Social Media How To's for Your Business

Social Media 101 for Businesses

Social media can be a very useful tool for your business, as long as you know how to correctly and effectively use it. Not all social media will be beneficial to your business, and that is fine. One or two heavily utilized social media websites are better than having five that are barely utilized. Something to always keep in mind when updating and uploading is that engagement is almost always greater than promotion. Followers/Friends/Subscribers do not want to read about you saying how great your business is every day – if they did not think it was great already they would not visit your page. When someone directly engages you through social media, do not ignore them! Converse with those who are contributing to your page, and remember that all criticism can be used constructively.

Here are some site-specific guides, tips, and strategies to help you and your business master the art of social media:

Twitter

Lingo:

  • Tweeting: This is your message to your followers and the basis for this social media tool.
  • Followers: These are the people or accounts who have decided your twitter account is worthy of their attention and their “following.”
  • Favorite: When someone “favorites” a tweet of yours, it means they like what you had to say, and may want to refer back to it later.
  • Re-tweeting: The best thing your followers can do. This essentially means they are copying your tweet and sharing it for all of their followers. Your account will be linked to it – which could lead to more followers for your business.
  • Hash Tag: The second best way to connect on Twitter. Adding the pound sign to the beginning of a word, such as #Monday, also connects you to followers that are not just your own. When enough people hash tag the same word or phrase as you, it will show up as one of the top hash tagged items (for the time being) and will appear as a link on almost every Twitter user’s home page.

How to use it:

Twitter should be used often; a couple of tweets a day is not overdoing it, especially if you do not want your followers to forget about you. Follow businesses or people who share space in your industry – you will be able to increase the number of your followers and in turn, be connected to more people.

What not to do:

Twitter’s 140 character limit does not allow you to tweet long paragraphs, which is something you should not want to do anyway. Ask questions directed to your followers about how to improve your social media outreach, or offer promotions if your tweets are “favorited” or “retweeted.” Save the simple, conversational tweets such as “What do you think about the weather today?” for your personal twitter account, or if a follower personally engages you in a conversation. Also, do not overuse hash tags. Using two in one tweet should be the limit for a business-oriented Twitter account; using more than that is annoying and could cause people to “unfollow” you.

Facebook

Lingo:

  • Pages: For Facebook, Pages is the best way to create an account for a business. Whoever in your company will be updating this Facebook Page the most frequently should be the one to link it to their personal Facebook account. Pages is specifically tailored towards businesses so it is the best Facebook feature for businesses to use, rather than just an ordinary, personal account.
  • Likes: This is how people stay connected with your page. When they “Like” your page, your posts and updates will show up on their news feed.
  • Subscribe: When people who like your page also subscribe to it, everything you post, like, and comment on will show up in their notifications. This offers complete connectivity.
  • Promote Your Page: Facebook allows businesses to run ads for a small fee, and this is effective if your business provides special offers or deals for customers.
  • Insights: Facebook records all activity (comments, likes on photos, etc.) for your page and consolidates it into graphs and tables for you – they will even email monthly reports to you so you can see how your page and business outreach is doing.

How to use it:

Facebook is a much more complex social media tool than Twitter. A status update is not necessary every day; 2-4 times a week would be fine, and these posts can be more impersonal than on Twitter. Post news that is relevant or similar to your business, and this will offer opportunities for people who like your page to engage you and other “likers.” The Events tool is a great way to connect with things going on in the community and provides a way for the people who like your page to see and possibly attend events your business is holding. Posting photos of these events and other things relevant to your business is also a good idea because those who like your page can see what your business is all about and further engage you with comments and likes. In addition, Facebook has a spot for just about every piece of information on your business, from open hours and awards and achievements, to your company’s history and whether or not there is parking close to your business.

What not to do:

Do not ignore your insights! If you post about the weather five times in one month and the amount of engagement on your page significantly decreases, add variety to your posts. This will allow your page to reach more people and appear more frequently on news feeds. Also, do not set your entire profile to “public.” If someone can visit your page and see all of the content without liking, they do not have incentive to like your page, and will pass right by it.

