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How to Make Social Media Work for Your Business

Most people, whether they actively use it or not, would agree that social media is a pretty powerful attraction and engagement tool. Business owners and marketers alike know that social media has become one of the most important marketing channels, allowing an organization’s message to be communicated to the masses with just a few clicks of a button. You just can’t deny the power that social media can have.

There’s a common misconception, however, that managing social media is easy. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be hard, but it should take some work. Some people see social media as “fluff” – something that can be put on the back burner and tended to whenever someone has a chance. The reality is that effective social media doesn’t just happen by chance. Having a plan in place will greatly improve the results you’ll see from social media marketing. It’s true what they say: you’ll get out of it what you put into it.

If you don’t have a plan for your social media, your efforts could end up being wasted. Taking a casual approach to how you craft and when you publish your posts could be lead to unnecessary mistakes and missed opportunities. Your social media should be working for you, rather than you working for your social media.

Here are 5 ways to make your social media work for you

1. Appoint someone you trust to manage your social media accounts.

It might seem like a good idea to ask your nephew who “grew up with Facebook” or the summer intern who is “young and understands social media.” Don’t confuse age with ability, though. Sure, the younger generation has grown up with social media and may have more of an understanding of it, but you should carefully consider who you want communicating with the public on behalf of your brand. Make sure that whomever is managing your social media accounts, whether it’s an internal team or you choose to outsource, understands the best way to convey your messages and promote your brand.

2. Implement a social media plan.

Take the time to craft well-planned messages that will showcase your brand well. Getting into a routine of planning a week’s worth of posts will help keep you on the right track of posting valuable content and take the stress out of trying to come up with a post just for the sake of posting. Start using a service such as HootSuite or CrowdFire to schedule your posts for the future and you’ll be one happy camper!

3. Drive people to your site.

This one’s a no-brainer. Your social media accounts should act as a preview to the main event: your website. Attract visitors to your site by providing thoughtful, quality content that speaks to your buyers pain points and will encourage them to click over to your website to seek out your products or services.

4. Promote your content…just don’t over-promote it.

Instead, follow the 30/30/20/20 rule: Post 30% relevant, third-party industry information; 30% your own content to demonstrate your industry thought leadership; 20% information about your products and services; and 20% content about your company culture, people, and values. You don’t want to focus just on one area or another. Relevant, third party industry information is interesting, but tells the audience nothing about you. Your own content is great, but it will be a struggle to produce that much on your own. You want to inform your audience about your products and services, but too much will come across as salesy. And information about your culture and people is always good to build trust in your human side, show that you’re the type of people that customers want to work with, and demonstrate what a great place you are to potential new hires.

5. Engage with your customers and prospects.

We say this all the time – social media is about being social. Show the people who reach out to you that you value their input by giving them some of your time and responding to them, even if you say nothing more than “Great thought, (first name)!” If you stay on top of it, social media engagement is one of the easiest (and best) ways to leave a customer or prospect feeling positive about your brand.

Take a look at your current social media performance. Are you getting all you should be from it?

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