3 Ways Local Businesses Can Improve Their Social Media

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The Rise of Social Media

social media If you’d asked 15 years ago what role social media would play in my life, I probably would’ve said, “What’s social media?”  It’s amazing how quickly social media has gone from not existing to playing a major role in our lives. It’s changed everything, from how we communicate with people, to how we conduct our business.

For small, local businesses, social media gives lets reach people better than other forms of advertisement ever could.  With 1.3 billion people using Facebook, the potential to reach customers is huge. Yet, despite it being so ubiquitous, many of us still don’t know how to use it effectively. So, today, I’m going to share 3 ways that you can improve your social media presence and help grow your business.

1. Have A Content Plan

It’s easy to post to Facebook and Twitter. Millions of people around the world do it every day.  In fact, millions of people around the world do it twenty to thirty times a day.

It’s a mistake to think that every post is valued equally, though.   Especially for local businesses, the content and the pace are more important than the numbers.  If you post constantly, but don’t plan the content of your posts, your followers will get bored and stop reading.  Even if they don’t unsubscribe from you, they won’t be clicking the links you want them to follow, or seeing the things you want them to see.

That’s why it’s important to plan.  Before you start each month, spend some time working out exactly what you want to post and when you want to post it.  Content should be relevant to your business and tell your followers how to take advantage of what you offer them.

Timing is important, too.  If you post too often, it annoys your audience. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to only post once or twice a week if you’re sticking to strictly business related things.  An occasional share of a good joke – especially if you can relate it to your business – can go over well and may be added beyond the normal 2, but be careful you don’t swamp your followers with posts if you want them to actually read what you write.

2. #Hashtags

hashtag           There’s a joke floating around the internet on how we’re evolving into a culture that communicates entirely through hashtags. While social media is indeed changing the way we communicate, I’m not sure I’d go quite that far.

Still, hashtags are important to your social media presence.  Hashtags aid search results, so you need to use them if you’re going to have your posts seen by the right people.  The trick is to know what to use for a hashtag and how many hastags to include.

I prefer to include 5-6 hashtags in every post.  Put a couple in the body text of the post, and add the rest afterward.  As for what to use, that’s harder to pin down.  Generally, at least half of your hashtags should be keywords you’d like search engines to rank you for.  If you’re a flower shop, you’ll want hashtags for the types of flower arrangements you make. If you’re a doctor’s office, hashtags related to the medical issues you post about are a good idea.  Generally, hashtags should be relevant and punchy.

A bit of humor now and then can also make your followers happy.  For example, doing some social media marketing for a medical insurance company, I did a post for National Blood Donor Month that included “Vampires Don’t Sparkle” as a hashtag.  While not direclty related to blood donation, readers were amused by the humor and the post was wildly popular.

3. Make Your Page Engage

The purpose of social media is to engage your followers and there are certain things that help with that.  If you want people to engage, you can’t just write up a few sentences and throw it onto Facebook.

Start with a clear description of what you want to talk about.  Tell your audience what it is you’re offering and why they need it.  Follow this up with a call to action – tell them how they can take advantage of your product or service, including links to where they can contact you directly, or purchase what you’re offering.

Once you’ve crafted the post and added the appropriate hashtags, it’s time to get their attention with an image.  We are visually oriented creatures, so people are more likely to engage with a post if there’s a relevant image on it.  The image should be crisp, clear, well-designed, and related to the subject of the post.  If you can add a video in the post, so much the better.  People tend to like listening better than reading.

We Can Help

At Atlas Internet Marketing, we specialize in social media campaigns.  They’re fast, cheap, and capable of reaching a wide audience with minimal effort. Engaging the audience this way is a much more reliable method of garnering customer loyalty if you know how to do it right.  If you sign up with us, we can help you develop the content plan, complete with optimization and hashtags.  We can even use social media apps to schedule posts ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about anything.  Just tell us what you want us to talk about and we’ll make sure it goes up when and where it needs to.

If you’re looking for the best social media marketing at the most affordable prices, then get in touch with us. We’ll take care of everything.

#Entrepreneur, Online Dream Architect, and #Marketing Broker. @MatthewEVeil on Twitter, Taking online marketing to a whole new level for small to medium sized businesses.

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