Social media marketing tips

How to use Big4 social media platforms for business?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest tutorials

In few latest articles I wrote about using various social media platforms for your business. Right now, I would like to gather all those information into one article, concerning usage of Big 4 services (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest). Let’s not waste time then — how to use Big 4 social media platforms for business.

FACEBOOK

1. Forget about hard sell

First things first — the hard sell doesn’t work online. Be of service to others, demonstrate value, and build relationships. That’s a proven formula for web “marketing”. People usually come to Facebook for entertainment, chatting with friends, checking out some new photos or even just chilling.

What should we do then? Be active! Engage with communities, join discussions and so on. This way you will become part of the pack, and people will be more eager to buy your services or simply visit your fan page or blog.

Remember, by brute force advertising — repeatedly posting your slogans and advertisements, you might do more bad than good for your reputation and in the end make you lose followers. Forget about hard selling!

2. Interact, interact and then… interact

Now that you know hard selling is bad, I should say few words about interacting with people. First things first — your Facebook page is not an advertisement billboard. Period. You want your followers to interact with you, to comment and discuss, not just read ads.

In other words — post funny photos, interesting videos and articles not always just selling your services. This way you might just make yourself a loyal fanbase, which nowadays is priceless thing to have. You are interacting with people, not just clients.

3. Be a human

This hint is strongly related to the previous one. We already agreed, that you are interacting with living human beings and should treat them accordingly. There is still second side of this coin though — you.

While managing Facebook, don’t be a machine advertising your company. People must hear your voice, human voice. Sound real, sound likeable and followers will come to stay. Act like one of them.

4. Post consistently

Some people use Facebook for nearly 12 hours a day (even more hardcore examples happen), and when they are not using it, mobile apps remind them of it with notifications. Frequency of your posts will be crucial in achieving success on this social media platform.

The main rule is — post whenever you have something interesting to share with your followers. While this might sound reasonable, I don’t think it’s really enough. At least one post a day, while trying to make it as good as possible — in my opinion this should be better solution.

Conclusion — At least 1 post/day with content as good as possible.

5. Even more interaction

Let’s say that you already managed to get yourself some loyal follower’s base. Loyalty has its limits too, you know. How to make those people stay with you? There are many ways of doing so.

One of them would definitely be rewarding the best, most active fans. Whether you choose to just write a ‘thank you’ post for them, or send them some prize, it’s up to you — just don’t forget about letting the best followers know, that you really appreciate them.

As some smart man said — “Not content, but client is the king. Long live the king.”

6. Have a plan!

Managing Facebook works the same as other aspects of life — running blind without a plan very rarely will get you anywhere. Before really getting involved in social media marketing, you should prepare yourself to do so. Have a precise goal and strategy how to reach it.

If you don’t know what you want to achieve, there is no way of measuring success, therefore adjusting phase is impossible. Good plan and dedication can really get you a long way on the road to immortal fame and Facebook success.

How often do you want to post, how many followers do you want to get in a given time, how many sales do you want to have etc. Sometimes numbers are a must.

7. Promotion!

Well, while good content should eventually bring followers to your business, it might take a little longer, than you actually want. In this case — promote, promote and once again promote. There are many ways of doing so, for example:

Social media marketing:

· Using other Big4 platforms — Twitter (check out article on how to successfully use it here, Instagram and Pinterest)

· Using some of the underused social media platforms like Quora, Medium etc.

· Making Facebook contests and giveaways — offer an attractive prize and people will follow

Classical marketing:

· Make sure your business cards, brochures etc. all have your website’s address on them

· Use classic advertisements

· Get a help from other medias (press, TV etc.)

8. Don’t save on graphics!

EVERYBODY judges people by their looks. Same goes for websites, Facebook pages etc. If you want to be successful, find a freelancer graphic designer, who will project a custom made looks for your site and install them (usually you can get all of that, for no more than 60$. Personally I advise using for example Fiverr).

Unique logo, personalized bar, custom graphics, all those things might make the difference between success and failure. Don’t hesitate to invest in your dreams!

9. Metrics!

As I said before — measuring the extent in which your plans have been achieved is definitely one of the most important things while engaging in social media marketing, small businesses etc. Great content, graphics etc. are great, but you also need some numbers, to know if they worked.

Using the hints listed above should make achieving your Facebook goals a lot easier.

Twitter

1. Take care of your profile

Choose the right profile and background pictures — it might be a logo, personal photo or some nice view (in the background), but it has to be there. No one want’s to follow anonymous people.

Utilize all your bio space using keywords and the most crucial informations about your business — it’s here for a reason.

2. What for are you using Twitter?

That’s actually one of the most important questions out there — decide why and what for are you going to use Twitter. You must know if you want to advertise your brand, share articles from your blog or just socialize with your friends. In later stages it will help you and your business immensely.

3. Sometimes it’s just too much

Let’s be honest — not everything that people tweet is important (and that’s a big understatement). If you don’t want to be drown in all those useless information and just select those which really interest you, there is a way called — lists.

