Social media is an increasingly critical aspect of brand identity. The idea is to post relevant, interesting content that reaches your customers and prospects, and most importantly to represent your company in the appropriate way. This can be a challenge for social media marketers. Here are six tips guaranteed to help you out with your social media marketing this year:
1. Include Relevant Media – Humans are visual creatures and social media platforms are the perfect places for sharing visual content. When making a Facebook or Google+ post, always try to include a photo, as it naturally draws more followers to looking at your posts. Case in point, Facebook has said that posts with images generate 120% more engagement than text-only posts. The challenge here is finding valuable images. While stock photos can be a nice filler once in a while, people realize that you are blasting out stock images and may unfollow you due to it’s “spammy” nature. Relevancy is key. B2B enterprise marketers use video more than any other tactic, and 71% of small business marketers are using it as part of their content strategy. Videos, infographics, re-sharing images that your customers have shared, and (not so surprisingly) the occasional cat photo are all great ideas to keep engagement and interest high.
2. Pinpoint your Demographic & Social Media Networks – Determine who it is you are trying to reach and THEN develop your social media networks. Facebook and Twitter should be automatic for B2B and B2C businesses. LinkedIn is more for B2B relationship engagement, however it is important to have a LinkedIn Company Page regardless of your target demo.
While more young folks are turning their attention to other social networks like Instagram, 86% of 18-29 year olds who use the Internet are on Facebook as of September 2013, according to Business Insider. The proportion is only 67% across all age groups, but the 45-54 year old age bracket has seen 46% growth since year-end 2012. In the United States, 73% of folks with incomes above $75K are on Facebook compared to 17% on Twitter and 13% on Pinterest.
3. Promote Great Posts – If you are a marketer on Facebook, you may have noticed in the past couple of months that your organic reach has decreased significantly. You’re not alone; Facebook changed its settings recently for marketers. Why? You guessed it… money. If you want to reach more followers, Facebook is going to make you pay. If you are willing to spend some mula, promote (or “Sponsor”) posts that have powerful images and a powerful message. You can also do the same on Twitter. As long as you’re paying for a tweet, it will show up in folks’ feeds long past its original post date and you’ll find that people will likely continue to engage you.
4. Develop Your “Voice” – Those running the social media platforms for a company have very important and challenging jobs; not only must they push out valuable, relevant content, but they must do it with a consistent voice. Determine which platforms are appropriate for certain content and write out your posts in a way which people can relate to. Remember, you are people – not robots!
5. Do Not Spam Your Followers – While some content may be relevant to push out on every one of your social media platforms, do not send everything out at the same time. If you have followers that overlap on Twitter and Facebook, for example, they won’t want to see the same exact post when they log into both of their accounts on their lunch breaks. It’s okay to push out the same content on multiple platforms, just not at the same time. Additionally, try to stick to the 4-1-1 rule, which was created for Twitter but applies to most social media platforms. Tweet or post 4 pieces of relevant original content from others and re-tweet 1 relevant tweet for every 1 self-promoting tweet / post.
Another great question to ask yourself before posting is, “Does this enhance our brand, foster conversation, and build good will?”
6. Monitor, Monitor, Monitor – Measure the engagement on each of your posts and from the folks who are trying to get your attention. With Twitter, for example, it may be in your best interest to retweet positive reactions of your product / service from customers, but as aforementioned be sure not to spam your followers with too many self-serving posts. Respond to those in a timely fashion who are inquiring about your company, and make sure to also respond to those with critical feedback. While the goal is to have happy customers all the time, there will also be someone who is not happy. If someone has a problem that can be fixed, reach out to them individually and figure out what you can do to help. Regardless, be sure that you are tracking all social media platforms consistently and are engaging folks. This will only prove to further enhance your brand and keep the people happy.
Happy Posting in 2014!