The influence that social media has had on our culture has been profound. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has the right to share it. The constant stream of information can sometimes be overwhelming, but it is important to know how to harness the positive powers of these vast communities. Within each platform there is a group of people that your brand can connect with and flourish in. As with any other form of Inbound Marketing, the key is directing your content and capitalizing on opportunities. Let’s take a look at a few tips to make sure you are taking advantage of all the content you publish on social media.
1. Be Native, Not Naive
Every social media platform wants to help its users connect, but much like the various cultures in the world, they each have their own style. Too many small/medium businesses push content to all the platforms without paying attention to the way they are communicating. Twitter is a stream of information used for mostly informal conversations. LinkedIn is a professional, business network. You can’t treat them the same. The community recognizes authenticity. It also recognizes fake and lazy. In order for them to digest your message, it has to be authentic.
2. Know your audience
Your audience is present on social media. It’s no question. The question is how you will choose communicate with them. After researching the types of people interested in your brand, you can categorize your basic customers. The message to each type of customer is different, so personas will help you be specific about the way you create content. You might target a high level executive with one type of content on LinkedIn, and create excitement about an event for a catering company on Facebook. You want to target people and be visible on most networks, but know and be most active where your customers are most active.
3. Timing is Everything
By this point, you should know that each social platform plays by its own rules. The timing of your posts is crucial. It can mean the difference in 50 people seeing your content, or 500 seeing it. Hubspot created a great infographic that has best and worst times to post on a few of the major social media platforms. These are general guidelines. If your research says the majority of your audience is checking their social media at different times, do what works best for your company! That’s the beauty of it. Social media is a 24 hour connection tool that spans across all times zones. Use that power.
4. Make a schedule
It’s important to set a weekly or monthly schedule to help you coordinate when and where your content is being distributed. This ensures no long lapses in interaction and helps keep everyone on your team on track. You can use Google Calendar to organize, or use a social tool like Buffer & Hootsuite to automate posts. The more organized your content calendar, the less time you will waste figuring out what and when to post. Your followers will also appreciate some sense of order. Posting about natural gases one day and then carpet removal the next might confuse your followers. Be consistent.
5. Explore other networks
There are several social networks like Facebook and Instagram that you just have to be consistent on to successfully get your brand to the masses. However, it’s important to know which networks your company is best suited for. If you blog a lot and are providing valuable content through them, you should probably be a part of a blogging community like Medium. Industry specific directories are a great addition to Yelp and Google campaigns.
6. Set SMART goals
In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of goal setting. This applies to all areas of life and business if you want to be successful. Social media campaigns are no different. From the outset, your goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Your first goal may be to build your basis of followers to a certain number in a specific amount of time. Next, could be to target a certain average amount of engagement per post. Over time, your goals with change. Be flexible and don’t be too discouraged if you miss one deadline or something takes a little bit longer than you thought. Keep going. Learn from mistakes.
7. Be dedicated
It’s easy to say that you are committed to something and then only do it every once in a while, but we all know that doesn’t bring success. Lots of businesses were scared of the social media marketplace for a long time because they saw it as a fad. That is no longer the case and it is obvious that social media is here to stay. Your company needs a dedicated budget or employee to handle the daily grind that is social media. If that isn’t an option, schedule a monthly strategy time and daily implementation times. The more consistent your effort, the more consistent your growth will be.
8. Be relational
It’s important to always remember that social media is based on the ability to connect with other people. If someone has interacted with your brand or asked you a question on your blog, take the opportunity to engage that customer. People don’t like being ignored in real life, social media is no different. Also, don’t shy away from mistakes or controversy. Use the negative space to be a customer service champion, and it will turn into a positive case study that everyone can see.
9. Test your work
There are lots of benefits to using an Inbound Strategy in your online marketing, but one of the best is that you can test every aspect. Social media is no different. Most platforms now have analytic built right in and you can track things like engagement, clicks, views, and many more. By systematically assessing this data on a monthly basis (at least), you can start tailoring your campaigns. Start small and then scale your budget once you know what works.
Social media can be a powerful tool if your brand uses it to its full capability. Having testable goals and always remembering to be relational is the platform for success. Nektur Marketing has helped various companies hone their social media campaigns and driven conversations into conversions. We know what it takes to be successful in an ever-changing social landscape. If you have any questions or want more information on how your brand can be successful with social media, click the button below to sign up for a Free Social Media Consultation.