Gathering people you follow into lists allows you to actively observe only the information, you really care about. In the beginning you might not see the aforementioned problem, but the moment will come, when listing will become your life saver. Don’t forget it!

4. What’s your passion?

There are millions of people on Twitter and most of them tweet about something. You can find simply everything in there — useful tweets from professionals, various adverts, news, photos of people eating strange stuff etc. It’s really easy to get lost, so my friendly advice is — focus on your niche!

If you will try to do everything, you will end up doing nothing — as simple as that. Focus on your passion, on the subject you are good at. This way you will be more reliable and reaching your audience should become a lot easier.

5. How to tweet?

Well, there are few tips you should definitely take under consideration:

· Keep it short — most people say, that ‘100 characters’ format is optimal

· Use hashtags!

· Don’t use your tweets only for self-promotion!

· Respond to each and every fan (unless you have millions of followers, then it might get a little tricky)

· Be interesting, funny, smart — whatever makes you unique.

6. Engage with people!

Retweet, respond, use favorite button etc. Appreciate all share and retweets, do the same for other people, connect with them, discuss and help them. That’s in fact the only way to build loyal and reliable audience! Don’t be a robot.

7. Plan, plan, plan…

If I had to choose one most important quality to achieve success on Twitter, it would most probably be consistency. You must be persistent and never miss on opportunity to reach out to your audience. How to do it? The easiest way is to use schedulers like Hootsuite, Buffer etc.

8. Even more planning

Let’s say that there are two main strategies of using Twitter:

· Influencing

· Listening

If you want to influence, your main target is to tweet, engage with people, advertise your work and get more and more fans.

If you want to listen, you should find people sharing content that might interest you and follow them. This option is definitely the less time-consuming one.

9. Be useful!

If you are using Twitter for business, don’t you ever go full self-promotion mode. Of course you want to advertise yourself, but helping people solve their problems and simply reaching out for them may give you more followers than brute-force sharing your product!

10. Help from the outside

There are many online tools, which might help you in achieving success on Twitter. Not using them sometimes might be simply stupid. Some of the best below:

· SocialOomph — track keywords, schedule tweets and much more

· Paper.li — collect and curate tweets into a form of newspaper

· Hootsuite — publication scheduler

· Buffer — same a as above

· TwitterFeed — automatically share RSS feeds in all major social media platforms

· TweetDeck — used to desktop Twitter management

· And many others

11. And once again…

Be consistent. Don’t you ever forget it! Success is achieved by hours and hours of hard work and countless failures. Beginnings are going to be tough, but remember: never give up!

Instagram

Nowadays not only restaurants and travel companies are using Instagram’s photo-sharing abilities, but it seems that nearly every business that want to survive in the social media, have to use this app. Some people even say that there might be no better place to build your brand (I’m not really sold on this idea, but still). Let’s move then — “How to use Instagram for business”.

While on Facebook, Twitter, Quora and so on people have opportunity to simply interact with a business by asking question, commenting etc., Instagram is more of a visual portfolio for a company. Since it became one of the Big4 social media players, having strong presence there is a must, if a business don’t want to be ignored by the new generation’s customers. Here are some interesting Instagram numbers — click.

Those are the mains reasons why you shouldn’t miss on building your business presence on the Instagram. In the article below I will try to show you, step by step, how to use Instagram for business and achieve success while doing so.

1. What’s your plan?

This rule applies to every social media platform you are going to use. Don’t start, before knowing exactly what do you want to achieve there. Decide who do you want to reach out to, what are the number you want to get etc.

If you already know those things, now is the time for research. Before starting your company accounts, trying Instagram out with a personal one would be smart choice. Get used to it’s interface, rules, functionalities etc.

Now is the time for a little benchmark. Some companies are just great on Instagram, and learning from them is nothing to be ashamed of. Just look here. Copy what they do best, learn from their mistakes and with time add your own ideas.

So now we know how to use Instagram, and what are the best practices in the market. As we already agreed, before start you have to decide what exactly are your goals on the Instagram. Whether you want to get more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, reach new clients, or just keep up with the competitor — having plan is a must. Now is the time to plan your social marketing campaign. And here are some of the best social media campaigns of 2014.

There are many conceptions on how a good plan should look. Let’s see, in my opinion perfect social media campaign plan should be:

· Measurable — great content, photos and videos are of course very important, but being able to measure your success in numbers is crucial for your success. There are many metrics that

· Precise — know exactly what, when and how do you want to do it. You might even prepare step by step plan, even though it will have to change and adapt with time, having a good, detailed plan is priceless.

· Realistic — well… dreaming big is cool and all, but you probably won’t become an influencer after 2 weeks of work, with no experience and content whatsoever. Choose an ambitious goal, that won’t be easy to complete but is possible for you.

2. Publishing

After finishing step one, it’s about time to start sharing your content. Right now you should ask yourself a few questions:

· What will be my content about?

· When am I going to post it?

