This guest post was written by Steve Mehr. The author's opinions are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Evolve Creative Group.
For nearly a decade, businesses have raced onto social media platforms with dollar signs in their eyes. They didn’t know how to use it, didn’t exactly know what all those followers and fans were, but they sure felt cool every time someone clicked on their link. And for many, after a few months of playing with their page, the appeal wore off. Now where are they? I regularly come across business pages that look like ghost towns. I could yell hello into their virtual space and imagine the echoes bouncing off of that empty profile.
So you tried it out, and right away you didn’t get your desired effect. Should you abandon social media? Certainly not! Social media is not a destination, it’s a journey. It’s an experience in community building and long term customer conversions, not one for one dollar per status update. Now what?
Become a Community Builder
For many businesses, gaining a following on social media is difficult. It’s not only difficult, it’s damn near impossible. And to many business owners, they wonder how to quantify the value of an active social media page. To those business owners, I pose the question: what are you doing to engage followers and to interest people in using your business?
Think of your social media pages as communities. And it’s your job to build those communities and engage people. You’re the mayor of your own little town and it’s your job to start kissing the babies and shaking hands. So how exactly does a business do that? Let’s start getting you back into community building mode with these tips:
Invite people to participate. Think of your social media as an extension of the community already surrounding your business. Tell your clients that they can find you online. Invite prospective clients to log on and find new specials, to chat about products or services, and to interact. Put the social media link in your marketing materials. One of the best examples of this is a local burger joint I frequent. When you walk in, their blackboard above the register tells you how to find them online and features customers who checked in and left comments. That magic blackboard has really encouraged people to go online and join the community.
Interact! It sounds silly, but there are so many businesses that don’t take the time to write people back. Are people asking you questions on your wall? Are you answering them? Or are you putting up a post and fleeing the scene like a criminal? Take the time to talk to your community and see what develops. You may be able to solve a fan’s dilemma and gain new business.
Write clear calls to action. Congratulations you’re online. And you’ve just posted a link to a blog you wrote on your website. Now what? Tell people to go check it out! Insert a clear call to action for people who see your posts. Examples include Click here to see our new award; log on to win this new gift card; Go leave us a review here. It’s not enough to put up the post without telling people what to do with it.
Lead brand discussions. Don’t confine your posts to links to your blogs or links to your shopping cart. Pepper in items of interest to the community that are on brand. You can do this by linking to funny videos about your industry, putting up interesting pictures that communicate your brand, you name it! The sky’s the limit. You don’t need every post to be a mini advertisement of call us to do x service but you should be communicating the story of your brand through your social media.
Social media isn’t very intuitive, and if it were easy, we’d all have thousands of organic followers who write us every day and then convert to paying clients. But it’s not that easy. It takes a little hard work to get noticed. But luckily, even the busiest new business owner can take a few minutes a day to post, respond to questions, and then get back to the business of running a business.
About the Author:
Steve Mehr is the CEO of WebShark360, a full service attorney marketing agency. Based out of Irvine, Ca, Steve and his talented team offers attorneys critical marketing tools to gain new business now. As an attorney and an attorney marketer, Steve understands how attorneys market like no other.