20 Useful Tips on Using Social Media & Blogging for Business
One of our core values here at Bluewire Media is “continuous improvement”, and after a recent social media workshop we held, we decided that a good way to improve it would be to include a few solid tips for the most effective use of each form of social media that we discussed.
So we’ve started going through and listing some tips, none of them are revolutionary and not all of them will apply to all situations, but they’re all useful things to keep in mind. This post covers a few of the tips we’ve come up with so far for Blogging, Facebook and Twitter.
Before I start, I apologise for the length of this post, but it’s mainly dot points, so it shouldn’t be too hard to read (you should even just be able to skim it if you like).
- We all love lists. A post titled “Top 10 Things To Do In Brisbane” is usually going to get more click-through’s than the same post titled “Tourist Activities in Brisbane”. Consider changing the title and layout of your next blog post to be ‘top x widgets’, ‘x best widgets’, ‘x worst widgets’ etc.
- Include Media in your posts. Pictures and Videos break up the text in your post, making it easier to read (and more interesting).
- Make sure you include sharing options on each post. It’s easy to get a tweet and like button for each post (it’s usually just a plugin), but you should also include the full suite of sharing options at the bottom along with the comments.
- Write with personality. You don’t need to sit down and think about the best way to phrase each sentence like you did in your Uni assignments, write as if you’re giving a speech, or visualise who you’re aiming your post at. Most of the time, casual language is going to work best.
- It’s probably the most commonly thrown around tip (in regards to blogging anyway) but FINISH YOUR POST WITH A QUESTION! It’s the best way to encourage comments and really engage with your readers. There are differing opinions as to whether open questions (e.g. What’s your opinion?) or more direct questions (e.g. What would you have done in that situation?) get the best results, so try both and see what works best for you. (Note: you’ll see that I’ve experimented a bit with the question at the end of this post…).
- Following on from the last tip; read the comments and interact with your readers. They might ask you a question back, or they might make a good point about something you said. Always acknowledge and take the conversation further.
- Before you start, think of the goals for your facebook page and how you will achieve them (don’t just make one for the sake of making one). Remember, there needs to be an incentive for someone to ‘like’ your page, post on your wall and interact with you. What will it be?
- Facebook offers the option to direct non-fans to a custom page. This page is your opportunity to turn casual viewers into fans. How will you do it? Here are some good examples. You can, if your budget is big enough, include a complete mini website on your landing tab, at the very least I would suggest a strong call to action to press the like button.
- Have a facebook widget on your website’s home page (and sub-pages if it fits) that offers the option to become a fan. If you have enough room you can also show some of your current fans and even your recent posts.
- To get more fans, try out this little tip. Take photos at events, seminars etc, post them on your page, then tag the people in them. No-one can resist looking at new photos of themselves (I certainly can’t), and by doing so they’ll be coming to your page!
- Try putting your facebook url (and twitter, blog, youtube etc for that matter) on your business card. This might seem a tad un-professional to some, but unless you’re a corporate banker (even if you are perhaps) most people will probably just wonder why they haven’t done it yet themselves.
- Don’t over promote. The main aim of your facebook page should be to simply encourage interaction with existing and potential customers/clients. A good rule of thumb is that less than one in ten posts should be self-promotional, more than that and you’re likely to start losing fans.
- Last of all, as with your blog, read what your fans have to say, answer their posts and keep the conversation going.
- As with facebook, don’t just use twitter to self-promote. On twitter you should generally promote others (by linking to blog posts etc) 10-12 times more than yourself. Any more and you’ll start losing followers.
- Not every tweet should contain a link. Too many links can appear too promotional, even if they’re not all pointing to your website.
- Instead of speaking with a corporate-style tone of voice, add personality to your tweets, and if you retweet an article or blog post that automatically generates a tweet, delete it and write your own (just make sure to keep the RT and the link).
- Instead of using a company logo for your profile pic, try adding personality by using a picture of yourself.
- Don’t just pump out your own impersonal tweets, read and reply to other people’s tweets, tweet directly to others, ask questions in your tweets and do whatever you can think of to get a conversation started.
- Consider using twitter (and other social media channels for that matter) to get feedback on your products or services, or even as a customer service channel. Some companies are already doing this with great results (check out telstra as an example).
- Use a tool to track your statistics, there are a few good tools out there that can give you click-through rates for your tweets, track mentions of your business name and all kinds of other useful things.
That wraps up the tips we’ve compiled so far, hopefully you’ll find them useful.
Feel free to add your own tips in the comments, but, as I mentioned above I’m experimenting with a question for the commenters today…