Social media is a great tool for businesses, but just having a Facebook or Twitter account is no longer enough to make you stand out from the crowd. How you use social media is becoming increasingly linked with success, particularly with the increasing digitalisation of most target audiences.
A recent article on The Guardian website highlighted companies who are making social media work for them and this got us thinking about the top tips for businesses and organisations to get the most out of their social media potential.
Have a plan and stick to it
It’s widely acknowledged that having a social media strategy is an essential part of an effective social media presence. Such strategies allow you to focus on what’s important for your business, who you’re trying to reach and what kind of messages you want to convey. Setting up a social media content calendar is also advised as this allows you to plan your content in advance and anticipate any particular key events or occurrences that you can take advantage of.
Get to know your audience
Using social media research tools like Facebook Audience Insights and Facebook graph search, or influencer tools like Buzzsumo, Buzzstream and Tweepi, can give you a better understanding of your target audience’s interests and behaviours, and their connections on social media. The insights gained through these tools can then be used to help you develop more effective social media content.
Choose the right platforms for you
There are lots of social media platforms out there, with each offering different benefits and drawbacks depending on your requirements. It may be that it’s more effective for your organisation or business to focus on one or two, as maintaining accounts on all of them can be a time-consuming process. Consider what sites are popular among your target audience and which offer features that best meet your needs.
Perfect your engagement tactics
The importance of effectively engaging with your target audience can’t be understated and will also help to guide the content you develop. Certain topics may capture their attention more readily than others, while certain types of media in a post might be more popular. Humour can be a good approach (if appropriate), as can asking questions that will prompt a response. Keeping the conversation going will help to generate a sense of community related to your business or organisation.
Tailor your content
It can be tempting to post the same content on multiple social media platforms – particularly with sites like Facebook and Twitter allowing you to do this automatically by linking accounts. By creating dedicated content tailored to each platform, you can maximise your reach and engagement with your followers. Twitter is good for asking questions and posting calls-to-action, while Facebook lends itself to videos and competitions. Instagram is a great home for photos and visuals, and LinkedIn is the platform for longer posts and discussion groups.
There are many more aspects of social media that we could have covered in this list, but we hope these five main tips have given you a good starting point. Social media has incredible communication potential, so make sure you take advantage of what’s available!