Making engaging and useful content and then sharing it effectively on social media is a challenge that more and more marketers and small and medium-sized business owners are facing, as they realise the increasing amount of time their customers are spending on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.
Here are six ways you can instantly improve your reach, engagement and the quality of your content and create a social media strategy.
1. Make a marketing calendar. Set up an online calendar with all of the events and important dates throughout the year for your business. Add in holidays that resonate with a lot of people such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Eid, Hannukah, Diwali and Christmas, plus other days relevant to your customers. You have quickly created a large number of touch-points that you can use to interact with people via social media at times when they are talking about the same holidays or events.
2. Get inspired by the competition. Don’t call it copying, but all your competitors will have the same challenges as you, work in a similar market and will often use social media too. Make sure you follow all of their social media accounts, assess their content strategy and see what you can learn. Use the good and avoid the bad.
3. Social media is just another channel for your overall marketing and communications goals. Make sure you are authentic to your brand, treat customers well and always answer their queries or complaints quickly and politely. Make sure you integrate with other marketing channels and use any offline or non-social online communications as opportunities for more content. Integrate with other campaigns and amplify them using social.
4. Make a content plan. It’s never rewarding to sit at your desk pondering what your next post could be, while you hope for some inspiration. It isn’t a good use of your time either. Brainstorm some content ideas with people from around the business. There could easily be ten types of post you could come up with and often you can create a series of posts that give you material for months to come. Keep up the variety, but have these different content ideas to fall back on, when inspiration is lacking or nothing spontaneous or contemporary has come your way that day.
5. Analyse your posts relentlessly. Ideas are great and so are plans and goals. However, each social platform has analytics baked into its DNA. Facebook Insights, Twitter or LinkedIn analytics. Delve into these gold mines of information to see what the real outcome of your social media strategy has been. Are you posts getting the right reach? Are they getting good engagement? Are you reaching the people you think you are reaching? Are their gaps in your demographics. Iterate on these themes and soon the break-out posts will become business as usual for you.
6. Share. Social is about a conversation and is about sharing. If you sell something made by others, go to their social media and share their best posts. They may be a much bigger company than yours and have great content and resources at their disposal, which you can benefit from also. Share posts from related, but non-competitive companies or respected organisations in your field. Don’t make it just about you and don’t try to sell with every post. If every single post is a sales pitch your audience will quickly switch off.
Have fun, be real and talk back and your social channels will flourish.