7 Best Tips for your Company’s Social Media Efforts

7 Best Tips for your Company’s Social Media Efforts

Social media has been around for the last ten years or so. With so many people spending a good chunk of their time on these websites, it’s important that your company is on them and utilizing them to your advantage.

Now, your company may already have a working knowledge of social media and the basics that go into running an account. It’s important to delve deeper into the world of social media and market your company to a wider audience.

Here, we’ll discuss the 7 best tips for creating an effective social media presence for your company.

#1: Determine Your Audience

Much like any marketing plan, one of the first steps is determining who will be on the receiving end of the message.

Generally speaking, social media platforms have a user base that covers (nearly) any demographic and psychographic group that you could imagine. Certain social media platforms will have more of one specific demographic over the other. For example, Instagram typically has a younger audience than Facebook does.

It’s important for your company to spend some time researching who uses which platform and which demographic that you’re looking to market to. This will make your social media life much easier because you’ll know which platforms to be more active on than others.

#2 Don’t Choose the Wrong Platform

Now, just because a social media platform exists does NOT mean that your company needs to be on it. As mentioned earlier, different platforms will have different demographics on them. Some of these demographics may not always overlap with your brand image.

It’s important to only be prominent on social media platforms that are aligned with the demographic you want to market towards and that fit your brand image. Otherwise, you may run into the following problems:

Low Return on Investment

A law firm has no need to advertise their legal services on Snapchat, nor would a family-owned ice cream shop post their ‘Sundae of the Week’ on LinkedIn. Their time and advertising dollars would be flushed down the drain as they’ve put their eggs into the wrong basket.

Now, a law firm advertising their legal services on Facebook would gain a lot more interest and traction. There would be more interaction with people who are more likely to be looking for legal help (ex. typically not anyone younger 25). The ‘Sundae of the Week’ post would do great on Instagram and, to a lesser extent, Facebook. This is a great post for young families and younger people in general.

Spreading Yourself too Thin

Each network requires a level of care and focus from the social media manager, because each distinct site demands unique criteria. Twitter is great for word posts, Instagram is great for pictures, and Facebook is great for both.

The more social media platforms that you sign up for, the more you have to think about the different posts that you’re doing. Have an awesome picture you want to show off? Well, you can only post it on Facebook and Instagram and now you have to spend time thinking about what to post on Twitter.

Keep it simple and allocate your efforts toward polishing 2 or 3 beautiful pages that you’ve deemed appropriate.

Depleting Your Brand Image

Saturating your social media presence will come across as artificial in the eyes of your followers. Quality is better than quantity. Always spend time creating awesome posts rather than trying to push out as much as you can. It’s a good idea to post a few times per week to stay relevant but not cross over into annoying territory.

#3 Find Your Voice

Social Media is a two-way platform unlike any other ever seen before. It brings the customer and the company together, allowing them to communicate easily and openly. However, with that kind of power comes responsibility.

Each social media platform provides a unique value. Every site, along with every other communication method used by a business contributes to the brand image. This is the voice (or personality, tone, character, etc.) that is the personified perception of the brand.

The brand voice is important in determining how you’ll interact with your follower base, which values you uphold, and the message you’ll send through your communication platforms. Once you find and establish your voice, it’s important to maintain and grow it consistently. This will build your brand image while also providing a solid, consistent framework for your social media team.

#4 Set REAL Goals

It’s important to remember that posting on social media is not all about the likes.

A really common mistake in social media marketing is the failure to set real, brand building goals. Instead, most businesses post for the sake of keeping their profile ‘relevant’. This is important, but it’s not all about staying up to date and making posts that do not fit in your brand image.

Each post should have a set purpose, predetermined audience, and a desired outcome that will (sometimes) produce measurable results. The goal for your social media pages can be any of the following:

Growing the Page

This is also known as “building brand awareness”. The objective here generally aims to directly grow the social media account.

In this stage, you are mainly looking for likes, shares, comments, and followers. These are all easily measurable and helps to build a larger online following of active users. You need this to get your page started, but it shouldn’t be the main goal as you continue to grow.

Building your Brand Image

This is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. In these early stages you’ll want to solidify what your brand image is and what your voice is. During this stage it’s also important to post content that is for the sole purpose of interacting with followers.

Now, this may appear as though I’m contradicting myself, but this content is just as important. You’ll want to build a trustful relationship with your audience, and to do so you need to interact with them. These posts also help build your brand image and your brand voice, as you’ll get a feel of how you want to respond to people as your business.

#5 Observe Your Competitors

Social media is not a platform that will, by itself, establish you as an industry leader. On the contrary, it actually allows you to differentiate yourself from others in your niche through unique initiatives.

As you grow on social media and create your own social marketing strategies, you’ll see that your competitors’ strategies are easy to identify. Check-in on their social pages regularly to see who they’re targeting, how often they’re posting, what they’re posting about, and how you can capitalize on their shortcomings.

Because if you don’t, they will.

#6 Read the Data

Plenty of data tracking tools exist, both on and off the specific social platforms. These tools allow you to measure and analyze the success of your social media marketing efforts.

Facebook has one of the better on-site tracking tools, Facebook Analytics. This provides convenient real-time results that show you in-depth analysis on who your posts reach, the audience’s impressions and interactions, and more. Other social media sites will provide you with most of this except for who your post is reaching.

Off-site tools are generally the best way to go when wanting to track traffic to your social media pages. Some of these sites you may know, like Hootsuite and Zoho Social, but there are many more that it would take up far too much to list them all. These offer more complex and in depth analysis tools that’ll better your social media marketing efforts. These include optimal posting time, social sentiment, audience reached for all social pages, and more.

This data is important to track when trying to see if your social media marketing efforts are working. Using this tools will make posting to social and your campaign as a whole more efficient.

#7 Listen to your Audience

Aside from speaking face-to-face with each individual customer (which can take quite a lot of time), the ease of two-way communication is unparalleled among marketing platforms. Between mentions, comments, and direct messages, there will always be noise from your followers. Whether that noise be positive or negative, it’s vital that you consider, address, and respond to these remarks.

Your company’s goal is to give the customer what they want. Social media is where the customer will tell you just that, so it’s important that you listen. Directly responding to followers helps build rapport between your business and your followers. Their remark could be a compliment, complaint, or question but, it helps your follower feel as though they are being listened to and that their opinion is valued.

There are plenty more ways to maximize your social media efforts. These 7 tips are meant to help guide you through the beginning stages of a successful social media campaign. By carefully identifying your target market, selecting the best social sites for you, setting measurable goals, your social media presence will start off smoothly. Listening to your audience, analyzing the numbers, and staying ahead of the competition will quickly show you the benefits of fully leveraging the power of social media.

J&R Marketing is a marketing company that specializes in branding, development, and custom products. For more advice on how to build impactful social media pages, send us an email, give us a call, or come visit our showroom.

Lilly Howe
lilly@jandrmarketing.com

Lilly Howe is J&R Marketing's social media and marketing specialist.

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