Some clients think that on the surface, social media seems like a fairly simple concept. Create your accounts on Facebook and Twitter, then post some content and that’s it, right? Well it’s not necessarily that easy…
The first few steps are pretty simple, but actually building up your brand so you have significant influence and reach within your industry takes time and a lot of effort. We understand that it’s easy to move social media to the bottom of your to-do list but as the world has essentially moved online, it’s necessary to log on and stay relevant.
Social media is an on-going marketing channel and can play a huge part in your strategy. Take a look at a few of our key pointers to help grow your social media presence (the right way).
Your first step with any marketing strategy is to set your goals and objectives. S.M.A.R.T goals mean that your goals are specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. An example of a S.M.A.R.T goal for social media would be: ‘’Increasing our Facebook following by 15% by the end of the second quarter’’.
There’s really no point creating some killer content if you don’t understand your audience, is there? So, you should start off by finding out as much as possible about your audience and what they want to see from you. Existing customers might be interested in new products/services that you offer, team news, case studies. Whereas future customers; all of your products/services or advice articles. Once you’ve done this you will be able to use that knowledge to guide your social media efforts and create a more tailored experience.
One of the most important things with social media is that you get an understanding of which social networks your audience prefers, that way you can adapt each of your platforms for your different types of customer. With so many different platforms out there, it can be tricky to know which to use for what.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the top 3 platforms, so let’s start with them. If high engagement and reach are what you want to achieve, Facebook and Twitter are your best channels for this. Users tend to follow more Twitter profiles than they do Facebook pages so it’s more than likely your content will be seen more on Facebook than Twitter. LinkedIn is more of a professional platform so the best way to optimise this platform is to showcase your internal news, job vacancies and also join industry groups and get involved in conversations where you could offer advice where relevant.
So you’ve created your goals and objectives, you know who you’re talking to and where to post your content. But do you actually know what you want to say or do? Well, there are two types of content, curated and created; it’s good to have a mixture of both to post on your social platforms. Curated content is the process of gathering existing information like blogs, news articles or case studies that are relevant to what you want to say on your social. Created content is when you create your own content from scratch.
Creating your own content is a big plus for you as not only does that content have your name on it and belongs to you and only you, but it can also drive traffic. Google loves original content (and who doesn’t want to make Google happy) especially if it’s useful and SEO friendly. Also by creating your own content, you are becoming a thought leader that others want to follow. This can make your brand aspirational and highly desirable to customers.
Curated content can help you to build relationships as it can break the ice and makes the introduction with industry influencers. One of the main benefits to curated content is the time-saving aspect. If you’re creating content for a number of different platforms it can be hard to create original content for all of them. So by using curated content it can help you save a lot of time.
Scheduling platforms like Hootsuite are great when you have multiple posts to schedule. You’re able to schedule posts across multiple platforms, add links and track your engagement. There are some that are specific for only one platform like TweetDeck, which is a social media dashboard for the management of Twitter. Facebook allows you to schedule your own posts. Once you’ve created your post you then have the option to either share it now or schedule it for a later date or different time.
The next step is one of my pet hates! You’ve done all the research needed and posted all of your amazing content (curated and created of course) and that’s it. You can’t do all that hard work and just forget about it, that’s not the point of social media. The clues in the name, BE SOCIAL! Engage with your audience, competitors, and other industry leaders. Get involved with relevant conversations and interesting topics. Show your customers you aren’t just a robot.
Finally you need to ensure you measure and analyse your social platforms. Keep an eye out for what is working really well for you and what isn’t. Create goals to measure your progress against (new likes, new followers, and content engagement).
One key thing to remember is, if you want to get ahead on social media you need to focus on building relationships with your audience and also other industry leaders as it’s always great to get a like or retweet from another company or even a competitor. Your social strategy should be long term, sustainable results rather than looking for a quick win. Keep the focus on helping your audience and you will grow an engaged following.
In the meantime get in touch to find out how The Write Angle can help you get the most from social media. Call 01772 450990 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 14, 2017 - This article was written by April Manning