Social media continues to be a rapidly changing environment. Last year saw a lot of major changes in social media such as changes to social algorithms and the elimination of specific metrics such as “Likes.”
Despite the changes, you can still do a lot to improve your social media engagement. There are a lot of tools you can use to “shortcut” the process. Be careful. Social media is successful when you approach it as a marathon and not a sprint. Take the time to connect and engage with your social media community. Remember: you need them more than they need you.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR SOCIAL VOICE IS CONSISTENT
Who does your business sound like? Do you sound sassy? Studious? Do you use short sentences? These important questions impact more than just social media, but are easily demonstrated on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Your social media voice should be in line with your brand’s persona. A brand persona is a characterization or personalization of your business. Creating a brand persona is a helpful exercise that documents who your business sounds like and acts like on social media.
Create a single, detailed description of your brand’s voice. Here are some things you should consider:
- Describe your brand voice in only three words
- How does your brand converse? Are you serious or playful?
- Do you use a lot of technical jargon?
- Find a picture of your brand—something to visually represent your company (a person)
2. TRACK AND EVALUATE YOUR METRICS
Social media metrics or measurements are some of the hardest to define. Is community size or number of page likes important? What was your organic reach? How much engagement is considered successful? Determining which metrics are right for you is important.
To evaluate what you should measure comes down to how you will define success for your social media efforts.
- Have you defined your social media goals?
- Can increased awareness be measured by community growth?
- Does your social media lead generation come to a dedicated website landing page?
- Is your social content getting comments and shares?
3. BE HUMAN
Success in social media is being social. As obvious as it sounds, many businesses lose focus and try to be “all sales, all the time.” Your brand stops the conversation and simply broadcasts. Your social media performance plummets and your community shrinks.
It is important to remember to keep your position in the social ecosystem. You need the community more than the community needs you. Here are some ideas to keep your social media more human:
- Post like a person and not a marketer
- Feature your employees in posts
- Go behind the scenes of your business
- Tell them who is speaking (which teammate)
4. INVEST IN YOUR VISUALS (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)
Show. Don’t tell. A picture is worth a thousand words. No matter which adage you use, the message is the same. Visuals matter. A real image tells a great story and an authentic video enamors a community.
Using pictures and video on social channels has evolved beyond the perfect or ideal image. Your social communities want to see what you’re really like. Authentic images don’t come from $10,000 cameras and perfectly staged situations. Your social community would like to know what it is really like during a Tuesday night or on busy holiday weekend.
Where can you see a return on your visual investment?
- Hire a freelance photographer or videographer
- If you’re going to do it yourself, learn the basics of photography and videography
- Invest in a tripod or stabilizer for your camera and for sound, invest in a good microphone
- You will never (maybe rarely) get it perfect on the first try—keep shooting
5. TARGET YOUR BOOSTED CONTENT. THEN ADJUST YOUR TARGETING.
The percentage of your organic reach on most social content doesn’t break into the double digits. You should budget and become accustomed to promoting your posts with paid social reach. There is good news. You don’t have to do it blindly. There is even better news—you can make adjustments.
Popular social channels give you the ability to geographically and demographically target who sees your post—even if they are not following you. For example, you own a dog grooming business and want to run a Christmas special. You’ve created a social post announcing the special and even have a landing page on your website.
You “boost” your post on Facebook targeting everyone interested in pets within a 20 mile radius of your business. By investing in a weekly budget, you see area pet owners clicking and engaging your post. Great! You’re reaching new eyeballs!
Not so great. You’re getting a lot of calls for cat grooming and you’re not equipped to handle your feline friends.
Good news! You create a new boosted post and make adjustments to your targeting to focus on dog owners and not pet owners.
The critical action is to sample your targeting and continually refine it.
HOW CAN YOU GET IT ALL DONE?
This is a lot to accomplish! It can be scary to get started. You can do it! You can use this article as a map or schedule to attack each of these items in turn.