Social Media: What you should be doing to make your business stand out

Many people think social media management is as simple as posting content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or any of the other social platforms you might care to mention. According to our Digital Director Adam Blenkinsop, that’s fine if all you want to do is have a presence. If you want to see real results however, social media involves so much more...

If you’re responsible for the social media of your business, there is a lot you could and should be doing, aside from just posting!

Here are 10 things to consider adding to your to do list (if they’re not already on it):

1. Develop your social media strategy

Before you do anything, you need to decide what results you want to achieve through your social media presence. How can you know if your social media activity is working or not if you don’t know what you want it to achieve?

You need a strategy.

Your strategy should outline your objectives including what you want to gain from your social media activity and who you are trying to engage with. Are you trying to generate more brand awareness, increase website traffic, or grow your online sales? Are your customers more likely to engage with you on Twitter rather than Facebook or LinkedIn? You need to know who you want to target and where they are most likely to consume your content.

Your social media strategy should identify and document what you need to do in order to achieve these objectives and be used as a guide when creating, scheduling and posting your content.

2. Get your branding right

Your branding needs to be clear and consistent across all of your marketing platforms and materials, including your social media channels. Your profile pictures, cover photos, banners and wallpapers all should be on-brand. There is a lot of premium real estate available on your social profiles you just need to make the most of it to improve brand recognition.

3. Create and schedule a content calendar

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

If you’re going to include social media as part of your marketing efforts, you need to commit to it from the word go.

You will get better results by planning your core activity and creating a monthly content calendar. This will help you to keep your posts consistent, varied and valuable. It will also make sure the times you post content are spread out to ensure you catch the maximum slice of your target demographics.

Planning a content calendar is a good first step but it’s not always feasible to sit around and manually post your content at pre-set times. We know first-hand that the everyday often gets in the way - you could be out of the office, in a meeting or dealing with a crisis. By scheduling your posts in advance, you will save time and ensure posts go live when they’ll have maximum impact.

Don’t forget though, social media should be social. It shouldn’t be predictable, formulaic or robotic and trying to automate everything isn’t the best idea. Authentic engagement is key.

4. Engage with the conversation

Always engage with your audience. Respond to any messages or comments from people within a reasonable time frame. Where possible, have more than one person receiving alerts to ensure your business is able to give quality and timely responses.

5. Listen to conversations

Social Media is a two-way street and often you learn more from listening to your customers. In addition to responding to comments/messages that people have intentionally directed at your business, you should also be listening for relevant conversations that are happening without you. Search for relevant keywords to your business, industry (and your competitors if you want to be a bit sneaky). There are plenty of tools available to keep you in the loop without having to employ an army of social media managers! TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are all great for keeping an eye on the conversation.

6. Manage your followers

Once you’ve built up a bit of momentum and your follower numbers start to grow, it may be hard work to keep track of them. Look at utilising features such as audiences and Twitter lists to categorise them.

Create your lists and add them to tools such as Hootsuite, to quickly and easily monitor conversations and find opportunities to engage.

7. Utilise social media advertising

Organic growth is great but sometimes it’s good to speed things up.

Social media advertising is an effective resource so you can achieve just that. A little bit of advertising will help to get you noticed and serve your content to a wider audience. You'll need to set a budget to get you started but the demographic profiling tools available in social platforms today will allow you to target the people you want to.

8. Run social media competitions

Like social media advertising, competitions can boost the visibility of your brand. It may not be suitable for every business, but competitions and prize draws are very popular on social media. They help to increase your engagement levels, improve awareness, boost followers, get people talking about your brand and grow your email database. Just ensure you check the promotional guidelines of your chosen social media platform before you get started.

9. Report, review, refine, repeat

More activity is great but if it’s not monitored you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. Use your strategy to decide what you need to report on - this should be in line with the goals and targets of your business and the strategy we mentioned in our first point. Report on your activity each month and identify what is successful and what needs improvement. Refine your activity and go again.

10. Learn and develop

Social media never stands still. Platforms are forever releasing new tools, features, best practices and algorithm updates. It can all get a bit much but make sure you keep up to speed. If you stand still, you can be sure your competition won’t!

We’ve given you everything that you need to stand out from the crowd on social media but if you still have questions, get in touch. From developing a strategy to posting and advertising, our social media team really know their stuff so drop us a line today and start succeeding on social media.

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Tags: Social Media

Posted by Frankie Boyle
on February 28, 2017