When you have no idea where to start, social media can be really difficult to nail. It seems like it would be NBD, but there’s way more to it than you think. Right now, you probably suck at it or at least think you do but that doesn’t have to be the case forever.
In fact, there are a lot of practical tips that can help you improve your social media game fairly quickly. If you want to start generating solid results in terms of community engagement, traffic and more customers for your business, here are some of the things you can do.
Have a strategy
It’s not enough to just start posting whatever; you need to do so with a clear plan and a strategy. You should know who you are targeting, how and why – are you trying to get your name out there? Increase engagement? Increase sales? Establish trust for the brand within the community? All your content should be created with your strategy in mind.
Building a social media marketing strategy can definitely be daunting so it’s worth using the services of a social media expert to create your plan. Hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Not only will they be able to create an effective media strategy for your business, but you’ll also learn the ropes from them and see what works and why.
Yes there will be a cost associated but you should think of it as an important investment in your business and your marketing and growth plans.
Post at the right times
Look, you can’t just post all willy-nilly; there’s an art to posting at the perfect time. Well, not really, it’s more of a science. What you need to do here is study your analytics – who is your core audience? When are they online? When are they most engaged? When are they most likely to view, like, or comment?
This information is incredibly valuable, so use it to your advantage. Your posting schedule should a) be regular, and b) be based on this analytical information giving you the low-down on your audience’s social media habits.
Pick the right social media platforms
You may not be aware, but not all social media platforms are the same. Sure, they’re similar in that they all pretty much work the same, but the purpose, audience, and “culture” are different.
You need to identify the right platform for the business you’re marketing – the main ones you’ll want to look at are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest can also be relevant to your interests and excellent ways to engage with your audience and give them quality content.
At the same time, if you are opting to post on multiple social media platforms, don’t make the mistake of posting the same content on every platform. That only makes it seem like you can’t be bothered to put in the effort to tailor your approach to different audiences. Plus, you’re ensuring that it’ll fall on deaf ears.
Tailor your content, depending on where you’re posting. Twitter doesn’t care about your long posts about the importance of family, but Facebook will eat that up. Take some time to study the vibe of each of these places and then create your content with that in mind.
Work on your brand “voice”
And speaking of picking the right platform, you also need the right “voice”; that is, the tone in which your posts are written. This tone needs to be consistent, recognizable, and in line with your audience and your brand.
For example, if you’re selling life insurance, you don’t want to have that kind of shady, slightly inappropriate persona on social media, because that will just confuse your audience, and perhaps even offend them. Along the same lines, if you’re catering to a younger audience and are a fashion brand or something like that, you should try to lighten up the tone and be a bit more casual.
Make the effort to actively engage with your audience
Posting content means nothing unless you also engage with your audience. The role of social media is not just to sell (in fact, you should be doing less of that), but to give you a platform to reach out to your audience. They should feel like your social media presence gives them a chance to get to know you better and connect to your brand identity.
That’s why it’s crucial to start conversations, answer comments, and post personal, light-hearted content. If you’re just a hollow brand account who sells, sells, sells, no one will come to your page, because that stuff is boring and irritating.
Have a plan in case things go south
You don’t have to be a “problematic” brand or person to end up with a PR storm on your hands. It’s easy enough to respond to someone a bit abruptly or try and be funny and it backfires then BAM! – People are flooding your page, pitchforks in hand and your hard earned reputation as a great small business is damaged with one dodgy Tweet. What do you do?
If you already have a plan, you’ll be able to stay cool. Issue a pre-approved apology, respond directly to people commenting on your page, and don’t try to blame someone else or come up with a ridiculous explanation. Just apologize, promise to do better, and move on. Whatever you do, don’t stay silent, because that is so much worse.
Okay, so maybe you’re not killing it right now, but you can, in the future. Social media isn’t nearly as easy as it seems, so there’s a learning curve you need to hop on to get better at it.
All you have to do is pay attention, be willing to learn, invest in your strategy and understand the importance of social media and just how much it can do for your brand. If you follow these tips, you are safe from making beginner mistakes and embarrassing moves that can affect your brand image.
Want to take things a step further and get private training on how to use social media to drive your business growth, turn followers into customers and create content with ease? Check out my new online course, The Social Media Crash Course, available now for a low early bird price!