It’s 2020, and a credible social media presence is absolutely crucial to the success of any business- big or small. So, it’s important to step up your strategy to make sure you’re making the most of all the avenues available to grow your customer base and brand awareness.
Today, I’m going to offer 9 tips for creating a credible social media presence. Add these to your strategy and watch your brand take off.
#1 Choose Your Networks Wisely
Facebook used to rule social media, but that’s not necessarily the case today. Although Facebook remains a big player in the social media scene, others deserve your attention as well. But how can you know which social media avenues are right for your business? Simply look at the numbers. Since you obviously can’t have an account with every network under the sun, choose the top 3 or 4 networks with the largest audiences.
Another tip? Look at your competitors. Are they successful on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat? Is there another network that fits better with your brand? If so, it’s time to activate your business account or spice up your current account to stay competitive.
#2 Evaluate Your Purpose
You know that your social media presence is important. But having measurable goals to reach is equally so. Ask yourself, “What is the ultimate goal of enhancing my company’s social media presence?”
If it’s engaging with loyal customers, prospecting, increasing traffic to your website, creating brand awareness, or even a combination of these, that’s a great start! Your strategy– what you post and when you post it– will depend on which of these goals you’re trying to reach.
#3 Identify Your Audience
After you’ve identified the purpose behind your enhancing your social media presence, you’ll have to identify who you’re trying to reach. It’s not a good idea to throw content out into the abyss and hope for a bite. Instead, you’ll want to know exactly what group or groups you’re targeting because your posts will be geared toward engaging them effectively (we’ll talk more about this later).
Are you hoping to reach:
- A certain demographic? (teens, moms, dads, single parents, etc.)
- Industry experts?
- Prospective customers?
Spend some time with your team to decide what audience you want to reach with your posts, and then move on to the next step.
#4 Time to Strategize
Now that you know your audience, put yourself in their shoes. What topics are they interested in? What calls-to-action would catch their eye? What questions do they have? What pain points can you help them solve?
Next, develop a list of topics that you need to cover over the next few weeks or months, and determine if you have any previously-used content that you can alter to fit these topics without too much hassle. Where there is no content for a given topic, assign it! Then, with the help of your social media team, create a calendar and due date for each piece to be submitted and to “go live.”
Tip: there are lots of tools that can help you organize your various content for social media. Find one that fits your budget and your style and use it! This will take immeasurable pressure off of you and your team.
#5 Commit to Personalized Automation
Yes, automation makes your life SO much easier, but it can be tempting to slack off even further and send out mass auto-replies on comment threads and be done with it. But, as you’ll find out as you read on, this makes you appear out-of-touch and insincere.
Instead, when your followers have a concern or a question, designate a team member to respond individually. I cannot overestimate the positive impression that this makes on a prospective customer. This shows that you really care about your customers and adds credibility to your team and your company as a whole.
#6 Engage with Relevance and Consistency
The way you engage with your followers is crucial. Make sure your posts add value to your followers’ lives– that they answer a question, educate, inform, persuade, or offer a new perspective. This keeps your company relevant.
Consistency is also necessary. If you only post once every two weeks, you will likely struggle to keep a following. However, if you’re consistently a voice speaking into the lives of your customers (or prospects), you can expect them to become more open to listening. Relevance and consistency, therefore, play a large role in your credibility as a business owner in your industry.
#7 Focus on Socializing
I know that your goal is ultimately to grow your business, but social media networks were made for just that: socializing! So, when creating your strategy, you’ll want to always keep socializing (creating relationships) at the forefront.
Answer questions, engage with comments, share other content and give them credit, and give your take on current trends.
Overall, just be present. Growing your social media presence will organically lead to a bigger audience, so just focus on the relationships and the rest will come.
#8 Use Data to Get Better
Google Analytics, for example, is a free analytics tool. You can see what content is performing, take stock of your low-performance content, and view the data behind your content strategy. It only takes minutes to find out where these strengths and weaknesses lie and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Now that you’re in the game, use all of your channels (social media networks, website, and any other marketing avenue) to cross-promote. Your followers should be able to click on your FB or Insta icon directly from your website and vice versa. The easier it is to navigate from one medium to another, the more user-friendly and credible you appear.
It’s Time to Network!
Your social media goals are attainable if you commit to seeing social networking as a valuable avenue for growth. In today’s online world, you can’t afford to neglect your online presence. So get out there, get strategizing, and get posting!