Social media can be a free — and highly effective — way to share your content and build credibility. But it can also be a time suck if you don’t know how or where to post to reach your target audience.
We asked a few small business owners and bloggers for their top social media promotion tips, and what’s yielded the best results. Here’s what they had to say.
“One of the things being lost in all the ads and funnel hype at the moment is building genuine community on social media.
There’s no doubt that paid ads and a strategic funnel are imperative as part of your social media strategy. But this should not be at the expense of building community and delivering value.
The way to do this is through good-quality content on a consistent basis (consistency is more important than volume), that answers the questions and pain points of your customers (and potential customers).
My top tips for content creation are:
1. Create video — it’s the future of social media. There are so many free (or low-cost) tools to help you do this, so the time to start doing more video is now.
2. Make it conversational. Throw away your key marketing messages and imagine you are sitting across the table from a friend. How would you speak to them about what you’re sharing?
3. Use a 1 in 5 marketing-to-value ratio. For every marketing message you post, you need at least four pieces of content that add value. These should demonstrate your knowledge in your area of business and answer the questions or provide information that helps your followers address their challenges.
4. Put your ad budget behind your marketing posts. But don’t just boost posts — use Facebook Ad Manager!
5. Create engaging content, and your current best customers will lead you to more people like them, through their engagement.
When it comes to choosing which platforms for your business to be on, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Facebook provides the most targeted marketing available in the world today. The rest of the platforms all have their place, depending on your customer and where they are. Knowing this is the first step!”
– Kate vanderVoort, Take10 Social
“Building a presence on LinkedIn is an absolute must for business growth. There, you can establish thought leadership, engage in lead generation, and find potential collaboration opportunities.
In my experience, one of the best ways to accomplish this is to inspire others to want to seek out a connection with you. Forget pushy expert requests or the sending out of blind connection requests.
Instead, put yourself in front of others by way of speaking events. Join local chambers of commerce or other associations, and propose to lead a seminar or workshop that will attract the type of people you want to connect with.
After a speaking engagement, you’d be surprised at how many people will come to you with business cards. From there, be sure to seek out the online connection within a day or two.
Aside from accruing industry respect and PR for yourself and business, this approach will also rapidly expand your LinkedIn network!”
– Christopher Schoenwald, The Passion Fashioned Presenter
“Here at The Content Hub, we’ve found that promoting our blog posts on Pinterest has been the best way to direct traffic to our website, which then results in more followers and engagement with our potential customers.
Often organizations spend a lot of time working on campaigns on Instagram and Facebook but neglect the fact that Pinterest is one massive visual search engine with huge potential for growing your business.
We pin all our blog posts over and over again to relevant Pinterest boards. We use CoSchedule to plan each week and make sure each post has appropriate keywords that match the keywords being searched in Pinterest.
On our Pinterest profile, each board also has the title of the keywords people are searching, such as “blogging tips,” and then those keywords are in the description of the board.
When we look at our stats, most of our traffic comes from Pinterest, which has had a follow-on effect with traffic also coming from Google. As a result, we have new clients approaching us every week, and our business is growing rapidly.”
– Liza Tinker, The Content Hub
“To reach your goal, you need to identify your goal! Is it to build a list, ask your followers to sign up for a webinar, or download a report that’s hot and trending?
Be sure to analyze your content and determine which channels have been successful in reaching your target audience. Also: have you included a compelling visual with your content? Check out free photo sites like Pixabay or Unsplash, or test-drive Canva.
Research influencers who are in your niche on BuzzSumo and contact them with a friendly email. Join industry-specific groups on LinkedIn and build relationships with key experts there. Repurpose your content by creating a guide, chart, infographic, webinar, and more.
Don’t forget to ask professional groups where you belong to share links to your content. That may be a privilege of membership.
Include a link or call to action in your author resource box or online bio if you’re speaking at a conference. Feature links on media releases and especially when pitching journalists on HARO.
Lastly, create link-specific Facebook ads and landing pages to see which provide the biggest bang for your buck.”
– Robin Samora, PR/Small Business Marketing Expert, Mentor, and Speaker
“In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing market, using your voice on social media is a must to grow your business and your brand. Starting from the bottom almost six years ago, I understand how hard it can be to have your voice heard in a vast sea of content.
One of the best tips I can give is to be constant in your postings and what you share. As a blogger, I quickly realized that when I shared posts on a schedule, my readers came to expect it. They also became more engaged and viewed me as a person they could relate to.
But how do I get these same readers to follow me on all my social media? Take Google+ for example — how exactly do you bring the followers in?
First of all, I added the +1 button to my blog posts. This makes it convenient for my readers to share and recommend my post to their circle of friends, driving traffic to my page.
I also try my best to follow my readers back when they follow me, again bringing it back to a personal level. I still like to see when I receive a notification of a follower — I’m hoping the follow back will make them feel the same way!”
– Jill Nunn, Blogger, Wrapped Up N U
Want more tips? See our Expert Roundup on how to build a brand on social media.