5 Steps to Social Media Success
1. First impressions count.
You wouldn’t go to a red carpet event or attend a job interview without looking the part and your branding should be no different. Specifications for banner images and profile pictures vary across social media channels so make sure these are designed to fit properly, for both mobile and desktop users, or you risk losing potential audience members within the first 10 seconds of them landing on your page. Yep, consumers are a tricky, picky and downright finicky bunch. You also need to ensure that the content of your posts remains consistent for, well, ever. This means high quality images (no cats or poorly designed memes allowed) and well-constructed text which has seen multiple rounds of proofing or, at the very least, a basic spell check (the shortcut button is F7, people - use it!) If you’re struggling for inspiration, look to industry leaders in your field who have already nailed the social media game and if all else fails, post anything coffee-related. Latte art, #mondaymotivation quotes and everything in between - no social media account is complete without it.
2. Be social. Duh!
Find your clients’ businesses (and personal accounts if appropriate; a very strict ‘if’) and post on their page, tag them in your posts, leave them a review; basically anything that you wouldn’t find annoying yourself and could result in some awkward real-life interactions at your next networking event. More often than not, you’ll find that organisations, particularly small-to-medium sized entities, give off plenty of the warm and fuzzy vibes when it comes to supporting their fellow business endeavours. The digital sphere is the perfect place to step outside of your comfort zone and engage with people that may otherwise be slightly beyond your reach, so get commenting and get noticed.
3. Consistency is KEY.
This might be the catchphrase of every decent personal trainer known to man but they’re also words to live by when it comes to social media management. Suggested posting frequencies fluctuate depending on the platform but ultimately, it comes down to the needs of your business and the minimum amount of content is your audience demands in order to sustain interest. Whether it’s 3 times a day or 3 times a week, create a schedule and stick to it. Facebook alone has its own capacity to schedule content in ahead of time, not to mention numerous other publishing tools such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite which allow you to let your OCD organisational streak run wild and plan as far in advance as you like.
4. PALS - Partnerships and Ambassadors who Love your Style!
These are the best types of mutually beneficial relationships you can cultivate. Like your very own modern day muse, find someone who personifies your brand and genuinely loves what you represent. Chances are, given a little encouragement (usually in the shape of a wine bottle or access to an exclusive event), they’ll be willing to shout out your awesomeness from the rooftops of their (ideally significant) social media following. We’re not in the business of calling people “loudmouths”, per se, however there’s no denying the fact that big voices = big networks = potentially big bucks.
5. The not-so-fun-but-unavoidably-necessary part.
Post types, percentiles and pie graphs - oh my! Some business people would say that the only work worth doing is that which is measurable and in this instance, we have to agree. Analysing your data in order to assess Return On Investment is a seriously smart move and thanks to in-built features in social media platforms such as Facebook or their externally-hosted counterparts, this has become a whole lot easier to achieve in recent times. Take note of what results you get with varying post content (videos are the current top performer but more on that later), try different times of day (hello post-school-drop-offs peak hour) and see what works best for your audience, then work it! Hint: depending on the nature of your business, this could change daily, weekly, monthly or seasonally, so regular reporting and strategy reviews, whilst boring to the anti-accountant in most of us, are non-negotiable.
Profile GM shares her TOP TIP:
“Don’t hastily assume that you know your audience’s social media habits or that people simply do what you do personally - analyse the data. Often, our highest engagement isn’t with the young and savvy demographic but the more mature 30+ user who shares our content and loves our posts.”