Social media marketing, like everything else, is about getting a few basics right to begin with. If you have decided to go it full steam with your social media presence, here are a few tips that you can put to practice right away.
Find out your WHY
This is what you begin with no matter how big or small your brand is. Arrive at why people would follow you on social media. And even before that, arrive at who these ‘people’ will be. The ‘why’ is what will nail your social media strategy. Therefore the ‘why’ must be a powerful, driving statement that comes from both understanding your ‘people’ and what you have to offer them in terms of value. Once you arrive at this, it will be the ‘statement’ that holds your social media communication together making it cohesive and meaningful. Pay attention to not make it too straight-jacketed or you will be bordering on boredom-territory. And remember to stay with your efforts steady for a year at least.
Pay attention to your Bio
Once you have found out your reason for existence on social media, you’ll need to decide the channels that you would want to be present on. Focus your efforts on just a few channels. You really don’t need to be present on all of them. If you are a fashion brand, it’s obvious that you just cannot ignore Instagram. Now while you are on that channel, it’s important to pay attention to your profile. Ensure you have a great profile picture. In most cases it’s the logo that’s used. And also ensure you have a crisp brand story (bio in social speak) to tell. If you are on Facebook, fill out your profile after giving much thought to what you would want people to see there and make it as complete as possible. Check out how the best brands out there write their bios and then do your own.
Concentrate on story-telling
Story-telling is a far more interesting way of connecting with your audience and an effective way to engage with them. So what is story-telling? Paring it down to its basics it simply is about being interesting, entertaining and relevant here. Are you a chain of bakers? An interesting conversation would be about how you go to lengths to get your ingredients right – conveyed from a story angle by revolving it around the person or people who actually go to those lengths. Stories need not be videos every time either. Imagine a top angle photo of a puppy and the owner at your bakery counter – the puppy all beady eyed and innocent peering into the camera – being one of your posts (with permission of course). Look out for stories all the time. They are all about you.
Schedule posts at optimum times
Once you have your post ready – ensure you publish it at the optimum time. Remember that audiences change according to network as well as industry/business. According to a study by Sprout Social, the best times to post on Facebook are Wednesdays and Thursdays around noon time. Weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., are good times to post in general. And Saturdays give the least engagement on Facebook. Another view on when to post on Social Media can be found here. It’s best that you experiment for a while keeping tabs on your analytics so that you understand what your best times are. The study quoted here can just be a guideline.
Plan your conversations
Planning your posts / conversations in social media gives you a fair idea of how best you can package it and market it. For instance, if you were to suddenly remember that tomorrow is Christmas and you would like to make a post – you’d obviously end up doing a flat image with text or a quick GIF as that’s all the time you’d get. But had you charted a calendar and told yourself that a Christmas conversation is a part of it, you would have spent quality time in coming up with something that reflects your brand personality and at the same time amuses and entertains your audience – maybe even prompting them to share it and start the viral ball rolling. A calendar is a tool to plan your conversations and a good calendar is also a tool to track the impact of conversation genres. Get one going right away.
Bring in influencers
Influencers are those people in social media who have a sizeable following. Not only are their followers sizeable, they are also active. If your brand can bring in such an influencer on board, your trust factor would immediately get a boost – so would your audience count. The tough part here is zeroing in on the right influencer. You will have to do your homework, looking for blogs with strong followers in your domain of business. You have to then shortlist and contact the personalities keeping in mind that each would probably have to be approached differently – depending on what their blog conversations and packaging are like. Once you have an influencer on board, you could have him or her write about your brand and share it on his/her blog and social handles as well, along with sharing on your social platforms.
Promote. Promote. Promote.
Your content will not go places without putting money behind it. Social networks will not take your content places organically. They expect you to spend for reach as the whole platform is being given to you almost free. So learn what conversation promotions involve. There is also advertising where you can promote your page. A mix of both would be ideal. You could first build your page with great conversations and employ all organic means to promote them including hashtags. This could go on for about a month with about 15-20 quality conversations. You could then start promoting your page and along with that any individual conversation, paying attention to the targeting.