Chances are, you know the power of social media by now but are unsure how to tap into it. It's a common struggle for most marketers. Fortunately, we know just how to improve your social media marketing efforts.
The truth is, there's more to having a thriving social media strategy than just posting regularly, even though that is important. Posting consistently on the same days, at the exact times each week, with consistent brand messaging makes you a reliable and trustworthy voice in your industry. Did you know that kind of consistency can make you 3.5 times more likely to have good results with brand visibility than those whose messaging is inconsistent?
You already have the groundwork to set up your initial account presence. Now all you need to do is take it a step further to make your strategy excel beyond your expectations. Here are seven more ways to improve social media skills and help you reach your online goals.
1. Make Sure You're Using the Best Channel
It might be tempting to set your business up on every social media site, but you want to make sure you're only active on platforms your customers use. Use your customer knowledge to figure out where they spend most of their time, then invest in setting up presences on those platforms.
Once you're on social media, you need to continuously evaluate how the channels you're using are working for you by comparing your successes and failures. Learning from your failures helps inspire more informed decision-making later and leads to more successes. Social media requires more experimentation early on than other marketing platforms. It's crucial to jump into relevant conversations and be active in engaging your customers, as well as posting consistent, informative posts.
If you're using multiple channels, consider comparing which ones are working for you and your brand and which are not. That allows you to focus more on the platforms where your audience is at and engaged over ones that only support a handful of interactions. If one platform isn't bringing you the returns you'd like, then it might be a good idea to stop using it or post less frequently on it. Tracking your results lets you adjust your strategy according to the best platforms to reach your target audience or optimize your posts to maximize your success.
2. Develop Your Brand Story
Social media is a fantastic platform for brand awareness, in addition to creating higher engagement with your audience. It's a great place to communicate who you are and what your brand stands for in a candid, authentic way that will attract customers and develop trust almost immediately. It's also a fantastic testing ground to build your brand voice, which you can use to inspire your other marketing goals.
Taking that a step further by developing a story around your brand will be all the better for you. Wellness-brand Headstream found that when people love a brand story, they are 55% more likely to buy the product in the future, and 15% will buy the product immediately. It also helps spread awareness of your brand by increasing word-of-mouth promotion since 44% of people will share the story with their friends and family.
Your story doesn't need to be complex and can include both company history and internal views on how your business runs. You can use it as an opportunity to share essential information, like your locations, by making it part of your story. Communicating aspects of your culture by showcasing employees helps reassure customers that your company is positive while also making employees feel better about working there.
3. Form Relationships, Don't Just Build Followers
It's imperative to not treat social media as a numbers game. Having many followers doesn't benefit you if they're not reaching people who will become customers. It's better to have fewer followers who regularly engage with your content than many followers who ignore you. Your social media presence is a sales tool, and that benefits from reaching the people most likely to be your customers.
It doesn't take much either. Just be sure to reply directly to followers, answer their questions, and reply when someone shares your content instead of simply retweeting people. You want to develop deep connections with those who can visit your stores or attend your events.
4. Stick To Your Content Calendar
Planning your content and sticking to it to have a consistent online presence will help you feel more organized and provide higher-quality content.
Going in with a plan of action instead of winging it makes your content better and more varied, which communicates to customers that you're an organized entity. That instills more trust amongst your customers while also making your messaging more effective.
After all, content production is the biggest challenge for 44% of marketers, and a content calendar that is planned and followed will eliminate that challenge.
5. Automate Your Content
Automating your content to schedule your posts helps you maintain the consistency of your content calendar and help you better engage your customers. Content automation allows you to plan posts in advance to maintain consistency without stressing about it daily.
Think of this as another way to overcome the challenge of content production. However, you shouldn't automate responses to people who reach out to you because it can easily feel impersonal and robotic. Use it to schedule informative or promotional posts while still interacting with people individually. The point is to humanize your brand, so it can truly resonate with your followers.
Software also has the added benefit of tracking how people interact with your accounts and tracking conversations that you can join. You'll get more insight into what's happening on social media and how your brand's presence is performing.
6. Be Helpful and Human
Likewise, you want people to sense that there is a real person behind your messages, so they can better relate and get more value out of your posts. Something robotic and 'salesy' will only further distance you from genuine customer relationships, but humanizing your brand instead strengthens your bonds.
Treat your posts as a means of providing value and information. Refrain from just selling on your social media platform and instead focus on helping people and forming relationships.
The reason for this is that you might make a dollar or two, but your customers will see your account as another website to make purchases. That limits the real potential you could have with customers that comes only from engagement.
7. Use a Lot of Visuals
Users love visuals on social media and will undoubtedly engage with your account better if you're creative with them. Take Instagram, for example. Users (both professional and not) typically structure their visual posts to appeal to the eye by sticking to a specific color scheme, pattern, or design.
Using visuals as an engagement tool is even better because it encourages people to respond to your posts or create similar photos and comments regarding your product quality. Anything that gets people talking about you and your product makes a difference. Anything that encourages 'sharing' you or your products on their accounts makes a sale.
When it comes down to it, social media is a crucial tool for your marketing strategy and works best when you use it to interact with your customers personally to make them feel valued. Taking the time to know your audience will show in your posts. However, if that is too much work for you to undertake yourself, a media partner will help conduct the crucial research. That will also allow you to determine the best channels, have a relevant brand story, form strong relationships, stay organized, be helpful, and provide visual posts that encourage a response.