5 Online Business Owners Share Their Best Social Media Advice
Have you ever wished you could learn to use social media more easily? It doesn’t come easy for a lot of people. I put a question out there for online business owners to share what they’ve learned and give their best social media advice.
I didn’t ask about particular platforms, as it’s interesting to see which ones different people prioritize. Some advice is good for multiple platforms, but others are better for specific sites. I hope you will find some useful advice for your social media marketing for your online business.
Tip 1: Getting active in Twitter chats. These chats are great for further establishing yourself as an expert within your given field and also for networking with other like-minded Twitter users.
Tip 2: Maintaining an active blogging presence. We are extremely active now (blogging up to 4-5 days a week), but in the early days our blog was spotty at best. We didn’t have many posts up and didn’t include visual aids like images or video either.
Tip 3: Keeping social media accounts neat and tidy. This is found in the little details, like shortening longer links with bit.ly or owl.ly, keeping hashtags separate from their caption, and including engaging, aesthetically pleasing pictures. Again, much of our improvements over the years have come by trial and error… as I suspect is true of most everyone with a social media presence!
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. Follow her on Twitter @mycorporation.
It’s so important to be active in whatever social media you use. What active means can vary from platform to platform, but you’ll never succeed with any of them if you rarely post.
I also like the advice about keeping hashtags separate from the caption. Hashtags have their uses, but most of the time people don’t need to see them right with the rest of the post. Appropriate use of hashtags varies quite a bit from platform to platform. They aren’t as effective on Pinterest, for example, as they are on Twitter or Instagram. On any platform, be careful about how much you use hashtags. Misuse of them can limit your results.
Be Ready For Changes
Tip 1: Social Media changes daily. There are perpetual little tweaks to Facebook’s algorithm or the way Pinterest ranks pins. Even if you’ve found a really solid strategy for your social media, you have to be willing to toss all of it out the window and make the tough choices.
I’ve always had pretty good traffic from Facebook and Pinterest, but I’ll wake up one morning and my traffic has dropped off a cliff on one of those platforms. Don’t panic! It happens, but that is the time to start reevaluating your strategy, making minor changes, looking for what may have changed on blogs and forums, and then adapting to the current requirements of that social media platform.
Tip 2: Get the resources you need. I rely mainly on schedulers and automated processes to promote my artwork and blog posts on social media. I use RecurPost for Facebook and Twitter, Hootsuite for easy Instagram uploads, and I use a plugin that automatically shares to social media when I publish a post on my blog. I also use industry blogs to find out when I will need to adjust my strategy. I follow the MeetEdgar blog, SocialMediaReport.com, and a few others to find the best information.
Tip 3: Personal brands should be just that — personal. If you are a personal brand or blogger, you should have a very different tone of voice than a company or business. Share a bit of behind-the-scenes content, talk as you normally would, or share other people’s content that has inspired you.
It is those little things that will make you different from corporate entities on social media and will make you trustworthy and personable. You may be trying to sell something, but always remember that it is a person-to-person relationship, not a normal customer-business model of selling.
Being ready for change in general comes with running an online business. Social media changes, as Sarah Donawerth mentions. So do search engines and every other method you have for generating traffic. Anyone who has run an online business for any length of time has had to face sudden changes that impact their traffic.
I also love the advice about being personal on social media. It’s a huge help even for big companies. Just look at the delight over the accidental post over on NPR about Ramona and the cats. It happened at the perfect time, right when people really needed something to smile about.
Be Willing To Experiment
Tip 1: When in doubt, post more often. When I first started on Instagram i posted once a day, like everyone said to. After a while, I got eager to get all of the great content I had stockpiled out, so I increased my posting frequency to 2, then 3, then 4 posts per day. At every step, our engagement and follower count soared. Now do you want to be posting 27 times every day? No. But it’s worth kicking your frequency up a notch to see what it can do for you.
