Most every business consultant will tell you a social media presence is a must for businesses—small and large. But with the mass array of social media pages out there it is getting harder and harder to make your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram stand out. But it is possible, says social media marketing expert and founder of InStyle Diva, Inc. Teana McDonald.
“Social media is on steroids now and it's not going to get any better," she says. Taking certain steps can give you a leg up on the competition for Internet users’ attention."
“Engage with your audience. Have live Facebook chats with key people in the organization or host a live tweet up with industry experts,” suggests McDonald. Think like your audience. “Answer the question, ‘What's in it for me?’ Your audience wants to know what you are going to do for them not just what you can sell them,” she points out.
The look of your social media outlets can also lure in potential clients or turn them away. Make sure your company’s image is clear. “Make sure your images/photos/profile pictures on your social media sites reflect your business, your message and your mission,” she offers.
And you have to give attention to your social media. Don’t just put it out there in cyber space without following up—constantly. “You need to use the 3C's: Communication, Consistency & Connections. Communicate with your audience, make solid connections that will lead to results and be consistent. You can't just pop in once a week and expect to see a difference,” explains McDonald.
Make your social media “sexy” to lure in an audience. McDonald says videos are the way to go. “Provide a 'top five tips of the week', go around town and do random video interviews with people but keep it social and keep it effective,” she notes. Put thought into what message you want the videos to convey. “What do you want your audience to leave with after they have seen one of your videos? Make sure to answer that question. Determine what separates you from the pack,” adds McDonald.
Here are the top three mistakes small businesses make, according to McDonald.
1. They spread themselves too thin and join every social networking site. Select social media that best fits the direction and image of your company. And choose social media that reaches your target audience.
2. They try to be everything to everyone instead of focusing on their niche.
3. They don't hire help because they think they can do it all. This is a big fail. Get help.