Brands today can’t afford to be absent from social media; indeed, there’s little chance that your company has completely escaped the pressures and opportunities of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram thus far.
But simply being active on social media is not the same thing as having a thriving social presence. That’s something you only achieve through strategy. In this post, we’ll lay out 12 steps for turning your social media activity into something that’s truly value-adding and brand-enhancing.
12 Steps Toward a Stronger Social Media Presence
1. Set the right goals.
Why are you on social media in the first place? It’s critical to answer that question; if you don’t, you’ll have no structure or purpose to your campaign, and no way to tell whether you’re succeeding. We recommend the time-tested SMART approach—that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive.
2. Know your audience.
It’s often said that you can’t give an elevator pitch without knowing who’s in the elevator. Well, you can’t succeed on social media without knowing which social networks your target audience prefers. Use buyer personas to ensure that you’re meeting your audience wherever they are.
3. Humanize your brand.
A good social media presence is relatable. It puts a human face on your business. That means it’s okay to make jokes, to be informal, and to showcase the individual personalities of your team members. Candid, behind-the-scenes team photos can be especially helpful in this regard.
4. Don’t forget to be social.
This has become a bit of a marketer’s cliché, but only because it’s so important, and so easy to forget: Social media is a two-way street, and the most successful brands are the ones that answer questions from their followers, like and retweet other people’s content, etc.
5. Have a schedule for consistent posting.
Your social media accounts won’t generate any kind of traction if you don’t post on a regular basis. An editorial calendar can be a helpful tool for keeping your social activity steady—though of course you can always break in with “urgent” or time-sensitive posts, too.
6. Automate, up to a point.
Automating some of your social postings can make the entire endeavor easier, and less taxing on your staff—but remember what we said about the importance of humanity. Things like customer care and one-on-one interactions really can’t be automated.
7. Don’t sell too hard.
While there’s nothing wrong with promoting your products and services on social media, remember that nobody likes signing onto Facebook or Twitter just to read ads and promotional content. Your primary aims should be helping, engaging, and educating—not just giving your canned sales spiel.
8. Make sure your social profiles are fully optimized.
Whether it’s a one-sentence Twitter byline or a lengthier Facebook bio, most social media sites will allow you some space to tell users who you are and what you’re about. Make sure you take full advantage of this space, and include a few relevant keywords within each profile.
9. Be visual.
While it’s fine to include different types of content in your social media feeds, remember that these platforms are all increasingly visual—and that videos, images, and infographics almost always generate more engagement than standard text or image-free hyperlinks.
10. Don’t be afraid to curate.
One of the perks of social media is that it allows you to establish industry thought leadership for your brand—earning trust and respectability, in the process. To accomplish this, it’s important that you share content from other sources—not just your own company website! Look for credible, non-competitor sources that are pertinent to your field.
11. Don’t forget the hashtags.
Hashtags are critical, allowing your content to show up in searches and to be considered in light of tending topics. Be creative in your hashtag use, but also ensure that your hashtags truly are appropriate for the content you’re sharing.
12. Remember that organic reach may not be enough.
There is certainly value to be found in your organic social media outreach, but to capitalize on that value, you may wish to engage in some paid advertising, as well. While some social networks are very limited and ineffective in their paid ad offerings (Twitter), other social networks offer robust targeting and tremendous value (Facebook, Instagram).
Making the Most of Your Social Media Presence
As you put these tips into place, also make sure that you’re tracking everything, generating reports, and analyzing your data carefully—being mindful of what works and what doesn’t work for your target audience.
Also bear in mind that a comprehensive digital marketing strategy can help you pull all of this together. That’s something we can help you with. Reach out to the enCOMPASS team today, and let’s put together a social media strategy that meets your goals as well as your budget.
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