You want your social media posts to get attention, but how do you go about it? There’s no magic formula. But, LAMB Social Media Management have put together this handy little ‘Who, What, Where, When, Why and How’ guide to help.
Who is your audience? Do some research and tailor your content to your largest audience demographic. This will, in turn, help you to get to know they type of content that is most appealing to your target audience and set the right tone for communicating with your audience. Think about who is using what social media platform and when. Ask yourself questions such as ‘Does Facebook engage the same kind of audience as Instagram?’. For example, it is helpful to know that 80% of the Instagram audience is female, whereas 53% of Facebook users are male; and that people who are active on LinkedIn tend not to like humorous posts whereas those on Facebook are more likely to love them. Use all the data you have to hand to tailor your content to best suit the audience that are most likely to interact with your business. Creating content that suits your audience will not only keep your current, and future, customers engaged with your business, but you are more likely to hold on to them too.
What and When? The type of content that you should be using is the content that generates the highest engagement for you. You might already know which of your posts gave you the most ‘likes’, ‘comments’, ‘retweets’ or ‘shares’ – focus your efforts on creating more content of the same type. It’s likely that you’ve already worked out that visual and interactive posts work best on social media platforms such as Facebook, whereas ‘q and a’ type content works well on Twitter. Our rule of thumb is that whichever social media platforms you are using, use infographics. Think quotes, behind-the-scenes photos, links, questions, links to older posts, and so on. We have this rule of thumb because infographics have been found to be the most engaging form of content across all social media platforms. They are 30 times more likely to be read than text-only posts. It’s estimated that content with videos will attract three times more ‘retweets’ or ‘shares’ than their text based counterparts. Facebook is definitely coming round to this idea: between May and June of last year, Facebook video views grew by 50%. And videos are being hailed as the future of digital marketing, so it makes good business sense to post a video or two. You don’t need a production budget – upload videos from your mobile phone, record a series of ‘how to’ videos on your home camera, or even capture and share great examples of your favourites from the internet. In addition, do some research on the days and times that your audience is most likely to interact with your posts. Typically, engagement on Facebook is at its highest on Thursdays and Fridays (some 18% higher than on other days), whereas you’re better off posting to Twitter Monday to Thursday, and Tuesday to Thursdays for LinkedIn.
How? Whilst there are some perfectly adequate social media scheduling tools out there, it is good to remain current. Your content should be based on the recent news, events and developments in your industry, and also the popular, trending ones outside of your industry also. Your audience want to know that you are engaged as well. Being a few steps ahead presents your business as confident and well informed, building business – customer trust. Harness the power of hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and join in on conversation that’s already happening. Just make sure you know the story behind a trending hashtag before posting your contribution… Have a look at the image in this paragraph. Pizza company DiGiorno Pizza fell into disrepute after jumping on a trending hashtag to get noticed. The idea here is for you to be present, join in and build a sense of sociability and human presence through your social media content.
Who should be posting? You, your employees and your social media manager. The key to successful social media engagement is to simply be present. Be steady and consistent when it comes to the flow of your posts and uploaded information. The more consistent you are in posting on social media, the more familiar your business will appear to your audience and the more comfortable they will feel in communicating with you. The trick is to create high quality posts consistently, and quite frankly that can be overwhelming and time consuming. There are nifty tools out there which will upload content on your behalf and provide valuable time-saving services, but beware the pitfalls of automated posts – often, names can be incorrectly mentioned and they feel very ‘spammy’. Have a look at just some of the automated posts we found that didn’t quite go to plan:
One tweeter even claims it’s just a ‘glitch’. Twice! And big companies have fallen foul too – Look at Oreo’s automated response to a tweet from a rather fruitily-named mischievous account. Remember, successful social media marketing is a two-way conversation. Keep in mind that it is important to respond to comments, shares, likes and retweets across different platforms and also for you to encourage your audience to participate in the discussion by comments, questions and so on. Make sure you as your readers to join in – it shows that you care about them!
So, that’s our ‘Who, What, Where, When, How and Why’ guide to social media marketing. We will leave you with one final, valuable tip. STOP TRYING TO SELL. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Well, the problem is that our customers are simply tired of being told to buy. The more you put out an aggressive marketing message, the more they will shy away. Instead, focus on showing your customers that you are thoughtful and have insight into your industry. Guide a two-way conversation between business and customer. The more you show your confidence and knowledge of your industry, the more customers will want to do business with your company. Don’t brag, just make conversation. If your product or service and the image of your business is on point, then everything else will fall into place. Put everything into what your customers want most. People use social media to be social. They don’t want a sales pitch. Some marketing professionals believe in the 80/20 rule, and I think it’s worth thinking about. Make only 20% of your business’ posts self promotion (with a persuasive call to action), while the other 80% of your posts should be ‘shareable’, interesting content, tailored to your audience.
Still have some questions? Give us a call on 01553 886113, or drop us a message and we will be glad to talk to you about how we can help you and your business make the most of social media marketing.