By Lily Whorl

Social media is a tool every company and person should be taking advantage of, though at times it’s hard to know if you’re using social media to its fullest potential. So, how can you get the most out of social media, especially as we approach a new year?

Well, before you even begin developing content, the most important thing you need to know is exactly who your audience is. Your audience is a crucial aspect of social media, if you don’t know who they are, then all your time and energy spent on social media will go to waste. According to an article on Libby Langley, the questions you want to ask yourself after establishing your target audience are: “What do they want to see?” and “What don’t they want to see?”

Once you’ve established your audience and their wants, you’re ready to begin developing content.

Branch out and know which form of social media is best for you: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all have their benefits, but that doesn’t mean they’re all going to work for you.

When deciding which platform works best for you, it’s ideal to know precisely what each platform is used for.

Twitter:

According to an article by communiquépr, Twitter can be compared to an elevator pitch due to its character limit of 280 characters. Its optimal use is for delivering short messages with little explanation needed behind them. Twitter is a convenient tool for a quick mode of communication between consumers and businesses and a great way to keep your customers up to date on what’s new with you.

Instagram:

Conversely, Instagram is a great way to draw in your customers visually. Instagram gives companies the ability to display behind-the-scenes work and showcase their services without going too in-depth.

Here at Planful, we focus on using high-quality pictures while keeping our feed consistent. We like to highlight the work we’ve done as a way to show potential clients what we can do for them. Additionally, we also enjoy sharing some scenes of staff from time to time. This helps keep us connected to our followers on a personal level and show our personalities.

 Another tactic we’ve found to be helpful is to change your link in your bio frequently. We’re continually evolving ours to align with our current Instagram post. That way we’re not oversharing in our caption of the photo and if someone would like to know more they merely just have to click on the link in our bio. When doing this, be sure to encourage people to follow the link in your bio in your image caption. A call-to-action is an effective way to end the copy in your social media posts.

Planful Instagram Post
Facebook:

Facebook is a blend of both Instagram and Twitter. With the capability to post a variety of content and no character limits, Facebook is the most agreeable form of social media for most companies. It gives businesses both large and small a platform to keep their customers in the loop on new products and services while posting regular content through video, photo, text or external links. Facebook, unlike any other form of social media, has the resources to create an event page directly on its platform. According to an article by ThriveHive, a Facebook event page “provides several benefits that word of mouth or direct mail marketing alone cannot.”

A considerable benefit it brings is having all your necessary information in just one simple spot. A company can invite people to their event page which can list the location, time, date, and all the other essential information the attendee may need.

Facebook does a lot of the work for you by sending RSVP reminders to those invited along with suggesting the event to other people in the area.

We have personally seen direct benefits from creating event pages for clients. From attracting new leads to selling out events that previously had a hard time selling tickets, event pages on Facebook can help you reach interested attendees that may have been missed otherwise.

When choosing which form or forms of social media you be using, think back to your target audience. What form are they most likely going to be using? Once you figure that out, weigh out all the pro and cons of each platform and go from there.

Engage-More about building a relationship and storytelling rather than just sharing education information.

Engagement is one of the most critical aspects of social media. No one wants to follow an inactive account. If someone comments and asks you your business hours, be prompt and responsive. Let your customers know that you care about them. Responding via social media not only shows your customers that you care but it also gives you a way to communicate easily with them. People love convenience. Instead of picking up the phone to call and ask a business a question, they can send a direct message over through social media.

In a 2018 article by Buffer, Mike Eckstein writes that “social media is as much about engagement with other people as it is about sharing content.”

Engagement is beneficial in many aspects. Engaging with your clients and customers in person can go a long way and even benefit your social media presence as well. At Planful we receive testimonies from our clients which is an excellent opportunity to create video content and share our reaction to our services with our followers.

Be authentic; don’t be too stiff.

In any industry, being authentic to who you are as a business is always important. In fact, Visioncritical states authenticity can be achieved in three simple steps:

  1. Identify your core values.
  2. Engage with your customers.
  3. Drop the corporate jargon.

Humanizing your brand is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to social media. Humanization gives your customers an insight that there are real people behind your company. You don’t want to seem like a robot.

An example of this is Starbucks Coffee’s Twitter account. They engage with their customers on a regular basis by responding with simple replies. They use emojis to be relatable to their consumers. It doesn’t take much to quickly respond to a customer giving your product praise or to respond to a complaint.

Starbuck's Tweet
Starbuck's Tweet

Who are your followers?

Dive deep into your followers on social media, are they your target audience? If yes, then you’re doing something right. If no, it’s time to reevaluate.

It’s essential that you’re sharing information that your target audience sees to be relevant. Social Media Explorer notes that you should be catering to your followers. It’s important to keep them informed on new product releases or deals on your services. That’s why they’re following you.

Enhance your existence.

You’ve taken the first step by creating your social media accounts, but that step is not merely enough.

Now that your presence on social media exists, you’ll want to cultivate your accounts to their fullest potential. This seems to be quite the obvious statement though some don’t always consider it. When creating a social media account, there are three things you will always want to include: A profile image, a header image, and a relevant bio.

When writing a bio keep in mind the relevant keywords that your company uses. Be sure to include those while clearly stating what you do and who you are.

Think of someone who doesn’t know anything about your company and they randomly stumble upon your Facebook page. What vital information would you like to communicate with them? Once you’ve figured that out, make sure to include it in a clear, concise format.

Don’t skip over relevancy when thinking about both your profile and header picture. It’s important to represent your company as best you can visually. Just do this by choosing an image that not only states who you are and what you do but also by sticking to certain standards. Make your photo stand out by keeping them up to date and

Plan ahead

Planning your social media posts ahead of time can be a game changer, and luckily, many tools can help you with this. Some of these tools include: Sprout Social, Later, Tailwind, CoSchedule, Feedly, AirTable, Tweetdeck, Buffer, and Hootsuite.

Facebook also has a scheduler included within it and is actually Facebook’s preferred way of scheduling posts.

Developing a social media strategy is a great way to reduce the stress of always feeling like you need to be on your phone to send out a tweet. A well-thought-out plan keeps you on top of things and continually pushing out content for your followers to view.

If you still feel like you’re not getting the most out of social media, we’d love to help. Schedule a consultation with us where we can review your current social media strategy and provide helpful tips on how to effectively use this digital marketing tool in 2019.