by Cydney Hatch December 26, 2018

9 Ways Businesses Can Be More Social on Social Media

For many business owners and marketers, it seems as though social media is always an uphill battle.

From learning new algorithms and features to even learning new platforms, social media requires lots of time and effort. So, if you are among the many discouraged by social media platforms’ trends to deprioritize content shared by businesses in favor of posts from loved ones, this is the article for you!

Before you give up there is good news: Businesses can still be socially active!

Ultimately, if you are going to win the social media game, it’s important to pivot, be resilient and adapt with new marketing game plans! In this article, we will walk through 9 ways in which a business can be more social on social media—regardless of the curveballs a specific platform might throw you.

9 Ways Businesses Can Be More Social on Social Media

First and foremost, you need to change a mindset many people have when it comes to social media: more followers = more success.

Unfortunately, many people use follower #’s, a vanity metric, as the primary goal and measuring stick for their social media efforts. By doing this, they miss out on the whole point of social media: connection. Having 100 followers who regularly engage with you and your content is infinitely more valuable than 10,000 that are just fluff.

My advice: seek relationships, not just followers.

Don’t leave the “social” out of your social media. To make sure you do that, here are a few ways you can make your social media a useful place for your business and target audience:

1. Create Social Communities

Believe it or not, Facebook groups can create a strong sense of community. So, what does that mean for you and your businesses’ social life?

The answer is simple: Meaningful and direct conversations with your potential buyers and current buyers!

Facebook groups have proven more effective than most Facebook pages as they give a private place for people to engage and receive help. If you engage well, share meaningful content, pose questions and include them in business and brand decisions, it can be insanely active!

Hang out in those social pages and look to answer questions, encourage feedback, and be a part of the community. Creating a community can really humanize your brand and give others a space to learn, grow, and commune.

2. Use LIVE Features

It’s time to go LIVE! Although, this is a bold social media move most people avoid, sharing information live can really help your brand or business’s social life!

Going live adds two elements to video: feelings of “FOMO” and audience interaction.

Why do these matter? People do not want to miss out on things going on and they love being able to participate in the video session! On top of that, Livestream just conducted a study that revealed that currently, 80% of users would rather watch live video from a brand than read their content marketing posts.

Repeat after me: People want to see your business produce live video more than they want to read your posts.

I mean, most of us would prefer to listen to a short video than spend time reading, right? When you think about social media this way, you are putting yourself and your marketing strategies in the shoes of your audience and it will greatly pay off. People process video and images faster than text-based content and 67% of audiences who watch live stream videos will purchase. Brands can see unprecedented levels of engagement with live video content, so why miss out on a chance to engage with your audience? Ask questions, poll your audience, or just make them feel a part of your life behind the screen.

Make an effort to show up on your stories, share a little bit of personality and really engage with your target audience who might be tuning in.

To read more about how you can make the most of LIVE video marketing click on my article here.

3. Don’t Ghost Your Audience

Like I have stated many times before, there is nothing in marketing that is just “set it and forget it.” Successful business marketing, especially social marketing, requires constant engagement.

It’s important that you’re responding to comments and—let’s be honest—in order to actually get people to comment on your post, you need to have some sort of call to action or question in every post. This can be as simple as asking someone to comment below, share this post with a friend who would appreciate it or to double tap. It is also a good idea to share your content where ever you can, so if someone asks a question online, share a helpful article and follow up with them!

But to see the social buzz around posts, you need to always think about this: what action do I want people to take after seeing this post from us?

Another helpful hint as a lot of social platforms gauge your responsiveness (the first 20-30 minutes after it goes live) to decide if they should push it out into more news feeds or let it die with the algorithms.

Engagement truly matters! Do not share things on your feed and just become a social ghost that allows the posts to just fade out into the social void.

4. Create Interactive Content Beyond Photos

A lot of time people focus on photography when it comes to social media marketing, and although it’s a great thing to focus on, you can definitely crank things up with interactive content.

If you are wondering what more you can do, try something like:

  • Branded business GIFs
  • Boomerang videos
  • Q+A live video sessions
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Giveaways
  • Instagram stories

For example, Stance shared a short 3 second video showcasing their new collegiate sockline (with a link) that get’s people in the college football season spirit!

Stance understands that there are only so many pictures of socks you can look at, so they shook things up with some creative video work! You too can create content beyond photos!

Live video and interactive content is king right now  and it’s a really cool way to be more “unscripted” , candid and creative while showing and serving your audience. When you create interactive ways to engage with your audience, they appreciate the inclusion and creativity!

