Social media is not easy to navigate, and using social media can feel like you are yelling into the abyss without any real effect on your bottom line. Asking for help for your social media strategy seems to bring different advice from everyone you talk to – so how do you know what is best for your social media feeds?
As a start-up or small business, you can often feel hesitant around optimizing your social media habits and practices. Maybe you don't have a marketing department yet or the budget to hire a savvy social media guru. Here are some easy steps you can implement to create a strong social media presence without hiring someone to take over your channels. Using social media effectively can elevate your brand, boost your reputation and your bottom line.
- Pick the right social media platform for your product, service, and organization
When starting a social media strategy, think about which platform is best for your target market – start with the one where your market spends most of their online time. If you are a B2B, then LinkedIn and Twitter are probably your best options. If you are B2C, then consider Twitter or TikTok. Either way, you have a few playgrounds to choose from. An easy misstep is to promote your message and brand across all platforms. It's best to start small on one or two social media platforms and find out what works for your brand. That way, you aren't spreading yourself too thin, and you can focus on getting great, consistent content out. The platform you target to master should be the platform that your target market occupies the most. Mastering your content on one or two platforms will allow you to see how your target market will respond to your key messaging, product positioning, and branding. From there, you can adjust or pivot and expand to new social media mediums if that works for your strategy.
- Create a constant voice and key messaging
One best practice to use when creating content is to think about the accounts and companies you follow on social media. You probably follow them because they post a topic in a manner that interests you, and they are consistent with their message. Similarly, you want to have a strong, consistent message about your product or offering that resonates with your end-users. Sharing why and how your product or offering will solve your market's problem should be your key message. And that message needs to be promoted with a consistent voice. If you are going for a witty edge in your posts, great – but make sure it makes sense with your audience. For example, you wouldn't be leading with jokes about life-saving technology to first responders. Strategizing voice and key messaging before you start creating content will make it more manageable and allow for consistent content to be posted on your channels, building trust between you and your audience.
- Be consistent, engaging, and realistic
Keeping your posting on social media consistent is a significant factor in building traction and trust within an online presence. But, be realistic with that consistency. If you do not have a full marketing team or even one person dedicated to creating content and posting on social media, don't plan to have three posts per week. It's better to post consistently once a week with a great piece of original content or a strong post with a great call to action.
Additionally, it is essential to respond to your audience. You need to figure out your strategy around engagement online for people commenting on and sharing your content. For example, if someone comments on a post, you need to 'like' the comment at the very least within 24 hours. Someone took the time to engage with your content and having your company validate their efforts goes a long way and creates a positive experience with your company. Your next potential customer or client could be someone that person knows and if they have a positive interaction with your brand, they will be more likely to champion your company. Be consistent, be engaging online, and be realistic about it.
- Use visuals only when they make sense, and bring value to your online presence
Visuals are always great when you are posting on social media. However, there is nothing worse than posting an image that takes away from the message. Consider this: if you followed your company page, would that image make sense? Does the image fit with the brand, or is it confusing? It's better to have a simple text line with a strong call to action or an engaging question, than a confusing image.
- Try new things!
The best thing about social media content is that you can always try something new or change the way you position your content. The risk of trying a new content medium or new strategy on social media is low. After all, if it does not work then you will be able to flip your strategy back, and if it does work, then you have found another way to engage your audience. Adding new things should be done strategically. You want to keep your audience interested without confusing them, and always keep in mind the content they followed you for in the first place.
Your social media presence is something that will continue to evolve for as long as you use it. Don't get wrapped up in having a 'perfect' post or only posting when a worthy event has happened. Sharing content consistently, with a consistent voice, and key messages on a platform that works for you will change how you look at social media as a tool for your business.