Companies that are engaging, entertaining and tactical in their use of networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram regularly reap big rewards.
Top brands on Instagram have been found to experience per-follower engagement levels of around 4.21%. For a large multinational company attracting thousands of followers, this figure can make all the difference in attracting new customers.
An estimated three billion people worldwide will possess accounts on a social media platform by 2021. This leaves businesses with a huge pool of prospective customers to tap into and can make all the difference in transforming a small business into a fully-fledged organization.
Here are five essential strategies that can be used by business owners to boost their social media presence:
1. Use the correct tools—at the proper time.
There’s an art to posting on social media. Simply logging in and clicking “send” on a piece of content won’t spark a fire if nobody’s around to see it.
Most users digest social media differently, but it’s essential to gain an understanding of your target audience in order to time the publication of your content to guarantee as many stakeholders as possible will see it.
It’s also important to decide which platforms are the best fit for your organization. Facebook is the world’s most popular network with over 2 billion users, while Twitter enables users to connect with more people through the use of hashtags and streamlined search functions. Instagram has become a social juggernaut in its own right and should be regarded as an essential port-of-call for businesses that carry an aesthetic element to their services or products.
Tools can help you to automate the publication of your content in a way that ensures you’ll never miss a key time for engagement on your chosen platform. Services like Buffer enable you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place, as well as schedule posts weeks in advance. You can even check how your posts are performing and make tweaks in a bid to gain more traction.
2. Take advantage of your influencers.
Though it might seem counter-intuitive to entrust your message in an external source with no direct links to your business. However, influencer marketing works incredibly well according to 95% of the marketers who have used the approach.
Influencer marketing is an investment. While some companies can build strong social media strategies without enlisting the help of influencers, paying to reach an engaged audience of thousands of followers will help you build your own reputation.
Through delicately managed campaigns, influencers can place your business or its products firmly in the view of their massive audiences in order to drive sales. With thousands of reputable bloggers, vloggers and online personalities in just about any major industry you can think of, you’re only a click away from appealing directly to your target audience.
3. Focus on promoting positivity.
You can promote your marketing campaigns to your collective hearts’ content, but it doesn’t amount to much if you’re not creating a positive atmosphere around your brand.
Be sure to give your social media account a soul. Social networks have developed into excellent places for customers to give businesses feedback. Though much of your feedback will relate to the level of onsite service you provide and will thus be entirely in your control, negative comments are inevitable online.
Negativity can come from many sources and unflattering feedback can occur through no fault of the company in question. To counteract this, you should focus on building positivity around your product and ensure that none of your published content leaves a group of consumers feeling excluded.
To mitigate negative reviews of your organization, turn to a PR firm that offers brand monitoring and outreach strategies.
4. Engage with your audience.
Social media comes with unofficial rules of engagement. One prime rule for businesses to follow is that customer queries should always be answered swiftly and clearly.
It can be a little bit of a juggling act at times for even the largest of companies. You effectively must adopt a careful and personable manner in the face of serious questions but revert to engaging, conversational and on-message responses when addressing larger numbers of followers.
Digital Marketing Institute advises that businesses will benefit from engaging with customers in the comments section of their posts, creating conversation starters with followers, sharing user-generated content and showing appreciation for customers, as well as responding to questions and complaints.
5. Build a brand identity.
Many larger organizations hire multiple employees to publish posts and engage with audiences on a variety of social media platforms around the clock. When building a social media team, it is crucial to ensure that all workers understand the importance of maintaining a consistent voice that assimilates to the brand’s overall identity.
How much should your social media handles talk about your own products and services versus offer insights about the whole industry? Mariya Lapuk, CEO of Vinci PR told Hackernoon: “We have the 30 to 70 formula. This means that in promoting a business or startup, 30% of the news is made about the relevant industry, and 70% of the messages should create the expectation that this is a cool project.”
The value that industry experts apply to building confidence in brand identity helps to produce a strong level of public trust in a company.Your brand identity is crucial for encouraging customers to feel familiar and comfortable interacting with your organization. If you have multiple social media officers working within your company, be sure to create a style sheet in order to help them learn of the type of identity that you’re wishing to forge in the social sphere.
Peter Jobes is the chief marketing officer for Solvid.