You want to manage social media for your business? Creating profiles on social networking is the first (and most easy!) step. Then it’s on to forming a strategy and implementing the tools to promote your brand and your business. Here are some tips to act, analyze and improve your social media strategy.
Choose your channels. Facebook and Twitter may seem obvious, as well as YouTube to broadcast videos. But if you target a purely professional audience (B2B), consider also LinkedIn to promote your business and your expertise. Does your company specialize in fashion and/or creativity? Adopt Pinterest and Instagram to increase branding opportunities. If you lack experience, look at what your competitors are doing, what social networks they prefer, what type of information they broadcast, and their publication frequency.
Think mobile. Nearly 84 percent of the 890 million people who used Facebook’s service daily did so on a mobile phone. Be sure to see how your social media page and your blog show on mobile devices.
Remain active. Everyone agrees on this point: you must publish regularly. Where opinions differ, it’s about the frequency! A simple rule: when not publishing at least once daily on every social network, you will not build conclusive results. The Buffer‘s blog (a service to help manage social networks) recently published some interesting tips about recommended frequencies of social publication. Their suggestions: 2 times per day at most on Facebook, 3 or more tweets on Twitter, once per day on LinkedIn, at least 1 or 2 articles per week on your blog (for more explanations and tips on other social networks, read the full article). This is of course a guideline, you have to fit to your business, resources and your availability.
Images for engagement. Images are a simple way to increase engagement on your social media posts. 82 percent of marketers think that using images or photos are one of the most important tactics for optimizing content on social media. Different marketing studies report the same: a publication with a relevant picture, graphics or video will benefit from a much better view.
When you purchase a photo, illustration or video, Fotolia allows you to choose the right size for the type of publication you are considering. So, no need to buy an image in high definition if it is just to illustrate a tweet or a short blog post. You can also directly download an image with copyright for social networks which shows the name of the author, image ID as well as stock providor (in this instance, Fotolia). For more information you can find it in this article.
Schedule for posting. You will be more effective if you prepare a schedule for posts and blog articles for the forthcoming weeks or months ahead. Prepare this editorial calendar based upon on expected news relating to your business (eg product launch) as well as significant seasonal, social or cultural events relevent for your business (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, exhibitions), etc.
Analyze the effectiveness of publications. Social networks give you some tools to measure the effectiveness of your publications such as Facebook insights. You want more? Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer (there are many others) also allow you to plan your publications and/or manage all your social networks in one user interface, and analyze the effectiveness of your activities on Facebook, Twitter and others social media platforms. Your goal: know what publications report the most traffic or engagement to better focus your efforts.
To track your blog or website, measure and understand engagement on your site, Google Analytics offers powerful tools. If you have a blog or a WordPress website, the free plugin “WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast” will help you optimize SEO, and thus the popularity of your website.
Strategic watch. When you manage a blog and accounts on social networks, you must find fresh and interesting content every day. The good news is that your community does not expect only news about your company, your products and your services. Follow the influencers in your industry, share the benefits of your market survey, alert your community with useful or surprising information, link to a blog post or a white paper to read, an event not to be missed… In addition to following the “opinion leaders” in your industry on Twitter, adopt Feedly, a highly effective free web service to track publications of dozens of RSS feeds in a personalized dashboard.
Find brand ambassadors. An ambassador is a person or company sharing contents and publications about your company on social media. You can ask your friends and volunteer employees to be brand promoters. It can also be a formal or informal partnerships with companies or influencers who have an interest in your brand – a visibility exchange, for example. It will be easier for your ambassadors to share about your company if you give them hashtag.
Be reactive. It is important to monitor what is said about you, and quickly respond to questions as well as critical or nice comments. If followers share or retweet your post, take the time to thank them.
Send newsletters. Once a month or even more depending on your frequency of publication on the blog, send a newsletter by email to your subscribers. If you don’t have a lot of new contents, this can be a thematic newsletter that mixes recent articles and other older ones on the same topic. For each article, the newsletter should contain the title, an image, a short excerpt and a link “Read more”.
What social media marketing strategies have you found worked for your business? We’d love to know – let us know by commenting below.