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How Do You Use Social Media Effectively?

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Audrey Guinn
It’s the year 2006 . . .
  • Nintendo released their smallest, most lightweight console to date, the Wii Gaming Console.
  • Nasa launched the New Horizons space probe to Pluto.
  • Internet giant Google bought the rights to YouTube for $1.65 billion through a stock purchase.
  • Four Harvard students; Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes released their social networking platform to the general public. Facebook would become the worlds largest online social network to date.
 
Social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, were established to connect and network with people you might not see every day. When Facebook launched, Mark Zuckerberg predicted it would also create new and effective ways for businesses to advertise. That same year Procter & Gamble attracted 14K people from multiple areas to their products based on social media promotion alone. That type of advertisement had not been available before Facebook. Reaching people on a personal level, and connecting with them at all times, would change the way we advertise and market for years to come.
 
As a business owner though you are probably wondering:
  • What should we post to Facebook?
  • What’s going to result in the most traction?
 
Social posting should always be just another extension of your already established marketing and branding. Promoting sales and specials is one great way to use it. Updated business hours or new product alerts is another way to connect. While making those posts, remember these key facts.
 
Post Regularly, but don’t over-post:
 
I could sit here and tell you which days you should post, but really there are no bad days to post. It’s more about the quality of what we are posting. If you can produce quality content the magic number doesn’t exist. But if you’re looking for a good place to start, try this.
  • Facebook: Minimum, 3 posts per week and maximum once per day. Your audience will let you know what they prefer as you go along.
  • Instagram: Minimum, once per day and a maximum of 3 per day.
 
Growing your social platforms is a marathon, not a sprint:
 
In a perfect world, you set-up a social page and immediately get 1K followers; right!! Wouldn’t that be great? However, we know that’s not how things usually work out in the beginning. You need to make sure you start with small attainable goals like adding 50 followers a month. These goals will allow you to track what type of content your followers like. For beginners this helps keep your social media more manageable as you learn.
 
Remember that no two platforms are the same:
 
Posting the same content across all social channels is never a bad thing. To get the most out of your efforts, remember there are different posting standards for each platforms. Instagram is not a platform where you post 3 paragraphs of content. It’s more for a live-action or a quick read style of post. On the other hand, Facebook can be used for more of the informative, website style posting. Be aware of the style of content your followers like the most. The more engagement you receive the better your page will perform.
 
It’s called Social Media for a reason:
 
People want to socialize with you. The consumer is more likely to engage with locally relevant content. It’s important to find ways to plug your follower’s engagement into your daily posting routine. You could post pictures of your customer's recent purchase in a "thank you" post on your social pages. You could ask what style of products they would like to see you carry in your store. These are all ways to engage your audience at home. Make them feel like they are a part of your business and appreciated. In the end, this will help drive followers to your page and increase the amount of visibility you get online.
 
If I haven’t lost you by now, I hope these quick facts will help you have successful social media campaigns. It can be overwhelming at times, but these platforms are here to help you grow. Just remember these platforms are to be an extension of your business. They allow you to be wherever your target audience is.

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