Social media is always a great way to reach your audience. You are probably already using it to promote your business, but are you seeing success?
If you would like to get the most out of your efforts, here are 10 best practices to boost your social media presence today.
1. Know your audience. This is vital to any marketing activity you embark upon. Knowing your audience is the first step to effectively reaching them. Social media is a great way to get to know them. Start with audience research to identify who they are and what they are looking for. Pay attention to things like age, location, buying habits, hobbies, and life stage. Once you know who you are trying to reach, you can fully utilize your social media platforms. Create a statement identifying your target market to guide you in developing a strategy. Test to see what works and then try it again. Stay flexible and be willing to change.
2. Create a strategy. To get a return on investment (ROI), you need a plan. Make sure you have S.M.A.R.T. goals, know your audience, create your accounts, and set up a calendar and posting plan to support your goals.
3. Choose the right networks. Not all social media platforms are created equal and not all of them will be right for your business. Find the ones where your audience is. How do you do this? By researching. Look at the demographics for each channel and determine which one is more likely to bring your success. Experiment with different content and engagement on your channels to see what works best for your goals. Don’t waste time on platforms that aren’t helping you reach your target market. Ask yourself if your audience is on the channels you are using, how they are using the channels, if you are connecting with them, and if it’s helping your achieve your goals.
4. Monitor your industry and brand. Make sure to follow hashtags that apply to your industry and brand. To gain valuable insight, pay attention to what people are saying on social media. Don’t just listen, but analyze and respond appropriately. This is a great way to discover customers’ frustrations and determine how you can best address them.
5. Study your competition. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing to see what you should (or shouldn’t) do. Monitor your competitors by looking at who they are, what marketing strategy they are using, who their audience is, what social media channels they are on, how often they engage, and any threats they may bring to your business. Understanding your competition and how their audience perceives them can help you determine how your audience thinks of you. You can then identify pain points and figure out ways your business can solve them.
6. Change your message for different networks. It can seem easier and more convenient to post the same message across all your social channels, but tailoring messages to each channel is more effective. It’s fine to start with the same message and make some tweaks. Alternating messages shows your audience that you are paying attention to them and their needs. It’s also important to pay attention to the correct time, frequency, and hashtags for each post and platform.
7. Switch up your posts. Make sure to switch up your posts with different subject matter. One way to do this is by following the social media rule of thirds, which means 1/3 of posts will promote your business, 1/3 of posts will share industry-related information, and 1/3 of posts will be more personal to build brand equity. Sharing content will help you set yourself apart from competition and show your audience that you know your industry and can provide them with the expertise they need. Mixing in some behind-the-scenes content will show transparency and help establish a relationship and engagement with your audience.
8. Respond quickly. Monitor your social media accounts for comments and @mentions and make sure to respond promptly. Make sure your audience knows you are present on your channels and you are paying attention to any comments or concerns they may have. Don’t simply “post and ghost,” but join in on the conversation. Don’t skip this important engagement practice to cultivate relationships with your target audience.
9. Use the right tools. With so many social media networks, tools, and apps, how do you know which one is right? Start with the networks you know will work for your business and audience and then implement the tools that are best for your business. There are so many options to try until you find what works best for your needs and the needs of your audience. Make your job easier and boost your pages by choosing some of these tools.
10. Measure, adjust, repeat. Finally, don’t forget to test your social media strategy by using analytics to measure your results, adjust, and come up with a new plan when needed. There are always changes and fresh ways to approach your social strategy, so continue with what’s working and change what isn’t. Most platforms have their own analytics tools that you can use to measure engagement. There are also paid analytics tools you can use to simultaneously monitor all your channels. Pay attention to things like how many times your posts were viewed, how many unique views they had, the number of clicks on your link, or the number of times your profile has been visited. These metrics will give you a good idea of where you stand and where you want to go.
Have you tried any of these best practices? If so, we would like to hear what has worked. If you feel overwhelmed with social media, give us a call. We can create a customized plan to help you make the most of your marketing efforts.