Organisations of all sizes, in all industries, can benefit from social media, but it’s of particular benefit to small businesses. Smaller companies don’t have the advertising budgets to compete with big brands, but they have a chance to make a real impact on Facebook or Twitter. The key to making social media work for your organisation lies in using interesting and shareable content to create an audience of followers that’s highly engaged.
1) Keep Your Audience in Mind
The number one rule is, make sure your content is relevant to your audience. Most of your content should be relevant to either your audience, your business, or your industry.
Avoid linking to viral content. It’s tempting, but the thing about viral content is that people can see it anywhere, and it’s not unique to your business. Your followers are following you because they’re interested in your business, so it’s important to continue giving them content pertaining to that.
2) Ask Questions
People love to give advice and share opinions, so asking questions is one of the most effective ways of engaging an audience. The right questions can accomplish important things
- humanise your organisation
- make your audience feel valued
- gain insight into your audience’s tastes and preferences
For example, ask simple questions such as: which of your products is their favourite? How would they improve that product? What kind of product should you develop next?
3) Add Links and Visual Content
Social media posts that include or link to visual content—images or video clips—are far more likely to get shares and comments than text-only posts. Always include an image with a Facebook post, and on Twitter, include links or images as much as possible in your Tweets.
4) Give Something Away
Competitions and giveaways are a great way to kick off a new social media profile, and when held regularly help maintain and increase engagement. Combine this with asking a question for a great effect; for example, ask a question, and choose a random commenter as a recipient of a free product. Or, offer free shipping or a discount for people who share a particular post or Tweet.
5) Go Behind the Scenes
Social media is second-to-none when it comes to humanising an organisation, adding that human element that is essential for creating an engaged and loyal audience. So take your audience behind the curtain, and show them how your business functions at the personal level. Behind-the-scenes video content that shows how products are made, office or shop tours, and personal-glimpse content are perfect for this.
6) Get Inspired
Sharing your favourite insights and inspirational quotes can be a great way of creating shareable content. Quotes are extremely popular social media content, and it’s easy to make this kind of content at sites such as Quozio.com and Recite.com. The only restriction here is that your quotes should be relevant to your audience, or to your industry.
7) Don’t be Shy
When you get right down to it, what you’re asking for by posting content is likes, shares, and mentions. So don’t be shy about asking for them—it works for the big brands and it can work for you too.