Social media. It’s social; it’s “connective;” it’s where consumers hang out a lot.
And it’s where businesses can accomplish several things – great customer service, connections with influencers, product and customer showcasing, promotion of special offers, and more.
But accomplishing all of this is a process of research, smart decision-making, and crafting content that is compatible with your brand and with the platforms you choose.
Here’s how that is done.
1. Find Your Voice
Your brand does have a personality. Consider this. Would Rolex use the same language, visuals, etc. as Red Bull? Of course not. They have very different “voices” as they communicate with their target audiences. Is your brand serious and formal, kicky and fun, a bit irreverent? Here’s how you know.
- What’s your company environment? Are you a T-shirts and jeans team? Are you always experimenting with product innovations, colors, packaging, etc.? Do you welcome “out of the box” ideas and thinking? Then, you are very different from a bank. Your social media posts should reflect your environment and culture.
- Who is your audience? If you have done the right research, you have developed a buyer persona? And now, you can gather all sorts of data on that persona – their demographics, their lifestyles, the language they use online, and even their purchasing behaviors.
- Are you honest? If you try to present a brand that is not who you truly are, you will turn away your audience. Be authentic. Speak your own language rather than attempt to “fit in.” Consumers demand honesty from the brands they deal with.
2. Choose Your Platforms Wisely
You can’t be everywhere and you don’t want to be. It’s exhausting. And your audience will not be everywhere either.
Using the customer profile you have developed, you know the most popular networks for that customer. And you have a brand image to present. If you’re selling energy drinks, Pinterest and LinkedIn may not be the best places for you. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may be. If you are selling crafting items, Pinterest and Facebook will be a good start.
There’s a lot of information out there about where your demographic hangs out online. Use this to choose just a couple of networks on which to establish your presence.
3. Visuals Matter – A Lot
It’s no secret that people engage, absorb, and retain visuals more than they do text. It’s a brain thing. You will capture much more of your audience’s attention if you use photos, videos, etc. than if you try to write walls of text on your social media platforms.
If you are creating the visuals, then maintain consistency of color, design, and format. If you are using user-generated visuals (always a good means of social proof), then obviously you will go with what they produce.
4. Topic Consistency
You should develop a calendar of topics, either weekly or monthly. Why? Because each of your social media posts should relate to that topic consistently, even though the actual posts will be different.
When your audience accesses your pages on social media, the messages they find should all be consistent in terms of topics. Are you offering a special discount with a deadline? Do you have user-generated content that is compelling? Do you have a topic that is entertaining, educational, or inspirational? They need to see that no matter what platform they are on.
5. Post Often and on a Regular Basis
People who follow you on social media expect to come to your page and find something new on a regular basis. If they don’t see anything, they will not come back. If you post on a regular schedule, they will.
Figuring out how often to post will take you a bit of time but checking out your competition will give you start point.
And using analytics tools that each social media network offers will help you discover which types of posts are the most popular with your audience, and when they are most viewed.
John Hardin, a marketing specialist with the writing services Top Writers Review, speaks from experience: “We ran the analytics on our three social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. What we discovered was that user-generated content was the most popular, and our postings with special discounts and offers ranked second. The other thing we learned early on was that we needed to repeat the same posts based upon times and days of the week that our audience visited.”
6. Leverage Influencers
If you are small and still rather unknown, you can boost your following through influencers in your niche. Follow those influencers on their pages, participate in discussions, make comments, and get yourself known. You can then piggyback on the followings of those influencers and boost your own followings.
7. Promote Your Social Media Platforms
When visitors come to your website or access a blog post you have written, always include a promotion to your social media pages and provide a link. Have them link to a Facebook post to get a special offer; have them follow you on Instagram to receive a discount; run a contest on a social media network and offer a prize.
These seven things. They will give you a great start on developing a social media presence that will attract and engage the target audience you have defined. Gathering a following takes time, so be patient, use available data, pick the right platforms and posting themes and schedules, and your tribe will grow.
Author Bio: Daniela McVicker is a copywriter and editor for the website, Rated by Students. In that capacity, she is also responsible for maintaining the agency’s social media platforms. With degrees in marketing and communications, she often consults with other startups on their social media marketing strategies.