For many startups, social media is an area that is often done in-house. While we all feel comfortable browsing through our own social feeds, managing your business account is a whole new ball game. In this blog post, we will discuss strategies your business can use, tools of the trade, and best practices for your accounts.
Your Social Strategy
While each industry is different, one thing remains the same across the field. You need a strategy. The first step is deciding which social platforms you want to use. Each platform has a unique audience, and depending on your product or industry, one stream may be better suited for your needs.
“Social media is a marathon, not a sprint,” (Tamsin Fox-Davies – Constant Contact).
Growth doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and consistency in order to grow a brand.
Social media is a noisy place. If you ever browse social media you would agree that it is overwhelmed with information. Naturally, we filter out the noise unless the content appears authentic, engaging, and combined with attractive imagery. Donna Moritz with Socially Sorted claims that your content should be snackable: bite-sized (pun intended) pieces of content that people can easily consume. Your message will get lost in the newsfeed if you’re not delivering quality content; therefore don’t post for the sake of posting.
Create genuine interactions. Simply posting for the sake of posting will be a waste of your time, and can portray your online presence in a lazy or negative light. Tamsin Fox-Davies with Constant Contact states that your social posting should be about interaction with your audience rather than broadcasting your promotions all the time.
Stop pushing promotions. Ruthie Abraham with The Every Girl conveys that “the more you give the more you get. Everyone wants to be noticed, recognized or told they are special and the more you engage with individuals on social media the more they feel memorable.” She also mentions that a common mistake many brands make is that they use social media to push hard sales; instead, Ruthie recommends the following three rules:
- Discuss the benefits of your product, and how it can help the potential customer
- Create a desire for your product, but don’t talk about where to purchase. Your followers are savvy and will find your link if they want to
- Instead of trying to sell your product, sell people on the feeling that your product promises to deliver
In support, keynote speaker Jay Baer agrees “Content that helps is superior to content that sells.”
We encourage you to share a variety of content; don’t just stick to one thing. “Mix it up with images, video, text, sharing other people’s links, sharing our own stuff, and having conversations. It will generate more engagement and is less boring for you!” (Tamsin Fox-Davies – Constant Contact). Catch your audience’s attention with photos, infographics, blogs, and Boomerangs. Have attractive thumbnail images and engaging intros on your live-streams, podcasts, and other videos. Ultimately, you can improve your credibility with testimonials. It may be overwhelming generating content; however, it is much more accessible then you think.
You don’t need expensive equipment to create effective genuine content; often your smartphone can do the trick if you know how to utilize it properly. “Not every video can be shot on your phone, but authentic, timely video can have a high impact even if its production quality is lower. It requires little financial investment, has a short learning curve, and offers high potential return. The key here is speed: Quality phone videos are a perfect fit for sharing stories in the moment,” (Kristen Twiford – Content Marketing Institute). Videos and photos taken with your smartphone can be quickly edited with a variety of apps on your phone or computer.
Focus your content. “It can be far too easy to spread yourself thin on social media. Being active on every platform while building a following and creating effective engagement is probably not possible (nor recommended!). Choose to focus on two or three sites in a powerful and authentic way, rather than having empty profiles on all of them,” (TheEveryGirl).
Overwhelmed? We would love to help you Tell Your Story.
Tools of the Trade
There are a variety of content-generating apps and programs that you can utilize; some free, and some with a premium subscription. Canva and Adobe Spark are both great options to create social content with beautiful imagery with text; both are free, easy to use, and are mobile and computer friendly.
Social Management Posting Managers
Great looking content must be accompanied by a regular schedule of social posting. Remembering to post your minimum weekly posts can be a chore; thankfully there are many social media schedulers out there to help. Some common schedulers are Social Pilot, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social. Do your research which scheduler is best for you. Alternatively, we offer our own scheduler as one of our many services.
You may be delivering great content, but are you getting any results? As stated above, remember social posting is a marathon and not a sprint. Be consistent, and experiment over time. What kind of content does your audience react best to? What days of the week, and what time of day/night works the best for posting? Continue experimenting, review your analytics, and adjust your strategy to be more in sync with your engaging content.
We recommend installing analytics tracking software on to your website such as Google Analytics. While looking through your platforms analytics to see what is happening on the physical post or tweet, having secondary tracking on your website can give you a more complete picture of how you are doing.
Follow the rule of 80/20. Is your feed straight sales posts and tweets? Your audience may be tuning you out. “80% of your social media posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while only 20% should directly promote your business.” (Royster, 2015).
Audience engagement starts with you. Your business should be answering any and all comments or direct messages. These are your potential customers, and by answering and communicating with them, people feel a more personal connection to your business. However, the big caveat to this is to never engage in a negative online battle. As we like to put it, don’t feed the trolls.
Customize your strategy. Each social platform is different and therefore should have a different plan of attack. Your social feeds each serve a different purpose and different audience, and your content should reflect that.
How We Can Help
Overwhelmed juggling too many roles within your business? It can be difficult maintaining your product or service, managing employees, taking care of your bookkeeping, handling your marketing + design, or researching your Smart Positioning for your niche within your market.
“If you want help with social media, think about having someone else schedule your “content-type” posts (e.g. sharing articles), but deal with replies yourself.” (Constant Contact).
We are passionate about optimising your online presence, and truly believe you are your best advocate for answering customer questions or concerns. Social posting can entail photography, videography, post-production editing, scheduling posts, writing copy, blog writing, creating ads, and developing an overall strategy. We have a variety of options to support our clients; from DIY coaching to generating and scheduling all content.
We would love to help you Tell Your Story.
7 Things You Need To Know From Social Media Marketing World #SMMW14, https://sociallysorted.com.au/7-things-social-media-marketing-world-smmw14/
10 Things to Know About Social Media Marketing, https://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-marketing/
10 Things You Need to Know About Social Media, http://theeverygirl.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-social-media/
How to Produce Quick and Effective Video Content With Your Phone, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/10/video-content-phone/
Social Media & the 80/20 Rule: How Not to Alienate Your Audience, http://www.houselens.com/2015/11/18/social-media-rule/
Social Media Faqs: What Marketers Want To Know About Social Media Best Practices, https://www.brafton.com/blog/distribution/social-media-faqs-what-marketers-want-to-know-about-social-media-best-practices/?utm_source=zest.is&utm_medium=referral&utm_term=zst.5ad5f00edd164