NCET explores business and technology
By Nicole Duxbury
Social media has been around for nearly two decades, and millions of best practices case studies have been published for small businesses. However, many businesses make the same mistakes time and time again. Are you one of them? End 2016 with some social media reflection and cut out these don’t’s in the New Year.
Forcing your presence on every platform
One of the most important steps to beginning your business’ social media life is learning where you belong. With so many social platforms, it can be tempting for businesses to be on every single one. However, there is much more value to posting a lot of great content on the right platform than blindly posting across all channels.
If you don’t know where you belong, look at your competitors. Are they on Twitter sharing industry news and company updates? Are they on Facebook sharing live broadcasts of behind-the- scenes culture and product promotion? Or are they using LinkedIn to build connections and network with other industry leaders? Considering where your competitors are finding success, along with what platforms your target audience uses, will help you carve your own space on the right platform.
Forgoing a strong visual
You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: a picture is worth a thousand words. However, so many brands continue to forgo visual content for long-form copy. Content shared with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant visuals. That stat alone should be convincing enough, right? Not all of your photography needs to be high-res professional shots; many brands cannot afford it.
With the click of a button you can take quality shots on your smartphone, and you can build professional graphics with free tools like Canva. Including strong visuals will capture interest quickly and encourage more engagement than a 10-sentence Facebook post ever will. It can also help foster brand recognition throughout the digital world by creating your brand’s unique “look” – a win, win.
Forgetting to follow through
So you’ve found your platform, and you’re creating visually-compelling content that your audience is liking and sharing – great! Many businesses would consider this a job well done and move on to the next post. However, it is crucial to brand development – online and off – to listen to your audience. Pay attention to what your audience is saying and follow up with them about their experiences.
Find common industry hashtags (and create your own tag to track) and regularly report on sentiment. Respond to comments and messages as quickly as possible and engage with customers in the moment to get their real-time reactions. Continue the conversation to help develop brand trust and show your followers that you care. This leads to authentic, genuine brand support and ultimately, more sales.
Nicole Duxbury is Social Content Executive for The Abbi Agency and NCET’s VP of Social Media. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.