Ever wonder why one company excels on social media while others limp along? Or why one business sees massive growth as competitors struggle to find momentum? The answer isn't as difficult as it might seem. It all comes down to daily habits and activities.
Pair that with extreme focus and you can radically change the scope of your business.
Don't believe me? Just look to companies like Virgin, Salesforce, and Amazon. Each one has a leader accelerating growth through specific habits. Sure, you might not be the size of Amazon or have the marketing budget of Virgin, but you can implement new routines.
As Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." So let's get to it! Below are 5 new habits that will enhance your social media presence and help your business grow.
1. Deliver Superior Customer Experiences.
If you want to win over today's consumer, it's not enough to collect social media numbers.
Successful companies using social media don't put quantity over quality. They also don't post and run. They invest in the lives of potential customers by engaging with them.
A company who's made a habit of knowing their customers is Nordstrom. In fact, the brand is so renowned for their legendary customer service that it's become urban lore. As someone who grew up around the brand, I'll never forget the personal care always shown. From my shoe to ring size, the attention to detail always left me feeling appreciated and valued.
They've since transitioned that in-store care to online creating a seamless experience. This is one that weaves all aspects of the customer journey to touch points at each stage of their decision making process. Nordstrom makes it effortless for buyers to connect no matter the device or channel.
To establish this habit in your business, think about how customers land at your virtual door. Take every opportunity to listen and respond in real-time. Make it your mission to provide customers a first-class, end-to-end experience.
2. Offer Social and Business Purpose.
Want into the heart of your audience? Commit to merging your business passion with a social purpose. As successful leaders know, there's a powerful thing that happens when you connect "for profit" to a higher purpose.
All you have to do is look to someone like Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Tom's shoes, to see this habit in action. Blake went beyond selling shoes and merged his passion for helping others into a social purpose. But not only that, he ensured that his audience could identify with that purpose.
To date, Tom's has donated over 10 million pairs of shoes to needy children. That's an incredible feat (no pun intended). And while shoes attracted attention, it's their social purpose that connected with their online audience. Give your social media community something to believe in, root for, and support.
3. Be a Voracious Learner.
If you want your business to succeed online or otherwise, look at the habits of those within your industry. What are successful leaders doing different than anyone else? What do they discuss, share, and communicate across social media? And why are they accelerating their efforts when others fail?
It's simple. They know that being a lifelong learner translates into better conversations, deeper relationships, and a higher degree of success. And data supports this theory. A study of more than 1200 successful people found that each one had a lifetime commitment to continued learning.
But they don't read any book that comes their way. "Successful people tend to choose educational books and publications over novels, tabloids, and magazines. And in particular they obsess over biographies and autobiographies of other successful people for guidance and inspiration."
Even business magnate Warren Buffett attributes his success to obsessive reading. "Read 500 pages every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest."
Whether you're an avid reader or a podcast junkie, you can easily incorporate this habit of voracious learning. Plug yourself into sites, apps, and trainings that will challenge and inspire new ideas. Audible, Blinkist, and Coursera take today's best trainings and make them available no matter where you are or what device you're accessing from.
4. Always Be Networking.
Successful business leaders know that online networking is a habit you can't overlook. But networking as a word can feel old and tiresome. So let's flip that around and make the idea of engaging and interacting enjoyable, not a drain or strain.
First, sit down with your favorite note taking device. Write down what it is that you love most about your business. What gets you out of bed, makes you run to the computer, and get to work without batting an eye? Infuse those thoughts into your 10-15 second irresistible company description. A simple place to start is to finish this sentence, "Only we ____."
Now find 5 people per day to reach out to. Make a comment on a Facebook post or respond to a tweet. You're not looking to sell, but rather build and strengthen relationships. Using social media as a gateway encourages a culture of awareness through strategic interaction. Plus, the added benefit of proactive contact is this: when you take a true interest in others, they naturally want to learn more about you.
5. Make Data-Driven Decisions.
If you want to get ahead, you need to learn from the past. What successful leaders know is that continued success isn't promised. To build a solid future, you must track, measure, and adjust as needed.
Look to your social campaigns. Analyze conversions, engagement, reach, impressions, and referral traffic. Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to determine what's working and what's not.
To do this, use UTM parameters to create unique links for your social posts. This will let you monitor audience engagement. Pay special attention to action taken on that particular link. Use this for new projects, a product launch, or training series to see where traffic is coming from and which sources best support your cause.
Remember that incorporating new habits into your day will take time. Start small, celebrate your wins, and eliminate distractions. The success you're seeking comes as a byproduct of repetition, so don't give up!