Social media, can be fun, time-consuming, engaging and frustrating all at the same time. And whether we like it or not social media is essential to growing any business. But just creating a profile isn’t enough, you must be engaged on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Managing multiple profiles can be overwhelming but with these five tips you’ll be on your way to growing your following and engaging potential contacts.
Reviewing Your Presence.
Before starting a social media plan you need to know where you are starting. Conduct a social media audit to learn a lot about your audience and presence. You will learn who follows you, which social media platforms your target audience uses and how your presence compares to your competition. Once you have reviewed your impact it is time to decide which platforms you will use to deliver your brand’s message. There are several social media platforms but you may find that some serve you better than others. You must format your content to fit the platform, long posts for LinkedIn, videos for Facebook, images for Instagram, and short announcements for Twitter. The message may be the same, but the delivery method should be specific to each platform.
Consider Your Audience.
What do you hope to achieve through social media? Drive traffic to your website, advertise your services or demonstrate your knowledge on a particular topic? Specialization is key, having a highly focused social media strategy will help you to know and reach your target audience.
Look to Your Competition.
Not sure what will get you the most engagement? Look to your competition for inspiration and think about how you can distinguish yourself from the crowd. What knowledge or experience can you bring to the table? Decide what sort of content you want to share ahead of time i.e. blogs, news articles, tips, etc. Remember to add value to your content, don’t repeat what’s already been said, but give your own side of things.
Scheduling vs. Live Response.
The main drive behind engagement is taking the time to put information out and respond to information coming in, i.e. sharing your peers’ posts and responding to your followers. The best way to stay ahead of social media postings is to create a monthly calendar of content, hashtags, and scheduling. Whatever you create, stick to it, you must be consistent in your posting schedule to maintain an engaged following. Social media management websites like HootSuite and Buffer make creating a social media calendar easy.
Content vs. Message
You may be tempted to post content that will get a lot of attention, but has nothing to do with your message. Everything you post or share needs to be in-line with your brand identity and message. Random posts will only confuse your targeted audience and potentially hurt your following. Sometimes you have to post less shareable content to get your brand’s message across i.e. blogs, testimonials and press releases. These are important posts to establish your knowledge of the market.
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