YouTube

Lingo:

  • Subscribe: When you “subscribe” to a channel (another YouTube account), all of their videos and posts will show up under the “My Subscriptions” tab on your account. Subscribing makes it easy to view videos you know you are interested in, as well as connect to other similar channels and videos.

How to use it:

Create videos with helpful tips or introductions to your products – you can even promote (yes, promote!) your business by creating customer or employee tutorials by shooting a video and uploading it to YouTube. By making your subscriptions public, you can encourage clients or customers to visit your own YouTube channel for related videos – this will increase viewing popularity and those viewers will most likely make recommendations to their friends and other people they know.

What not to do:

Do not make videos or subscribe to channels that are irrelevant to your business; save those for your personal YouTube account. In order for people to subscribe to your channel, you need to make sure you represent your business as professionally as possible so they will take you seriously. Also, when creating a username, be smart about it – this may sound obvious but is very important since this is how potential subscribers will find your channel.

Pinterest

Lingo:

  • Pins: This is what Pinterest is all about: an endless amount of links for do-it-yourself projects, comedy, vidoes, home décor, fashion, and so much more. Pinterest is really just an informal search engine that is run by its users; each pin is uploaded from a website and virtually shared with everyone who uses it.
  • Boards: Think of Pinterest boards as photo albums. Each time you click “pin,” Pinterest gives you the option of adding that pin to one of your boards. This allows for maximum organization of your pins.

How to use it:

Pinterest is a good starter social media tool. Similar to Twitter, you can have followers and can follow other Pinterest accounts – this is important because your followers can in turn “pin” your pins to their boards, which allows your images and links to be seen by many other people. Pinterest does give the option to sign up as a business, and provides insight on how other businesses utilize this social media tool. If you are just starting your business out on social media, this is probably the best place to begin.

What not to do:

If you create a Pinterest account for your business and find out that there is really not a lot of relevant pins, then delete it. As mentioned before, if you are not going to utilize it as much as other social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, don’t bother keeping it going – focus your time on those other more effective social media websites.

Instagram

Lingo:

  • Double-Tap: This term works the same way as when you “Like” someone’s photo – when you double tap on the picture it is the same as if you had clicked “Like.”
  • Followers: Just like on Twitter, Instagram users follow other accounts. Your aim should be to gain as many followers as possible in order to increase “likes,” comments, and overall engagement.

How to use it:

Instagram is another very simple social media tool. If your business hosts or attends a lot of events, this is a great way to publish your photos instantly. It also provides more accessibility, since every photo you upload to Instagram can be shared on Twitter and Facebook simultaneously. Your followers can like and comment on your pictures in the same way as on Facebook, so Instagram also adds a high level of engagement. Very recently, Instagram added a Video feature, so you can also upload a video up to 15 seconds long. These short video clips are effective in giving viewers exposure to your products or brand while not giving too much away so they will still be interested enough to potentially follow you or even contact you.

What not to do:

Since Instagram is restricted to uploading videos and photos, liking, and commenting, there really is not anything you could do that would be breaking social media etiquette for businesses. Again, just make sure the photos and vidoes you are posting are relevant to your business and Instagram will be a great tool for you to reach out to potential clients.

Vine

Lingo

  • Explore: This is where you can browse videos posted by other Vine users – not just the ones you follow or are followed by. Just click on one of the categories and browse away!
  • Activity: Here you will see who is following you, who has liked or commented on a video, as well as any other action pertaining to your videos.

How to use it:

Vine is a video app; like the video feature on Instagram, you can record clips to share with your followers. The difference with Vine is that these videos can only be about 6 seconds long. The key to Vine is to share it on other social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) in hopes that your followers will share it and broaden your public reach.

What not to do:

Like Instagram, there really is no wrong way to use Vine as long as your videos are relevant to your company and appropriate in regards to your reputation. Additionally, Vine should not be used alone – a Twitter and/or Facebook account is almost essential for this to be successful. Keep in mind that Instagram has about ten times the amount of users, so while using that alone could be enough, Vine is more effective with a partnership.

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Social Media Marketing | Social Media | Internet Marketing | Content and Copy Writing | SEO

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Posted on 07/11/2013 at 08:16 pm Viewed 3,533 times
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