I have always had the mindset of "If I'm going to spend my time on anything, I'm going to do it with excellence." Now by no means am I saying that I'm perfect or I don't slack off (let's be real, I don't feel like folding laundry with excellence), but my view on doing anything that takes time or money is that it should be done well.

Now you might be wondering what this has to do with why your company shouldn't be on social media. Making social media work for your business requires commitment to excellence. So, before you invest time and money on social media marketing, be sure you are ready and able to be focused, creative, relevant and engaging. Here's how:

1. Be Focused

What purpose do you want social media to serve for your company? Create goals for each network you plan to use and define your target audiences to help keep your marketing efforts focused. Don't look for an immediate ROI on social media. Instead, look for a return on relationship. Use social media as a tool to strengthen relationships with your followers and customers. Once you define clear, focused goals for social media, you can move forward with a creative strategy to reach these goals. 

2. Be Creative

How are you going to reach your goals? What type of content will you share? Will you run campaign ads to promote your products or services? Be creative when answering these questions. Think of your favorite brands that you follow on social media. What do they share on that keeps you engaged and interested? There are so many different ways to engage your audience on social media, you just have to be sure you are creating content that is relevant and interesting to your followers. Videos, photos, and memes make especially effective posts. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

3. Be Relevant

Make sure the content that you are sharing on social media is of value to your followers. Include short descriptions for what you're sharing – explain what the content is about and why your followers should care. Do you know what they are interested in? Create a list of topics that are relevant to your company's products or services to help you brainstorm content that is relevant to share. For example, if I own a gym. I know my followers are going to be interested in healthy living, clean eating, exercising, stretching, health and wellness, etc. The more relevant your content is for your followers, the more likely they are going to like, comment and share your content and this will increase your engagement on social media. 

4. Be Engaging 

You can learn more about your followers' interests by regularly engaging with them. If they comment on something you share, or write a review about your company, always respond. This shows that your company is interested in a two-way dialogue, not just a one-way speech where you are doing all the sharing. I get asked a lot by business owners, "Should I respond to negative comments or reviews?" The answer is YES. The key to managing that is to stay positive when responding to negative reviews

Another perk about engaging with your followers is understanding what they are interested in learning, causes they care about or content they find relevant. If you are hosting an event, you can create an event page on Facebook and you can create polls in the event's discussion. This helped me when I was planning breakout sessions for a recent event – instead of the committee just deciding what attendees wanted to learn about, we reached out and them by creating a poll.

ready to make social media work for you? Contact us today. 

Sources cited in this article: 37 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2016, Hubspot

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