages.
  • Don’t force it, but try to think of a name that represents your customers as a community. We’ve used #EngeniusClients and #BeautifulWebsites.

4. Grow your audience.

The force is strong with social media—you just need to tap into its potential.
There are two primary ways to grow your crew of followers: organic and paid reach. Organic reach increases your audience by providing the type of content and engagement people want to follow. Paid reach makes posts more visible to people close to and/or outside of your audience. While all social media platforms are primed for organic reach, the opportunities for paid reach may be limited by or beyond an average small business’s price range.
Two steps toward growth on Facebook:
1. Increase your organic reach: on your business’s Facebook page, take a look at your Insights tab. Which posts work the best? What time of day seems to work best for post engagement? Use this information to shape future content.

An Engenius client’s Insights page tells us which content to keep posting and when.

2. Try allocating a small portion of your marketing budget to running a campaign for a limited amount of time. Here’s a handy guide for beginners. After your ads have run their course, you will be able to compare cost/benefit and determine the value of an investment in paid reach.
Once you’ve completed your social media mastery action items, keep taking steps to improve your prowess across platforms.
If that doesn’t put the spark back into your relationship with social media, Engenius is here to help. We can answer your questions or give you a quote for social media management by our team of experts. Contact us today!

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