We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) to share their insights on how they've made social media work for them and its importance.
Focus on Details
"No matter how big our following, we make sure to tend to the little things. On Pinterest for instance, we get emails about "Boards You May Be Interested In" and "Boards with Pins Similar to Yours." We go onto those individuals' boards--no matter the size of their following--and engage. We do this because they already have an interest in the kinds of products we sell, but may not know about us. It also humanizes our brand and it's something the platform offers for free. It's not the large and expensive campaigns that reach thousands of people; it's the grunt work--going after one person a few minutes at a time--that is most successful."
David Rivers, EO Western New York
Founder and president, KegWorks.com
"It's tempting to create an account with every social media outlet just to make sure you're not 'missing out.' However, you'll quickly find hours evaporating in the black hole of all of the posting, responding, sharing. Instead, target your approach and devote your resources where it will most benefit you. Everyone should invest time on their Facebook and Twitter presences, and one other tool. Make sure it's an avenue that make the most sense for your type of business, and you will see the greatest return on your efforts."
Joel Patterson, EO Dallas
Managing Director, The Vested Group
"One thing that has made the biggest impact on our social media is timing our posts. Most businesses post on social media when it's convenient for them, not their audience. Understanding behavioral patterns, time zones, and regional holidays can drastically affect organic audience numbers and increase the likelihood of engagement. What's more, most relevant social networks have scheduling and targeting features that can streamline the process and make social marketing much less cumbersome."
Ryan Lewis, EO Portland
President, Bonfire Marketing
Exhibit Your Personality
"I find that clients and prospects want to know the person behind the business and, with social media, the interchange is all about getting to know each other on a personal level. When I began sharing personal stories as well as business thoughts, the audience recalled them better and could picture me as a person rather than a business entity. I even got a gift from a competitor for my cat! It's certainly alright to be business-like, but don't sacrifice your own ideals just for the sake of landing the next big deal. Show your true colors and your posts will be valued much more."
Marjorie Adams, EO Austin
President, AQB, Inc.
"We have been using our Facebook page to build a community of current and former clients for our English language school. Not only do we post photos of recent trips and activities, we use an album of testimonials. We get students' photos, write up their testimonials and gather these in one place instead of spreading them out on separate wall photos. This album really reinforces the message we are trying to send."
Stephen Shortt, EO Ireland
Managing Director, Alpha College of English
To learn more about EO members' entrepreneurial experiences and insights, visit Overdrive, EO's global business blog.