It’s Social Media Day 2017, and having a presence on social media is more important than it has ever been. With an estimated number of worldwide users sitting at a staggering 2.5 billion, it is a figure that is expected to continue to rise. For any business owner, this outlines the huge opportunities that are available from social media platforms.
To help you get started, we have collated a list of what we deem to be the best practices when it comes to marketing your business through social media.
1. Engage with your network
Engagement is probably one of the most important factors when it comes to getting your business “out there” on social media. If you interact with your network, whether that be your customers, colleagues or local businesses, it’s highly likely that they’ll return the favour and show interest when it comes to your social profile. Keep active on social media channels and be sure to follow, like, share and comment on your network’s updates as much as possible – not only does this show your audience that you are active but it also gets your name out there too.
2. Choose the right Social Media platforms
Keeping up with every social media network can become time consuming and some may not be applicable to the services that your business has to offer. By narrowing down your selection of social media platforms to the ones that will introduce you to your target audience and promote your business in the right way, this will allow your team to spend more time generating targeted content on platforms that will offer a greater return.
Based on their number of users, Facebook is the most popular network with a staggering 79% of the world’s population using the platform compared to others such as Instagram and Twitter. These are on the lower end of the scale but still offer a specific demographic audience. LinkedIn is also very popular and recommended as more of a ‘professional’ network over Facebook, however don’t forget there’s many more that may be suited to your business such as Pinterest, Google+ and even Snapchat which is a fast emerging market for consumer focused businesses and brands.
3. Get your staff involved
Don’t let marketing become your sole responsibility within the business, make sure everyone is contributing no matter what their job role might be. 56% of online adults use more than one social media platform – make the most of this and get your staff involved in sharing updates from your business page to gain that extra presence on social media.
If there are members of your team that are active on a particular social channel, whenever you plan to post updates to your company page make sure you let them know so they can share it from their personal profile. You might even want to work with them to prepare a post in advance that is written slightly differently to the one you plan to put out through your company page.
4. Get your brand across through social profiles
When we say “brand” there are many elements that form this and it’s important to make sure that your customers identify with your brand through your social media presence as well as your website. In addition to the visual aspects, such as logos and creative assets, your brand acts as the identity of your company and and social media is the perfect way to showcase your brand.
The voice that you use to communicate with your audience has a huge impact on how your brand is perceived. It’s important to be consistent in the type of content that you publish so that your customers get the right impression every time you engage.
5. Remember to link back to your website
A common question that we often get asked by our clients when discussing marketing is “How should I be linking to pages within my website from Facebook?” – we advise “as often as naturally possible” as this provides a great SEO benefit as well as keeping your brand in front of your network.
Nowadays, most social platforms have a great tool that pulls through snippets from your website when you paste the URL. Below, you can see how this tool would work if you were to type a link to our home page on a Facebook status:
Once the thumbnail appears you can delete the link from the text input field that you originally entered and replace it with a short message that will grab your reader’s attention and entice them to click through to your website. Links are an important part of a balanced SEO strategy, so always link to relevant content from your website whenever possible.
6. Frequency of updates
It’s poor form to bombard your network with pointless posts that are of little relevance to their needs. Whilst it’s important to stay active on social media you need to ensure that you refrain from posting updates for the sake of it.
Conduct regular brainstorming sessions with your team to identify fresh ideas and set yourselves realistic goals for social engagement. Focus on quality rather than frequency in order to give your target audience exactly what they want.
7. Analytics are there for a reason – use them!
There are many tools available for tracking the engagement and interactions from your social media platforms. By monitoring this regularly it will allow you to effectively work towards your social marketing goals. You’ll start to pick up trends from analytics by seeing when your posts are getting the most interactions – this might be a certain day of the week or even time of day, so you can adapt your marketing plan around this to make sure you’re getting the most out of social media for your business. There are also tools for analytics that will allow you to view collective data at once to compare which social platforms you’re performing the best on.