Social media can be a fantastic way to build the awareness of your website, product or brand but with so many options around, where do you begin?
Facebook? Twitter? SlideShare? Pinterest? Should you create accounts for all of them?
When should you post? How often should you post? What should you post?
We have put together the ten must-dos for social media users from small businesses to global brands to get the most out of their social media platforms and provide the best experience for their followers.
Bolster the engagement of your posts with images.
Images can break up the monotony. Use topical, interesting images to stand out in the often-busy feeds of your followers. Make sure they add to the message of your post or tweet and seek to find pictures that people will be keen to share with their friends.
Offer giveaways for shares, likes and loyalty
Everyone loves free stuff and giveaways can be an excellent way to get your product in the hands of your fans or potential customers. Hosting a contest or providing incentives for people to ‘like’ or ‘share’ can boost the awareness of your brand and build customer loyalty.
Take advantage ofhashtags
Wherever your message is being promoted, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,etc, use hashtags to make your posts easier to find. Take advantage of any relevant trending hashtags to reach new audiences and, if appropriate, accompany a campaign with an original hashag.
Shorter is often better
Social media followers read in a matter of seconds, so shorter messages often have a greater impact. Make sure you get the point of your post across in the opening sentence to grab the attention of readers.
Schedule your content
If you have a large number of social media channels and an equally large number of posts to cover, consider using an app such as Buffer, Seesmic or HootSuite. Scheduling posts can be great way to space out your content and find out when your audience are reading and interacting with your posts.
Stay on top of the analytics
Social media can be a great way to promote a message and create debate amongst readers but it can also be a superb way to direct traffic to webpages.
All social media platforms have simple ways to link your message to a website – whether it is your homepage, a special offer or a sales page – and with the easy-to-use Google Analytics, you can track the success of different platforms and the messages you have sent out.
Make sure every communication has a purpose.
Before you head to a social media platform to spread your worthy message, pause to consider what you hope to achieve from the post. Thinking about the desired result will narrow your focus and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Use the influence of an expert
There are experts in every field, be it a business to business or business to consumer space. They will be well regarded by your audience, may have a large social media base and may be already followed by members of your community. But it is very likely that they will have followers who do not know of your product or are aren’t overly familiar with what you have to offer. Use them to capture this audience.
Source them to write a blog for you – they will promote their work and add credibility to your product. Members of their social media groups will become aware of you and your social media channels can only grow.
Only commit to the channels you can cover.
The reality is you are wasting your time if you push content to social media without any follow up. No matter what field you work in, or what message you are trying to spread, communication is a two-way street.
Sure, as mentioned above, you want to build the re-tweets, shares, likes and pins, but they are aided by loyal followers who feel their voices are heard and they have a place to share their opinions and communicate with other followers.
So, start small. Cover the social media channels you have time to interact with, build a deep level of engagement with your loyal customers and stay in touch.From a solid base, you can expand.