This is a guest post by Allison Rice, the Marketing Director for Amsterdam Printing (www.amsterdamprinting.com).
Who manages social media for your brand? Whether you have dedicated social media staff, or you’re an entrepreneur – and balancing running a business with trying to get the word out across multiple social platforms – it’s easy to get overwhelmed (and tempting to let days or weeks go by without posting anything at all).
But social media is arguably the most important marketing outlet available, and silence is deadly. To stay at the forefront of your potential customers’ minds, you need to speak up.
Of course, everything you say needs to be worthwhile, and therein lies the challenge. Whether you’re just getting started or struggling to establish a social media marketing plan, first consider these five different types of posts or tweets.
- Updates about your company (new products or initiatives, for example)
- Third-party news that is relevant to your industry
- ‘Did you know?’ style information sharing that draws from your expertise
- Inspirational quotes, links or stories that you have benefited from
- On-the-fly reactionary posts (photos, comments, etc…)
Most personal Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines rely almost exclusively on that final point: on-the-fly posts. But let’s face it: Not every day at your company is as interesting as the best ones, and your customers may not be concerned with the minutia of your fabulous new espresso machine or the amazing croissant you had for lunch (of course, that depends on the type of company you run).
Instead, think about how you can rotate through each of the five types of posts mentioned above. Commit yourself to one of each type of post each week (or better yet, each day).
Now that you’re envisioning breaking your status updates into five different styles of posts, here are some ways to fill the coffers, so that even when your brain is feeling drained, you have a place to turn for inspiration. Start by creating a spreadsheet or document where you store your ideas as they come to you, where they’ll be ready for dissemination to your followers on the schedule that best suits your marketing plan.
1. Compile Your Company History
What date did your business incorporate? When did you hit your first milestone in sales or employees? Internal dates of significance should be treated like holidays, and are worthy of celebrating through social media. You’ll get kudos from customers and demonstrate that you’re a growing, thriving business.
2. Keep Track of Your Previous Work
Did you write a blog post at the beginning of the last year with budgeting tips, or a seasonal guide to something for the summer or fall? Make a note on your calendar about unique content you’ve created that will continue to have relevance in the future. Tweeting or posting a link back to a previous post is a great way to pull extra miles out of your hard work.
3. Answer Questions
Make a list of the most common questions you are frequently asked about your job or your company. Answering these can make great fodder for tweets and posts, and you already know that they are topics people take interest in.
4. Ask Questions
For any social media marketing to be successful, it needs to inspire comments, retweets and genuine conversation. Nothing accomplishes this more effectively than asking pointed questions in your posts that invite people to respond. You can even solicit the input and advice of your customers on company decisions, from a logo redesign to a new product to what color you should paint the walls of your conference room. When people feel engaged, they are more likely to respond with loyalty to your business.
5. Take Notes
Whenever you’re reading a magazine, watching television or just out and about in the world, make a habit of taking notes when something grabs your attention or inspires you. On the iPhone, the standard ‘Notes’ app may be all that you need, or simply send yourself text messages. When you’re feeling uninspired at work but it’s time to tweet, turn to this rich collection you’ve been keeping in real-time to find a topic that fits your purposes for that day.
6. Look to Testimonials
Whether your business has a Yelp or Google Reviews page or not, every company receives customer feedback. Even if this is solely through emails and conversation with clients, start keeping track of the positive response your work receives, and utilize this in your social media marketing (if it was an email or spoken communication, ask permission first so that your client or customer is okay going public with their praise). Nothing speaks louder than the recommendation of a happy customer, and your own social media pages are a great place to trumpet this to the world.
Do you ever run out of things to say on Twitter, Facebook or Google+? How do you keep your creative juices flowing?
About the Author
Allison Rice is the Marketing Director for Amsterdam Printing (www.amsterdamprinting.com), a leading provider of promotional marketing pens and other promotional products to grow your business and thank customers. Allison regularly contributes to the Promo & Marketing Wall blog, where she provides actionable business tips.