How to Get the Most from Social Media
Whether you’re a big-name brand or a small, local business, social media can work wonders for your brand. Free to use, its benefits are many and varied – all you need to invest is time. Here we’ll explain how to create a strategy to get the best from your social media accounts.
Decide on your goals
Many people make the mistake of treating their company’s social media presence in the same way as their own, personal accounts. But in order to reap the benefits of social media for business, you’ll need to plan your social strategy much more deliberately. Whether your goal is to gain 100 followers in the next month, or to drive traffic to a landing page on your website, it’s important to use your social media accounts with these ultimate aims in mind.
Create a calendar
By posting regular updates that offer something valuable to your audience, you’ll build up a following naturally over time. It’s not always easy or practical to think of new posts spontaneously, so create a calendar to help you plan your social media output. You can even write posts in advance and set them to publish at a set date or time with the aid of tools like Hootsuite. This is really handy in the build-up to a big event that you want to publicise, or for predictable dates like Christmas and bank holidays.
React in real-time
Having those regular, predictable posts taken care of leaves you with more time to react to what’s going on, as it happens. Show your followers that they can interact with you, by taking the time to reply to feedback (both positive and negative), re-post interesting and relevant snippets, and join in with any trending hashtags of the moment. This will help you to create goodwill among your customers and potential leads, as you build up a genuine relationship. You’ll also gain lots by getting to know your audience, and exactly what makes them tick.
Encourage user-generated content
Your social media presence isn’t just about your own output; it also includes what people are posting about you! Encouraging your followers to post positive reviews or recommendations is a great way to get the word out there to their like-minded friends. Offering user-generated branded content, such as the ability to share a photo or video taken from an event, is also a fantastic use of social media for brand awareness: if you’d like to find out more about how to get the most from social media with user-generated content, check out our blog on social media video sharing.
Measure your impact
Remember those goals you defined at the start? By measuring your performance regularly, you’ll be able to see exactly how much your social media presence is helping your business. You can use tools like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Instagram Insights that are automatically available with your account – or look for a social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to do the job for you. You’ll be able to delve into data about the demographics you’re reaching, as well as analysing which of your posts seem to have the greatest impact. This information is also useful if you decide to branch out into targeted, sponsored ads on your preferred platform.