Often times start-ups have a great idea, but struggle to spread the word about their product or service. Google AdWords, facebook ads, or promoted Tweets can be a great way to spread your message online, but they are costly and if not monitored carefully and tweaked regularly their effectiveness will be limited. For many small firms plan B is to use free social media to advertise themselves. The concept seems obvious: publish interesting content about your great product and other people will find you. It’s free and easy.
Social media is a great tool, but there is a right and wrong way to use it. Finding the correct strategy is more complex than it might seem. Two weeks ago I wrote a post on creating the right social media strategy for your business. I broke the strategy down into three sub-strategies: publishing content, driving sales, and social advertising. I want to continue this series by diving a bit further into each category and offering some suggestions to hone your strategy.
Today, I will tackle publishing content. When it comes to successfully broadcasting your content there are a few keys to success:
1. Publish regularly:
Make a schedule of when and what to publish. Regularly published content keeps your followers and friends engaged and helps with search engine optimization. One sure fire way to annoy people on social media is to publish 10 posts in 5 minutes and then nothing for three days. Invest in a program like Hootsuite that will let you schedule posts. This way you can post regularly without actually being at your desk. You can also use services like tweriod.com or the auto-schedule function on Hootsuite to determine the best times to post so you aren’t wasting your best content when no one is looking.
2. Generate original content:
Let’s suppose you were in the food industry. Broadcasting articles and recipes from your favorite food blog is great. It will likely keep people engaged and encourage them to retweet or share your posts. However, it is unlikely to directly generate any sales for you. Consider posting links to your website that advertise special deals or new products. This will generate traffic to your website and help drive sales. Lots of clients I speak with have difficulty with this because their website content is fairly stagnant. One easy way to consistently to generate fresh content is to start blogging. You can blog about almost anything as long as it is somewhat related to your business, is well-written, and engaging. Embed the blog in your website and will you have a great way to generate traffic.
3. Analyze, Analyze, Analyze:
Many of the small business owners I work with are shocked when they sit down and take a close look at their social media analytics. The posts with the most shares and retweets and the links with the most clicks may not be what you expect. Use a service like bit.ly or Hootsuite’s ow.ly to track your links. By connecting Google Analytics to your website it is easy to see exactly how many people are visiting your website from the various social platforms out there. Look at your analytics weekly, if not daily, and make adjustments based on your results.
As always, if you want further help in crafting a social media strategy for your business, consider contacting an Anant Internet Strategist at anant.us. Good luck and tune in next week when I tackle making a social media sales strategy.