Ways to Improve your Social Media Presence
In today’s socially-driven world, virtually every industry is impacted in some way by social media. When used strategically over time, social media is one of (if not) the most powerful marketing channels brands can leverage to drive, growth, reach, exposure, authority and more.
But it’s not a magic bullet that can be taken lightly. Social media requires data-driven strategy, intelligent approach, and persistence to pay off in spades.
Yet with all the hype surrounding social, many companies have taken a laid back approach, expecting outdated and half-efforts to yield dividends.
This guide will help you improve your social media presence and truly leverage the power of this marketing channel powered by billions of users worldwide.
Choosing the Right Networks / Platforms
Even the best social strategy won’t matter if you’re targeting the wrong platforms. Although a seemingly simple task, choosing the right platform is something that many businesses struggle with. The right decision comes down to who your audience is, where they “hang out” and engage online, and your particular goals.
Below we’ve included an overview of the major platforms to help jumpstart your search.
Facebook: As the largest social platform, Facebook boasts over 2 billion active monthly users. The site is ideal for lead generation, forming relationships with your audience and engaging in conversations. Although a moderately laid back environment, the platform is equally good for B2B and B2C opportunities.
LinkedIn: This platform is formal and full to the brim with professionals interested in connecting, building their professional network and making deals. The platform is especially useful for building authority and trust.
Twitter: The platform dedicated to “in the moment” information and time-sensitive updates, news, announcements and trending topics. Perfect for audiences under 50, yet somewhat tech-savvy and tight on time.
Pinterest: A platform with a visual flair. Pinterest is perfect for those verticals where imagery is prominent such as fashion, art, travel, restaurants/food, and weddings. The site drives highly targeted “buyer” traffic from users looking to plan future purchases.
Snapchat: Fast-growing content platform popular among younger millennial and Gen-Xers. The platform features expiring content and is a good fit for B2C promotions, building brand recognition and establishing relationships with influencers.
Instagram: Over 1 billion active users makes Instagram a power-hitter when it comes to social platforms. Similar to Pinterest, the platform is highly visual in nature, lending the most value to industries such as fashion, food, fitness, automotive, jewelry, travel and more.
So Which Platform is Right for You?
The right platform is going to be dependent on who your target audience is and the vertical in which you operate. Developing a customer avatar/profile is a critical step in understanding your prospective customers and identifying which platforms they “hang out”, engage and spend their time on.
Once you know where your audience is online, you’ll have your answer.
Aimless Endeavors Produce Little Result
At this stage you know your audience, you know where they spend their time online, and you’ve identified the platform(s) you need to move the needle on.
But remember, just because you show up to the game doesn’t mean you’re going to win it. You need a strategic plan in place with designated tactics tailored towards the specific goals you hope to achieve.
For example, are you looking to:
- Increase visibility and brand awareness
- Improve trust and public perception
- Tell your story
- Establish a brand personality
- Generate a loyal following of fans
- Increase leads, calls, messages and sales
- Identify pain points with your audience
- Enhance customer service
- And more…
As you can see, the goals surrounding social are many, with each requiring a particular strategy designed to move desired metrics in the right direction.
In this step, you should identify and prioritize between 1-3 goals.
Strategy Tailored to Your Goals
You know “who” your audience is, what network(s) they are on, and the goals you want to achieve. Next up is devising a strategy to turn those lofty milestones into reality.
Next up, get organized. Establish a calendar of social media activities, the goal of each, who is responsible for them, and how their effectiveness will be measured or audited.
Information obtained as you progress will allow you to make data-driven decisions based on what does or does not resonate and perform well with your audience.
Content is the heart of social media and is critical to your success with this marketing channel. Your audience should be the driving force behind what type of content is created.
For example, if you are a brewery, your posts might consist of recipes, new releases, social events, and other related content.
No matter your niche or audience, there is no excuse for poor content. Make sure all posts and media are optimized, well written or presented and relevant. A special focus should be placed on video, images, audio and graphics.
Automation can Help with Scale
Maintaining an active presence on one social platform is trouble enough, but this endeavor can quickly compound as you manager additional pages, groups or even expand to other social media sites. Tools can help to automate that which is created by hand, publishing posts automatically based on a schedule you devise.
Engage your Audience in Relevant Ways
Although content is vitally important, it is only one ingredient in the recipe for social media success. It is not enough to simply publish posts then sit back and relax. Social media, at its core, is about connections and conversations.
By engaging your audience you can build relationships, establish trust and earn a loyal audience.
Consider the following:
- Comment on posts
- Participate in conversations
- Share relevant information
- Share user-generated content
- Answer and post questions
- Politely and quickly address criticisms and complaints
- Thank people for feedback and reviews
- Show appreciation
Limit Time Spent on Promotions
Social selling can be a highly effective technique for making more sales, generating revenue and increasing lead generation efforts. But it must be used sparingly and not abused. To you, social media might be a powerful marketing tool, but to your audience, it is a place to enjoy their downtime, converse with friends and share memes. According to Hootsuite the ideal percentage of promotions to non-promotional content should be around 20%.
Consistency in Tone and Presence Matter
One and done won’t cut it on social media. Think of the platform similar to dating your audience. You want to put your best foot forward, be honest, truthful and consistent with who you are as a brand and what you represent.
This means staying consistent with activity and engaging your audience in conversations.
By following the fundamental steps in this guide you should have a solid foundation upon which to transform your social media efforts into a winning formula. Measure the right metrics over time and allow those to dictate where (and what) to focus your efforts on.
If you need help developing or executing your social strategy, or a means of monitoring, recording and analyzing data reach out to us today. Our team specializes in leveraging intelligent data to make better business decisions that grow brands and build empires.