You’ve set up your company Facebook page. You’ve shared your blog posts and bought a few ads… but your follower count has flatlined! What gives? Your social media accounts are more than just platforms to promote your blog posts on. They let you build unique relationships with your customers and with industry leaders. If you want your social strategy to succeed it’s important to be familiar with a few key best practices.
Ready to give your social media marketing strategy needs a little TLC?
Check out these 9 pro tips for great social media success.
#1: Have A Written Social Media Marketing Strategy
Even if you’ve already had some degree of success with social media marketing, having a great social media plan written down will help you continue that growth.
Go over your social media marketing strategy and make sure it includes these vital components:
- Specific, realistic goals: Challenge yourself, but know that social media marketing requires patience. You’re building a community around your brand. That takes time! Make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
- A clear definition of your target audience: Mass marketing will get you ignored. Knowing who you’re talking to will help you focus on your audience’s interests and needs.
- A unique, well defined voice: How will you talk to your audience? Informative DIY tutorials? Funny memes? Some combination thereof?
- The right tools: What platforms will you use? Will you use a social media management tool to track mentions or schedule posts in advance?
- Get good feedback: This includes analytics information and customer comments. Adjust your strategy based on this feedback.
#2: Get Social: Build Relationships
Social media, at its heart, exists to foster relationships between people. Building relationships and connecting with people should be at the heart of your social strategy.
To start building better relationships with your social media marketing, ask yourself:
- Who is your perfect client?
- Who would be your perfect referral?
- Who are your industry leaders?
Based on these qualities, create a list of people or types of people you want to connect with. How can you reach out to them best, and on what platforms? What hashtags do those people use?
It’s surprisingly easy to start building relationships on social media:
- Chat with your customers.
- Give shout-outs to other businesses.
- Participate in conversations industry influencers start.
#3: Add Value To The Conversation
People log on to social platforms to have fun and make connections. If you spend all of your time promoting your products, people will lose interest. You want to make sure you’re participating in conversations too, not just pushing your own brand.
- Share interesting content other businesses post.
- Participate in industry conversations.
- Give props to other people and businesses where appropriate.
- Answer customer’s questions promptly.
Don’t be all promotional all the time.
#4: Get Your Timing Right
Not seeing any engagement on your posts? You might be posting at the wrong time.
You want to make your posts on social media when your customers are online to see them. Determining what the right time to post would be comes down to knowing your audience:
- Who are you talking to?
- What are they like, what are their habits?
- What time zone do they live in?
- Based on that information, what times are they most likely to be online?
Targeting busy professionals? Try reaching out during their lunch hour. Aiming for moms? Target them after the kids are in bed or before they wake up.
Getting your timing right is no small chore. To get you started, here are a few of the best times to post:
- Facebook: 1-4 pm late in the week, and on weekends.
- Twitter: 12-3 pm and at 5pm during the workweek.
- Instagram: Instagram audiences engage throughout the week, with more activity on Mondays and Thursdays. Try posting videos between 9pm and 8am.
- Pinterest: Saturdays and late in the evening (8-11pm.) There’s also more activity early in the morning (2-4am.) You may need to schedule your Pinterest posts, since these times don’t work with most office hours.
- LinkedIn: Midweek from 7:30-8:30 am, noon, and from 5-6pm.
#5: Focus On A Few Key Platforms
To draw the eyes of the right audience, you need to be on the right social media platforms. These decisions should be made based on who your ideal customers are and who you want to engage with.
First things first: make sure you’re on Facebook. Why?
As of 2016, 50.3% of Americans are on Facebook and check it at least once a month. Facebook’s next closest competitor is Instagram, with 27.6% of the population… and Facebook owns Instagram! If you only make one social media account, this would be a good place to start.
But what other platforms should you establish yourself on?
Use demographic information to determine which social platforms your customers are using. Then look at which channels can help you meet your goals best.
So where is your target audience?
If you want to capture the attention of business professionals then LinkedIn is the platform for you. Is your content heavily visual? Try Instagram or Pinterest. Want to interact with a younger crowd? Set up a Twitter account.
#6: Define Your Voice
Your voice is an important aspect of your social media marketing. The tone you use to talk to people helps give your accounts, and your brand, the right image.
First, remember that you want to keep your branding consistent. If your brand requires a more serious tone, keep that voice consistent on your social media. If you’re marketing for a luxury brand, your voice should reflect that.
On the other hand, if you sell bikes or construction equipment, a more down-to-earth tone may work better for you. A casual tone can make your business more approachable.
If you manage a few social accounts, or share social media duties with different people, including a style guide in your written strategy might be helpful.
#7: Picture Perfect
The images you share are important. Content with a relevant image gets 94% more views than content without images.
You want to share beautiful, eye-catching images. This is obvious for highly-visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. They’re all about pictures! But even for less-visual platforms like Facebook and Twitter, a good image makes a huge difference.
#8: Make Choices Based On Data
When you’re looking for a new direction to take your social media strategy in, your analytics information should be the first place you look.
Make sure you’re tracking the right metrics:
- Reach: This is the number of people in your audience.
- Engagement: How many people have interacted with your posts. This includes likes, mentions, etc.
- Traffic: How many visitors come from your social posts to your website.
- Leads: This is your ultimate goal. This measures how many people become leads thanks to your social media marketing.
#9: Stay Active
Finally, to really grab people’s attention you have to stay relevant. You want people to know they can check your page each day for great content. You want them to count on your for posts they can comment on or share with their friends.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Make sure your response time for customer questions and comments is lightning fast. If people don’t hear back from you, they’ll go somewhere else.
- Post a few times a day. How often you should do this will vary from platform to platform, but you want to make a couple Facebook posts and tweets a day, or share a few pins each day. If you don’t have time to make those posts, schedule them in advance.
- Make sure what you’re posting and sharing is relevant and timely.
You have to be on the ball to succeed in social media marketing. If your social media marketing has been bringing in lackluster results, it’s time to rethink your strategy. These pro tips show you how professional social media marketers build loyal audiences.
Which tip is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!