Social media can be an incredible tool for businesses, in particular for small businesses that don’t have large marketing budgets. An active and engaging social media presence can help small businesses compete with the big brands for attention, and potentially connect to a vast audience. The key is engaging your audience by providing a steady stream of interesting and relevant content.
Most people love to share their opinions, so asking questions of your audience is always a great way of getting people engaged. It’s also a good way to humanise your business, and of making your audience feel as though you value their ideas. And when you ask the right questions, you also gain the opportunity to learn more about your audience, and what they want from your business—which can help you create new products and services tailored to their needs. So ask your audience: what product would they like to see you introduce next? How would they improve an existing product?
When it comes to social media the emphasis is on the social element, and many businesses forget this essential fact, to their detriment. Social media is, in fact, the best chance that you have for putting a human face on your business, and it’s that human element that helps to create an engaged, active, and loyal customer base.
Behind-the-scenes content relating to your business can be a good way of doing this; for example, some of the most popular content on YouTube is “How it’s Made” clips that show manufacturing processes of popular items. If you’re a business owner, personal-glimpse content can be great too—it reminds people that you’re balancing work and personal life just like they are.
Share Your Inspiration
Inspirational quotes are incredibly popular on social media—it gives people a chance to just take a moment and think about what motivates them, and a chance to dream about their future success. Making your own inspirational quotes is as easy as entering text at a site such as Recite.comor Quozio.com; add a watermark or link, and you have a quick-and-easy piece of shareable content that also doubles as free advertising. When choosing quotes, think about what’s relevant to your audience—what their goals might be, and what might inspire them.
Lighten the Mood
The beauty of social media is the ability to add all kinds of content to your platform: links and images, video clips and sound bites, and short posts, allowing you to include virtually any kind of content. As well as this variety, there’s also plenty of variety in terms of the tone of your content. It doesn’t have to all be serious and strictly business—there’s plenty of room for light-hearted content too. Whatever the business you’re in, there are numerous places in which to find this kind of content, and of course there’s the possibility of creating it yourself. As always, it’s important to think in terms of what your audience will appreciate, and try to stick to content that’s relevant to them or to your business.
Repost Your Content
The most effective content is what’s known as evergreen: it remains relevant for months and years, even as times change. It’s the most efficient kind of content there is, because it can continue working for you year after year. The rapid pace of social media means, however, that many of your followers might miss content the first time you post it—so for those evergreen posts and links, a repost every so often ensures that you’re getting the message out to your audience.
Curate Others’ Content
As a business owner you likely don’t have time to create endless amounts of new social media content, but you don’t have to, because the internet is full of people creating content too. When you see content that you know your audience will find interesting and informative, share it with them. It helps keep interest high, and you can use the content to start conversations by adding your own comments and insights.
Above all, it’s important that the majority of the content you post or link to has some relevancy to your business—that each piece of content connects in some way to your products or services.
It’s tempting to link to viral content simply because it’s popular, but if you’re constantly posting content that has no connection to your business, you risk losing the people who started following you because it’s your business they’re interested in. Whatever the content you’re posting, the number one consideration is how it connects to your audience.