Social Media may in fact be the key to your success online, that isn’t something new for you to hear. People seem to think that only the younger crowds will be accessed and it is a waste of time to be on the social media train.
However, according to Pew Research Center, 82% of people ranging from 30-49 years old use some kind of social networking site. Now what does that mean to you? It means social networking sites are the key to having an online presence, but you have to do more than just have them, you have to use them. You have to create a strategy that will allow you to reach people more efficiently. It is more than just informing people that you are having a sale on a product or service, or even promoting a certain product. It is reaching out to your audiences with useful information, making them want to engage with your company and you.
It sounds so simple, so why am I struggling? Here is some of the best advice for you to apply on your networks…
It is said over and over again, consistency is key.
That is never more true than when posting on social media and creating a campaign. It is imperative that you aren’t just sharing quality content once in a while, you need to be sharing it frequently.
You have to be careful with this though, you don’t want to be flooding someone’s feed with your posts, but you need to be staying relevant. Because every industry is different, you will need to find out what works best for yours. The most reliable way to do this is simply by following others in your industry and taking notes; like when they post and how long their posts are in length. If you want to take finding your target audience to the next level, you can use Audiense, they will do all the work for you to understand your audience, and how to engage them most effectively.
Knowing your audience will help you with knowing what and even when to post, but we all know sometimes it is less that we don’t know when to post, and its more we don’t have time to do it when we should. Well, programs like HootSuite and Buffer allow you to manage multiple network accounts in one space. You can also schedule your posts for all your networks at once, so you don’t have to try and get on at the exact time that your posts will gain the most engagements.
It is easy to get caught up in all the day-to-day run around, so planning ahead can help you stay on track and know what to expect in coming days.
Something simple to do, and my personal favorite, is to make a content calendar. Sit down with your team and plan the next week (or more) on a calendar. Include topics or points of interest you want to cover for that week and break it down day by day. If you are able to, make that consistent, have every day be something specific and carry that over every week.
Doing this allows you to be consistent with your posts and you’ll be able to work more effectively when you know what you should be working towards. Even something as simple as writing out tomorrows to-do’s on a sticky note can help with stress. John Maxwell a well respected mentor in leadership development says, “Without a plan, you’re going nowhere.” Whether it is for the next week, or the next day, planning ahead can save you time and stress of not knowing what to expect.
Understand How Social Media Works
A common mistake when it comes to social media is simply not understanding that every network is different. Just because an outlet is popular, does not mean it will work for your company.
Bob Mangat, a respected social media strategist, says, “I think social media is an extremely effective tool, but a lot of people who say it doesn’t work, I think, are not using it right. People are not focused on where their market is. Before starting anything online, you need to have a strategy down pat to go after your target market.”
It is easy to be on all the platforms, it is even easy to be posting on them, but whom are you posting to? You have to know who is reading those posts on each network and what they are expecting to be seeing. For example, Company A, who hosts events may do better on a platform similar to Facebook where it can post upcoming events than Company B who carries multiple products and wants to feature products. However, company B may do better on a platform such as Instagram, which allow them to feature their products in a more attractive way than Facebook allows.
Take the time to figure out where your prospective customers are and learn how those platforms will benefit you. Once you know this, you can begin strategizing how you will reach your target market. It is well worth investing the time to understand which network your audience is on and how you can use it effectively to build your business.
Content is key, which is all you will hear when it comes to social media strategies, because it is one of the main reasons why campaigns fail. I am going to walk you through 3 key things to keep in mind when creating content.
Know your audience
You can’t have a successful campaign, or business for that matter, if you don’t know whom you’re selling or talking to. You may have the best product in the world, but if you aren’t communicating to the right audience, it doesn’t matter. Your content needs to be directed towards who will be reading it, so take the time to know who that will be. If you’re a tech company, then make sure when you’re sharing content that it relates back to your industry. Don’t post about an upcoming fashion show if your readers are looking to be reading about the technology behind the newest iPhone.
If you and 4 other companies are posting the same content, why would I want to share, like, or comment yours? This may be one of the most important things to remember when you go to make your next blog. To succeed you must be different, your content should separate you from your competitors. Take the time to research a topic in depth, and then add your own spin on it. Make it personalized to your readers and add personal experiences in the content. For example, if the original post is “3 Ways Your Business Can Save Money” change it to “3 Ways Dallas Businesses Saved Money.”
If you are struggling to find ideas, read Search Engine Journal’s article for help!
Take time to listen
It is easy to get caught up in posting and sharing, but what about the people who have been commenting and sharing those unique posts you’ve been doing? Take the time once or twice a week to sit down and interact back. Whether it is personally messaging them to say thank you, or simply commenting back “Thanks!” for their grateful comments, it goes a long way to show there’s a person behind the screen.
Know The Numbers
As important as everything above is, none of it matters if results just aren’t showing. You have determined your audience, you found the ideal network to deliver your content, but are you using all the new information effectively?
You need to be continuously monitoring the analytics of it all to make sure your content is efficiently being connected to. Are people sharing your blogs? Are people actually opening the webpage? Are they going to other sections on your website? How many people are engaging in it? How many people aren’t? The list of questions you can, and should ask yourself is endless. You need to be tracking the analytics of your post to make sure you aren’t talking to a wall. And of course so you aren’t wasting time or money.
Here are some FREE tools to help you discover how efficient your content is:
Want more help to succeed on your Social Media platforms? Contact us for consultations!