Start thinking about social media
You might be looking at what other businesses are doing with their social media accounts and start asking yourself “What are they doing differently from us?” or “What did they change to make their numbers increase so much?” or maybe even asking the question “What can we do to make similar happen?”
It’s a good thing to ask yourself these questions and it’s probably something you haven’t thought of in a while. Luckily for you, we have put together these 10 fantastic tips for you to make the most of those social media platforms you’ve been neglecting and how to whip them up into proper order.
1. Start off with a plan of action
Don’t just leap in feet first, every good business strategy starts with a good plan. It may be free to setup a Facebook page or an Instagram account for your business, but the time and effort that is involved really will represent how strongly you feel for your business.
Without a plan, you don’t have a clear goal on what your social media presence means to you and what it’s trying to achieve, this meaning that you also don’t know if the investment of time will pay off in the end. So take the time to create a social media plan.
Create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Base these goals on metrics that are relevant to your business such as raising your conversion rate or acquiring customers and business, rather than vanity metrics such as likes or follows. Research what your competitors are doing, look into how they’re using their social media. While it would be a bad idea to copy them directly, it’s good to learn from what others have done in order to reduce the amount you need to learn about it.
Once you’ve properly sorted out your plan and your goals keeping to it will stop the curse of posting aimlessly and gaining nothing from the effort you’ve put in.
2. Find out who your audience is
Now that you’ve found some goals and created a plan using those goals, it’s time to find out who your target audience is. However it’s important to note that “everyone” is not an audience. Finding your true audience will drastically change how your posts are received and reacted to. Find out whether who you’re trying to target is prospective customers, or influencers or even industry players.
Finding your audience will assist you in figuring out your posting schedule, say that your target audience is more active on social media after a certain time in the day, figuring out what kind of content that you actually need to post, what sort of “voice” you would like your brand to have and the information that you provide in the profiles of your socials. Spend the time to look into the personas of your audience and properly understand what challenges them and what other brands they love already. This sort of information allows your brand to stand out from the crowd and be seen over everything else.
3. Be Human
This is quite possibly the most important thing about making the most of social media.
One mistake you might see quite often on social media is when a brand comes across stand-offish and robotic; with no personality to speak of. In this modern age, people want something to relate to and something to get to know on a more personal level. Cracking jokes, acting like a friend towards customers and showing the face behind the curtain really goes far in getting people to like you. Rather than being seen as a monolithic faceless company, showing off the human side to the business by posting images of the offices or showing off who’s part of the team that tends to the needs of the customer can help your followers form that much-needed connection between themselves and the business. You’ve potentially seen examples of a human social media presence and perhaps yourself even formed that connection.
Percentage of Content Internet Users Engage With
4. Form Relationships
Once those connections have been formed, fight to keep them. While it might seem amazing to have 10,000 followers it’s important to note how many of them actually interact with the content that you’ve spent time and effort in putting out. It is infinitely more valuable to have 100 followers that regularly interact with what you put out rather than having the 10,000 that don’t. It’s incredibly important to maintain the “social” in social media.
Keep your finger on the pulse of the community by answering questions directly when asked, always making sure to directly mention the person who asked in the first place, reply when people speak to you and just start conversations between your followers and don’t just retweet or like what people are saying, get involved and start a conversation amongst the community you’re building. Getting people to feel more welcome and involved makes them more likely to contact their friends and family and get them involved as well, so this will definitely boost numbers and help keep your audience at a steady level.
5. Create a Content Schedule
Consistency is incredibly important when you’re managing social media platforms, and making sure that you create and stick to a schedule will really help you in many different ways, such as allowing you to fine-tune each of your posts for each platform without needing to jump between them, it’ll also help you release posts at the correct time in order to maximise the engagement of your audience and it’ll mean you avoid posting the same content over and over again because it’s important to keep content varied and unique.
In short, if you create a schedule and stick to it, it both helps you keep your social media organised while also maximising the reach of your content.
6. Focus on Helping Over Selling
While a hard sell might be hard to resist, it’s important to note that for social media that the hard sell is not all that necessary, if you’re in e-commerce it might make sense to push offers and deals to your followers but what’s more important is answering the questions presented to you by your followers through replies or marketing. As mentioned in Tip 4, it’s super important to keep that community rolling. If your followers ask a question about your product on social media, it’s so important to answer them ASAP and answer them in a way that sends them in the right direction rather than directly pointing them towards the answer. If your followers are constantly asking about one particular problem, it’s important to curate content that directly speaks to that problem and provides an answer.
By offering solutions to problems rather than just constantly pitching your content to people, you’re proving that you are the authority on your product and that you know what you’re talking about, meaning that people are more likely to stick around.
7. Stay Active
An inactive social feed doesn’t look good for a brand, it’s incredibly important to post on a regular basis, by that we don’t mean you have to post constantly, but what we do mean is that you keep to the content schedule you made in Tip 5. By keeping your social feeds active, you’re actively getting more engagement amongst the members of your community and your social feed turns into a bustle of business. It’s also important to pick and prioritise your platform based on your audience, say that you discover that your audience is mainly on Instagram, it’d be a great idea to spend a lot of effort in keeping your Instagram feed updated and your followers sated.
Sometimes you might find it hard to post on a consistent basis so incorporate scheduling via Facebook or Instagram so that it doesn’t have to suck up all of your time. Also, find ways to repurpose previous content so that you aren’t getting bogged down in the design and fabrication of the content. You can also base your activity around the best times to post on social media to again maximise your engagement.
8. Don't Hesitate to Use Visuals
Here’s the thing, photo and video content is currently the bomb. Instagram is a platform based entirely off of images and it is skyrocketing in popularity day-by-day, Facebook has noted that Live videos get six times the amount of engagement that any other type of content gets and on Twitter, graphics and videos get a lot more retweets than Plain Jane text gets.
The good thing about getting visual is that you don’t necessarily have to spend big bucks on equipment or to get a full-blown production studio. Instead, focus on the smaller things like team photos, videos of the team, photos of customers, photos of events, behind-the-scenes and infographics. Like was said in Tip 3 and 4, it’s important to show what’s behind the curtain and to demonstrate that there’s a human being behind the company.
9. Ride on the Waves of Trends
You really should get topical with your content as it means that you’ll pick up people from the buzz of the trend itself but it also shows off the personality of your brand. It’s a great idea to understand the ins and outs of hashtags in order to think of the trends and topics that you’re able to get a piggyback off of. However, we wouldn’t recommend piggybacking off of anything too controversial, no matter what your personal feelings are.
10. Create the Content that People Want to See
Our final tip is to create the content that people want to see. What we mean by this is to curate content that makes people stop and read it. There’s a lot of noise out there on social media and what you need to do is to break through it. Original content is incredibly important, it shows off your brand and it shows off that you’re different from everything and everyone else. When you stand out, people will begin to flock to your social platforms.