Shannon Freedle, business professional, recognizes the strong influence that social media has on the public. The Internet has become a go-to resource for research, communication, and the purchase of products and services. One way for companies to enhance their visibility and grow their business is to effectively use these social media platforms to connect with consumers. Through strategic content marketing they can establish themselves as an authority in their field and expand their client base.
Taking advantage of the opportunities that social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide can help business owners to grow their business. But before jumping in head first, it is important that they understand how to use these services to their benefit. Building quality connections takes time and planning. Companies must carefully orchestrate the information that they provide.
Create a company page on Facebook. Setting up a company page not only allows users to find out more information, but they can also share this content with friends, asserts Shannon Freedle. Once they share a post, it is broadcast to their network of connections. If one of their friends shares it, the network keeps growing. Consider the following when making posts:
- Provide meaningful and engaging content. Users will quickly grow tired of self-promotional posting. Provide them with articles, videos, quotes, and pictures that will grab their interest and that are related to the company’s vertical.
- Ask for feedback. Post questions that elicit a response from consumers about relevant subjects. Start a conversation about a topic related to the industry. This is a great way to engage in dialogue with consumers and build stronger relations.
- Use the Insights feature to learn more about the people who are visiting the page, accessing the links, and leaving comments. This can help the company to gain a better understanding of the demographics of its clients.
Sign up for a Twitter account. Twitter is a way to quickly and concisely connect with the public. Tweets are limited to only 140 characters, so carefully constructed messages are important. Follow other individuals and companies who operate in a similar market. According to Shannon Freedle, this will help when starting to build an audience of interested followers.
- Retweet interesting posts that others will find engaging. Link to informational and helpful articles and blogs. Include some sales or promotional information about the business, but try to focus on tweets that establish authority.
- Use hashtags to attract followers and alert others to meaningful content. Hashtags are helpful when users are searching for specific key words. Appropriate use can direct the user back to the company’s page where they will find the information they are looking for and have access to other topics as well.
- Engage in meaningful dialogue. Respond to messages and questions from followers in a timely manner. Participate in discussions. All of these things will help to build a greater following.
One essential element of using social media is to tie it back to the company website. Clearly post links to each form of social media so that visitors can easily click to follow. Create a website that is filled with valuable information and is presented in a user-friendly way.
Shannon Freedle: How to Create Engaging Content
Building an online presence takes times and planning. Business professionals like Shannon Freedle know that sporadic posts with no rhyme or reason do not attract consumers. Companies must provide consistent content that appeals to readers and holds value.
- Use Feedback. Listen to what customers have to say. Pay attention to the questions they are asking and the information they are seeking. Use this to build content that fills that need. Meaningful content can help to build trust and loyalty.
- Follow Trends. Stay up-to-date on what is happening within the industry. Share relevant content that is fresh and current.
- Incorporate Some Promotion. Not all content should focus on outside sources, says Shannon Freedle. After all, the purpose is to draw customers to what the company has to offer. Intersperse promotions, specials, and deals periodically. Create contests where customers can win something or provide discounts for mentioning a specific post or keyword.
- Keep it consistent. Post on a regular basis. Consumers are more likely to forget about a company that only posts once or twice a week as opposed to one that is sharing information daily. Plan ahead and put thought into each contribution, focusing on how customers will benefit.
Growing a business does not happen overnight. Using a variety of resources and strategies will help business owners more effectively reach their audience. Many social media sites are free to join and provide companies with a wealth of opportunity to attract clients and become a more recognized name in their industry. This is only one aspect of business growth but one that owners should not overlook the value in. Creating a comprehensive plan that includes social media can prove beneficial, notes Shannon Freedle.