Creating a strong online presence in today's market is a must for anyone who wants their business to flourish and survive. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have offered businesses huge platforms in which they can market to their consumers like never before. Social media allows businesses to connect with their consumers on a more personal level and directly engage with them. More than ever, word-of-mouth has become the most powerful tool that businesses can use, and with the speed that news travels in today's society, it is vital that we portray ourselves to our consumers in the most positive way possible.
Here are just a few of the things you need to know about using social media for your business:
- Organisation is key
With such an array of social media platforms being utilised by businesses, it's important that you keep your social media content organised. Trying to keep control of a handful of different social media accounts can be difficult. To organise your content, try creating a social media content plan and drafting the posts that you might want to share on Twitter or Facebook. Research key dates both in your industry and in other areas you're looking to get involved in. Planning in advance in this way will allow you to see what's coming up over the next few weeks or days at a glance and prepare any content in advance and it will give you a huge advantage over your competitors who are creating content off the cuff. Look for influencers, companies or conversations you want to interact with and monitor them regularly for any content they post that you can share or comment on. Although posting your own content will help with your presence, interaction is the name of the game when it comes to social media.
When it comes to posting the content that you've planned, try using a social media tool that allows you to schedule your posts. There are many tools out there, both free and paid for, which will allow you to manage all of your social networking platforms in one place. These online tools allow you to plan as far in advance as you want and keep engaged on social media without having to generate and post content on a daily basis - remember that this will only work for content that is not time-sensitive or reactive!
- Be consistent
Following on from scheduling your content, you also need to make sure that you're posting consistently on all of your accounts. Just because you might prefer to post on a particular social media platform, it doesn't necessarily mean that is the platform your followers will prefer. Let your followers know that you're on other channels of social media, it could help to increase your following across the board. Make sure you don't neglect any of your social media profiles, update them evenly so you don't lose out on followers. Who knows, the one you ignore might be the one that's most successful. Also, some of your followers will already be following a lot of other accounts so it's crucial that you post at least once a day. Posting regular content ensures that you're not forgotten.
It's important that you're continually engaging with your audience, whether that is through posting content consistently or directly interacting with them on social media. Social media has allowed for businesses to interact with their consumers on a completely different level, allowing for more personal and trusting relationships to be developed. Using this to your advantage could ensure that a positive word-of-mouth is spreading around your business.
- Is your content relevant?
Although some content might get a lot more attention, you have to question whether it's the right content for your brand and followers. Yes, posts containing humour might gain a lot more attention but if it's not relevant to your business is it really the image you want to be portraying? Creating a mix of content is usually the best strategy, you want to portray the professional side of your business but you also want customers to know that you're people too! Send out a few personal messages. Are any of your team involved in charities or have unusual interests? Why not mention them on social media? Informative infographics that are short and snappy are always well received but a personal touch will add a human element to your brand.
If you're posting content on different social media platforms, it's important that you format the content individually for each one. Twitter has a limited character count so posts need to be short and to the point. Facebook posts, on the other hand, tend to more lengthy and informative so utilise this as best as you can. If you can, try not to post the same content to all of your accounts. Even though you may be posting regularly, this can still make your social media efforts seem boring and lazy, and you could end up losing your followers. Be as human as you can, it'll make your followers feel like they can relate to you more and form a more personal relationship.
- Show, Don’t Tell
Recently, visual social media has become much more prominent online. Constantly people are liking or sharing images or videos that they feel will be of value to their followers whether it be humour based or informative. According to statistics, photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than an average text post. So, even if you need text in your posts, try to use an image alongside it or turn it into an infographic. This way, you'll be able to catch your followers' eyes more effectively. Studies show that when people see information, they tend to only remember around 10% of that information three days later. However, if an image is paired with that information, up to 65% of the information has been retained three days later. That's because images create more of an emotional response from people. So, why tell if you can show?
Monitoring your social media audience is vital if you want to find out what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. Using social media statistics gives marketers an insight into what's successful and what's not. Most social media analytic tools will show you which platform or source a contact or lead came from. For example, if you're getting most of your social media visits from Twitter, you can dedicate more time to that platform and the posts that work rather than wasting time on those that are simply not delivering the best results for your investment.
- Know your competition
If you have a competitor that always seems to get a lot of shares and likes, try and monitor what they're doing so you can improve your own social media efforts. This means you can make more strategic decisions and gain a bigger share of your own followers. You should also use your competitors to learn from their mistakes so that you're not making the same mistakes. Finding out what didn't sit well with your target audience by analysing what your competitors have done is one of the best ways to gain followers and create a positive image. However, in finding out what content works well for them, make sure you don't copy them.
Look at how many followers your competitors have. Although numbers aren't everything, it can give you a better idea of which social media strategies are successful and which are not. If a company is receiving more than 20 likes on a post, you know they're probably doing something right. Learning more about your competitor's followers gives you a better idea of who you should be marketing towards. Try monitoring how they respond to their consumers- do they respond to only negative comments? Or positive as well? Keep an eye on which day of the week and what time of the day they post, and which of these receives the most responses. In doing this, you can find out what the best time is for posting content. If you want to go one step further, most social media analytics and insight tools will tell you which times of day your audience are most active and responsive, allowing you to make sure you're online at exactly the right time for YOUR audience.
If you're looking for help with your own social media strategy, at Rare Digital Marketing, we have a full team of experts to help you take control and start seeing results from your efforts. Please contact us to speak to our experts.
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