29 ways to make sure your business gets found in social media
Social media marketing can feel a bit hit and miss. Are you talking to a relevant group of interested people, or are your efforts about as useful as broadcasting into outer space? Here’s a handy list on key things you can do to get yourself, your business and your content found in social media.
Maximising your social profiles
- 1) Identify the key platforms: Identify the key platforms where your audience already hangs out, and be there. Grab your @name profiles on the others, but focus in on the ones you can reasonably manage based on where they already are.
- 2) Include your team: Make sure your key team members also have profiles as individuals on the main platforms. You may want to ask customer-facing and key people to have a professional ID that’s linked to your company, with the company name linked in their bio.
- 3) Consistent icons: The same image should represent your business across all the different platforms. Get a decent square-cropped image created that is visibly attached to your business. This is often the main icon from your logo, but if you can associate this to an individual, it’s often stronger. This should also be the Favicon on your website and landing pages.
- 4) Consistent & professional photography: Get professional photography done in a brand style to use in social media. Anyone representing your business online needs a clean pro photo in a ‘house style’ that sits well in a team gallery and has the same look about it across the social IDs of your team. Make it part of your induction process, or part of team training days to have these photos taken. If you update your photo, update across all platforms.
- 5) Branded overlay on social photos: Consider adding a branding element to your team photography. We do this with the Watertight Marketing bucket icon.
- 6) Consistent naming conventions: Use consistent @names across your team if possible. You may want to specify a structure, e.g. @name_company
- 7) A consistent one-liner: Develop a one-liner that describes your business, and use the same one in all of the social media bios you have. Including the company descriptions on the the LinkedIn profiles of your employees.
- 8) Rotate the cover images: The only image we would recommend varying, would be a branded cover image – which can be used to promote upcoming events or specific content.
Keep social media in mind when you create your content
- 9) Create compelling content: Make sure you create content that triggers an emotional response and gets people wanting to share. (See: A to Z of Content Marketing Ideas)
- 10) Get social copy written: When writing copy, get at least 10 one-liners written that serve well as social posts… leaving enough space for the link.
- 11) Get the meta data written: The meta data on a post or web-page is what’s picked up in social when you share the page, Make sure this is written as a compelling, self-contained, piece of descriptive copy that prompts people to read more.
- 12) Prepare social image tiles: Always consider imagery with your content, get some made in all the typical sizes and shapes used on your key social platforms, e.g. square for Instagram.
Key things to add to your website and emails to show up in social media
- 13) Links to your social platforms: You would typically expect to see links to your social profiles on the key platforms on your website footer, ‘about us’ and ‘contact us’ page.
- 14) Behaviour-based invitations: Remember to invite people to your groups, pages or profiles when they sign-up for email, events or buy from you.
- 15) Contextual links to individuals: Signpost links to key people’s individual social ids on their ‘About us’ profiles, any posts by them, or case studies featuring their work.
- 16) Add social share buttons: Make sure there are social share buttons at the bottom on key articles and pages, even better if these pre-populate with well-crafted copy.
- 17) Remember your hidden copy: Meta data and featured image that works in social sharing
- 18) Activate your tweetables: Identify the pull out quotes in a piece of content that people would be likely to quote and share and add a button that lets people do this with one click. See services like click-to-tweet.
- 19) Map the moments: Remember to sign-post your social IDs at opportune moments, e.g. on the thank you screen after people have ordered from your website.
How to integrate social media into offline and other materials
- 20) Sensible and consistent naming: Make sure you get the vanity urls as soon as you are able so that the URLs look good on printed materials, e.g. this is when you have 100 channel followers on YouTube.
- 21) Put your profiles in print: Add key social IDs to business cards, letterhead, brochures, invoices, etc.
Key things you can do to show up more often in social media
- 22) Create a successful schedule: Create a schedule, or use a scheduling tool, that makes sure that your updates are released at the right days and times to reach the people you are after.
- 23) Handle the hashtags: Use the relevant hashtags appropriately. There are a number of tags for industries and topics, as well as for recurring online live chats, e.g. #northwesthour where businesses in the North West chat and connect on Twitter. Most conferences, etc. now have their own Hashtags – make sure you use it when talking about the event.
- 24) Go Live: Live video has landed! It definitely gets more reach, partly because Facebook is pushing it at the moment and partly because it’s more engaging. Definitely worth considering as part of your mix.
Making the most of your social media connections
- 25) Listen: Social media is an excellent listening tool when used well. You can use it to research themes and topics, finding what gets shared, Liked, and starts conversations.
- 26) Have conversations: When you connect with people in social, be sociable. Make an effort to have two-way conversation rather than just broadcast. Comment on posts, ask the author questions about what they’ve shared, and ask questions that prompt discussion.
- 27) Collect and use the social data: Collect or lookup social IDs when people join your list, buy something, attend an event, etc. and follow and greet them there.
- 28) Make really smart use of Lists: Put prospects, customers, event attendees, Influencers, on the lists (all the tools have private functions to group people by tags or lists). This means that you can make sure you see your hot prospects’ or customers’ activity first, so that you can engage with their material and show up on their radar.
- 29) Build relationships with well-connected people: Find the people that the people you want to reach are already following… share their stuff, comment on their posts, invite them to contribute to your material as a Voxpops or guest post or sit on a panel for a web-chat or online seminar. Use Hashtags like #journorequest to spot any press opportunities that might be relevant to your business.
© Bryony Thomas – The Watertight Marketer
by Bryony Thomas, author of the award-winning book, Watertight Marketing (Panoma Press £14.99) – The entrepreneur’s essential marketing manual. #watertightmkg
Drop me a line by leaving a comment below, or chatting over on Twitter: @bryonythomas