Social Media: 5 Strategies for Building a Solid Foundation
I know what you’re thinking; social media is all fun and games until you have to use it for your business. Those likes, shares and comments are no longer just a fun way to see how much your friends actually like you. Now, it seems like the lifespan of your company or brand depends on every social interaction.
While all of this can be quite intimidating, I can assure you that it is not as scary as it may initially seem. Simply knowing, understanding and implementing the basics can take you far. Don’t give up before you’ve gotten the chance to reap the benefits of social visibility. Take a look at these 5 basic steps to building a solid foundation:
Know Your Audience
Knowing and understanding the interests of your audience is the cement that holds everything else in the foundation together. Identifying their surface needs and wants will allow you to interact on a more intimate level. In the communications world, we like to say “speak to their pain,” which means provide solutions to their problems often before they even know the problem is present. Pay attention to their interests, products and brands they are “liking,” other pages they are following, and what they are posting personally. Once you have identified their “pain,” you will be able to present your product or service as a means to solving their issue.
Consistency is Key
This tip, in my opinion, is the most important of all. There may be dozens of accounts selling a brand, product or service similar to your own. A great way to make your company or brand stand out is to ALWAYS be visible. Make sure you are delivering content regularly. While there are various opinions on the number of times you should post per day, I think it is safe to say that all professionals agree that you should be posting at least once each day. Do not give your followers the chance to forget you exist.
The 70/30 rule suggests that 70% of your postings should be focused on topics related to your field and 30% should be overtly marketing your product or service. For example, if your company sells computer products, focus on posting news articles about the tech industry, tips for computer upkeep, etc. Direct marketing posts can explicitly say “Buy My Product,” or promote sales that your company may be offering at the time. Try not to bombard your audience with information about how they can benefit you. Instead, let your audience know that you are knowledgeable in your field and can serve as a resource. This tactic can also increase your chances of gaining valuable partnerships, sponsorships, and followers.
Familiarize yourself with peak times for posting. This rule goes along with understanding the characteristics of your audience. Peak times depend on a number of variables including the industry you are in, the age range of your audience, the platform in which you are posting, etc. The best advice I can give on this topic it to utilize the free analytics offered for your account. Most platforms will generate nice graphs that tell you the days and times your followers are most active. Identifying the perfect timing takes a bit of trial and error, but you will definitely get the hang of it soon enough.
Make sure you are following accounts and hashtags similar to your own in order to keep up with the latest industry news. Once those accounts are on your radar, you should be liking, commenting and sharing content as much as possible. Lend your voice and expertise to relevant conversations daily. Your contribution does not have to be long paragraphs filled with expert level language. Offering a simple “That’s Excellent” or “Great Article” will make your company or brand visible to an extended audience base.