· How often am I going to publish?

· Will I manage to do it?

· What help can I get?

When and how often to post? Well, there are some guides on it. When it goes to Instagram, usually brands publish 1–2 times a day. As for ‘when?, it really depends on your time zone, audience and many other details. The best way to choose perfect moment for publishing, is just researching your Google Analytics data etc. After some time, you will know exactly when you should post.

I would also like to encourage you to start using online tools, that might help you be more efficient during social media marketing campaigns. One of the most important tools I’m using right now is Hootsuite. It’s a really great social media scheduler that allows you to save immense amount of time. If you have any questions regarding those online tools, feel free to message me.

3. Interact

This one is actually true for all social media platforms — interacting with people can allow you to acquire loyal and active audience. What I mean by interacting:

· Follow people — find out influencers in your industry, your potential audience and really active users to follow.

· Comment their photos

· Help them, answer their questions

· Direct message them

At start it is really easy to grow your audience, being active and consistent is all you need.

4. Post

Same as with all other social media platforms, Instagram also has its own meta behavior. How should your posts look like then? Well, there are many options, for example:

· Show your products/services in use

· Let people enter the ‘backstage’ of your business

· Interesting quotes

· Memes

· Videos

· TBT — Throwback Thursdays — share some images from your past, it’s kind of a tradition for Instagram users

· Cycle of photos

· Funny materials

There are also many other options, you just have to learn what your audience likes the most, and then post it — as simple as that. There are also some things you should not post on the Instagram, you can see them here.

Well, same as with all the other social media platforms — the most important thing is to be consistent and never give up — this way, eventually, you will get your audience.

PINTEREST

1. Pin more often than you do and be consistent

One of the most important hints, in fact concerning all social media platforms, is ‘be consistent’. While the exact number of posts/tweets and pins is different for every and each one of them, there is one constant — you have to provide a lot of high quality content.

You might ask — how many pins exactly should I use? Well, it strongly depends on your business and goals. Usually people say, that 10 pins a day is minimum, with strong recommendations to do it even more often.

2. Schedule

Ok, so we decided, that from now on you will pin more often and do it systematically. What now? Schedule your pins. While managing 4 or more social media platforms, remembering about everything might be a really exhausting task. I strongly recommend using one of the scheduling online tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite. You don’t have to do everything by yourself!

3. Don’t flood people with pins

“But you just said…” I know, but being consistent and pinning frequently is not equal with drowning your fans with pins. It’s very similar to Twitter — allow people to digest your post. Schedule pins in the way, giving your fans time to get familiar with it. Don’t spam!

4. Size does matter

You might have the best content in the universe, but still fail to interest people if you they won’t be able to really see it. There are two aspect ratios worth considering — 1:3,5 and 2:3. So how to adjust your photo? There are two ways — doing it yourself using Photoshop or other similar programs or get a help from online tools such as Canva.

5. Make a plan

Complete an account for your business. Verifying website is a must, so in case of any trouble, don’t be afraid to ask at help desk. Use as much keywords as possible in your business description and link Pinterest account with Facebook and Twitter — it doesn’t really need any explanation, just do it.

Remember to prepare your blog or website for a pinning campaign. Download useful plugins etc., so people will be able to pin your content. Also try to define your fans personas and research their keywords and boards, it might help you to plan your campaign more precise.

6. Interact

Pinterest is social media platform, don’t forget about it. Nowadays hard-sell just doesn’t work anymore. We are all human beings — act like one. People are more eager to follow other people, than just businesses. Let them know and bond with you.

Like, comment and repin. It works nearly exactly the same way as with Facebook and Twitter. Create a strong relationship with your followers. People like to be appreciated, right? That’s the way to get many loyal fans, so don’t miss on this chance.

Use hashtags, direct messages and always keep in touch, with people repining your posts.

7. Be creative

Use multiple images in your posts. In most of the cases, mosaic pictures just look better and can be much more informative (if you are working on ‘how to guides’ etc.).

8. Write on your pins

Pins with text overlaying them are very popular and allow you to pack them with more information. How to do it? It’s very simple, while for example using Canva.

9. Let there be light

Pinterest darkens your pins a little, so take it under consideration before posting. You might want to brighten your work.

10. Use visual materials

Using only photos is just a waste of opportunity Pinterest gives you. Pin videos, create infographics (for example using Piktochart), experiment with your own photos and so on. Pinterest is one of the most creative social media platforms — get on with the program.

11. Benchmark

Learn from the most successful Pinterest users on your market. They know how to do it — why not use this knowledge?

12. Don’t forget about numbers

As creative as using Pinterest should be, you still have to measure your success (or the lack of it). Check your Google Analytics, followers number etc. You are using this social media for marketing, don’t you? Some mathematics is a must.

SUMMARY

As you can see, there are many tips and hints you can rely upon while adventuring through the social media world. Don’t forget though, Internet is a cruel place, which changes really fast. My best advice while using social media platforms for business would be — Always be on your toes and never give up.

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