I’m online long enough to remember the terrible websites that christened the internet. They were often annoyingly brightly coloured, had flashing images and screamed out of the monitor at you. However, the quality of websites improved over time, as users demanded a better experience, designers were capable of more and Google’s algorithm took account of Bounce Rate. The world found out that ‘less is more’. So it will also be for Social Media.
This year is the 10th Anniversary of YouTube, with Facebook being just one year older and Twitter, one year younger. The Social Media family is coming of age. So what can we expect to happen? My answer… Quality will win hands down over quantity.
Pretty much everyone now-a-days thinks they can ‘do’ Social Media, and they can, if they’re just doing it for themselves in a private capacity. However, if you’re doing Social Media Marketing for a small business, then it’s a very different scenario. Consider if you are one of these people:
A staff member who gets asked by the boss every so often whether you’ve posted on Facebook or Twitter today. Do you shove out any ol’ thing in order to ‘tick the box’?
A hard pressed small business owner who needs to post 5 or 6 tweets in the next hour or so just to keep your Twitter account alive. “Sure a few reTweets here will be grand.”
A business owner who set up a Facebook Business Page two years ago and has ‘left it go’ since.
A shop owner whose Facebook Business Page sounds like this ‘We sell blue whatsits for only €9.99’ or ‘This week, buy two blue whatsits and get a red one for half price’.
If you can relate to any of these, read on. If not, you may be doing everything right, but read on anyway, just to make sure!
To the first person above, I’d say either don’t bother or else make a real effort. To the second, I’d say, I’ll unfollow you if you spam my timeline like that and to the third person, you’ve got two choices, work on your Facebook Page or close it down. To the last person, I’d say, you’re most likely getting very little engagement on these types of posts, probably getting some ‘unlikes’ and in any case Facebook’s algorithm will sort you out soon. Do not make these critical mistakes.
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort. – John Ruskin —–> tweet that
The consumer is now looking for quality. They are far more discerning than in the past and have plenty of sources of good content only a click or tap away. In short, the consumer chooses what they will consume. Your job as a small business owner is to inform, educate and entertain, while all the time being relevant too. Below are a few pointers every small business should keep in mind.
Facebook’s algorithm change, which in fairness has been well flagged, commences this month. Any posts from Pages that are ‘overly promotional’ will not be seen in the newsfeed. As Facebook puts it: “Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.” As a consumer of whatsits in the example above, I’d prefer to see an article about “How Whatsits will evolve this year to give a better experience.” If your business doesn’t give it to me, I can get it elsewhere. Facebook is adjusting its algorithm to suit this kind of consumer behaviour.
Posting all your tweets together in one burst with nothing again for a week is spammy and ill-thought out. Use a scheduler like Hootsuite to post quality articles and graphics at times when your audience is online, such as evenings or weekends. Facebook has an in-built scheduler, so make use of it. Social Media is not a 9 to 5 job, but by using these tools, you can boost your visibility online at the right times.
Think about every single tweet, retweet, share or post. How Social Media Marketing for Small Businessdoes it add value to your business? How does it help your customer? Is it shareable or engaging? Would you want to share it if you were on the receiving end? Would you read the article? Do the graphics entice? Are the photos good quality? It’s important to reflect that ‘shoddy online is shoddy offline’ in the minds of the consumer. Do you want to send out that message about your small business?
Gone are the horrible websites of yore, and in the same way, bad Social Media accounts will fall by the wayside. In 2015, the landscape will change on Social Media as quality becomes ever more important. Be ahead of the game, give your fans and followers what they crave. Quality content.