Social media can be one of the cheapest yet most powerful and influential tools in your marketing arsenal if you know how to use it correctly. The value in being able to communicate and engage with your audience of both existing and potential customers is essential to building success and social media channels can offer you a range of ways to do just that.
If you’re going to build a presence in social media there’s a few golden rules you need to consider though:
1. Know Your Audience and Know The Right Platform.
It’s easy to think that if you’re regularly posting great content on your social media channels that you’re going to get your audiences engagement. This won’t happen if your audience can’t hear you though! Understanding your audience and knowing which platform they use and how they use it is essential. If you’re communicating to executives in larger organisations are you going to get them to listen to you via Facebook? Perhaps you’re trying to talk to students, then perhaps LinkedIn won’t be the best medium for them. Knowing your customers and where to find them is crucial to getting your social media messages to succeed.
2. Tone of Voice.
It can be hard to define, but your organisation and therefore your brand has a distinct identity and therefore a distinct tone. Ensuring the content you’re posting across social media accurately reflects this tone is extremely important. In another article we discussed the creation of a brand identity and tone – revisit this if you’re unsure. Deliver your content in a tone that both reflects your brand effectively but also one that meets with your audiences desires and expectations.
3. Plan Ahead.
As with all marketing activities, the need to plan ahead and look beyond today is of huge importance to your social media success. Creating a journey that you can take your audience on and thinking longer term around your content can really help you to achieve much better engagement. You don’t want to start by just shouting “BUY THIS!” so perhaps by building a series of posts on a related subject that start with subtler engagement and arrive with a more clear “buy” call to action can resonate better with the recipient.
4. Scheduling and Staying Consistent.
There’s nothing worse than posting a ton of content one day because you’ve got time free and then doing nothing for a week. Keeping your cadence consistent and regular can really help improve your social media results. These days there’s a ton of great tools out there that can help you schedule your posts In advance – so you don’t have to rely on doing it live or remembering to post. These include platforms such as Buffer, SocialOomph and TweetDeck and many more but the post popular and widely used is probably Hootsuite. Find out more about using Hootsuite
5. Build a Hook.
Social media works best when it engages your audience and encourages them to get involved. Whether its asking a question, requesting feedback or just build audience rapport, think about how you can incorporate a CTA (call to action) in your posts. Whilst this can be a “buy” or convert type function, only do this when it complements your message and don’t do it all the time.
Social media can truly be a powerful and low cost marketing tactic, so always think of ways to build it into your activities and plans and help amplify all of your messaging.