Social media campaigning can sometimes be an elusive concept to execute successfully. Navigating the social media landscape is a system of trial and error, and discovering the sweet spot in your marketing can be like experiencing a unicorn sighting. Instead, you may have settled on a complacent, comfortable campaign because frankly, it’s better than doing nothing, right? Well, there are a few things you might not even realize you’re doing that could be undermining your online awesome factor.
Are you consistent?
If you want to join the social media party, either jump in and get wet or stay out of the pool. It’s great to dabble in something like stamp collecting; not so much in social media. Brands can come across as indecisive, understaffed or worse, uneducated about how to use social media if they flood their fans with posts, only to disappear from a platform a month later. Craft your messages on a regular basis. You don’t have to live on your computer trying to interact at every moment, but be sure you have someone dedicated to telling your story on a regular, pre-determined basis. Consider your social media presence a must-have in your business; it is your customer service department, your calling card, and your megaphone.
Are you unique?
Your content can be extremely well-written and still offer nothing of value to your followers. If you’re going to post a news-worthy link, offer your brand’s perspective on what you’re sharing. Make sure it’s tailored to your particular audience. When your followers see that you are giving them a unique perspective, they will in turn place more value on your posts and be more likely to engage with you. Ultimately, this will increase your relevance on platforms, and in some cases, will mean better reach.
Do you know your audience?
Many businesses choose the social media platforms they themselves always use. Sometimes these platforms match up with where your audience frequents, but sometimes they don’t. Do some research to determine if your presence on certain platforms is appropriate for your demographic. There’s no point in talking to an empty room, right? For example, let’s say you make organic dog treats. You post on Facebook but don’t get a ton of interaction. After some research, you realize that an entire pet-lover community exists on Instagram (check out the #dogsofInstagram hashtag if you need proof). A week after joining Instagram, you have 100 followers and a dozen new orders. A-ha moment, anyone?
Are you being personal?
Big brands may get away with generic and impersonal posts. After all, the majority of people follow big box brands for coupons and discounts (we’ve all done it, there’s no shame). For most businesses, however, boring posts will only alienate your audience. The best rule of thumb for your social media strategy is to blend business with fun. Staff or event photos sprinkled in with informative posts will go a long way in making your brand approachable on social media. Just be real and humanize your brand. You can be professional and still be witty, too.
Are you posting appropriately?
Scheduling your posts in advance gives your audience a break from back-to-back posts and updates that clog their news feeds. By spacing out your posts, you’ll get well-paced face time, which will increase your interaction. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, there are programs out there (some are free and some aren’t) that can help you time your posts. Also, make sure you consider the time of day you are posting. If your target audience is baby boomers, consider they may check social media early in the mornings, versus college kids who don’t even function until after lunch on Saturdays. Do some split testing to find out when you’re getting the most interaction.
Just because you’re active on social media doesn’t mean you’re successfully engaging your audience. You could post regularly, but at the wrong time of day. You might think you’re getting great interaction until you switch platforms and realize you’ve hit the jackpot. It’s always best to plan a strategy for social media so you’re not shooting in the dark. Planning ahead and laying out a strategy can give you major cool points, so be sure you’ve got your act together before attacking social media.