Tip #2: Experiment constantly. Don’t decide what your social media should look like in a vacuum, try different approaches, mix it up constantly and learn from what worked and what didn’t. The only way to find the perfect content, voice, and frequency that resonates with your audience is to try new things, take what works, and leave what doesn’t.
Scott Marquart is the founder of Stringjoy Guitar Strings and a zealous advocate for personal, relatable marketing and branding in the online economy. MailChimp says, he keeps his tone personal, both with his guitar strings and his online brand. He’s helped companies in the music, electronics, and health products industries grow their revenues and develop closer connections with their customers.
I love the tip to experiment. That’s an extremely important piece of social media advice. You don’t know what works for you if you don’t experiment.
Test how often you post, regardless of what others say is the right amount to post. Test the times you post and see which ones work best for you. Your audience is not exactly the same as anyone else’s audience. Learn what they like by trying things out.
Have A Plan
Tip 1: Start With A Plan – There are dozens of ways to use social media. Make sure you select the right social media strategies that fit your plan to market and promote your site.
Tip 2: Always Invite – If people like you and the advice you are sharing then invite them to take the “next step” to get to know you better. It could be something as simple as an invitation to a complimentary gift to opt-in to your email list or to join a webinar to learn more about how you help people solve a specific problem.
Tip 3: Be Consistent – Create a plan of how many times you will post a day or week and stick to it. Don’t expect to see results immediately. It is kind of like starting a diet or a healthier lifestyle meal plan. You don’t expect to see a lot of results within the first week or two.
Crystal Olivarria is a Career Coach at Career Conversationalist. Parents hire Crystal to help their child select a relevant career. Crystal invites you to receive your complimentary gift 7 Ways To Help Your Child Select A Relevant Career, Regardless What Age Your Child Is at 7WaysToHelp.com.
Having a plan is great advice. It’s a help to know how you’re going to attract people’s attention as well as what you’re going to do once you’ve got it. Every plan takes time to create and see results, but it’s usually more effective than just winging it.
Social media advice that takes into consideration why you’re using social media is particularly important. It isn’t all about getting a ton of followers. The results that build your business and improve your income are vital to the success of your online business.
Spending Some Money Can Help
Tip 1: I wish I knew how to effectively use Facebook ads sooner. When I first started practicing, I used Facebook ads to drive traffic to my blog as a content marketing strategy. It worked well and quite a few of my patients stated that they first came across my practice on Facebook. The problem was allowing Facebook to set my bid (e.g. how much I am willing to pay for a click), which is the automatic setting.
When I realized that I could actually say, I don’t want to spend more than X amount of money for a click, I was better able to control my ad spend in a way that made sense for my business.
Tip 2: I also wish I knew about running contests as a means of raising awareness for my business sooner. We have tried a variety of different methods in an attempt to raise awareness about what we do, but nothing seems to have worked as well as holding viral contests using a plugin like King Sumo or software like Gleam or UpViral.
Viral contests work by encouraging people who enter your contest to share it with their friends. Each person receives additional entries when people who they share the contest with sign up, so the incentive is there to share. As a result, more and more people learn about your contest or giveaway, you gain additional targeted leads, and awareness is raised for your business.
Tip 3: Regarding Instagram, I wish I knew that having a recognizable visual pattern to your feed helped to increase the likelihood that people would follow you (e.g. aesthetics really do matter) and I wish I knew that I could use a site like https://linktr.ee to include more than one clickable links attached to my profile.
Making the decision to spend money on your social media isn’t always an easy one. It’s a risk. The benefits can be very well worth it. You will need to test ads to see what works for you so that you don’t waste your money on things that don’t work.
Has This Social Media Advice Been Helpful?
The final piece of advice I would like to give is “keep on trying.” When you’ve decided that a social media platform is a good match to your business needs, don’t give up on it too easily.
If you want to learn more about social media marketing, you may want to consider taking a course through Udemy. I’ve found their courses to be quite helpful, and you can get some good deals on them. I have also given some advice on making the most of Pinterest as a home business in an earlier post.