Last Updated October 5th, 2016

16 Vital Tips to Get Your Social Media Marketing on Track

16 Vital Tips to Get Your Social Media Marketing on Track

A solid social media presence is a big help to an online home business. It helps you connect with your audience and drives traffic to your website. While mastering social media takes a lot of work, there are some basics that will help you get started.

1. Get Started

This is the big one if you haven’t done so already. Pick at least one social media site you think will go well with your target audience, and make an account for your business. Start sharing. Follow others. If you don’t start, you’ll never figure out how it works.

2. Keep Trying

Most people quickly become frustrated with social media because it takes so long to get results. Viral doesn’t come easy. Neither do followers. You’ll see others who make it look easy and wonder why it isn’t so simple for you. Don’t focus on them, other than to see if you can get ideas to build off of.

3. Interact

The key word in social media is “social.” If you want things to go well, be social. Ask questions. Reply to people. Be helpful.

4. Follow Others

With many forms of social media, one of the best ways to build your following is to follow others. Find the big names in your industry and follow them. Find interesting people and follow them. Find people who might be interested in your business and follow them. Many will follow you in return – if not, you may still have a chance to interact with them by replying to things they’ve posted.

5. Self Promote

Promote your business in your social media accounts. That’s why you’re there, isn’t it? So long as you don’t overdo it, people won’t be offended.

I use Revive Old Post to keep a stream of my old posts going on Facebook and Twitter. You can also choose to share old posts on LinkedIn, Xing or Tumblr. The pro version gives a lot more control for scheduling purposes and other features. You can exclude categories, tags and even individual posts, which is handy when some things you post are only relevant to when you posted them, and not later.

6. Promote Useful Information From Others

Do not only post about your stuff. Share things that might interest your followers from other sources. This will make your account far more interesting to people than if you just post about your business.

7. Pick Your Social Media Channels

You do not have to use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Vine, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Tumblr,… you get the idea. Use the ones that make sense for your business. Trying to use everything will only make it harder to do well at any of them.

8. Be Personal

Another part of being social is being a real person. You don’t have to post every bad moment you have, pictures of meals or anything like that. Be you. An appropriately professional you, but still you. You can joke around if that’s a part of who you are in your professional online presence; just keep in mind who you want people to see as the person behind your business.

9. Be Open to Dialogue

You may have to deal with criticism or questions at times on social media. Hopefully most of it will be easily dealt with, but sometimes you may have to deal with problems you wish could have been kept off social media. Whatever it is you have to discuss on social media, do your best to keep it professional and respectful.

10. Give It Time

It takes time for most people to build a social media following. The people who get a huge following quickly most often have fans from somewhere else or have something go viral. The rest of us have to build a following over time by posting quality information on our social media accounts and hoping for shares.

11. Don’t Stress About Going Viral

Having a post go viral is a goal for many businesses. It can drive a lot of traffic. It’s a nice goal.

It’s not something you should stress over, however. It is very hard to predict what will go viral. Create interesting content for your audience and keep your real goals in mind. It’s not traffic. Sales, subscribers and anything to do with income are much better goals than mere traffic. Viral posts aren’t necessarily good at that part.

12. Don’t Get Addicted

Social media can be a lot of fun. That means many people use it too heavily, to the detriment of their business. Social media should be a tool for your business, not a focus. If it’s taking up too much of your work day, you need to reassess how you’re using social media.

13. Pick Your Controversies

It can be good to get involved in controversies. People love a good argument. But when you’re representing your business, pick which controversies you get involved in. There’s no point in offending potential customers unnecessarily.

14. Use Scheduling Tools

There are a lot of tools available to make scheduling your social media posts easier. I use Hootsuite. You could also consider Buffer, Everypost, SocialOomph, Sprout Social or other tools. New ones come out regularly.

Pick the tool based on the social networks you use and the features the tool has. With most you’ll need a paid account, but the time you save will be worth the money. The convenience is well worth the money, and most give you a free trial, so you can test it out before spending anything.

Don’t overdo the scheduling thing. You still need to be personal, and sometimes you will need to post in real time. Sometimes you will want to rethink things you had previously scheduled due to events in the real world.

15. Link to Your Social Media Accounts on Your Website

You want people to find your social media accounts and follow them. Make it easy by prominently linking to them on your website.

People who visit your website and then follow you on social media are more likely to come back. Your presence and your posts on social media will remind them about your website and what you offer.

On this site, I have links to my social media accounts on the right sidebar. They’re highly visible, yet not in the way.

16. Make It Easy for People to Share Your Content

Have links near your content that simplify social sharing of your content. Visitors may do some of you marketing work for you by sharing content they found interesting. There are plenty of WordPress plugins, such as Shareaholic, which will do this for you automatically. I have mine at the bottom of my posts, but others prefer the top or side of their content.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 10th, 2014

Should You Keep Marketing on Facebook When They Keep Changing the Rules?

facebookchangingrules

Having a page on Facebook for your business has been a good strategy for a while now. It’s one more place to let people who like your business know what’s up. The only problem is how difficult Facebook has been making it lately for your content to get in front of the people who like you. First text statuses were better, now they aren’t. Page owners have noticed serious declines views of their statuses. Is marketing on Facebook still worth it?

That’s Up to You

Very honestly, there’s no one right answer right now. Some people won’t find it worthwhile. Some will. It depends on your page. Many people feel that Facebook is now essentially pay-to-play for businesses. Facebook has to earn money, and it appears to many that their choice is to earn from the businesses that have enjoyed the platform and its benefits.

It’s rough right now. It really is. Just Ask Kim reports a reach of just 3% on Facebook. That’s horrendous. Mine isn’t that bad, but I don’t have a huge number of fans. Many people feel that Facebook wants business owners to have to pay to reach their fans, and they resent it. Just Ask Kim has some good tips on how to improve things on your page further down on that same article, and you may find it useful.

Test, Test, Test

The best thing I can recommend is that you test for yourself what works best for your page on Facebook. Post text updates. Post images with the link in the description you like. Use the auto-generated link share image and description. Try different days of the week and time of day. See for yourself what works best.

Over time, you can get a good feel for what is getting you the best response. Do this every few days, weeks or months so that you know you still have it right. Basically, if you think of it, take a little time to test.

What Am I Doing?

Just like any other business owner, I find the changes frustrating. So far I’m sticking with Facebook, but then I haven’t developed a huge following there yet anyhow, so the lower traffic levels don’t hit me as hard as they have others with more fans. I think, however, that I need to pay close attention how things are going and any future change Facebook makes.

Fortunately, there are still sites such as Pinterest, Twitter and so forth available. I haven’t given these the attention they deserve of late, being rather busy with my kids, but I may have to make more time. Where one platform becomes more difficult to use, another may look better.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.