With over 2.3 billion active social networking users in the world today, it seems the steady growth of social media is showing no signs of slowing down. Social media has become a critical component in brand building, allowing a company’s message to be communicated to the right people within just a few clicks.
If social media features as part of your promotional strategy, it’s likely you already have several company accounts across a number of channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Certain posts may be attracting ‘likes’ and your follower count may be on the rise, but social media isn’t just a numbers game. After all, anyone can buy followers: engaging an audience online takes time and commitment.
It may seem daunting, but these five tips should set you on the right track to social media success.
- Set your goals
Many brands make the easy mistake of creating social media profiles without knowing exactly what they want to achieve in doing so. It’s this “can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach that tends to result in stagnant social profiles, so ensuring that your social media strategy that falls in line with your marketing and PR objectives is a no-brainer. Setting clear goals now will allow you to measure your success on each channel.
- Know your brand
Social media is a digital stage for your brand to share a message to the masses. It’s an opportunity for the business to gain constant exposure, so use it wisely and think carefully about how you wish your brand to be perceived by your audience: in the know? Down to Earth? Efficient, reliable? Whatever it is, your content should mirror this entirely.
- Know your audience
Once you feel confident about why you’re posting, consider who you’re posting for.
If you’re uncertain, create a buyer persona that details the traits and demographics of your ideal customer and how that relates to their use of social media. Gaining an understanding of your target audience and how they behave online takes time, but you can begin by looking at the kind of content they tend to post, like and share.
- Keep your ear to the ground
Whether it’s a ten-minute browse of LinkedIn during the morning commute or a scroll through some industry news during lunch, setting aside some time to keep up to date with new stories, trends and developments that will be of interest to your prospective clients is essential in staying ahead of the curve. If you haven’t done so already, set up Google Alerts to receive relevant stories to your inbox, and remember to use the search function on Twitter to monitor discussion around certain terms or hashtags.
- Engage in conversations (and create them, too)
Social media is a two-way street. It’s easy to feel demotivated by the lack of response to a post promoting a product or service, but just as in real life, ‘ME ME ME’ rarely makes for a good conversation. Share the stories you’ve heard or insights you’ve learned to start a debate on LinkedIn, or join an existing discussion on a forum or Twitter. Not only will this drive traffic to your site, it will help to position your brand as a key player in the industry and keep you front of mind to the connections that matter.
Above all, remember that when it comes to social media, it’s quality over quantity every time. One thought-provoking post can go viral while 100 retweets fall on deaf ears. Take care on crafting each post and continually remind yourself of why you are posting, who you are posting for and how it reflects on your brand.
If you need support with your social media management, take a look at how we help businesses just like you.