The B2C communication landscape has changed dramatically in the last five years; social media is now an integral communication tool for businesses and their customers. No TV show is complete without their hashtag being plugged after every ad break; service providers turn to Facebook and Twitter in order to inform and appease disgruntled customers; and no new product is released without a fully fledged social media campaign behind it.
As more and more businesses take the plunge into the fast-paced world of social, we break down our top 5 tips for making the most of your channels.
1. Know your audience
Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to social media; every channel, like its audience, is unique and used for its own specific purpose.
Take the time to understand your audience, what they like and don’t like, when they’re active, and what engages them the most.
Use your channels’ insights to plot peak times for sharing updates – it may surprise you as to the “perfect” time for your audience, so don’t assume that everyone is looking at your page during their lunch break or on their commute (though these are certainly good places to start!). The time taken in these initial tests will be repaid ten-fold when you’re able to schedule posts knowing that they’ll reach the right people at the right time.
2. Know your channels & have a content strategy for each
Similarly to your audience, don’t post the same information on every channel.
Professional updates? Hello, LinkedIn! New product line with beautifully shot images: what Pinterest board dreams are made of! Look at each channel you have and really segment your content to fit each’s purpose.
If you’re lucky enough to have a band of loyal users following you on every channel, the last thing you want to do is bore them by posting the same image and caption on every platform.
Experiment with your picture taking skills for inspirational Instagram images, keep on top of the day’s trending topics on Twitter, and build your interaction with consumers-turned-friends on Facebook.
3. Create original & engaging content
This, hopefully, should be a no-brainer and is essential to successfully growing your following and keeping users engaged. A retweet or a regram here and there never hurt anyone, but if all of your content is borrowed from others you’ll never establish yourself as a market leader.
Think outside of the box and try new things, the beauty of social media is that there are very few rules to play by. Have fun, engage your employees, share behind the scenes tidbits, and do things that your competitors are too shy to try.
This is the opportunity to make your brand sexy, even if your day to day work isn’t that exciting. Be inspirational and aspirational and the likes and shares will come flooding in.
4. Social media never sleeps
Just like the news, social channels never stop. But fear not, this doesn’t mean that opening a Twitter account means you have to say goodbye to a good night’s sleep for the next 10 years. It does, however, mean that dedicating some time to planning ahead will prove to be invaluable.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all work at their very best when you regularly share updates; Pinterest and LinkedIn are a little slower-paced, requiring something new once or twice a week.
Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t dedicate hours every day to each channel, but do find some quality time to schedule posts so that there’s always something new for your users to discover.
5. LinkedIn is your best (professional) friend
Professional networks such as Linkedin, Xing, and Glassdoor are your best friends when it comes to telling the world about your business. Don’t neglect these channels as they’re one of the first places a prospective applicant, client, and investor will look to find out more about you. Job opportunities within your team? Share away! Just had the best sales year ever and celebrated with a company BBQ? Show us the pics! These are the perfect channels to really show off why your company is a great place to work and one step ahead of competitors.
The most important thing to remember when crafting your social media strategy is that there’s a lot of trial and error, and just because one tweet only got a handful of favourites, or a Facebook post didn’t get quite as many shares as you’d hoped, it’s OK. Be human, connect with your followers, and try new things. Good luck and have fun!
| By Charlotte Stringer, STYLIGHT Social Content Manager |