Updated: Sep 5, 2020
Trying to find ways to increase your engagement until the cows come home?
There is so much information out there when it comes to social media success with everyone looking for answers as to how to maximise our business and brand awareness.
In my eyes there are two purposes for using social media:
Personal use (sharing, community, news, family, events, interests) &
Professional use (marketing, selling, networking, connecting & establishing)
We are going to focus on some top tips on how to use social media for professional use, create and maintain a successful social media presence that I think you'll appreciate...
Have A Clear Purpose & Primary Platform In Mind
What are you hoping to achieve from your social media?
Sales or Leads
It may sound basic, but asking yourself and noting down the answer will help you identify your intention, manage your expectation and understand the results. Each mainstream social media platform is designed for the purpose listed above - they have purposefully remained unique to each other (like an unspoken agreement) so you just need to identify which platform is your primary source for engagement and for attracting the right customer or client persona.
Networking platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Facebook: 84% are 25–30 year olds Twitter: 44% are 18–24 year olds
LinkedIn: 44% are 25–30 year olds
They allow accounts to interact for each other but each has a different aim: Facebook is great for small businesses as it allows you to share links, visuals and like other / relevant pages that may help link potential customers to your page. LinkedIn is amazing for B2B selling and career-related networking. Everyone on there expects to be 'pitched to' in a virtual neighbourhood of other businesses which makes it a great place to connect and message businesses with a mini-proposal.
Posting short, slick business updates or news is ideal on Twitter - now you can share links and visual to help businesses optimise and create enticing posts. Always worth having if this is something your business could really use - think of it like Facebook but quicker for updates with shorter post texts which suit your business.
Photo Sharing platforms: Instagram & Pinterest
Instagram: 75% are 18–24 year olds
Pinterest: 38% are 18–24 year olds
These are two of the biggest social media platforms for sharing photos with over 500 million daily users on Instagram and 250 million active users on Pinterest!
If your business would benefit from a more creative platform where you can share video and photo updates then these are both the platforms for you. Instagram offers feeds of aesthetically appealing images and videos that can make people want to click through or scroll on. I imagine these two platforms like a virtual window to your shop - you can be more personal, be more creative and really convey the tone of your business.
Top Tip: Find profiles that are not competitors, but that you are most drawn to or like the look and feel of to use as 'reference profiles' for your own social strategy.
Stats extracted from Sprout Social 2020 social stats report.
Building & Increasing Social Media Engagement
Think of social media for business like a bustling high street
A great way of simplifying how we should use and increase engagement on social media is to imagine your social media profile as a shop or place of business on a bustling high street. Lots of people, noises, conversations are happening all around you and you are trying to stand out. Perhaps they are looking into your 'shop' to see who you are, what you sell and what it's like in there. There is a sense of reality in the way we connect and communicate on social media specially as a small or new business where to build virtual relationships is like building physical ones.
Represent yourself online as you would in person
How we represent ourselves on social media says a lot about us, who we are as a business and what it could be like to work with us. Building relationships and trust is what leads to people buying or working with you, rather than someone else who does what you do. Represent yourself online as you would in person even - authentic marketing on social media particularly since 2020 has become a huge selling point for most small - medium businesses so don't be hesitant to share what's going on behind the scenes, the process and show your faces!
Engage & connect with your potential clients
What kind of engagement are we talking here?
Share related content to your / your work or content of mutual interest (stories & Facebook posts)
Comment on posts
Retweet relavent tweets
Do you like to see who is 'liking', 'sharing', 'commenting' or even watching your stories? They could be very well doing the same even though they won't say thank you or acknowledge you as an avid follower, you are still in their minds and the more you engage, the more you are on the forefront of their mind. It is so important to keep engaging with others on all your socials to keep you on their mind - particularly connect and engage with those you feel may be interested in your services or buy from you one day. This is why it's also a great idea to have a client/customer persona in mind so you know who to connect with online.
How much time to dedicate to engaging
I would recommend between 30 mins - 1 hour of engaging on all socials per day is a decent amount of engagement time. Imagine how much likes / comments that is? A fair bit! Plus it's a great way to see what's actually happening in the virtual world around you which is imperative to keeping up with learning what people want and your own industry. You will see a huge return of engagement from doing this,
Top Tip: set a timer on your phone to make sure you don't go over your time spend!
Understanding Social Media Etiquette
Believe or not there is such think as social media business etiquette and if you don't know or use it, it can really turn people off your socials and even unfollow you (yes, people are sensitive in the virtual world too).
So what do we mean by social media business etiquette?
Respond to messages even if they are perhaps strange or you don't know them - be polite (you never know who they are & if they could be a client or customer)
Reply to comments with genuine not generic responses
Avoid hashtags on Facebook it looks spammy
If someone shares your post on Facebook or in their story on Instagram say thank you message or by adding it to your story or sharing to your page.
Shoutout to fellow businesses you work with or like (not necessarily direct competitors)
By complying with this kind of etiquette shows that you really care about your followers and connections which shows that you really value them - they think to themselves, 'if they value me as a follower, they must be excellent if I were to work with them' - it's all about being at the front of their minds for when they need your products or your services. It can be the waiting game, but sometimes the waiting game pays off.
Social Media Today have a fantastic article on this topic and even go into detail listing the 'how to's' for business posting etiquette for different industries & platforms. which is really worth noting. Learn more about social media business etiquette here.
The main thing to always have in the back of our minds when it comes to social marketing is to be genuine, consistent and informative. It can be easy to over think what we are doing and what we are posting so we also have to remember to keep it simple.
Hopefully this article will help you understand your social media purposes and how to use the power of engagement to increase your own brand awareness.
~ Yasmin @ Aloha ~
Resources for building social media engagement:
Content planning tips for small businesses: https://www.alohasocialmarketing.com/post/3-tips-content-planning
Utilising User Generated Content (UGC) to boost engagement: https://www.alohasocialmarketing.com/post/usergeneratedcontent
Understanding social media platforms & their benefits: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/which-social-networks-should-you-focus-on
Social media demographics 2020: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/
Social media business etiquette: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/social-media-etiquette-for-business-20-tips-for-success-infographic/523006/
Understanding social media engagement: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-engagement/