Social networking is important for almost any business in modern days, but not many know how to use it to its full potential. And you’d be forgiven for thinking one of two things: first, that social networking takes up too much time and you’re already too busy, or second, that social networking actually takes no effort at all, so sure, you can do it in your free time.
It’s neither one, nor the other.
Social networking, in practice, doesn’t take a lot of effort. You can do it from virtually anywhere with your phone, you say something, attach a picture to it, and job done, right? Well, it takes a little more planning than that.
While it’s easy to spam your followers with publications, you want to be posting content that’s relevant to your line of work and relevant to the people who choose to follow you. After all, social networking is also a very effective medium for building trust in your brand.
Direct people to your website
Your profile pages should work like funnels, as in, if a potential customer finds it, this customer shouldn’t take long to find your main channel for sales. That can be your phone number, the page itself (Facebook has great tools for this), or your main website. Whatever it is, it should be very easy to find – as in probably the first thing they see.
Make sure your contact info is updated
Likewise, there’s nothing worse than trying to call a number or follow a link because you’re interested and being lead nowhere. Make sure all your contact information is correct and up-to-date on your social media profiles.
Note that “regularly” doesn’t mean “every second of every day.” If you follow a few people you’re legitimately interested in on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll notice they tend to post daily in small doses. For example, business people tend to post their daily updates – a picture of their computer as they’re gearing up for work, or a picture of the first coffee of the day, simple stuff. This is not “relevant”, but it’s a simple way to be seen without having to come up with something genius.
But, similarly, they will post work-in-progress pictures and the result of completed projects as a way to show what they can do and how satisfied their customers are. That’s the real secret of posting regularly in this manner – to show you’re committed to your work, that you are proud of it, and most importantly, that your customers are happy.
And the fortunate side-effect of posting as “yourself” rather than as a brand is that people connect to other people way more than with just “a brand.” Think about it – that’s why the Netflix twitter talks like a person and that’s why people like it so much.
Reply to comments
People will interact with your posts, so be sure to like their comments and reply whenever appropriate.
Facebook in particular has great tools for business, including the feature to directly chat with you. Facebook will then use the speed of your reply to say whether or not you are active – and that’s really good for you. If you’re someone who’s on the run all day, take a moment everyday in the office or at home to reply to these messages, that’s already enough to give you a nice reputation.
And if you can’t find your business yet, be sure to create a Google profile page for it. It’s an easy way to be ranked and found easily there.
Also, many times, local businesses will already show up on Google without a claimed page. If you find yourself self there but never created a page for yourself, you can claim your business and start managing it from there!
But mainly, googling yourself is a nice way to see what other people see. Is your website showing up correctly? Can they find your phone number easily? That’s all good information.
Choose your main
Some outlets are better for certain kinds of work. When talking contractors, you’re probably good by simply using Facebook and Instagram, with a LinkedIn profile on the side.
Facebook is a no-brainer – it has nearly everyone, it has fantastic tools for business owners, and it’s very easy to use. Even better, it has tools for self-promoting ads on a budget, so definitely use it to its full potential and you won’t be disappointed.
Instagram used to be more picture-centric, but now it also has Stories. This is a great format for the more “disposable” kinds of sharing – that first coffee of the day, the good morning post, heading off to a gig post, and so on. It’s easy to use, doesn’t take a lot of effort, and will make sure you’re seen. When the time comes to post about a finished project, then you can make a dedicated post here and on Facebook with the names of the people you’ve helped and a ton of pictures to show off what you can do.
Any more doubts on social networking? Be sure to share your experiences and ask about other outlets you want to hear about!
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