Gavin Hirst - Friday 20th March 2015


9 Social media tips for your business – our trends to watch in 2015

Social media is a key part of any organisation’s armoury in the digital world – it sits alongside SEO and content marketing and has to work in symmetry with these two elements in order to deliver the best possible results for your business in the online arena but how do you know if you are doing things right? Do you have social media ‘experts’ within your organisation or is it just tagged on to someone’s day to day role? Our helpful tips below will give you some handy tips to help you perform better across social media platforms whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the game.

9 top social media tips for businesses

Diversify

Don’t put all your eggs in one social media basket but equally don’t spread yourself too thin. Do your research and ask yourself which platform is best suited to your business. With Facebook constantly changing their algorithm, making it more and more difficult for companies to feature in people’s feeds, pushing the need for companies to advertise, is Facebook really the best platform for your business? For many the answer will still be yes – many companies thrive on Facebook but don’t forget to look at other platforms.

Integrate

Make sure your social strategy is aligned with your SEO and content strategies – they have to work together not in isolation. Social media is an important cog in any digital marketing wheel but it cannot work alone. Your content strategy should look at the platforms you are publishing too and the places where you are most likely to engage with your target audience and equally all the content you produce should be optimised no matter what platform you are publishing on.

Visual content is key

Visual social platforms continue to grow and a much quicker rate than the two big boys, Facebook and Twitter. Instagram and Pinterest are rapidly growing the number of users but more importantly the number of active users. Do you have content that would be better suited to one of these visual social platforms? If so, investigate how they could work for your business, pick one and really focus on maximising your engagement through the content you publish to that platform.

Conversation

It’s called social media for a reason. Using social media successfully as a marketing platform requires you to build relationships and this is done through conversations with users. Think of social media as the direct link to your customers. You can use it to talk to them, find out what they think of your business and where you can improve. Not only this, you should use it to add value to them – provide them with free content (tips, advice, vidoes, infographics etc). Stick to the 10-4-1 rule – 10 shares of content relevant to your audience, 4 shares of your own content and 1 sales message – remember, social media is not a sales platform!

Make sure your social activities mirrors your activity elsewhere both on and offline in terms of tone and the style of images and graphics – you can be more playful but must be consistent, especially if you are asking people to go to your website.

Write longer posts

Although Twitter limits you to 140 characters, other platforms like Facebook, Google+ and Instagram allow you to be much more descriptive. See you social platforms as an extension of your website and use them to provide your customers with more information – in some cases, instead of publishing to your website and linking, consider publishing to a social platform where engagement is strong. By writing longer posts, this allows you to optimise for more keywords but be sure to keep the tone natural and written for humans.

Challenge your audience

Hopefully you will have built up a following of intelligent customers who like to engage with your content so a good way to engage with them is to constantly challenge them. This can be as simple as posting up questions and starting a conversation but that allows them to enter into debate with other customers and you the company. Polls can be another good way of engaging with your audience as well as gathering valuable feedback on products or services.

Crowd source user generated content

One of the biggest things we hear from clients when it comes to social media is the time it takes not only to manage accounts but to generate the content that will engage the audience. Make no mistake, doing social media well requires skill, expertise and above all time investment. What we often advise our clients is to use their customers and staff to help them to plug the content gaps. It’s amazing how much people love to see their photos, videos etc shared on social media sites so tapping into this is great for you. Running photography competitions is a great way to boost your media library whilst also boosting engagement.

Mix up your content

There is nothing worse than landing on a company’s social media page and seeing every post that just looks the same. This might be an image and some copy, or all videos or all news links – mix up the content you put out across any of the social media platforms so people are intrigued and you maintain their interest.

Customer service

Social media has become an extension of the customer service provision at many companies so make sure you are using the platforms in this way. Whoever is responding to questions and queries should be responding in a timely manner and replying to feedback both positive and negative. When customers see that you are active on social media platforms, it helps to reassure them that you are a company who will directly engage with them on that platform.

This just scratches the surface of how you can be using social media to help boost your engagement but it certainly should give you the foundations on which to build a solid social media strategy.

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