20 Actionable Tips to Leverage Social Media for Your Business

You may have come across similar infographics in the past around what happens in an Internet minute. Let us consider the one below by Smart Insights.

 

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As is clearly seen here, the volume of content generated across social channels is increasing at an astounding rate. Bottom line being, more customers of yours are adopting social every day. Is your brand equipped to keep pace?

 

At FirstHive, we pride ourselves on being among the leading B2C cross channel marketing platforms, so obviously social media is a core functionality used by our users. Here are some tips from our experts on managing your social presence effectively.

Create a plan specific to the channel

You may be managing a community on your Facebook brand page. While those users may want to hear from you, the kind of content you would post there would be very different than the content created for a 140 character restricted Twitter platform. Instagram and Slideshare would have their own requirements. So would Snapchat, or Foursquare, well you get the idea. Ensure that you have a clear, actionable content plan created for each social channel that your brand is present on. ‘Winging it’ is not necessarily the ideal thing here.

Create a social publishing calendar

Ensure you have a documented publishing plan for your content, across each channel. Understand your follower profile across each channel. What kind of messaging do they respond to? What time of day works best for them? When are they active? Create a calendar including your own and curated content. (will also help you plan the content creation and curation better)

Different forms of content for same post

Create multiple templates for the same post, while you schedule it for posting at various time of the day. Let us take an example of a tweet series following a blog post.

With blog release: NEW BLOG ALERT: Check out our new blog on customer engagement at <URL>

3 Hours post release: Did you know – 41% of customers respond to tweets post 10pm. Read more at <URL>

12 hours post release: If you are a #marketer, you need to read this now <URL> #engagement

Schedule tweets, posts

Your marketing does not need to be sleeping while your marketing team would need to. Use a social media management functionalities of platforms like FirstHive which will allow you to schedule your tweets or post on a  particular channel. You can very well sit in your US office and tailor campaigns for the European market. Different geographies are online on your account at different times. Ensure they do not feel alone.

E.g. for a blog post, create a twitter post to go out along with the blog post release. Create a different form follow up in 3 hours. Create a new template for a 12 hour tweet. Get your team to create a tweet post a day and retweet the same from your brand handle.

Discipline – stick to the plan

This cannot be overstated. Once you have created the plan, the onus is on you to stick to the plan. The only way you can expect to see results from social is if you put in the requisite effort and time to cultivate your following and build your social reputation.

Sync your social channels

While your channels may not necessarily have the same content, ensure you use a aggregation platform like FirstHive to give you a single window visibility into your social. Having all your social streams in a single page will ensure you never miss a comment or a tweet that needs your attention.

Use a Social Media management platform

Your social initiatives are never that small that you could not use a social media management platform to help you manage it better. Having a dedicated platform ensures you have the requisite tools to make the most of your social engagement, and never miss an interaction that could boost your social profile.

Use the power of lists on Twitter

Create Twitter lists and tag the relevant folks into meaningful lists in your account. As a brand, you can now simply select a particular list to view the curated content from those set of members. You are thus creating a mini community for folks with some common shared interest or attribute. If the lists are relevant, you would have folks who wish to subscribe to a particular list, and more often than not, follow your brand as well. Another unspoken advantage of lists is that Twitter provides a notification to the individual you are adding to the list. If you are lucky, and play your cards right, you might get a follow back from a key influencer. Or a chance for engaging with the individual. Be sure you are ready for it.

Create search streams and localize by region

Another powerful functionality available in some platforms like FirstHive is the ability to create search streams. Search twitter for a hashtag or keyword that is relevant to your brand. Localize it by adding the geographic filter, and you have a list of all users who are tweeting on a particular topic in your region. Start replying to or engaging with the content thus retrieved.

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Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are an effective discovery mechanism in most of the social channels. Ensure that the hostages you use are relevant to the topic at hand, as well as meaningful. If relevant, latch on to trending hashtags and increased your probability of discovery. Do not, I repeat, do not go overboard with hashtags in your posts. Below is a good example of what not to do.

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Use visual content

As a child, you would have heard the adage, “a picture speaks a thousand words”. That is even more true with social, With images and videos, you can create stunning, compelling content that draws reactions from your followers. According to a recent research, content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without. 71% of digital marketers use visual assets in their social media. Can you afford to lag behind?

Provide a seamless visual experience

If you are directing your followers from your social channel to your website or a destination site, you need to ensure that the messaging and design are consistent across both mediums. Imagine how you would feel to click on a particular link with messaging A and land on a page with messaging B, and a different design to boot. Your customers will not appreciate such a disjointed experience.

Focus on quality over quantity

While it is pertinent you create and share content on your social channels, it is even more pertinent that the content is relevant to your audience. The last think you want to do here is create content for the sake of creating content. If you manage to consistently create quality content, your followers would know what to expect from your brand and your tribe would only grow.

Below is another good example of what not to do here, for the sake of drawing followers.

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Sync blog strategy with social publishing strategy

When you are creating content on your blog or website, or any other similar channel, it is important to use the same to feed your social streams. While social would obviously be a good source of traffic for your content, doing so would also ensure that you are directing the right kind of traffic to your content, viz. people who trust you on a particular channel. You also need to ensure that you have kept placeholders in your content distribution strategy to disseminate such content.

Experiment with paid reach

Put in $5-$10 per day to amplify the reach of your campaign. Look for posts that are performing well, and try promoting those to reach a larger audience. The intention here is to  try and attract more followers for your accounts, so that your messaging has a wider reach. Create small experiments with various targeting parameters on your favourite channel, and optimise.

Be human!

Sample this tweet below:

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This is not normal conversational prose. When you were to ask your friend or colleague what their favorite biscuit was, you would definitely not choose to frame your query like above, would you? So why is it ok to ask a few hundred or thousand of followers who have chosen to give you some mindspace to have your say.

Analyse your competition

A good way to improve your social performance is to keep a close watch on what your competition is doing on those channels. Are they tracking higher engagement scores than your brand? What is the kind of content of theirs that elicits a greater response?  How often do they post? What are the major keywords they are targeting? All these will help you design better copy for your messaging and make your content more relevant and engaging.

Track and measure performance

What cannot be tracked cannot be improved. As you spend this effort on social, be sure to track the performance of your posts by content type, media used, channel, time of day, and engagement achieved. It is a good idea to draw a baseline over a couple of weeks before starting to set small incremental targets for your brand engagement, and devising appropriate interventions to achieve those. Platforms like FirstHive provide an integrated Social Media Insights section which enable granular tracking into which of your posts are performing well, and where are your maximum engagement coming from.

Identify and Target Influencers

Influencers can provide your brand a major engagement push. Identity the key influencers for your brand and look to build a rapport with them on the respective social channels. Have a conversation, respond to their questions, provide exclusive access to new releases if need be, do what it takes so that you are in their radar and are able to entice a mention or even better, a shout out. Create lists of your key influencers and try to tailor some content specific to their interests to elicit a response.

Ensure you proof read what goes out

Check out the below image posted by a major brand. Not the ideal message you would want to necessarily send out.

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Apply these social media marketing tips to your social media strategy using FirstHive.

Your first month is on us. :)

 

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