With so many social media platforms to choose from, it is easy to get carried away and take on more than you can chew. Before signing up to a new account, think about whether this is an effective way of engaging with your customers.
Rather than signing up for every social media platform possible, start by going – what Business Insider refers to as – platform native and just focus on one or two accounts. Think about what kind of presence you would like to have and the types of product or service you offer? What services most of your audience use? Whether your product is best represented as video, in photos, text, audio or a mix of all of these. Whatever you decide, try to limit yourself to 5 accounts as no full-time employee would ever have enough time to effectively manage more than this.
Remember, social media is a two-way street and should be used as a tool for engagement rather than a soapbox. By focusing your efforts it will allow you to have more time to build a relationship with your readers and develop your brand which will, in turn, create a more authentic network based on quality interaction rather than a quantity of disengagement. Otherwise, you can risk becoming annoying and just add to the stream of noise, which will only push away your potential customers. It is really important to try and engage your audience and to get them to respond and react to your content in some way.
Here are my tips on getting the most out of your social media accounts.
Plan your posts
First and foremost make sure you create a social media strategy and outline your tone of voice, how you would like your brand to be perceived and what kind of content you would like to post. Make a document, a simple excel spreadsheet which lists relevant links, shareable content which you can reference.
Post regularly to maintain the interest of your following but don’t spread yourself too thin. Remember quality over quantity. Research the optimum times of engagement for your particular audience to get the most out of your post. CoSchedule recently compiled their own data and compared them with 23 studies from other social media platforms to find the optimum time to post your content.
Be a professional
Don’t treat your business accounts like your personal account. What your friends and family might find interesting and be supportive of, may not be what your potential customer will find interesting.
Use images and video
Where you can include images and video as this will help catch your audience’s eye and help them digest the information more easily.
Build business alliances that complement your own business but are not a direct competitor. Engage and support each other’s posts to share networks and audience reach. You never know when you might need an ally.
At a certain point, once your account has got to a certain size you will encounter trolls. Don’t take it personally and don’t fall into the trap of entertaining them. Always handle them professionally and know when to respond publicly, when to let it go or to delete their comment (if you can).
Know when to switch off
Don’t fall into the trap of syncing your phone to your social media accounts as before you know it you will come 24/7 and taking work home with you is never healthy.
Educate and entertain
Don’t use your social media platform as a sales platform, capture your audience more creatively and provide useful insights, educational information or entertainment.
Here are some of our earlier blogs which might be able to help you:
- 5 ways to be more memorable
- Value of visual content
- Being human – the vital part of marketing
- Do you have customers or an audience
- How to build relationships using the Benjamin Franklin Effect
Check your spelling
Grammar matters, so check and double check as a small typo can not only be embarrassing but can also cause a whole world of hurt. Have you ever left the L out of Public Service…. Well these days you simply have no excuse as there are free programmes out there like Grammarly which will make sure those cheek blushing moments don’t happen.
Analyse your impact
Create some realistic goals of what you would like to achieve through social media so you can evaluate and justify the amount of time and money you put into creating content. There are many free tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, Buzzsumo, Google Marketing Platform, Google Alerts and so on which can you help you. If your posts are not performing particularly well, evaluate them and work out whether you can improve them or is it time to call it quits.
Once you have established a good presence on one platform then consider whether you could replicate that on another platform. Remember, don’t spread yourself too thin, keep it simple and stay consistent.
Image Credit: Group of people, dressed in black, in stretching stances Courtesy of Pexels