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Social Media 2014 – Beyond the Page

binaryAs recently as a few years ago, simply having a presence on Social Media and posting regularly was enough to stand out in the digital realm. Businesses were able to reach customers through social channels easily while rivals asked the question ‘Who needs a Facebook Page?’

Those days are long past. As more people and businesses flock to social media the feeds of the customer become increasingly cluttered. On Facebook the average post is seen by less than 10% of the page’s fans, on Twitter anybody following more than a couple hundred accounts could have hundreds of new updates to sift through every time they refresh the page.

In addition to the volume of information that customers are exposed to, the public is increasingly savvy about the businesses they want to follow. They don’t merely want to be sold to, but also be kept informed and entertained.

So what is a business to do? 

Just showing up isn’t enough

Gone is the ability to gain fans by merely having a presence, if it ever existed to begin with. The public now wants to see an active and engaged community of fans interacting with a business page before clicking that ‘like’ button. Constant and consistent posting is critical. New and potential followers want to know what to expect, and if your latest post is several months old they might not see any reason to start paying attention now.

Have a message, but more importantly, have a conversation

As a business you have a product or service to sell, but so do your rivals. What sets you apart? Is your team more experienced, do you source only high-quality goods? Are you focused on making a difference in your community? The answers to these questions may be obvious to you, but they are less likely apparent to your customers. Share those insights that make your company unique. Give your customers reasons to ask for more.

Me, me, me is a big no, no, no

Let’s face it, ads are everywhere. If you can name it, somebody has probably stuck an advertisement on it. We’re inundated with advertisement. So ask yourself, if all you do is self-promote, who will want to become a fan of your page? Instead find a balance between messages that are promotional, and posts that are fun or informative. The 80/20 rule is a great start, being 80% fun or informational and 20% promotion. But vary things until you find a balance that works for your page.

Find followers on their turf

From fine art to the neighborhood diner, you have more potential fans than those who will find you organically. While you might not want to overload your fans with advertisements, well placed ads that inform potential new followers of your presence and offerings is a critical component to growing an audience. Facebook and Twitter have advertising systems that allow for a very detailed level of control when determining who will see your advertisements. An artist could choose to only show ads to people who are fans of one of the masters, and the neighborhood diner would pinpoint followers of restaurants with similar menus and region characteristics, ensuring that your ads are seen by those who might actually be interested rather than the shotgun approach of some other advertising methods.

Incentivize your followers

For all the advertising dollars you spend, the most valuable form is the one you cannot buy. Good word-of-mouth is the goldmine that every business wants to have. While you cannot purchase a word-of-mouth campaign, you can give your fans incentive to talk about you. Facebook contests are probably the easiest way to get your fans buzzing, and by offering extra entry points when they refer a friend your followers are more likely to share the information about your business.

Managing it all

The social media landscape is constantly changing. New technologies, websites and the volume of new people and businesses joining the existing infrastructure means that even an established routine today could become obsolete tomorrow.

We can help you manage your social media campaigns. Whether you want ad management, a contest, supplemental updates or a complete social media package we work with you to determine your needs and take care of them. Our team of social media experts stays apprised of changes in social media sites and strategy to keep your business in the eyes of your fans and followers.

About

Jennifer Waller has been with Social Media Pathways since late 2011. She handles a variety of both client accounts and technological needs. She creates many of the graphics used for client Facebook Cover Images and Facebook Contests. She also assists with minor website changes and alterations. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from New Mexico Tech and is an independently published author.

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