Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, having a social media presence has become expected requirement for businesses. It helps businesses connect with their customers, communicate their brand and introduce themselves to those who may not have heard of them, and many customers will be surprised if they can’t find your business on their favourite social platform.
A great social media presence can be a huge advantage to brands, but if it isn’t done well it can also represent nothing but a waste of time – or even be detrimental. When it comes to social media, commitment is key. Without an investment of thought and time, keeping up branded social media accounts will simply drain resources while offering no rewards. Here’s five ways you can improve your business’s social media presence and make the most of this great marketing tool.
Create content people will be interested in
This is perhaps the most important thing about Internet marketing. Not every tweet, Facebook post or Instagram photo needs to be an earth-shattering amazement that instantly goes viral, but it does help to try to create content that will interest people. Many businesses run social media accounts because they feel they have to, but then simply keep up appearances by posting something quick and easy (and often pretty boring) perhaps once every other day.
This isn’t going to grow followers, or make it appear as if you have a strong or engaging brand. Firstly, you need to post consistently – perhaps three times a day on Twitter, and once or twice on Instagram and Facebook. Try to update your blog weekly so you have something to link to, and create original pieces of visual content to engage people on Instagram. Think, each time you post, what is my audience getting out of this? Much like having a conversation with someone you’ve only just met, you have to put some effort into catching their attention and keeping the discussion stimulating.
Make yourself worth following
Apart from being interesting, engaging and actually interested in connecting with your social media audience, you can provide value to followers with giveaways, exclusive gift vouchers and other online perks. For example, someone running a coffee shop may offer a week’s of free coffee to anyone who shares and likes a piece of their content. This increases your visibility and grows your following, as the people looking for a perk shares your work amongst their community. It also gives followers and customers more reason to stay loyal to your business.
Show your brand’s human side
Use social media as it was designed – as a social and interactive platform that connects people and creates conversations. If your social media presence is nothing but one big advert for your business, with no attempt to reach out or talk to your audience, then people will have no reason to engage with you. Jump on your business’s social platforms and use them (from a branded point of view) as you do your personal accounts. Like other people’s content, comment with your thoughts, and give the kind of interaction that you would like to see other people give to your business. It creates goodwill, and over time you may even find you’ve made strong online bonds with users who become something of a “brand advocate” for your business.
Keep up to date
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter change extremely often. It may be algorithm changes, new paid media options or updates in the type of content people can create (such as Twitter’s recent character increase from 140 to 280 characters, or Instagram’s “stories” feature which allows people to post photos and videos that disappear after a day). Simply checking out what’s new every couple of months will mean you are always best placed to use social media to its absolute advantage.
Plan your goals
Because social media has become seen as something of a necessity, many people created accounts for their businesses without really thinking about what they want to get out of it. The main benefit of a strong social media presence is that it helps in the creation of a compelling brand, which interests people and hopefully turns followers into customers. However, while businesses are told the benefit, it’s a lot less easy to understand how to make this happen.
By having goals, such as “gain 1000 followers after 6 months”, “create one piece of content that positions my business as a thought leader in our industry every week”, “connect, converse and collaborate with one influencer each month” you can set your sights on growing and improving your social media presence in a way that will actually benefit you. Rather than letting it tick over with no real engagement or effort, having goals will galvanise your business to turn social media into a brilliant marketing tool that helps you grow.