Has scanning the available training resources for social media left you overwhelmed and wondering where to begin? There seems to be an endless supply of books, blog posts, videos, workshops and webinars addressing the “how to’s” of social media for small business. At Page Progressive, we strive to simplify internet marketing — including social media — for our small business and non-profit clients. So, we’re dedicating this post to 12 social media tips from the pros featured recently on a Hootsuite webinar.

Social media marketing gurus Peg Fitzpatrick and Guy Kawasaki focused their comments on the “four kings” – Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter. Here are the highlights:

  • Consider what people want to read and will share. Positive “engagement” being the goal — what information, humorous cartoon, video clip, etc. will catch attention and encourage viewers to visit your webpage?
  • Quotes are popular, either alone or paired with an image. If you share a quote from a customer or client, tag him or her as this will increase the distribution of your post. (More exposure may translate to more shares, engagements and “clicks through” to your site.)
  • Once again, the gurus reiterate the time-honored advice: Post photos. The draw to social media is the entertainment value it provides. Use photos that catch attention and encourage shares with a “soft” marketing message for your product or services.
  • For the most professional appearance, consider site parameters when posting social media images. On Facebook, for instance, the maximum image size for your timeline or company albums is 2048 x 2048 pixels. Likewise on other platforms, square photos typically work best. For your Facebook cover image, choose or create one that fits the allotted space without awkward cropping.
  • Creating a community on Google+ is a great way to build your network. Want a place to share social media post ideas within your company? Create a private community page.
  • Link back to your website from your social posts. (This is known in the industry as ‘signposting.’)
  • Retweeting (on Twitter) is a great way to “curate” content while giving credit to the original source. “Retweet” catchy, interesting and relevant posts to share them with your followers.
  • Facebook and Twitter regulate how long a post can be; Google+ doesn’t. Get more mileage from your full-length blog posts by re-posting them on Google+.
  • Also unique to Google+:  The ability to use text effects (bold, italic, strikethrough, etc.) in your posts for emphasis.
  • Use free curation sites to find content to share. These include Flickr’s commons for free pics, Feedly.com for quotes, and alltop.com for interesting content.
  • A great place for finding and storing future content? Pinterest!
  • Make use of advance scheduling tools such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Buffer to keep your social media accounts active without consuming extensive hours of your time. Facebook allows you to automate future posts on your business page there. (To designate the time and date to publish, click on the clock icon at the bottom left of the post you’re creating.) Facebook’s scheduling option is free; TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Buffer have free basic plans as well as more comprehensive plans for a monthly fee.

Social media can be a great tool for increasing awareness of your company, building relationships with customers and prospects, and ultimately growing your business. We hope these tips are useful in considering how to fit social media into your marketing plan.

If you have questions about using social media for your business, contact the Page Progressive team — or post your question in the comments section below. We are always glad to help.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net