No matter the size of your business a sound social media presence is important. Customers now use it as a channel to communicate, ask questions, complain, review and search for products and services. Managing your social media channels is not only time consuming it’s also often difficult to get right. Here are 7 tips from our experts on what we think your business should start doing today.
Align Business Goals To Your Social Media Goals
Social media is just like any other digital marketing channel. You should be measuring and reviewing it regularly. A common mistake businesses make is that they don’t set expectations from what they want from their social media activities. They see it as a must have, throw up some content and usually see less than desirable results.
The best thing you can do is align your marketing or business goals to your social media goals. It’s important that your goals are measurable so you can set action plans regularly on how to achieve them. For example a goal to increase engagement isn’t good enough. You should outline that you want X number of likes by Y date or Y number of followers by X date. Set goals, measure, review and implement your action plan.
Audit Your Profiles & Compare To Your Competitors
The best place to start when developing a social media plan is auditing and analysing your competitors and how they are performing in comparison to you. You can start simply by identifying the number of likes & followers they have and comparing that to your profiles. Some questions you can use during your audit:
- How many likes and followers do they have?
- What type of content are they creating?
- What content is resonating with their audience?
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
Here is a great resource to get you started. Once you know a bit more about your competitors you have the opportunity to take parts of what they are doing, make it your own and create a differentiation point in the direction of your social media posts.
Content, Content & More Content
Doing content right isn’t easy. Curating, creating & sharing the right content takes time. Social media is an experience for most people. They want to be entertained, informed or educated. With your organic posts you should be focusing on a strategy that blends your own created content and other pieces of curated information.
Don’t just focus on everything about yourself and your business. People will quickly get turned off if you are constantly trying to sell them something. A great way to highlight a product or service you have is to turn it into a piece of content.
Let’s say you sell widget X. Instead of just promoting the product create an article, video or infographic around how customers can use it and the benefits. Your product may solve a problem for your customers. Highlight how it does it and then share it on your social profiles. The effect will be greater than a simple post saying “Hey buy X widget because we think it’s really good”. When creating your content for social media try and think about what pain points your customers have, how your product solves it and how you can tell them that in an entertaining, informative and educational way.
Schedule & Save Time
If you run a small business or you are in charge of your social media activities within an organisation you’re likely time poor. Thinking of content ideas, sharing content, trying to increase engagement, commenting, sharing and liking takes a lot of time. To increase the effectiveness of your time on social media you should invest in preparing an editorial posting calendar and scheduling your content in advance.
We recommend preparing a plan for content a month in advance. You could keep the same consistent structure each month as follows:
- Post the same time every day – optimise the times of the day by analysing engagement and reach to find out what time of the day seems to work for you
- Develop themes aligned to your business. An example would include Inform, Educate, Entertain – create your own or curate content that matches these themes
- Source user generated shout outs or reviews – hashtags can be especially useful for this. Find any content your customers are posting and share it. Make sure you give it your own spin when you share it
- Schedule your content using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer
- If one person schedules your social media posts then try and get another person in the business to audit and check your posts
- Maintain consistency in your messaging, voice, tone & calls to action
Tailor Your Message To Your Social Media Channel
It’s tempting to get every single social media profile you can because that’s what everyone thinks you should do. Most businesses get excited open a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Linkedin & Google+ account. They then post once or twice and then lose interest. Does this sound familiar? Think about your business, audience and potential customers. What social media channels are you most likely going to find them on? If a social media channel doesn’t make sense for your circumstances then don’t use it.
Once you identify your ideal social media channels you should start to think about the different messaging and content you should share. Everything should be tailored to how users see and consume information when they are scrolling. What you post on Facebook should be different to what you post on Twitter. Be aware of the nuances on each channel and how that will affect what you post. Are visuals important? Should I be using hashtags? How short or long should my message be?
Engage to increase visibility
Engagement is a two way street and is something that is usually completely disregarded by most businesses. Typically most businesses want likes, comments, retweets and followers. One of the best ways for you to increase your engagement is to be involved in it yourself. This means liking posts, commenting and being involved on social media.
The more you put into your engagement the more you will get out of it. If you’re on Instagram you should be involved in liking photos, commenting on photos and following people who interest and are aligned with your business. On Facebook make sure you follow suppliers or other businesses related to what you do. Share their content, comment and like their posts.
These actions are intended to increase your visibility to potential customers who want to follow your business, buy your products or use your services.
Invest time, money or resources
To be successful on social media you need to either invest time, money or resources. It’s a time consuming task and it requires effort to achieve results whether it be an increase in leads, sales or a great community of followers. If you’re investing time make sure you develop a clear strategy, set some goals and measure them periodically. If you’re investing resources make sure you train your staff properly on how to use social media and what your expectations are. If you’re investing money make sure you hire a company or professional that understands social media strategy and can tailor a plan that suits your requirements.
We hope these 7 tips will help your business be more successful on social media. We’d love to hear any comments or tips you may have.