In Business Ideas, Business News, Entrepreneurs

This week, Merchant Loan Advance are looking into how successful SMEs engage on social media. How do they use it to their advantage? How do they maximize their reach across each platform?

“Biggest advertising platform”

Social media is now the biggest advertising platform in the world. Businesses are now able to reach more people than ever before, and they can do it in a matter of seconds. With the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being a part of most people’s daily lives, we’re now more connected than ever.

Facebook is still by far the most used social media website, with an astonishing 1.65 billion active users. Twitter comes in second with a not too shabby 310 million. Every customer any SME could ever want is out there, but how do the most successful engage with them?

Timing

Many sites have differing views on this, but good SMEs know that picking the right time to post is key. If you have a following on Facebook of, let’s say, 20,000, you have to appreciate that all 20k aren’t active at the same time.

Study previous posts and make use of Facebook’s analytics tool to assess when your users are most active and likely to engage.

The Right Content

As social media grows, so does the competition for newsfeed space. Many are surprised to learn that, when they post on Facebook, only a small percentage of their followers will see it. Facebook constantly has to select which bits of content it shows its users. If they showed them everything, newsfeeds would be too cluttered.

To ensure you appear in your customers’ newsfeeds, post relevant content and build your engagement. People are much more likely to see your latest post if they’ve engaged positively with you in the past. The upshot is, don’t post for the sake of posting. Keep it fresh and relevant!

Don’t post too much!

Facebook doesn’t like pages who clutter newsfeeds with constant updates. Set a limit of how many posts you will send out per day and spread them evenly. Firing out three updates in an hour will send your engagement plummeting.

External links?

Facebook and Twitter love businesses using their services, but it’s worth remembering that they too are businesses. When you link people to your site or elsewhere, you’re effectively taking that person away from Facebook/Twitter.

Limit how many links you send out and try to mix it up a bit. If you’re forever taking Facebook’s users away from Facebook, you’ll find yourself with a lower engagement level. Link people away by all means, but not every ten minutes.

Competitions

Many Twitter and Facebook pages use the power of competitions to build following. There are many advantages to this, but be careful. Starting a ‘share this to win’ competition can gather pace very quickly indeed, and before you know it your reach has increased massively.

That’s all well and good, but Facebook has rules on this. Before starting your competition, make sure you read Facebook’s rules closely to ensure you’re not breaching their policies. Asking people to ‘like’ a post to enter a competition is frowned upon at Facebook HQ.

However you use social media to engage with your audience/customers, we hope we have given you a little insight into how to make the most of it.