Many small business owners that I work with find it difficult to devote the time they feel they need to have a successful online presence. They watch as other small businesses effortlessly manage to post engaging content on a daily basis that everyone in the universe seems to be paying attention to. The majority of my clients are baffled and envious of this success and also intimidated by the potential effort they believe it takes to put together a social media post that is engaging to their audience.
While my business is to train people on the inner-workings of social media marketing and also create content for my clients on their individual social media pages, there is one thing everyone who has a digital presence online can do, for just one hour a week that could potentially increase your business leads. All you have to do is listen and engage on your audience's social media posts. I use the word "audience" a lot when referring to social media. Audience in this context is referring to your followers; people who have liked your page and also the people/company pages you have started following.
You may ask, "why and how does this help increase my business leads"? It helps in a couple areas.
1.)Listening to your audience online helps you create better content
When you see what your audience is posting or what posts they are commenting, liking or sharing more of, it helps you to form content that they will be more interested in. This inherently will help you get your business message across better in the future. Whether you're rolling out a new service, you're offering a discount on a product or you want to convey a new company policy; bottom line, the only way you will know how your audience prefers to receive that information can only come from listening and observing what your audience is acting on online.
2.) Give a comment to get a comment in the future
When you are engaged online, your audience picks up on that and they are more likely to like, comment or share your posts in the future, if you do the same for them. Think of your followers as people you're in a real-life relationship with. Any solid relationship is built on an almost equal amount of giving and receiving between two parties. If one party gives, the likelihood that the other party will give is very likely, this is based off of healthy relationships of course. The balancing act of giving and receiving on a business social media page is exactly the same dance.
Taking the time to comment on your audience's content also opens up conversations that maybe wouldn't have existed offline. Take this example: you see a post of a company that gives their top customers a free gift during the Holiday season. This spurs you to congratulate the company on a great idea. Next thing you know, the person on the other end begins to ask you what your company does to appreciate your customers. From here, the conversation could go in many directions : a brainstorm session on the best ways to show gratitude to your customers, maybe they want you to guest blog on their website. The possibilities of communication are endless.
3.) Your next business opportunity is on your computer screen
I recently was looking through my Facebook and noticed a post on an interview with Whitney Wolfe, the CEO of a new dating app called Bumble, where the female must start the conversation in order to start communicating with the person/ people she's interested in. Being a female entrepreneur, I was very intrigued in Wolfe's desire to put the female in the driver's seat in the maze of the online dating scene, in the hopes that women would have an easier time finding the person they want to date.
I then took a step further and went on the Bumble website, only to find they hadn't established a blog yet. The fact the page had been created, I knew the blog was just in sight. I took the opportunity to email the company directly to praise them for creating a genius concept for the online dating community and I also dropped in a line about my services, just in case they hadn't hired a blogger yet. From a post on Facebook all the way to a direct email to the company, I had discovered a soft lead for The Food Marketer, just from being on my own Facebook page. I'll keep you all posted on what comes of this interaction.
4.) How to Make Time to Engage Online
It only takes an hour a week of your time to engage online. Setting aside the same day every week to complete this task is helpful, so it will become a habit to spend the time to engage. It usually takes about two months to form a habit and this habit is a wonderful one to take up for your company morale and for increasing your business leads.
If you don't know how to go about making sure your hour online is spent productively to benefit your particular business, come chat with me in a 30 minute complimentary session. I am always happy to help you to better understand how to navigate your social media engagement. Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set-up an appointment.