Social media isn’t an optional place to engage. For most businesses, it’s an absolute necessity to build brand awareness, attract more sales and simply stay connected with target audiences.
It can seem like an overwhelming task. Which platforms do you choose? Where does the time come from to post online when you already have a packed schedule? How can you compete with those who have been posting for years? How do you improve what you already have? There are a lot of questions and no shortage of experts willing to help.
You can find some great ways to optimize your social media presence that won’t cost an arm and a leg or take up a week’s worth of time. Here are 5 tips that apply to any organization and any social media platform:
1. Create a plan
You might be tempted to set up an account on Twitter and dabble “just to see if it works” but this is fraught with frustration and ultimately failure. Trying social media out, without a plan, means there are no objectives to work towards, no measures to prove success, no consistency and no basis for the direction of the posts.
Creating a plan can sound as overwhelming as social media itself. Fortunately, with more and more consultants who have taken a digital marketing certificate program, the expertise is available to help construct the plan. Some digital marketers will expect to create the plan and manage your content, but you may not need both tasks. Know how much you have to spend, determine primary goals and find a consultant who works a la carte specific to your needs. This will help keep your budget grounded while also ensuring the plan is in place for someone else to create and post content if that’s the desired approach.
2. Focus on delivering a great experience
Not everyone who is involved in social media management has taken a UX design course, so it may seem impossible to customize platforms the way you’d like. Changing some of the organization’s profile setups may be possible, but it isn’t always worth the time or money. Instead, put your focus into creating a great experience for visitors in other ways.
Fill out the organization’s profile completely on each platform – every section needs a response. Put customers first in terms of what you choose to share.
Consider hiring a consultant who has taken a UX design course online to create an app. No matter what you choose to do, websites, social media and apps all have one thing in common: they must be created and managed with the user in mind.
3. Ask questions and interact
Questions are a great way to create engagement and interaction. However, if you only have a few followers, don’t expect your questions to “go viral.” It takes time and consistency to build up a following. When someone reaches out, respond and engage with them. Don’t leave your followers feeling ghosted. Ever.
Take the time to follow others and share posts from them that you find meaningful for your audience. Not only does this create a circle of engagement, it also provides you with a greater amount of valuable content you don’t need to create.
4. Be a problem solver
You know your customers. You know what they like and don’t like. You also know why they need your product or service. Use that knowledge to help you create content that speaks to their problems and concerns. Create well-written content that is engaging and helps people. Share it among all your social media platforms, but in different ways and at different times so it’s not repetitive.
5. Modify the plan as needed
Social media marketing is a long-term plan. Blogs, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, etc. may see immediate and dramatic results, but more often, it’s a slower, gradual build to achieve objectives. Return to your plan every six months to make modifications as needed. Consider making changes every three months if you’re in a quickly-changing industry.
There are numerous ways to advance your social media presence from this point, but starting with these basics are always the first step to optimizing your efforts.