Most companies have social media presences… but do they truly know how to use them in their favor? Here are five steps to follow in order to become to the social media guru of your organization.
1. Keep your content exciting and balanced.
When we manage social media accounts for our clients, we strive to follow the 80/20 rule when posting content, and we recommend that other companies do the same. Following the 80/20 rule means that 80% of what you post is creative, fun, and informative, and only 20% of the content directly promotes your business or brand. Even with the content you post that promotes, try to refrain from sounding aggressive or too sales-driven. Your target audience wants to relate to your page, not feel like they’re being targeted or sold to all the time.
However, the fun and educational content that you share with your organization’s social media audience should still make sense with your business’ brand. For example, sharing monthly horoscopes on Facebook might be appropriate for a lifestyle brand, but probably doesn’t make sense for a business consulting. Looking for some ideas? Try pointing your audience to informative articles or blog posts by leaders and influencers in your industry, linking to events your networking groups are hosting, and sharing photos and videos from activities that your team does together.
2. Use hashtags to your benefit as much as possible… but don’t go overboard.
By using purposeful and precise hashtags, you can attract the market that has the most interest in the subject you’re sharing, and the reach of your post will be greater. Keep in mind that you can use hashtags regardless whether you’re posting a link, photo, video, or article, and you can use hashtags on a variety of platforms. Though Twitter started the hashtag craze, you can now also use hashtags on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn.
While it’s important to use hashtags, make sure they’re relevant to the content you’re sharing. We can’t stress this enough. Not only is your post less likely to reach the people most interested in it, but also if you include too many hashtags, your post may seem spammy. We generally recommend adding 3-4 hashtags on Facebook and Instagram posts, if they’re relevant, and considerably fewer with LinkedIn. For example, if you are an accounting promoting your tax services in the month of February, you would benefit by using hashtags like #Taxes #TaxTime #TaxSeason2017 #TaxConsultant. Not only are these hashtags specific, but they are also not so narrow that no one would ever search them.
3. Strategically plan and post your content.
Companies who post more consistently to social media are seen as being more transparent, trustworthy, and reliable. So, not only do you want to make sure that you’re posting relatively frequently for maximum engagement (at least three times a week), but be relatively consistent about what time of day you post. Find out when your audience is most active on social media by posting content at different times for a month’s period, in the morning, afternoon, evening, and at night. After that month’s time, check how each post performed using a social media analytics tool, whether you check directly on the social media site or use a social management hub like Hootsuite. By analyzing the successes of each post, you can clearly see how your posts performed, determining which time is best for you. In some instances, multiple times of day may perform well, which is quite a bonus!
4. Identify which social media accounts benefit your company most.
Being able to identify where your target audience is most engaged is important when attempting to establish a presence on your social media pages that generates leads, sales, and growth for your company. There are several different ways that you can determine whether a particular social media channel is right for your business, including looking at what age groups and genders are most engaged with each platform and by looking at the tone of your business’ messaging. For example, if your company’s tone is serious and informative and is a B2B model, LinkedIn and Google+ can be key players in spreading your message to your target audience. On the other hand, if you are a creative company who is progressive, thoughtful, upbeat, and just a little quirky (like we think SPM is!), channels such as Twitter Instagram, and Pinterest will generate that target market that is attracted to the aesthetics you provide. In general, Facebook is the most neutral and flexible of the social media sites and is a great channel for most all businesses and companies.
If you’re not sure who your company’s target audience is, though, we strongly suggest that you take the time to dig deep into your brand before investing too much into social media. Overall, your social presence is only as good as your messaging, and it’s hard to develop quality, specific content and link to relevant articles if you don’t know who your audience is.
5. Be responsive and learn from your audience.
A company that pays attention to its audience will be the most successful. Listen and promptly respond to the comments and messages you receive from your followers, but in order to become a true social media guru, you must read between the lines and understand what the analytics of your pages are telling you. You will be able to learn what type of posts your audience engages in and pays attention to most. This can help ultimately plan your strategic marketing plans for months to come. If you are able to accomplish both routes of hearing out your audience, they will trust you, they will continue to support you, and you will find a growing success in the social media management department.