One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make with social networks is related to the content they post: they focus on subjects and themes that they personally appreciate or that is related to the business’ industry. Although there is nothing wrong with that, they fail to understand that their audience might have a different opinion about what is interesting. I’m not saying that all posts have to only please the clientele, but business owners should keep in mind that customers use social media for different reasons than businesses do.
There are two things that businesses should understand to make sure they create a real connection with their customers: what they like and how they behave online.
Here’s how to post more shareable content
(based on an article by Michael Jaindl, Chief Client Officer at Buddy Media):
1. Post Type: Look at metrics!!! See what type of posts your fans interact with the most (photos, videos, texts, polls, questions, etc.) and why. Also, think about what your friends often share, and what content you’d share to your own social networks. Use this knowledge to guide your posting strategy.
2. Call to Action: In addition to creating the content, tell your fans what to do with it.
3. Character Count: In social media, less is always more. You can experiment with different post lengths to determine what gets people talking the most, but short posts usually get more interaction than long ones.
4. Time of Day: Every fan base will engage with posts at a different time of day (or night), so look at your own content to see when your fans are most engaged. If there is a particular time that does not see much traffic, skip it and post during a time when more of your fans and followers are online.
After analyzing the metrics and finding out what and when to post, it is time to create content that customers will engage with. To do it successfully, remember these four guidelines:
Create Content That Makes People’s Lives Easier: The first reason people talk is to make life easier. For businesses, this means creating content that makes something easier for their fans will be more successful than posts talking about the business itself.
Build Relationships With Fans: Think about how you develop a friendship with someone. In most cases, you won’t become best friends with someone you have just met. A single interaction with a business is not enough to create a loyal customer — you need to keep the conversation going if you want to turn fans into customers.
Provide Help to Other People: Use your social media channel to provide customer service help to fans when they ask questions, encounter problems, or vent frustrations concerning your brand. It can be as simple as answering a question, or as deep as providing a detailed solution to a problem
Craft an Identity: Be consistent and post content that reflects ‘who’ the business is. By doing so, businesses can shape views of themselves while gathering feedback on how consumers perceive them.
In the end, the most important thing when it comes to the online business-customer relationship is to acknowledge that your customers might be very different than you. By sharing the right information, you’ll have a chance to give them a better perspective of your business, and you’ll build a connection that will translate offline to loyalty and sales.