Many business owners struggle with the concept of social media. It isn’t a quick sale—therefore, they see it as a waste of time and energy. Why spend time writing posts and creating a following when it doesn’t directly affect your operations, cash flow, or productivity? And often, most people who have this mindset view marketing the same way… as a waste of time.
The truth is, social media is an opportunity to promote your business and to show people who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Just like marketing. If you do it well, social media has the potential to increase customer loyalty and your presence in the community.
Here are four ways you can be promoting your business on social media.
Promote your brand.
Brand recognition matters and the more you promote it, the more people will associate with it. What does that mean? The minute they need your service or your product, they’ll remember your company. This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing your products or logo into a post and calling it good. It means keeping your identity uniform across all social platforms in a friendly and inviting way. Be an advocate of your business culture and core beliefs. If one of your core beliefs is trust, create posts and content that directly tie into that concept.
Do not use social media as a platform to sell, sell, sell. That will only annoy your followers and dissuade potential clients from wanting to follow you. If all you’re doing is the used-car salesman pitch over and over, your credibility will tank and you’ll become known as “that” company. Transparency and honesty are extremely valued qualities in a business these days. Try your hardest to be as open, helpful, and truthful as you can.
Promote what you like.
Similar to promoting your core beliefs and culture, it’s also important to promote what you like, as a business. But don’t overcomplicate this. It’s as simple as it sounds. For example, if you’re in the hotel business, you may want to promote exciting areas of the world to travel or must-have gadgets for trips like portable chargers and GPS tools. Because you are a hotel, you aren’t competing with Garmin on GPS watch sales. You don’t have to worry about Garmin “stealing” your customers. What potential clients will see is a helpful resource. They will immediately have some trust in your brand and your hotel, since you’re being sincerely helpful without any request for something in return.
Do not promote anything inappropriate or potentially offensive. Try to avoid politics, religion, and other highly-sensitive items. You don’t want to alienate a group of people for no reason, so stick to neutral topics.
Promote your clients.
Your current clients have the potential to give you more exposure than you may realize. If you throw an event or meet with a client for lunch, snap a photo and tag them. Their own clients, friends, and partners will see your post and your business. You don’t even have to get together with your clients to accomplish this. Spin it as an appreciation post: “We just wanted to give a shout-out to XYZ Company for always being such a great client.” They’ll love it and so will their friends and business partners.
Do not use your social media to pick fights or publicly mock other businesses. You can do whatever your heart desires with your personal accounts, but leave your business account as the neutral Switzerland of the digital realm. If you receive negative comments or reviews, do not lash out. Respond calmly and professionally. Customers will read all your interactions very carefully, and if they see you trying to bash someone who left a negative comment, they’ll see YOU as the bad guy, not the customer.
Promote your events.
This falls in line with promoting your clients. The more coverage you have, the better. When you throw an event or even attend an event, you have a huge opportunity for massive exposure. So grab it. Take as many pictures as you can and tag as many people as you know. Even a simple photo of the event building can be used as a potential tag. “It was great meeting new people and seeing old faces at XYZ Event last night!” Tag everyone and anyone.
Do not post unflattering photos of others without their permission. How would you feel if someone uploaded a photo you didn’t want others to see? And then tagged you on top of that? Not good, right? So be selective with what photos you decide to upload. The goal is to foster comradey between everyone at the event, not to humiliate or anger anyone. Posed group shots are generally okay, along with facility photos. If you’re taking a bunch of candid photos, be mindful of which ones work and which ones didn’t come out too well.