These days, social media is an unrivalled platform on which to direct internet users to your website and your business. The more followers you have across the major social sites – Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest – the more traffic you will generate towards your website (provided you are creating regular updates and blogs to keep the content fresh and interesting for your potential customers). You need to be doing this daily. It is, of course, essentially free advertising – the only cost incurred is on your time, and if you follow the 6 tips below, it won’t take you very long at all.
#1: Build your company’s credibility by sharing breaking news within your niche
You should already be making sure that you are creating and publishing fresh content via your blog on your website, and sharing this across your social media platforms. But, on top of this, you should be keeping up with important trends in your industry and sharing all the breaking news. You want to try and be the first to tell your social media audiences what is happening in your industry, thus building your business’s credibility and positioning you as a credible authority on all things within your niche.
#2: Don’t miss a trick with Google Alerts
To ensure, in the first instance, that you don’t miss what’s going on, set yourself up with Google Alerts. Google Alerts are created to basically constantly search whatever queries you type in, and to alert you with an email every time it finds something new. This will, of course, save you the time spent on performing these searches yourself.
You may find that you need to tailor or refine your search query so that you’re only being alerted on the specific kind of information you want, but once you’ve got it nailed and honed in to the key influencers in your industry, you can start sharing links to the breaking news events almost as they happen across your social media platforms.
#3: Time your posts carefully for optimum targeting
Like you, your potential clients and customers will probably be working a similarly scheduled day. Lunch time will likely be somewhere between 12 and 1pm, and any meetings will probably be scheduled on the hour. In order for your Tweets and posts not to be missed by your targeted clients in ever-more cluttered and updated news feeds, then you want to try and catch them when they are more likely to be checking their smartphones and social media.
Somewhere within that lunch hour is the most obvious time to start sending out your fresh content and, with any luck, you should find more referrals being generated by your posts during this time.
Another trick is to try and send out a few Tweets either just before or just after the hour. You probably check Twitter yourself when on route to a meeting, so presume that other people are doing the same. At about 5 to the hour is the optimum time for trying to catch users with an idle couple of minutes before the scheduled conference, and at about 5 past when they’re on their way back to their desks. Every hour is often a little milestone in a working day for a lot of office staff, a time that heralds a little break for a coffee and a quick glance at Facebook – give them something to look at and think about.
#4: Follow your followers and engage with the engaged
A great tip to keep growing your audience is to keep a close eye on your followers who are most actively engaging with your content and posts. If anyone leaves a comment on G+, Facebook, or LinkedIn, be sure to reply to it, so as to encourage this engagement and prompt more dialogue and shares in the future.
Anyone who is re-tweeting your tweets deserves the favour returned, provided it’s appropriate and germane to your company’s focus. And the same goes for the your other platforms. Share other users’ posts on your own pages and, if they return the favour your way, you will inevitable gain more followers, which will lead to more clicks on your website, which is the ultimate goal of social marketing.
While it’s true that many social media management companies use scheduling and CRM software, there’s no substitution for personal replies, so make the time to carry these out at least once a day. Remember, the key word to think about with social media is of course social, remember to be it.
#5: Optimize your updates for each social network
So long as you’re sharing your posts and updates regularly across all of your social platforms, you will find traffic flow to your site increasing. But, to really boost the numbers, then you need to start thinking about using the various tools that each social media site offers to optimize the visuals of what you want people to see.
Catching people’s eyes as they scan their news feeds is the ultimate point of success when it comes to social marketing – for one, good use of imagery makes it more likely for other users to share what they find.
Start using Twitter Cards in your tweets, which allow you to attach images and video that link to your website. These cards are given a lot more space on the news feed than regular tweets, so are immediately more eye-catching. Facebook provides even more space for images, so choose the right one (and make sure it’s good quality and that you have the right to share under Creative Commons).
LinkedIn is the space where you should be primarily focussing on your own company’s updates, rather than other gossip in your industry. And in G+ you can market directly to specific and smaller targeted audiences via your G+ Circles. In all cases you should be making the best use of imagery to grab your readers’ attentions.
The final tip is to make time every day to scrutinise your analytics. This way you can simply find out which posts got shared the most on which platforms, which tweets got re-tweeted, how much traffic you generated today and where it came from. This will keep you better informed as to where you need to focus your efforts going forward, what’s popular and what’s not, in order to continue to improve your social marketing routine and keep your number of followers growing.
Let us know how you like to work on improving your social marketing routine!