S ocial media is here to stay, which is forcing businesses to take a step forward to build a strong social media presence. "Bugging" into the face of your customers can be translated into an effective social presence.
If you haven't optimized your social media presence, no worries, there is still time. The benefits will reward all the efforts. The advantages that come with it include better communication with your target audience and brand awareness increase; plus, it helps you grow your social reach, build authority and popularity.
By all means, take the time to cultivate a proper online presence for your brand using the next indicators:
- Seek Relationships, not Just Followers
- Focus on Helping, not Just Advertising
- Check Best Times to Boost Engagement
- Create Content That People Want & Need
- Maintain a Constant Social Presence
You can't expect too much from social media if you post some articles, mention a few people, share random links and then call it a day. You need to put in all your efforts to make it work.
If we look at the evolution of social media, we can understand a bit more. Social media started to experience significant growth when Facebook took the lead. Check the following printscreen for better visualization.
In the first printscreen, we can see that the evolution of Social Media started around 2008. In the second printscreen, we can see the trending for Twitter, Facebook (which had a bigger spike around 2008, too) and Instagram.
1. Seek Relationships, not Just Followers
Social networking means social communication and building relationships. That's where the name comes from. Social media is not for keeping up appearances, but more for creating a community, a group of fans, people that can become brand ambassadors and help you create better products and services. Counting your followers is a vanity metric, (isn't it)?
We've heard it multiple times and we should keep on listening because people often forget: 1,000 active followers that engage with your posts will always be more valuable than 100,000 followers.
Take advantage of this form of communication, the "social" part of the "social media presence" and form relationships. The beauty of social media is that you can talk to your audience from anywhere. Don't focus only on collecting followers that won't bring you any traction or conversions.
Start conversations, ask questions and offer helpful advice on your social media account. Check out the example below from cognitiveSEO, where they engage with the readers.
Other means of making people react to your posts are mentioning people in your posts if you're sharing their social media content, comment on their posts and just reference their content. Take the high road, not the shortcut.
2. Focus on Helping, not Just Advertising
Although you rely on selling your product, your social media marketing strategy shouldn't be all about that. Don't use social media to hard sell. On certain platforms and gatherings, it will make more sense to push offers and discounts.
Think of it this way: people look on Facebook to see what other people think about a brand, to find evidence of trust and value and get a sense of the community vibe. They search on Twitter to see any news and live events and on Instagram to see the team spirit or some other ideas on how to use the product or get visually creative.
Providing helpful information that could benefit a wider range of visitors would yield higher benefits and earn customers in the long term.
If you receive questions from your audience, make sure you answer in time; otherwise, they might lose interest and trust, depending on the stage of the buying funnel they are at.
For all the pushy fans that are "bugging" you with the same particular issue, the cure is a polite response. You can try to create content that speaks directly to them or include a solution for them in an upcoming article. But don't lose focus on the other customers, because the rest of your audience might have completely different needs.
3. Check Best Times to Boost Engagement
They say "time is of the essence", and social media proves that every day. There's no better synchrony than to share something the user needs, which is fairly rare. So, in order to get those sparkly specific moments, you need to search for the best times to post your content online.
To get even closer and share micro-moments with your audience, it requires a lot more work and data analysis.
Google describes a micro-moment as intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey.
For starters, look into Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights or YouTube Analytics, depending on what social media accounts you're using. Then check the best performing posts in terms of views, number of likes, comments and social reach.
Build a weekly content calendar to make it easier for you to keep track and perform future scheduling programs.
The internet is a tremendous source of information, where you can find some other timely opportunities. For example, Hootsuite built up a documented article where it shares some of the best time options to post on social media in 2019.
After you juggle with these options, you can create your own best hour & day to post content online to increase brand awareness.
The most important thing you should remember after finding your time table is to be active. Don't give up on scheduling and sharing content once you started because you can easily lose your audience and all your hard work will go to dust.
Put it simply, inactive social feeds are a bad look for brands; not attractive and not to be trusted. Take some time in the first part of the day and schedule posts a few days in advance just to be sure you're keeping things rolling. Check your Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter page and so on a daily basis or a few times a day. If necessary, you should be answering questions and any upcoming comments from your social media followers.
Boosting engagement is never easy and it requires you to actively engage your users on your social media channels and not only. Encourage them to comment on your blog posts, to ask questions and to send you a message whenever they feel the need.
4. Create Content that People Want & Need
Avoid creating the same content over and over again. Reinvent the wheel for a change and ask questions to find out what your readers want to hear. Don't be boring. Pay attention to your competitors. Look on their social media profiles. Don't write what your competition has already stated unless they really missed something important in their copy and you have some good solutions. There is that term of customer care that means satisfying your customers' needs. You should practice it in your digital marketing strategy.
Quora is a great space for Q&As. You can ask questions on specific topics to see exactly what's burning and what the current hot points are. Look for ideas and you can apply the same strategy on your other social media networks.
5. Maintain a Constant Social Presence
We've previously talked about brand consistency in building a strong social media presence. The time has come.
Just like SEO, I assume, social media doesn't come easy, or better said, having an engaged social audience is hard to attain. And building relationships is not a piece of cake. You need to feed them with relevant content, with frequency, using a scheduled calendar.
Use automation tools to follow a posting schedule. Even so, make sure you check up on your social account and it can require 15 minutes or more than an hour to schedule and respond to questions or engage in conversations. That time is a rough estimation, depending on how many social channels you have and on how many days you schedule in advance.
According to Social Media Today, 77% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media over one they don't, so growing your social media strategy should only benefit you.
Chances are that juggling with multiple social media profiles will make your work harder and you'll have a harder time building a visible social media presence. Setting the basics right will do you a lot of good. Start using a social program to schedule posts, be constant, offer help and create valuable content based on what people are asking and need in their daily business struggle.
Checking your boxes after reading this article should be liberating. Start improving your social media strategy. Good luck!
'Till next time 🙂