Viral used to be something you didn’t want any part of, but for small businesses using social media, “going viral” is a constant objective. While social media can be a great, cost-effective way to reach customers, it can be a challenge for small businesses to cut through the noise and have their posts seen.
Here are 7 best practices to ensure your social content is working for you.
1. Post consistently
The best chance to have social content that works is to make sure you consistently post on your platforms of choice. A few times a month won’t cut it. The best frequency varies by platform. For LinkedIn, you may want to be posting just one or two times a day, max. But for Twitter, a “tweet’s” life is often only an hour or less, so you may want to post 4-8 times per day (sometimes, even sending the same or a similar tweet within the same day or week).
Also, it’s better to be on one or two platforms consistently than being inconsistent across a bunch of platforms.
2. Add pictures and videos
People have short – and shrinking – attention spans. So capturing attention often boils down to being visual. Think about it; Emojis have replaced words in communications! Take a cue from that and add photos and videos to your social content.
Statistics show that adding visual content will boost engagement. If you have a product to show off, this is a no brainer. If you are service-oriented, trying using a photo with some words over it or a complementary photo to your text as a way to engage current and potential customers.
Also, explore visually-oriented platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
3. Try different verbiage and times
Mix up the language you use on social media. You may find being clever resonates or perhaps your customers like a more straightforward approach. Social media provides an easy and cheap platform for testing, so pay attention to what works.
Also, mix up the timing of your posts. You may find on certain platforms, certain times of day do better or worse. For me, mornings and evenings are great on Twitter, but there’s a dead zone mid-afternoon. Keep testing!
4. Engage an influencer
A great way to make content go viral is to have someone with a big following share the content. People with big audiences are busy (and like to have a benefit for leveraging the audiences that they have built), so spamming them doesn’t work well. Instead, include them in your content. Or, go through a service that will allow you to pay an influencer to post for you (with proper legal disclosure).
Related article: 5 Ways to Use Social Media to Better Run Your Business
Speaking of payment, targeted boosting of content can really create a great return on investment. Facebook and YouTube are two platforms where targeting is strong and returns tend to be more tangible. Again, you can stretch a small budget and test to find out what works as an added bonus.
6. Be helpful
Nobody likes to be hit over the head with advertisements over and over again, so while it’s ok to throw out an offer from time to time, include other helpful content as well as fun content that aligns with your brand. For example, if you sell gardening tools, post content (either created by you or that you found elsewhere) on the five best ways to make your vegetables grow bigger and faster, or something like that. Or share photos of vegetables that look like animals (who wouldn’t want to share that?)! It will help you attract more loyalty and a bigger audience that will be receptive when you do have an offer to make.
7. Hop on a trend
If there is a hot trend happening, whether a holiday or an actual social trend (like Twitter’s trending topics), adding relevant content and hashtags related to that trend can help build new followers and customers find you and share your content.
About Carol Roth: Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, “recovering” investment banker, billion-dollar dealmaker, investor, entrepreneur, national media personality and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett-produced technology competition show, America’s Greatest Makers and TV host and contributor, including host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy. She is also an advisor to companies ranging from startups to major multi-national corporations and has an action figure made in her own likeness.
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