In 2018, investing in social media marketing is essential when it comes to having a fully-integrated digital marketing approach. Social media can help you reach new audiences, increase brand awareness and generate new leads. However, publishing successful content on social media takes trial and error as well as a lot of patience. Many times, businesses abandon their social media platforms because they don’t immediately see a positive ROI from their efforts. But, before you throw in the towel, be sure to take a step back and evaluate your process.
Looking to strengthen your social media presence? Here are seven tips to consider:
1. The shorter the better
The reality of our digital age is that people don’t give a great deal of time towards something they’re reading online. One study even concluded that humans are now considered to have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Yes, really. When drafting posts for your social media accounts be sure that they are short, sweet, visual and engaging.
The purpose of social media is not to fully explain all of the services that your business provides, but rather to give snippets and tease viewers to follow back to your website. When done correctly, social media posts will act as the first touch point with consumers, converting them from a latent observer into a follower of your brand.
2. Smartphone compatible
Understanding that people often use their smartphones on the go is an important consideration when posting to social media. Putting effort into a market that only gives you a few seconds before moving on is a challenge, but there are ways around it:
Never make a post that doesn’t include an image or video. Text alone doesn’t always retain the attention of readers scrolling by.
Include subtitles on your videos. This allows viewers to engage with the content even when they can’t hear the sound.
Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly so that when readers follow back to learn more, they’re able to have full functionality from their smartphones.
3. Tell stories
Remember, social media is the hub where people come online to connect with what’s going on and it’s more likely that they will follow a page if they feel a personal connection to the brand. While sales may be your top priority, your social media brand has to post engaging content to gain and retain followers.
Share insights about your business; how did you come to be, what new projects are you working on, do you have any new hires or staff anniversaries? Providing behind-the-scenes insights on what your business is really about will help give value to your pages and develop follower loyalty.
4. What works for one platform won’t always work for another
One of the biggest errors people make on social media is thinking that one post will work across all platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Snapchat are great mediums for sharing your message, but it’s important to understand that each one is different and unique. From picture and video sizes, style of captions and even differing trending hashtags, each platform calls for a different way to deliver your message. The sweet-spot for Twitter is at 100 characters, while on Facebook it’s only 40.
Also, it’s vital to know your audience! Understanding your target demographic is essential when deciding which platform to use. Not sure which is best for your business? Here’s a handy infographic which breaks down the stats behind each site.
Remember to switch it up and keep things interesting. If you have a customer that follows you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, reading an identical message three times in one day can be boring.
5. Two-way communication
Yes, get social on social media! Even if you’re posting great content, it takes engagement, open communication and frequent media monitoring to be successful. To create a positive customer service experience across your social media platforms, your reader should feel as attended to when interacting with your social media pages as they would if they were in-store. Take time to answer questions, offer resources and be apart of the conversation.
Having trouble getting followers to interact? Be sure to include a call to action! The best way to get a response from someone is by asking a question. Encourage readers to share their experiences, comment their opinions or tag a friend who can relate. Users log on for social interaction — be sure your posts are inviting discussion.
Cross-promoting with other businesses and organizations is a great way expand your reach. Not only does this open your followers up to your community partners, but it allows your partner’s followers to be exposed to your brand as well. Think of businesses that are near your location, groups in the community your business volunteers with and brands that complement yours. This “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” approach of working in tandem is a tremendously easy and helpful way to make a bigger impact across the social scene.
So, you think you know hashtags? While you might be tempted to skim over this section thinking you already know it all, the reality is that even after years of popularity, hashtags still aren’t used properly.
From a high level, you know that hashtags are used to tag your post to the bigger conversation (for instance, an interior designer might use #dreamhouse in a post), but strategically identifying your competitor’s keywords will allow you to utilize your social media pages much more efficiently. Take the time to research what’s trending in your industry to better understand what your specific brand and location should tag in order to gain traction. Looking for best practices? HootSuite offers some great insights on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to hashtags.
And there you have it! Seven easy and entirely organic ways to strengthen your social media. With each post, ask yourself, “What’s going to make someone stop to read this while scrolling by?” While it takes time and practice, following these tips will help bring you in the right direction.