5. Be Human

One of the worst mistakes to make on social media is coming off as a stale, faceless corporation. In the modern age of transparency, people want to get to know your company on a more personal level.

Many brands today look for ways to treat their client and customer base as professional friends. As a result, a human social media presence has become an expectation among many followers.

Showing off the human side of your brand means showing off the faces behind your social feeds. For example, you could:

  • Do a LIVE video featuring a day in the life of someone at your company
  • Share behind the scene photos of products being made
  • Interview your CEO and ask personable questions
  • Give a tour of your facilities
  • Go LIVE with social events you do in the community
  • Give sneak peeks for new things to come
  • Create polls on topics you’ll cover, designs or products you might be launching next
  • Share pictures and quotes from employees on why they love working there
  • Share holiday photos and interact with your viewers
  • Create fun posts for silly holidays like “eskimo pie” day

The options are limitless, so whether it’s office photos or snapshots of your team giving back in the community, getting personal with your followers can help you form a much-needed connection!

6. Focus on Being Helpful, It’s the New Viral

Although social selling is indeed on the rise, you are going to annoy people if you frequently “hard sell.” Remember, people go on social media to relax, not get “kiosked” to buy things!

Sure, if you’re in ecommerce it makes sense to push offers and deals to your followers. What’s more important, though, is answering the questions of followers whether through replies or content marketing.

If your followers ask a question, you should respond—ideally the same day! Helpful is truly the new viral! By offering solutions to problems instead of just pitching your products all the time, you’re proving your company is an authority and potentially earning a customers that trust you have their best interests!

What is also helpful about being helpful is that it helps you create meaningful content! If your followers seem to be buzzing about a particular question, you should craft content that speaks directly to it.

7. Create Content People Actually Want to See

If you want to stand out on social media, you can’t just parrot what everyone else is doing…you need to create content specifically from your business that your audience actually wants to see!

Whether you’re trying to build yourself up as an industry leader or want to stand apart from your competitors, original content is exactly how you’re going to make it happen!

Create content that forces your followers to pay attention to you (and I don’t mean clickbait). Whether it’s through sharing an opinion on an industry topic or creating a “How-To Guide”, helpful content that is specific to your audience’s needs, interests and pain points will be key!

There’s a lot of noise out here on social media: find a way to break through it!

8. Share Social Messages at the Best Times

For every industry, there are certain times of the day when your audience is most active. By scheduling your social media messages to post at the best times, you’re that much more likely to engage your followers.

So, many people will ask,”When is the best time to schedule social media posts?

The answer? It depends.

Many marketers want the one “secret” formula to making their business an instant money magnet, but I am here to tell you that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to social media. There will be many articles that will claim that they have formulas or golden hours for posting, but my suggestion is: Beware of the “best times to post” articles!

You cannot make assumptions and lump your clients into a crowd of comatose consumers who are just lingering around the inter web. You have to care about and know about your audience. You have to do your homework and figure out when they might like to hear from you.

There are tools to help you analyze your current followers like Hootsuite, CrowdFire and Buffer which will help you analyze your current followers patterns. Use this as a starting guide and tweak as you learn more about your potential clients through paid social advertising.

9. Use Emotional Headlines to Increase Shares and Clicks

Want to create some buzz for your business? (not to mention SEO value). Write emotional headlines! People see tons of stuff on their social feeds but by creating an emotional and zing-worthy headline, you can instantly get more attention online.

For example, you could write things like:

  1. How to {Do Something} That Will {Help You Experience Desired Result}
  2. {#} Ways to {Do Something} to {Produce Desired Result}
  3. What is the Best {Topic} That Will {Do Something Desirable}?

How-to, list, and question headlines tend to get the most engagement as they involve a person’s emotions reading them! Be sure to also include keywords of things that will be helpful to associate with your business!

Hello, Business Social Butterfly!

So there ya have it, 9 ways to put the social back into social media and to really boost that engagement not just for yourself but the people you love to follow!

Stop lurking or passively scrolling and put some intention behind how you’re showing up online to make the biggest impact and to really implement true strategy and heart into the hours you’re spending on your apps each day!

How do you become more social on social media? What works for your target audience? Comment below and share your experiences! 

  • Social Media

Cydney Hatch

Cydney Hatch

Cydney is a polka dot wearing business owner, photographer, cupcake enthusiast and writer, who through her work, shares her personal passions about visual marketing, branding and business strategy.

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