In today’s digital age, it is next to impossible to ignore the fact that our world is social, your customers are social, and your business efforts should be, too.
But you knew this already. You have some obligatory social platforms setup and there you are, being social! However, is having a social media presence enough? For many business professionals I encounter, one of the greatest challenges they face is not knowing where to begin in making their social efforts count. It is not enough to have the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality when it comes to social media.
Here are three tips to making your presence on social media meaningful:
- #Hashtags are your friend. When used correctly, hashtags are a great way to associate and engage with groups or topics outside of your network. Once you #hashtag a word, your post goes out to the social sphere where others searching under the same hashtag can find you. Likewise, you can search hashtags that interest you to find others sharing similar information. Tips to try: Use hashtags at industry events you attend to expand your presence and connect with others. Network with others in your field by hashtaging current events. Follow hashtags that clients or prospects are using to stay up to date on what is relevant to them.
- Put down the bullhorn and listen up. You wouldn’t meet up with a group of friends and talk about yourself the entire time without letting them get a word in, would you? Social media is no different. Yes, it is important to share what you have going on, what’s exciting in your company, and the kinds of solutions you can offer to others—but don’t make this your only message. Build your audience and listen to what others are saying. Respond to other’s posts and engage with the discussions. Tips to try: Think about how you interact with people naturally and replicate it on your social platforms. Might you mention a great article you read and what you thought about it? Post it! What about that study that came out that’s getting a ton of buzz? Tweet it! Can’t wait to get to that industry event next month? Share it!
- Integrate, integrate, INTEGRATE! The thing about social media is that it’s, well, social. People want to see what you’re doing, what you’re saying, and where you’re going. The interesting thing about social media is that, while it’s a great tool for direct engagement, it’s also a great tool for passive engagement. Putting access to your social presence everywhere your customers and prospects might see it is a necessary way to tempt them to interact with you. Tips to try: Links to your platforms need to be everywhere: your website, your email templates, your employee signatures, your corporate pitches–everywhere. Consider a live feed from your social platforms directly onto your website homepage. Live tweet during webinars for additional cross-promotion.
Of course, there are many ways to get more from your social media. The most important thing is that you make the effort to make it meaningful.