When you think about businesses with killer social media presences, you probably think about popular media outlets like BuzzFeed Video and big-name brands like Red Bull and Nike. What about the more socially-obscure businesses, like plumbers, carpenters and law firms?
The truth is that any business with customers can have a successful social media presence, regardless of the industry. As a business owner, social media is all about connecting with people who might be interested in your brand – or might be interested in what you have to say or share. It’s about quantifying those likes, shares, and tweets in a way that gives us simple social media metrics respective to our brand.
What works on social media isn’t only what’s classically fun, entertaining, and popular. The strategies that work seem general on the outside but are successful because they are personalized on the inside. We’re going to explore exactly what the means by looking at seven social media strategies from businesses and industries we normally don’t associate with online networking platforms.
1) Share Relevant Content
Sharing content that your audience wants to read can seem tough at first glance, especially if you’re in an industry that’s not classically “fun”, or is one that is considered private. Consider your audience, and then think about what they might be interested in reading. Think about what might be useful to them when creating your content strategy.
Lawyers can post content about safe driving, accountants can post tips about how to look for tax deductions at the start of tax season, and plumbers can post helpful tips on winterizing the home.
Remember to use images that complement the relevancy of the post. The image above hits home to any homeowner living in areas that experience below-freezing temperatures in the winter.
2) Post Testimonials
Many businesses have started posting testimonials on “Testimonial Tuesday”. This gives your followers an authentic dose of what you offer, from the mouths of your happy clients and customers. Here’s an example from a chiropractor:
Social media is all about connecting with other people and sharing entertaining or informative content. Be sure to watch the news sites that are relevant to your industry. When it’s appropriate, share industry news. The image below shows a business that offers pregnancy and childbirth services reposting about an industry-specific topic that was covered in the New York Times.
The people who follow your business on social media probably don’t have the time to read up on everything going on in your industry. If you want those people to remain loyal to your business, aim to serve them with relevant, interesting content whenever you can. Become a trusted source of information for them – and they will return the favor with being a loyal client.
4) Include Your Audience
Remember that your brand connects people with similar interests. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to interact with you – and with each other. Consider the following social media post ideas that will encourage your audience to participate in the conversation:
- Ask them about themselves with simple questions. Consider asking questions such as “How would you describe your kitchen in two words?” or “What’s one appliance you wish you had in your kitchen?” For a general contractor or company that installs kitchen cabinets, such questions will provoke a response and get followers thinking about the services you provide – all without asking too much of them.
- Provoke them to tell you their values. Asking about what they look for in a potential service is helpful to you. Plus, it gets them involved with the conversation. For example, if you own a dry-cleaning service, ask your fans what’s more important to them: fast service or a good deal?
- Fill in the blank. Ask your followers to fill in the blank, enticing them to engage with you on social media. A dentist could say: “Fill in the blank: My last trip to the dentist was _________.” This leaves it to your fans to talk about their last experience with you, tell a story about another experience elsewhere or take a humorous route and make other viewers laugh. Either way, it’s engaging.
5) Share Personal Stories
Your brand loyalists – and potential brand loyalists – love a good, wholesome story. Consider posting about how your business was created or what inspires or motivates you to continue. Consider mentioning employee highlights, such as employee-of-the-month awards, or other employee achievements.
Here’s an example of Florida attorney Bob White promoting his partner’s speech:
6) Offer Deals
Everyone loves a good deal or likes to hear about promotions of products or services of interest to them. When you’re running a sale, offering a good deal or are promoting a new service or product, highlight it on social media. Even if you’re in the business of selling HVAC tools, it’s still worthy of a post.
Humanizing your brand is priceless, so don’t be afraid to give your followers a dose of your personality. Let them know you value hard work. Show them your business in action by posting on-the-job pictures, like this tree service company from Georgia:
Also, remember that your posts don’t always have to center around your business – or even your industry. Staying connected is more important than constantly promoting your business. If you’re excited about an upcoming community event that has nothing to do with your business, post about it. There’s no rule stating that social media for business has to be all about business.
Regardless of industry, every business has a place in social media. It’s all about knowing how to properly engage your audience.
What additional tips can you share with businesses looking to become more social?
Originally published Feb 19, 2015, updated Aug 12, 2020