What’s your social media strategy? Do you even have one? Is it working?
Variety is the spice of social
There are many different social media platforms to choose from, and often some of the smaller ones are overlooked. The big three tend to be Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – but are these the sites where your visitors and/or customers hang out?
New “trendy” platforms pop up all the time, and some are geared to fashion, some to tech, some to food, and others to almost anything you can think of.
All of these categories can be found on the big three, but it might be worth thinking laterally if you aren’t getting the results you desire.
LinkedIn is a social platform, dedicated to business – when was the last time you posted on LinkedIn? It is not a platform that most people think of using for creating content, but it is a place where content is consumed, and high quality content is welcomed and appreciated.
You can be everywhere
But is it worth being everywhere? Again it depends on your demographic. One thing that you need to consider is the use of social media management apps like Hootsuite. It’s very easy to set up one of these apps, or use some form of automation, in order to post on one platform and have your content duplicated to all the others that you use. But is that wise? Twitter likes short burst of information, where Instagram and Facebook are more suited to longer posts, possibly with multiple images. Hashtags don’t always translate well from one platform to another. There’s no search penalty or anything like that for using duplicate content on multiple social media platforms, but there is a user penalty – why would they need to follow you on Facebook and Twitter if they get the same content on both?
Using the meta
Hashtags can be your friend, and occasionally your worst enemy. If you can spot a trend (quite easy on Twitter) you can add the hashtag to your post, and as long as it relevant, you should get a boost from using it. However, be careful what you use. Hashtags cannot contain spaces, and if there’s a double meaning. When Susan Boyle released an album a few years ago, her management company decided to have a party to celebrate with a hashtag to match. Susan Album Party when rendered as a hashtag has no punctuation, no spaces between the words. It didn’t take long for SusanAlbumParty to become SusAnalBumParty…
In order to measure the success of your social media campaign, you will need to know what you are trying to achieve. What are your goals? Do you want to get lots of followers? Or increase your sales? Are you trying to create a rabid fanbase that hangs on your every post?
Knowing what you are aiming for will help you construct your posts. If you are looking for more followers, follow trends and hashtags, and produce populist content. If you are looking to increase sales, include details of the items you are selling, but more importantly, explain what problems they solve and why they are the best solutions you will find. If you want a rabid fanbase, make your brand cool, make sure you have opinions, and give them something to look forward to and enjoy in every post, whether it’s a message, photo, or product reveal.
Without goals, you won’t have a clear idea of where you are headed, and your social media output will be tepid. You want to be the hotshot, the cool kid, the one everyone wants to be like.
Know Your Fans
Imagine you sell weight loss and fitness products designed for women. Will they want to see before and after shots of men losing weight? Maybe, maybe not, but it is unlikely to increase your sales or demonstrate what your products do. Make sure your content is designed for the audience that will receive it. Are they men or women? Young or old? Tech-savvy or tech-illiterate?
Imitation is Flattery
If you still don’t know which way to go, check out the social media feeds of your competitors. See how many shares and likes they get. Emulate their posting style, publish things in similar categories, try and do what they do – but do it better. Your aim is to step out of their shadow and become the number one brand in the market – you just need a helping hand to get started.
Sharing is caring
And while you are at it, don’t be afraid to share or retweet messages and posts added by your competition. Interactions with other brands are important, as it may open you up to social media users who hadn’t heard of you before.
When you receive messages, are mentioned in posts, or tagged in pictures, take the time to respond. But always respond in a positive manner, even if the original post was negative. Interaction with followers is important as it lets them know you care, but interaction with detractors is also important as it shows others the way you handle yourself and are able to treat adversity. More importantly, if handled correctly, you could turn your biggest hater into your greatest cheerleader.
Review and adapt
Choose a time period in which to review your progress. Different strategies will work better for different markets, and reviewing where you are and what you’ve done every few weeks or months will give you an indication of which way it’s going. If your numbers are improving, keep at it. If they aren’t, change it up a little, and see how it goes until your next review.