Not many businesses can survive without using social media in today’s world. Whether it’s to increase brand recognition, make sales and reach new customers or talk to your stakeholders, social media platforms offer an effective way to engage with potentially billions of users worldwide.
Creating a successful social media presence requires some careful planning and thought to ensure you use different channels to their best effect and meet your own business objectives.
To begin, you’ll need to establish a clear plan and strategy for your social media use. Think about what content you’ll be able to create, your reason for sharing that content, and – most critically – who you’re trying to reach.
Here are some top tips to help you develop your social media presence.
1. Don't limit yourself to only one social media platform
Each social media platform has its own purpose and comes with a specific audience. You may be more aware of some platforms than others. To reach the biggest possible audience for your brand, however, you will need to become comfortable with them all. You’ll also need to research and establish which social media platform is the best suited for your business, brand or campaign as you don’t need to be on every platform either. Your customers may use Facebook or Instagram most often, or it may be that LinkedIn is a better vehicle to reach your client base.
Using multiple platforms – and the right platforms – allows you to reach a larger audience. Of course, this also means your brand will need to create different kinds of content for each platform, and the audience that comes with it. Whether you are a corporate business, retailer or a small to medium sized business, understanding the different platforms – and what works best on those channels – is crucial.
Treat each platform as its own. You may be tempted to duplicate your posts across channels, but it is important to understand that what may work for one platform, may not work on another. A different use of tagging, imagery, or hashtags make all the difference from platform to platform.
2. Post high-quality content
High quality content is vital for effective engagement and building a successful social media presence. Quality content can be defined as having a purpose, being visually appealing and well written.
Decide on the main focus for your posts: they could be educational, inspirational or entertaining. If content lacks purpose, it can end up having no reaction, or even risk driving followers away.
Likewise, if people are bombarded with too many posts, your channels can become boring or annoying, and even push an audience to unfollow you. It’s vital that content has a good balance and adds value to your followers’ social feeds.
Content can be anything from infographics, images, videos or short written posts – but it needs to be relevant to the platform.
For example, strong visuals work best on Instagram and captions are not character limited, so it’s a great platform to showcase a product or service you may offer.
Strong, visually appealing posts means using good quality photos – and that is best achieved by using good quality equipment. However, you could look into hiring a photographer for a photo shoot to give you a supply of great images to use when planning posts.
Have you thought about creating a blog page for your business? Well-written copy and SEO-friendly blogs can drive traffic to your website and potentially help you reach new markets. You can also use blog material for engaging social media posts. Read our recent article to learn more about writing SEO-friendly blogs.
3. Listen to your audience
Understand what content your audience is most likely to interact with. Since your social media platform is part of your business’s communications and marketing strategy, investing time in creating effective content will benefit you in the long run. You want to find an audience willing to promote your brand through a share, repost or like.
Talk to the community you build on your platform, interact with comments and ‘like’ positive feedback. Brands often use polls on their pages or stories to create conversations and promote the personable tone people respond best to.
If you feel you haven’t been reaching your intended audience, you may want to consider promoting posts and boosting your reach through paid-for social media campaigns.
This can be a highly effective marketing tool to extend the reach of your carefully created content. Social media tools offered by platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to target potential customers and interested groups through algorithms based on similar accounts they follow and posts they like.
An effective way to understand your audience is by viewing your insights. These show you how many people have liked, commented or shared your posts.
You can also download monthly reports through different software websites as a means of comparing progress. We support our clients’ social media progress by creating bespoke reports which include detailed insights, statistics and performance reviews to ensure content is achieving the agreed aims and objectives.
4. Be active
Being active on social media doesn’t mean posting every day. However, you will need to check your social accounts regularly to keep up to date with comments or potential messages from clients or customers.
Not responding to messages for long periods can quickly damage your social reputation. On the other hand, speedy replies and a friendly response can work wonders in helping you to earn – and keep – more followers.
Quality of content is by far more important that quantity. As a general rule though, aim for three or four high quality posts a week to keep your audience interested and remind them you are still there.
If time is short or you’re struggling to come up with ideas for posts, it may be cost-effective to hire someone else to create your social media content. Planning content around a month in advance can ensure a constant flow of engaging content will appear across all channels.
DCA supports dozens of clients to create and schedule out their social media content, ensuring posts achieve the desired results.
5. Keep up to date with trends
Trends keep social media going. Every week there is a new trend and brands will often ask themselves if it is worth taking part, or how they can apply their platforms to engage with the current fad.
If the trend fits with your brand voice and aesthetic, it could be worth engaging with it, as this can offer an opportunity to reach a wider audience.
A trend could be as simple as employing a new popular hashtag or discussing a relevant topic. Hashtags are an easy and effective tool to use within your content, and they can directly help you reach your intended audience.
6. Link to relevant accounts in your content
If you are mentioning another company or location in your social media posts, be sure to tag them. Chances are those accounts will then share your content to their own readers and this has the potential to widen your audience and follower count too.
Mentioning other accounts will allow you to network with other brands and companies, which also may be interested in collaborating. This could then help share your message and reach your intended audience.
Backlinks are also a helpful tool when used well. Backlinks and inbound links are embedded hyperlinks written into copy on one website, linking to a page on another website. When used correctly, Google and other search engines consider backlinks favourable in results.
Running competitions on social media is also a highly effective method for increasing followers and raising awareness of brands. These competitions can also work as collaborations with other businesses for mutual awareness.
The key thing to remember when creating a successful competition is to keep it simple. To maximise entries, try:
Asking entrants to like, comment or tag someone on a Facebook or Instagram post. This can be particularly effective on Facebook as the algorithm now looks for content generating discussion.
When running an Instagram competition in partnership with another brand, consider asking users to follow both of your accounts.
DCA manages social media accounts for a growing number of clients. Get in touch to find out more about our services and how we can support your brand on social media.