The devil’s in the details when it comes to developing a consistent social media strategy for your business. Little mistakes and simple omissions can handicap your efforts — and leave you looking like a online novice.
We wanted to find out exactly what kinds of mistakes business owners are still making on social media, so we asked nine successful entrepreneurs to share the most critical elements they see others neglect to include in their plans — and how to fix them.
1. Link to Your Website
We see so many small businesses that have great content on their Facebook and other social media pages. However, finding a link to view a company’s website is often like finding a needle in a haystack. Make it super easy for people who are interested in checking out more about what you do and what services you provide to find your website!
—Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes
Retargeting, if done right, is an extremely powerful marketing tactic. A lot of small business owners forget to retarget people based on their own social media campaigns (using specific URLs) so that they can track specific leads around the web from a simple tweet or Facebook post. That way, you can serve your potential customers the right ads that would be most likely get them to convert, and you would be able to collect all this data to see how much of an impact your social media is actually having on sales.
—Stacey Ferreira, MySocialCloud
3. Focus Your Social Media Effort
A lot of small business owners think they need to be active on every social media site, but in reality, it’s far more valuable to focus on one or two and use them really well. You’ll have higher engagement and conversions at a lower cost.
—Carlo Cisco, FoodFan
4. Email Is Still King
Email is the oldest online social network and the easiest way to connect with your customers one on one. There is a high likelihood that it reaches their inbox, and our internal stats show that customers who get our emails are much more likely to share our updates across other channels like Twitter and Facebook, as well.
—Wade Foster, Zapier
5. Don’t Ignore YouTube
Don’t forget YouTube in your social media strategy. Users tend to browse the site, and the related video suggestions YouTube shows users in the sidebar are almost as good as buying ads on the page.
Make videos that show your expertise in your field or funny commercials for your business. The idea is to create videos that are either useful (e.g., expert how-to’s), which potential customers are likely to come across when searching for information on their own or that are entertaining (e.g., funny commercials), which people might share on social networks. Since web browsers allow users to search specifically for videos, not having a video presence means missing out on potential customers from organic search traffic, as well.
—Jay Wu, Best Drug Rehabilitation
6. Keep Original Content Flowing
Content is king, but only if it’s original content that demonstrates your value proposition. Often this is viewed as a resource drain for small businesses. But across all platforms in a unified strategy, you can easily scale this by allowing users to author editorial with campaign tags that increase value to your site as well as build your brand. The key is to always ensure that the authored content drives your viral coefficient or other valuable user actions. This is most notably accomplished by simple inclusion of website links that provide SEO juice.
7. Maintain a Personal Blog
Having a personal blog is very important. One of my investors, Dharmesh Shah (CTO of Hubspot), does a great job. I try to reserve plane rides for writing blog posts and then syndicate that content as much as possible. I think it makes the company more human and tangible.
—Jordan Fliegel, CoachUp, Inc.
8. Don’t Forget Facebook Targeting
Small businesses forget to utilize the targeting software on their Facebook admin pages. With this tool, certain posts only reach a certain demographic to strengthen the appeal in one without turning off another. The targeting function is one of the three icons beneath the text box. Use it!
—Manpreet Singh, Seva Call
9. Make Your Employees Your Advocates
Bring your brand to even more customers through your biggest advocates — your employees. Striking the perfect balance between strategic direction and organic thought from employees is crucial. Including your employees in the company’s social media brand-building efforts not only builds the brand among employees, but it fosters greater employee advocates, as well.
—Tyler Arnold, SimplySocial Inc.