Everyone wants to go viral these days, and the place to do that is social media. But being the next Ice Bucket Challenge, dog on a Roomba, or Chewbacca mom isn’t as effortless as we’d like to hope. In fact, most brands have paid teams of social media “experts” to keep them going.
You may never become a viral hit, but if you’re willing to put in the work, you could grow your small business’ social media to be effective, meaningful, and profitable. Here are seven ways to improve your social media, but if you’re looking for more—way more— check out our ebook, 100 Ways to Make Social Media easier.
The first step to improving your social media is to take a good look in the mirror assess what you’re already doing—or not doing.
Is all your info in your profile up to date on each channel?
Are your posts in line with your brand voice?
Is your blog linked with your social channels?
Do you have social share buttons?
Are you on the right channels?
Yes, these are all the basics, but you can’t get to the top of the ladder unless you start on the bottom rung.
Next, you need to create your social media strategy. If you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, the chances that you’ll end up somewhere you want to be are slim.
Wait, how did I end up with fifteen sheep cards? I wanted to build the longest road. Now I can’t even buy one.
Having a strategy means making social media meaningful and profitable. And while most businesses will tell you they have a strategy, a lot of them won’t have it actually written out.
Wait, how much is a settlement? I swear I had all the cards just a second ago.
Of course, your strategy is only as good as your progress on it, and if you don’t objectively evaluate your efforts, you won’t know if you’re making progress. So a major part of your strategy should be metrics to track along the way.
Hey Ben, I need a wheat to buy a development card. Can I give you two bricks for it?
Nice try, but no. That’ll cost you at least four bricks.
Next is consistency. The best way to manage social media is to get some momentum going so that you can be consistent. That means being active, creating a posting routine, and responding to comments quickly. It’s hard at first. Which is a lot like being on a park swing: It takes a lot of work to get moving, but once you’re swinging, it’s way easier.
Hey can someone give me a push?
Next, get the right tools. Tools are there to make your job easier.
Okay man, ready to take off your lug nuts. Do you have a tire iron?
And just like you wouldn’t want to change a tire with just a Phillips head screwdriver, you don’t want to try to handle your business’ social media without the right tools. There are tons of tools out there to help you schedule, engage, curate content, and monitor your social media.
What the **** am I supposed to do with this?
Improvise. It’s what you do when you don’t want to invest in tools.
Of course, your posts are the real meat and potatoes of social media, so the next step is to get them right. Social can seem needlessly complicated, so let’s talk about it like we’re a cooking show.
For example, you want to make sure that your content is being posted to the right place. Meat goes on the platter. Potatoes are on the side. You don’t put meat in the salad bowl, because it won’t go over well with the vegetarians. Similarly, you want to know what content works well on which platform. Your pretty pictures will perform way better on Instagram than they will on LinkedIn.
And you want to be careful managing your social media activity. Just like you need a timer and thermometer when you put meat in the oven, you need a calendar for your posts and to monitor what people are saying about your brand. Because the last thing you want is to end up being roasted on social media.
So it didn’t go so well, making dinner at home. We’re just going to pay for it. Sound good?
Dear god, yes.
Speaking of which: Paid social advertising. Businesses can’t live on organic traffic alone, so you need to establish a paid social strategy. Here are three tips to make it easier.
First, understanding your platforms is like picking a restaurant. Do you want your dollars to go to, say, fast food restaurants that you know large numbers of people frequent? Or do you want to reach people at niche mom and pops restaurants?
Second, you have to know your budget. Can you afford the fillet mignon of social media ads, like immersive dynamic ads? Or are you cool with getting a burger, like sidebar ads for retargeting?
Third, know your audience. Karolina here loves burgers, and I know he/she hangs out here often, so I’m happy to get this one. But if he/she was more into wheatgrass shots, then I’d eat his/her burger, then take him/her to the right place.
Even once you’ve got your social media engine up and running, you’re going to need to direct traffic to the right places on your site. Think of it in terms of your strategy: What do you want to sell more of? What will lead them to that sale?
Oh, you’re looking for Infusionsoft? It’s just over there. To get there, please follow this CTA to our checklist for 100 ways to make social media easier, make a right, and you’ll be there.
Looking for more ways to build momentum and hit your social media stride? We have, like, 90 more tips for you. Just follow that car and check out our checklist for 100 ways to make social media easier.