“How do I get more followers?”
“So…you just get paid to scroll through Instagram all day?”
As a Social Media Specialist, Journalist, and Blogger, I hear these questions TOO MUCH from my clients, friends, and family. Of course everyone wants to “look good” on social media, but a decent following isn’t the only thing you should be concerned about. My role requires a lot more work than just simply posting a picture on Instagram. Social Media Marketing gives you a way to connect personally with potential and returning clients. With all the advancements in the online world, it isn’t even an option for a business to ignore social media, but the real question is, how do we go about gaining a presence?
So where do you even begin?
What content do you post and how do you find quality content to attract an audience?
How do you know if your efforts are even working?
To get started, it is necessary to take the time to educate yourself on how social media works. This means reading content online and taking free or paid courses that teach you how to implement strategies. Social media marketing basics are all related, but it is important to know the best strategies for your specific business based on your target audience. This is also the key to staying focused and not getting frustrating when you don’t see high engagement right away. Social media takes TIME and EFFORT!
I started my career at Loud Interactive in Chicago, a start-up company, with almost no social media existence. When I first joined the team, I studied blogs to learn the best practices and was determined to get our company high up in the social media game on all of our channels. Once you’re in, your efforts should never slow down. I still work just as hard remotely as I did in the beginning to keep increasing our presence and engagement! Now I am the PR and Social Media Coorrdinator at a Commercial and Music Video Production Company called PRETTYBIRD. I also do freelance work on the side for different clients and companies. Again, it takes time and effort to build your brand on social media, but it all pays off if you are willing to do the work and keep at it.
You may not get as many likes as Selena Gomez or Beyoncé anytime soon, but follow my 10 favorite social media marketing tips to boost your platforms to the next level:
Write the best profile bio & keep it consistent: Talking about yourself is hard…describing yourself and what you offer in a limited amount of characters is even harder. Think about what you can offer someone and write it using a conversational tone with keywords related to your business. Bonus points if you can add a little humor or something funny about you in the mix. Make sure to use the same name with picture across all of your channels to keep it consistent and for people to recognize you.
Create valuable content: Give your audience what they want! Use the 80/20 rule by giving 80% valuable information that people will find useful and 20% content promoting your business and services. People go on social media to be entertained not to be advertised at. Quality over Quantity is the key in SEO just as it’s the same for social media. Search engines take “social signals” in account when determining a sites pagerank. If you are creating amazing content, the impressions should come naturally and increase your page rank.
ENGAGE: This is one of the most important things that people miss! You can’t just throw your content out there several times a day and then “walk away.” Engagement is a two-way street. People want to interact by “liking” and “commenting” with people who also support them. If you are strictly just sharing your own pictures and content without replying to other brands, then you are not building that relationship. Engaging with your audience allows them to see your brand as more than just a business. Always reply to comments on your content, then go back and leave one for them. Comment and follow other similar brands as they will most likely reciprocate. You get what you give! Engage with other brands and give them a reason to engage with yours.
Cross promote all of your content: Cross promotion of your social media channels and website will increase visibility of all your content. Add social media tabs/icons on your website to be easily found and clicked on by a viewer. You need to always link back to your website when sharing content. Every blog post should be announced with the link on all of your social channels. You can re purpose your best content using different captions and summaries each time you promote it.
Use visuals: Always use a picture with your post, because visuals are more eye pleasing than just text. Make sure you are aware of image copyright regulations. If you can’t find a stock photo image to use, Canva is a great tool to creating your own custom images. Right now, video is more popular than ever! Take the time to create high quality videos and utilize live streaming to advance your visual content.
Post consistently: Make a social media calendar to stay consistent and to schedule your posts for the week. Figure out the best times and how often to post for each platform. Post frequently, but do not over do it. For example, Twitter moves faster so you should post multiple tweets per day. On the other hand, find the perfect picture and caption to post on Instagram just once a day.
Utilize analytic tools to measure results: It’s important to create content consistently, but it is even more important to track the results. Set goals for the month and see what content has performed the best with your target audience using online analytic tools. Be aware of what your most-liked and most-commented photos are and post more like them. That’s what your followers want to see. Focus the most on your engagement results, rather than the amount of likes.
Social media advertising: Use your target audience to create ads tailored to them within your budget. This gets your best content across to new faces who could become potential clients. Advertising has always been effective, and now you can use social media to advance your marketing efforts.
Watch your competitors: Be aware of who your competitors are following, what they are posting, who is interacting with them, and what platforms they are utilizing the most. Use what they are doing to brainstorm new ways to stay ahead as you strive to always be the best!
Work as a team: Assign tasks to all employees to develop more content. This includes image and video creation, blog writing, content creation, scheduling, press, and team features. Create a shared place where everyone can add in ideas for content creation and see what others are thinking.
That’s it for right now! I will continue sharing more detailed social media tips, so you can continue to increase your brand awareness.
The ultimate goal for your social media marketing is to drive traffic to your website, increase your brand visibility, gain more loyal followers to turn into clients, and stay ahead of the latest trends!
Need help getting started with a social media plan for your business? Contact me to find out more about how I can help you with your social media and marketing plan.