Social Media is (and has been for a long time) the best way in which businesses can communicate with their target audience, driving brand awareness and helping to retain valuable customers. But – with over 3 billion daily users on these platforms, how best can an organisation effectively use social media in an effective manner.
Well in this week’s blog we’re going to take a look at 5 of the most effective things that you can do as a business owner to ensure that your social media presence is well optimised and set up for enhancing the businesses online reputation.
- Stay on Brand
In theory it’s simple but in practice it’s one of the most common areas that businesses will fail with their social media content. What your business posts across various social media platforms needs to keep a consistent theme across the way in which the company bases its social media profiles and content.
The wording you use in captions needs to be a consistent voice based on what you do and who you are. Your image based content needs to be consistently branded (i.e colour schemes, fonts etc). You should always try to include your company logo and branding throughout all of the visual content that you produce as this will help drive brand awareness if the images are shared by others.
Especially for brands that will often have higher rates of engagements with users (typically B2C businesses) there needs to be a consensus sound how you respond to these engagements. Comments sections can be an amazing way to demonstrate your organisation’s culture due to them showing public facing communication with customers.
When considering that 89% of people will stay loyal to brands that demonstrate purpose, clarity and transparency it’s clear to see why staying on brand is vital to a successful social media strategy. By implementing the advice we’ve shared above you can be sure that you’ll have an edge on your competitors, many of which will have not correctly planned in this area of marketing.
- Keep Your Audience In Mind
There’s nothing worse for business to be doing on social media than to be just pumping out content for the sake of it, with no purpose or methodology behind it. The truth is that users don’t want to engage with brands that aimlessly push out posts without looking at how their target audience can interact with it.
Tailoring content based on your ‘ideal customer’ is nothing new. In more traditional forms of marketing this was done through things like radio advertisements and the way they were structured in order to keep people engaged and remember the brand. The same is true with social media, if you can identify key demographics and interests of your audience then you can craft imagery, audio and video content that they will be much more likely to engage with.
If your audience spans a specific age range or location then simply by tailoring content to match these parameters is the simplest way to establish your organisation as one of the more engaging brands within your industry when it comes to social media. The importance of this is evident, without engagement from the right people the social media platforms will not recognise who you are realistically targeting and will therefore be much less likely to show your content to users that may be interested.
- Utilise The Best Call To Actions (CTAs)
You can produce some of the most amazing visual or audio content for your social media platforms, but if there is no clear goal or instruction specified to the audience on how you want them to engage with it then you’ll find social media marketing an uphill battle very quickly!
Call to actions (CTAs) are essentially an instruction that you’re giving to the audience on what they need to do when they have seen one of your posts. Perhaps you want to drive more traffic to the website, so adding a link with the CTA of ‘click here’ or ‘learn more on our website’ will help to achieve this.
Alternatively you could use CTAs to drive brand awareness solely on the social media platforms themselves, this means you’re going to need people to engage, comment or share the post in order to do so. In these cases more suitable CTAs would be ‘comment if’ ‘share now’ etc.
AdRoll recently found that simply by including the best possible CTAs on your social media posts can increase the Click-Through Rate (CTR) by up to 285%. Many businesses will already be adding CTAs to posts often without realising this but making sure to use them on every piece of content will be certain to help you achieve the best results all-round.
- Remember The 80/20 Rule
Here’s one that many marketers will know, but few businesses consciously practice. The 80/20 rule refers to the amount of descriptive or engaging content against the amount of sales based content that you post on social media.
Literally nobody using social media (in any target audience) wants to be bombarded with post after post pushing a specific product or service. Brands that just use their social media channels as a sales tool will find that engagement is next to minimal on most posts.
80% of your content on social media needs to engage the user, this could be through using infographics to share advice or an image showing off some of the work that you’ve done. There are far more methods of creating this content than there are of re-inventing sales based content.
The reasons are simple, if users are consistently engaging with your posts then over time you’ll start to show higher and higher in their feeds organically. Then you can use the 20% of sales content so slowly show them the products or services that they’re missing out on, and because they don’t feel as though they’re being sold to – they will be much more likely to convert at this point.
- Research & Implement The Best Possible Hashtags
Hashtags are to social media, what keywords are to SEO. A way of including phrases relevant to your audience so your page will show higher in features such as discover and search on social media platforms.
Like with keywords in SEO some hashtags are far more competitive than others and therefore it’s important to consider which hashtags you choose to use in your social media posts. Around 10 per post (excluding Twitter) is the recommended amount and these should be split 3 ways. First, take 3 that have less than 20,000 daily posts as these will be easier to appear for and more likely to drive engagement. Then take 3 competitive ones, these could be generic to your industry or your product range. Whilst it will be harder to garner engagements using these it will often help boost the reach of the post. Finally, take 3 that are content specific. These will often be hashtags relevant to the post itself, i.e specific product or service or even a theme that you run in a certain post.
Finding these hashtags to begin with though can be tricky, and spending the time to work out how competitive they are can be even more time consuming. We’d advise using one of the myriad of tools available online that can do exactly this for you and help guide you to discovering which hashtags will work best for you. Check out this article that details some of these tools in more detail.