Demystifying social media
‘Content is King!’
An established phrase that many of us have got bored with but it still stands true, businesses need to generate content and share it with their audience.
Content doesn’t need to be a written essay, it can be a blog post, but it can also be a podcast, a video, an infographic, a fact sheet, a case study; content covers all forms of material that can be shared.
Content is what drives social media, it is what social media is all about.
Why should I use social media?
Social media is websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
“The United Kingdom (UK) is home to 45 million active social media users in 2020. That translated to a social media penetration rate of 66 percent of the population of the UK.” Satista.com Mar 3, 2020.
There has been an increase in social media use due to the current COVID-19 pandemic so now more than ever you should be using social media to send out messages about your business to keep your brand profile raised and show your audience it is business as usual.
These are unprecedented times but businesses are still operating and we still need to reach our audience.
Plan, manage, optimise
Like any marketing, you need to have a plan in order to make the most out of what you are trying to achieve and social media is no different.
Review your marketing objectives and see how using social media can help to achieve these goals. Then review your communication objectives and identify what messaging can be shared across social media.
Make a list of content that you can share, this can be material that you already have in existence, new content you want to create or corporate messages. When making this list it is a good idea to use a calendar so that you can plan when your posts might be most effective.
When using a calendar think about the following:
- Is the post time sensitive?
- Does it relate to a trending subject?
- Can it be posted at any time?
- Does it relate to a specific date?
These questions will help you plan your content and map it out on your calendar. Then before you know it you have a plan of content to share across your social media channels.
Don’t forget that you can always add to your plan, if another idea for content presents itself go with it, you can then move your plan around to accommodate it or simply add to it.
The plan may evolve depending on what is happening within your industry, your business, the world!!! So although you have a plan in place you need to manage it to make sure that your posts stay relevant. What might have been appropriate when you planned the post may take on another meaning or may no longer be relevant so don’t be frightened to move or remove your content.
There are some useful tools available to help automate the posting process rather than having to manually add to each platform. Look at HubSpot, Buffer, Sproutsocial, or ContentCal but remember to review your plan on a regular base in order to avoid any embarrassment from missed timed posts.
Adapt your post across the channels that you are using? Remember that not all channels display your content in the same way.
Use hashtags that are relevant to your content or your brand? Create your own hashtag and use it in your profile and posts.
In relation to hashtags think about using certain hashtags on designated days, i.e. Testimonial Tuesday or Thankful Thursday, etc this too will help you plan your content.
As regards the number of hashtags, these need to be relevant and adapted for each platform, for example:
- Twitter use one or two per tweet
- Facebook use no more than two
- LinkedIn use no more than five
- Instagram, aim for around seven, if not more
- YouTube use no more than 15
Learn from the posts that have a greater reach, try to analysis them on a regular basis. Each platform has their own analytics that you can access and drill down into. Think about the following:
- Why are some posts performing better than others?
- Is it due to, time of day they are posted?
- Which channel they are posted to?
- Type of content. Does video content work better for you?
With all types of marketing, you need to review what you are doing to see what is working, learn from it and then take action to feed this information back into your plan.
As well as posting content it is important to make sure that your profile is up-to-date and consistent across your channels. Use your logo or own photos, include a description of your business, and if possible list your products and or services. Plus add your corporate hashtag if you are using one and make sure it is linked to your website.
Plan, manage, and optimize to keep your content targeted and give it the best chance to reach your target audience.
What should I be posting?
- Corporate messages – values, purpose, ambitions, your corporate story
- Services – What do you do? What makes you different from your competitors?
- Products – What do they do? How do your purchase them? Why do we need them?
- Testimonials – customer feedback
- Blogs/Vlogs – knowledge pieces about the industry you work in, observations you have made that would be useful to share, ideas that might improve other people’s productivity etc
- Podcasts – are there people you can interview that are relevant to your business or industry?
- Top Tips – what helpful information can you share with your target audience to help them but to also show that you are an expert in your field?
- News – what is happening in your business? Fundraising, birthday, product launch, events etc
- Work – Can you talk about what you have done for other customers, case studies, portfolio etc
- Infographics or animations – visual representations of information, facts, and figures
- Video – how to videos, talking heads, interviews, behind the scenes etc
- Shared content – share interesting content from renowned industry experts or publications
- Show some personality – it never hurts to show the people behind the brand, or what other interests you have outside of your industry
When it comes to content to post try to have a mix that; inspires, entertains, convinces, and educates. Use the 80/20 rule, 80% inform, 20% sales.
Don’t be frightened to post loads, the more the merrier when it comes to posting and the more you post the more likely you are to reach your target audience.
Remember your corporate tone of voice, whatever you are posting try to keep the tone of voice relevant to your brand.
Think about using images these can help clarify a message, so choose them carefully, does the image convey the right message? Posts with images get more engagement than those that don’t.
What channels should I be on?
Focus on where your customers are. Social media can be overwhelming and is one of the biggest challenges for small businesses. You don’t need to have a presence on every social platform. Identify which platform your target audience engages most with and concentrate on this and then look to explore other platforms.
Your marketing strategy will identify your target audience so consider who they are in order to help decide which social media channel you should have a presence on.
Social media will help to drive traffic to the website and build on brand awareness. By driving users to your website gives them the opportunity to find out more about your business by drilling down into more content.
- Create an online profile that is fully optimised and kept up-to-date
- Decide on a corporate hashtag that you can add to your profile and use it in your posts
- Identify which social media platforms to broadcast on and how often
- Identify general topic areas that you should share content on or create content for
- Create and post content via a content calendar or ad hoc
- Share content and comment on relevant content
- Like, comment, share and follow other accounts
- Respond quickly to any direct messages
- Use of hashtags in posts, these need to relevant and should be used in every post and maximised for each platform
- Assign a dedicated person to manage your social media in order to keep it running effectively, or alternatively assign an agency to help you.
Have fun with it, try posting and see what works but remember to plan, manage, and optimise.
If you need any help with any of the above, I am only an email or call away.
Tel: 01223 813615