02 May How to get the most from your Social Media
Over that last few weeks we have had a few clients and prospects ask us about social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, YouTube to mention a few) and how to ‘do it’. So, we thought we’d put together a few guidelines to help businesses that are new to it or not sure they’re doing the right thing, to get the most from it.
11 Tips on how to get the most from your Social Media
Be clear on your business objectives and proposition. What do you want to achieve? When do you want to achieve it by? How do you want your audience to perceive you? What are your brand values and personality?
Without knowing what you are trying to achieve and what your points of difference are, you will struggle to put together a successful campaign. And this is not exclusive to social media!
Having a brand presence on social media is great. But what’s next? You need to understand what motivates your target audience, what are they interested in? What do you provide that will make their life easier? When do they use social media? How do they use it? Which ones do they use? etc.
Even if you are not currently on any of the social media networks you can bet your customers are and they are probably talking about you. Try searching for your company name on your search provider or one of the social media.
You should be able to see very quickly if your business is being discussed and what the network audience is talking about, all of which will affect your brand, reputation and identity.
If you’re new to social media, once you have set up your account, take some time to take a look around and see how people are interacting. What are people are saying? What responses are they generating? Once you’re comfortable, feel free to ‘get involved’!
To message someone directly simply use their twitter handle e.g. @TheCMAgency_. You can use as many as you can in one tweet and allows you to share content directly with those people.
5. Content, content, content
So you’re ready to dip your toe into social waters, but what are you going to say? Expectations are high so your content has to be worth engaging with and on Twitter you only have 140 characters to do it in! Think about your audience and what topics they interested in and what formats they are likely to respond to: Infographics, white papers, How to guides, Top Tips, videos, tutorials, blogs and case studies are just a few ways to engage your audience and increase followers.
– Share images – they can increase retweets 150%
– Don’t be afraid to use your content more than once – not everyone will see your post when you’d like them to, try different times and different hashtags.
– Test different headlines, images and URLs (try using a custom short URL rather than an automatically generated one and see the difference).
But, it doesn’t end there, make sure that when your audience clicks through that the links work and that there is a forward journey, data capture or call to action. Spend some time planning campaign topics and what piece of content will be disseminated where and when.
Tip – Where possible abbreviate words or use symbols e.g. ‘&’ instead of ‘and’ to maximise your character count.
Create a content calendar showing you what you will be talking about each month / week. This will help you to stay focused so you are not left wondering what to write about that day.
Split your audience into segments, it may be that each product has a couple of segments (or more). Where does each segment hang out? How will you reach them? Identify the right channel/s for each audience segment. Use messages appropriate for each segment. For instance a gym membership aimed at 30 something females may have a different message to one aimed at 50 something males.
Hashtags are a way of highlighting to your audience topics they might be interested in. However they regularly get over used and abused. There is really no requirement to add 5, 10 or 15 hashtags to your post, simply add a couple (suggest a maximum of three) of highly relevant ones and anyone interested in those topics will pick you up.
8. Set up lists on Twitter
You can use lists to monitor:
– Your competitors – you don’t have to follow them, simply add them to a list and you will soon see what they are talking about and who they are interacting with.
– Businesses you would like to work with – collaborations are a great way to extend your reach.
– Industry leaders and influencers you would like to connect with – getting your content endorsed by an industry leader could help with your own credibility.
9. Use Twitter Cards
These are a great way to increase engagement. Twitter cards are free and transforms your normal post into a preview of rich content with a title, summary and if you wish, an image or video.
Most of the social media channels now support advertising; even Pinterest and Instagram are now providing that functionality. However again, think about your content. Split test adverts to find out which messages and images have the best conversion rates. And, think conversion not click through. A high click through rate that doesn’t convert simply shows you that the respondent wasn’t that interested in where you took them, or there was a barrier that they didn’t want to overcome. Make sure the journey is relevant and easy. This goes for all messages.
11. Monitor your analytics
While it’s easy to get caught up in the conversations you’re having, don’t forget to take some time to monitor your analytics. Find out which posts have generated the most engagement; which images, links and copy. Have any of the engagements resulted in web visits or sales? Who has been engaging? Why?
Be Relevant | Be Interesting | Be Targeted | Be Inspiring