10 Social media ideas to build followers and your business
Do you sometimes struggle to think of good things to post on social media? It can be hard to try to find different ways of saying "Look at my business, come and visit!" without boring people or feeling like you're being too pushy (you're not!).
Here are some different types of social media posts you can use to promote your business, engage visitors and make your feed more interesting. Using a combination of these will help build engagement and followers. But don't forget to do numbers 6 and 10 - you should repeat those at frequent intervals.
Post photos, videos and descriptions that help potential visitors to imagine how they could enjoy being at your business. A fireside image with a steaming hot drink and enticing book to promote a cottage in Winter. A short video of children (film from the back if you don't have permission to show faces) enjoying an attraction. Think what visitors most enjoy about your business and show it in as many different ways as you can.
What do visitors often ask about? What might they worry about? Use posts that answer those questions (without saying it's something people ask) and offer reassurance in advance. E.g. 'five of our favourite things to do when it rains'.
Some posts don't need to sell or inform - they just need to entertain and make people smile. These are the ones that might get shared more often. Have you seen something funny you could tell people about, or got a cute (relevant to your business) photo you can share? Such posts are a good balance to those that promote your business more directly, and can help build followers because they are shared more frequently. Don't overdo it though or you'll end up with followers who like your cat photos instead of those who might want to book a stay or visit.
What do people sometimes get wrong or often want to know about? For example, you might have lots of good walks in your area - a post on them is all part of the 'consideration' stage of selling. These posts are also good for building followers as they share information many people want, and help show your business in a good light. Make sure you show the relevance of the information to your business, such as the proximity of the walks. Another angle is to offer some behind the scenes information, or mini-stories about some of your suppliers. How to information does well - perhaps you have some tips or ideas to share? Is there something that people don't know how to do that you could demonstrate?
Have you seen some good posts by other people? Which could you share? Try to make these at least a little relevant to your business. Most visitors want to know where they can stay, what they can see and do, where they can eat and drink, and if there is anything special about the area. You could try to cover these different elements in the kind of posts you share. It can also help build local collaborations and give more reasons for visitors to come to your area. Some of these posts could be sharing news about new developments or events in your area. Good news stories do particularly well.
6. Be direct
Posts that tell people something about your business and why it's good. Don't be shy! Talk about a particular feature or benefit of your business. Perhaps you can share some of the information from your 'about' page? What made you start your business? What do you particularly enjoy about running it? Some people find it hard to write these more direct posts because they don't like being 'pushy' but if you don't do them, you're in danger of building social media followers without actually promoting your business. Many of your followers won't know much about your business - it's up to you to tell them.
It's important to build an emotional appeal of some kind between your followers, you and your business. What's the "why" of your business or approach? Have you got any stories to share of visitors who've had a great experience or some kind of transformation? Or perhaps there's a charity you support? How can you make people feel good?
Social media channels will show your posts to more people when they see that your posts engage your followers and make them do something. This in turn helps build followers. Sharing, commenting and liking are essential to building an online reputation and followers. So you need to sometimes deliberately post in order to get engagement. Ask people to share, ask questions like in this genius social media post. Share something that gets a reaction, makes people comment. Offer an opinion that will get people talking.
These posts are similar to the Engage ones, but set out more deliberately to get information from your followers that could help you make changes or improvements in your business, or give visitors an inside track on developments. For example, you could ask what sort of things you expect a dog-friendly attraction to offer. Or show the different fabrics you're considering for your new B&B curtains and ask which people prefer. Or show the behind the scenes development of your business, asking for ideas or giving two options for people to choose from as you create something new.
Don't cringe! I'm amazed by how many people running tourism businesses don't want to directly sell or promote what they do. Yet if you don't do it, why have a business? Don't forget to post sometimes with the express purpose of promoting your business. E.g 'book now' 'sign up for the newsletter'. Say why you're good at what you do, suggest that people visit, book or buy, and show how - phone, DM, email, booking link.