A lot of businesses are on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+, but many of those same businesses aren’t sure how to leverage their influence on social networks to build business. Many times their efforts are hit and miss—more random than strategic—as they try to find “silver bullet” topics to generate more followers, fans, pins, likes and shares.
It can be tempting to discount social media networks as legitimate channels of communication as compared to more traditional marketing communications like press releases, postcards, display signs and other forms of public communications. But in order to use social networks to actually help get more web traffic and build business, business owners can’t just use their social networks randomly.
Business owners need to develop a social media strategy that is aligned with their overall marketing plan and they must identify the statistics and measures by which they will assess the success of their social media efforts.
For a business to get more fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn (to name just a few) as well as via content curation sites like ScoopIt and StumbleUpon, they need to post status updates that provoke readers to respond in some way – in other words, their posts on social networks need to be on topics their target audience would actually care about, and care about enough to like, share, repin, repost, retweet or otherwise reuse!
That said, here is today’s top 10 ways to connect with your audience on social media for more shares, pins, retweets, likes, and followers:
1. Ask a question that lets people talk about themselves. Talk about current color trends in fashion or make up, for men, women or children, for cars, boats, running shoes or rollerskates – but give people a reason to talk about their own favorites.
2. Be inspiring, encouraging and uplifting; statistics show that “positive” posts get shared 2x as often as negative ones. Don’t complain or commiserate; instead, share an inspirational or motivational quote, a heart-warming story or a positively charged piece of trivia or history.
3. Don’t discount the power of “cute.” Go ahead and share those posters and pictures of cute and cuddly animals. (All the more should they relate to your business, products or services, or when you can write a caption for the cute photo that does!)
4. If a picture is worth a thousand words, video must be worth a million. YouTube has made it easy for you to share your favorite videos on just about any topic you can think of on just about any social network to which you could want to post.
5. Ask for recommendations and opinions. Ask readers to share the name of their favorite school, salon, handyman or boutique store – choose the type of establishment that would likely interest your target market.
6. Ask customers what their favorite coffee drink or non-coffee beverage is. Share recipes and ideas. Share quotes about coffee or stats on its benefits – guaranteed to garner the attention and approval of coffee addicts, everywhere!
7. Ask your readers to talk about a favorite childhood memory, such as their favorite game, favorite 70’s hair band, favorite 80’s one hit wonder or favorite 90’s sitcom.
8. Invite the public to send a shout out to a favorite teacher or community leader by way of your social networks. Or ask readers to share something great about their mom around Mothers Day, their dad near Fathers Day or a grandparent on or near Grandparents Day.
9. Ask readers to share a favorite local restaurant, their favorite food or a favorite dessert recipe.
10. Hold a contest or drawing where entries are based on shares, retweets, repins, likes, new followers or fans, etc.
The more that you think about your own business’ target audiences, the more likely you are to come up with topics like these that get shared and help you connect with your prospective customers and clients on social media. And these connections are more than just digital-skin deep; when you give prospects and customers reasons to connect with you (or your business) on a more personal level, you lay the ground work for increased brand awareness, customer loyalty and referrals.
- 5 Tips to Stop Failing at Social Media Marketing (business2community.com)