For many years, small business owners have been using social media platforms to generate leads, but social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are still very informal, and as often as they are promoted as platforms through which to conduct successful advertising campaigns, it will be awhile yet before the science of informal social media marketing is mastered.
That said, more formal social networking platforms like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest now dominate the market in terms of advertising. Obviously, the key to maintaining visibility in search engines is to give people what they want when they go looking for it. Fortunately, those who use Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are looking for certain formats unique to each channel. Let’s examine them.
The basic premise upon which Pinterest is based is that users are drawn to click on images to find out what’s ‘behind’ them. Posts that do exceptionally well are those which with pictures that play on consumer’s curiosity. Instead of using blanket posts with advertisements about your product or service, post a picture that will get people clicking.
Statistically, you have three seconds to make your case before a visitor will click off your page. Visitors are liable to stay on a page for a lot longer if it makes good on the preceding promissory note. Content is more readily absorbed when you give visitors the split second that they need to anticipate the content before it’s presented than if you plaster your page with plain, textual content that a visitor may not bother reading.
Visitors who surf this channel do so in the hopes that something will catch their eye. For this reason, it’s important to use images that will set you apart from the competition. Use hashtags to draw viewers who may be interested in similar posts. Those who share your posts will likely be those in your target market.
Post frequently but not too frequently. Those who follow you can request emails detailing your posts, and you don’t want to fill their email accounts with annoying updates. Instead, post once or twice daily to stay on the boards and invite viewers to ask questions. This is a foolproof way to ensure that you’re posting content that your visitors want to see.
Tumblr users blog about topics in which they have a deep interest. A comprehensive practical knowledge of topic is not a prerequisite, but it’s common place. Use hashtags to maintain visibility and to attract viewers with similar interests to your post. Follow those who post about things in your industry, whatever that be. Those you follow will likely return the favor.
Carefully monitor how and where your posts are being redistributed and identify your ‘influencers,’ those who share your posts most often or promote your business with greatest efficacy. Ask your influencers to post on your behalf. Also, ask those with bigger networks to spread the word for you. They will likely be flattered by your request and add a personal touch when they promote your business to those in their network, asking them to do the same.
Do you have formats for these social media channels with proven success? Share your comments below.
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