Understand the Platforms and the Individualized Strategy for Each
Working with any social media platform – especially the big four of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – you have to understand that the strategy has to be individualized for each account. We often liken social media to a pair of pants–and each platform is a separate pocket in those pants. Sure, you can have one piece of core content, but that information needs to be recycled and re-purposed so that it can be optimally absorbed on that platform and gain you the most attention, thereby widening your digital footprint. When creating, curating, and posting, consider the age of your desired audience, the subject matter they’d most be interested in, and the timing of when you should post. Want to reach a younger generation? Look to Snapchat. Want to reach all of the moms out there? Put Pinterest to work for you. Above all don’t post content that you like; post content that your audience will like (and ultimately engage with).
How often should you post? With a ‘noisy’ place like Twitter, consider posting four or more times a day (at a minimum) to enable your content to be seen by more users. With a platform like Facebook, one post a day is ample in order to get your message out and to have gain the most attention. Posting twice a day is perfectly fine, given that (1) each piece of content is really jaw-dropping , and (2) you give time between each post – by posting the second too soon after the first, you’ll inevitably cut down on the attention of that initial post. If posting twice, an easy solution is to post in the morning and then again in the early evening.
No, You Really Can’t Simply ‘Set it and Forget It’
For the 1,000th time, your social media should be managed much like a garden. You need to work at it, or else it won’t grow. Popping some seeds in the ground and doing nothing else = no flowers. Posting one bit of content and not building around it? No attention, no engagement, no customers. Social media management and marketing takes time, practice, a ton of effort, as well as ingenuity and creativity. Social media today – and the online world as a whole – is all about building a community, having a conversation, and telling a story. You need to be able to connect with users who are past, present, and future customers, as well as figure-heads and thought leaders in your industry. Be active and available to respond in real time (or at least within a small moment of time) in order to fully engage, respond, and converse. If users are unable to connect with you, they’ll quickly and easily go start a discussion elsewhere.
Leverage the Real World to Build Your Digital Presence
Businesses and brands often start a social strategy by jumping into one or two directions. They either follow and connect with everyone under the sun, or they sit back in the hopes that the followers and fans will come to them. Fact is, especially when starting out, you need to meet in the middle. Businesses can build an online community by connecting with the community they already have. Boost the online ‘word-of-mouth’ growth by leveraging the data and the connections you already have in place. Do not hesitate to take the time to locate and follow those individuals in your CRM, your email lists, and your real-life relationships. By connecting with those that know you, your service, or your product, they’ll be more apt to openly share and engage with your content, allowing you to siphon off a portion of their community and making it your own.