I get many questions about social media involvement from my clients all the time. They often ask, “How often should I post on Facebook or Twitter?” or “Should I post on Google+ too?” These questions are relatively simple to understand, but I cannot stress the importance of how important they are in the long run. When it comes to running a business, having an online presence is something that many people let slip into the back of their minds. Let’s take in some statistics to really get a grasp of how important using social media is.
The United States has roughly 313 million citizens. Of these citizens, approximately 43% of them use Facebook. (Internet World Stats) , equating to 133,518,980 people who use Facebook. Some of them use it on a daily basis, and some do not. Each day, by not having a Facebook presence, you’re missing an opportunity to reach 43% of the US population. I’m just using Facebook as an example, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus all have millions upon millions of users that actively use their sites.
So, now that the numbers are out of the way, I will move on the question of how to be seen. There is a multitude of answers to this questions, but my favorite is by using trust signals. A trust signal is simply a way to build brand awareness by being active in your social media market. There are multiple types of trust signals, but today, we are just worrying about social media brand awareness trust signals. An example of a trust signal is adding a photo to a business listing. If you create a business listing, and never upload a photo, and never interact with it or your audience at all, that doesn’t bode well for your trust with Google or any other listing site.
The first thing you should be doing with your social media for your business is uploading photos. Keep in mind that the last thing that you need to do is upload a photo every single day. I’ve noticed some local companies uploading photos multiple times a day. Most of the time, these photos are not even relevant to the company. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually pretty quick to remove them from my feed when they do that. I can think of a few examples where uploading a photo everyday is okay, but I don’t think it goes over well on people’s Facebook feed most of the time. A restaurant that serves plate lunches may upload a photo everyday of their lunch of the day. The main thing to keep in mind is that you always want a unique photo as your main profile photo, which is a huge eye-catcher. Google Plus actually sees uploaded photos as a trust signal on a business page. It shows that you are active in your listing. For example, if you get a review from someone who is talking about how good your business is, you can always respond to their review and thank them for it. That looks really good in the consumer’s eyes, but also provides a stronger brand for Google.
Another thing you should be doing is updating your statuses. Depending on what kind of company you are, you can update it anywhere from 2-5 times a week. The thing to keep in mind is that posting interesting updates is important. Putting “hello, friends.” every other day is nice, but doesn’t really engage anyone. We have a few clients that we primarily post questions on their wall instead of regular updates. That way, people have a reason to get involved and read your status. Do NOT post too much. Even on Twitter it can be extremely annoying. You have to think of it this way; let’s say you have a person who is following you on Twitter, but they are only following about 20 other people. If you were to tweet 20 times a day, their feed is going to be completely overrun with your tweets. Tweeting often gets your brand out there and may seem like a good thing, but it is not. If I were this hypothetical person, I’d remove you from my feed in a heartbeat. Find a happy medium, and everyone benefits.
Just think of you audience as a single person, who happens to be your friend. Do you think your friend would appreciate it if you sent him/her a text every 15 minutes? Probably not. Just use your common sense and give your audience a little breathing room. Develop those trust signals by staying active, and never lose track of your professionalism. Good luck!