What does ‘building a social media presence’ mean? Is it enough to just publish a couple of posts, click a few likes, and tag a few people? The answer is – no. There’s so much more to it. Here is how to increase your social media presence.
How to Increase Your Social Media Presence
1. Set your goals straight
Before you start building a strategy, stop and look at your current social media presence. Ask yourself the following questions:
• Which social media platforms are you using?
• Which platforms have proven most valuable to you so far?
• Are your platforms properly optimized (do they have profile and cover photos, bio, URLs)?
• Where do you stand in comparison to your competitors’ presence on social media?
Finally, ask yourself – What is your goal? Are you anywhere near achieving it?
Building a social media presence without a clear goal is useless. Many marketers use the SMART goals, i.e. ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Here is a simple SMART goal example: “Increase Facebook engagement rate by 20% in the next six months.”
2. Identify your target audience
Simply put, building a social media presence is impossible if you’re not talking to the right audience. You wouldn’t want to spend lots of time, money, and efforts into growing social media following within a certain network, only to figure out it’s not giving any results.
Take some time to analyze your ideal customers. Create several buyer personas that will contain the following info:
• Most used social media platforms
You might also want to check what brands your future customers are following on social media to better understand them.
Every step of your social media strategy will depend on who your audience is, the most important being:
– What type of content you’ll be creating and the language you’ll be using in the process;
– The social media channels you’ll be using to publish the content, i.e. the channels where your audience is active, along with the best posting times.
3. Create the right content
The content you post on social media is crucial for growing your following. In order to stand apart from your competition, you can’t just share other people’s content; you have to create your own.
The content you create has to be high-quality and original, but above all, it should resonate with your audience. For this purpose, you need to analyze your audience and find out what they want to consume. Do they read blogs? Or do they prefer images and videos? How about infographics?
You can also see what’s trending and use the existing trends as an inspiration. However, if you’re still uncertain about what to post, visual content is really hot right now.
Think whether your audience is active on Instagram or take advantage of Facebook’s live videos.
The types of videos that work best are:
• Explainer videos
• Product demonstrations
• Testimonial video
And if you’re looking to increase your Twitter following, think graphics. More than 40% of marketers say that original graphics perform much better than say, unimaginative stock photos.
Believe it or not, the creation of images, infographics, and videos isn’t as hard as it seems. There are so many tools out there that can help you deliver awesome visuals to your audience. Some of the great tools you can use are:
4. Try to sound human
Have you seen Wendy’s Twitter account? It’s probably one of the funniest, most original accounts out there! Even though Wendy’s is a big corporation, the secret to its social media success lies in the casual brand voice. This gives customers the impression they’re communicating with a friend, not a robot-like brand.
Well, even though humor and laugh are obviously working, not everyone can pull that off. Luckily, there are other ways to show your brand’s human side:
– put the spotlight on your team members by posting behind-the-scenes photos from the office or team building events;
– instead of using mass auto-replying, respond to each comment or question by mentioning the customer’s name;
– introduce your own original hashtag that will enable you to track the conversations around your brand and connect with your followers;
– share user-generated content and customer photos.
These are just a few techniques to help you build relationships instead of just followings. In other words, it’s better to have 100 people who engage with your brand on a regular basis, than 100,000 passive followers.
5. Be active
What’s the point in creating profiles on social media platforms if you just abandon them or rarely open them? An inactive social feed is worse than having no feed at all!
Building social media presence requires you to be active on a daily basis and publish fresh content.
A social media editorial calendar and automated scheduling are great and easy ways to stay active.
Social media editorial calendar
When you’re present on multiple networks and you need to post content regularly, the amount of work you need to do can become rather overwhelming. You need to keep track on the best time to post on each network, what to post, which member of your team is taking care of certain pieces of content, etc.
That’s why you need to have a content calendar in order to stay organized. Some of the benefits of having a social media editorial calendar include:
– Avoid repetition of the same content;
– Adjust each post for each network without having to go from site to site;
– Scheduling your posts.
Everybody is crazy about automation and for a good reason.
But still, it doesn’t mean you can just schedule everything that you want to post and go have a coffee with your coworkers. Even though you can’t always give your followers the time they deserve, some things shouldn’t (and mustn’t) be automated. Improper automation can do more damage than good for your company.
For instance, marketers agree that customer care should remain personalized. Remember when we talked about not using mass auto-replies? It is a huge turn off for customers because you appear lazy and detached. Always be there to communicate with your followers and customers personally.
Here are some of the most popular social media calendars and automation tools that will make your job much easier:
6. Be prepared to pay
Even though your first reaction to paid ads is probably a huge NO, paying isn’t so bad. There’s a lot that can be accomplished with organic posts, but why not experiment and take advantage of the new business features some of the social platforms offer?
For instance, Facebook has an access to plenty of data which enables you to create highly targeted and actionable ad campaigns. You can target audiences based not only on age, location, and demographics but also based on their interest and behavior.
And considering that this can be done with a fairly low budget (Facebook ads start as low as $5 per day), what do you have to lose?
You can also set aside a budget for influencer marketing. In the last few years, influencer marketing has become one of the most effective marketing strategies for many big brands. A research conducted by the Sway Group has shown that influencer marketing campaigns earn $6.85 for every $1 spent.
So, go ahead, find yourself an influencer and start building a (paid) relationship!
7. Monitor and analyze
If you want to be successful building a social media presence, you need to take this step very seriously. Building a social media presence is a continuous process of learning about your business and audience, as well as optimizing your strategies.
Analyzing your performance will let you know if you’re on the right track and whether you should make any tweaks. For instance, if your data is saying that Instagram is performing best, you may want to consider to double your efforts (and budget) there.
Monitoring and analyzing your performance results can help you:
• translate building your social media presence into numbers (i.e. number of likes, comments, shares, link clicks)
• identify the content that performs best
• when (in terms of times of the day and days of the week) your audience is most active
• your audience’s demographics (age, location, sex, interests)
Most importantly, analyzing your result will prevent you from posting wrong content for the wrong audience at the wrong time.
Most social platforms provide free analytics, but you can also use some of the great tools out there such as:
Conclusion on Building a Social Media Presence
Today, social media is a must for businesses of all sizes. The question now isn’t whether you’ll be present in social media, but how to increase your social media presence.
Building a social media presence effectively can be slow, but it’s not impossible.
For starters, be prepared to commit to it in the long run. Consistency, in combination with a documented strategy, will prove to be worth the effort.
The outline we offer above will help you devise an effective strategy that will help you grow your social media presence.
Is there something you struggle with when it comes to your social media presence? Any tips that we missed?
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