Social Media: Are you Doing It Right? [2021]

Wednesday, 24th February 2021

You’re probably already very aware of social media’s role in your digital marketing strategy, but is it something you’ve given enough attention to, and what more could you be doing to use your channels to drive new leads, build audiences and promote your brand?

Firstly, let’s quickly re-cap the benefits of an effective social media strategy…

1. Brand Awareness & Affinity

Social media channels allow you to present your brand in so many innovative ways – from images and short videos to regular written posts, polls, competitions and more, you’re able to focus on specific aspects of your business, whether it’s products, services, your ethical approach, your staff and more.

2. Conversation

Your channels give you the chance to engage with your customers in conversations that help them get answers to questions, resolve any issues they may have, give feedback and more. It does require you to be alert to incoming messages and be ready to deal with questions in a timely and appropriate manner, but there are few things that can earn you respect in market than good, honest conversation!

3. Conversational insights 

By engaging with audiences on your own channels and by watching the conversations they’re having on your competitor’s channels you’ll be able to gauge the market far more intuitively – what topics matter to your customers? How are your competitors responding? Are you responding appropriately, or could you do better? Could you differentiate your response in some way? Are you matching the language of your customers to build affinity?

4. Audience data

Your social channels will all bring you highly useful data through their internal analytics tools, and also send data to your analytical tools like Google Analytics to help you develop your marketing strategies going forward.

5. Referral traffic

The more engaging your social media channels, the more likely you’ll be able to include links to your website to encourage followers to convert to customers.

There are other residual benefits such as improved customer loyalty, audience growth through sharing, SEO improvements, improved customer services ratings and more.

You’re also able to integrate your social media with paid digital marketing campaigns that both target potential customers, and re-target visitors who have already shown an interest in your product or service.

How are you able to ensure that your social media strategy gives you these benefits?

That’s where we’re really headed with this article – as we asked at the beginning, does your current strategy align with these potential benefits, or should you be considering a few changes to kick-start things properly?

Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you’re up to speed on the key points of our 2021 Digital Strategy article . 

It’s important to have goals, know your audience, have tracking in place and so forth…

But in terms of the day-to-day, what would we recommend? Well, from our perspective there are three key themes to focus on, as follows:

1. Consistency

Simply put, doing posts or creating content in fits and spurts is really a big no-no. A quick check of the most successful brands on social media will show you that they have a regular stream of content on their various channels. 

Hubspot suggests that one post per day is optimal, with a maximum of two posts. It does depend, of course, on the type of business – some businesses may need to post far more regularly, for example a news or information-orientated business.

2. Diversity

This is one of the challenging aspects of consistent social media – finding enough relevant topics, creating enough relevant and engaging content, and ensuring a mix of formats such as images, written posts and videos can be a daunting task, and time consuming at that!

But with good planning and engaging with your staff and customers, you should be able to figure out some good themes to follow, and then break these down into content ideas that you can tease out over a short or longer period of time. 

You’ll need to work out how best to create that content – is it an internal staff member? Should you hire a social media manager? Or should you outsource the task to a professional digital agency? Each of these options has benefits and challenges so it’s worth exploring them all.

3. Honesty and High Standards

The best social media content is content that is open, honest, helpful and transparent, and that focuses on real value and answers real questions that your customers may have. 

It can be responsive i.e. a comment or post on a recent event, or it can be a brand content post, but be aware of sensitivities and make sure you don’t try and capitalize on an event that has negatively affected other people. A good example here is Covid-19 – there are many ways to let your customers know you’re there for them or have products or services that could help them but it’s all about how you present these on your social media channels.

Your content also needs to be inspiring, unique if possible and created to the highest standards. Pay attention to spelling, use images that have been well-taken, well-edited and honestly reflect the item you’re promoting. 

Research good hashtags and present your posts neatly. Use enough paragraph breaks, for example, and stack your hashtags and @ tags neatly to help followers identify the different parts of your post easily. 

Take the next steps to make social media an integral part of your business strategy

If you stick to the above principles and apply them to your content strategy that includes ongoing analytics and measurement, you’ll soon be able to see the benefits of your social media channels and how they help you to build new customer bases, affinity and brand awareness.

For help with all aspects of your social media strategy get in touch with us today on 01223 550800 or info@realnet.co.uk. 

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Social Media

Social Media Marketing (sometimes referred to as SMM) is a form of Digital Marketing that involves sharing and creating content on social media platforms to reach your marketing goals.

If your small business isn't on social media, you could be missing out on all sorts of opportunities.

These include finding new customers, insights into your business, audience and engagement opportunities with customers.

Social media provides targeting capability, as well as reach and scale, at a lower cost than almost all other marketing channels.

Your type/sector of business will dictate which platform is best for you. The more traditional types of business will be better served by social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you are a personality or influencer then your best bet will be to use the more modern platforms such as Tic Tok, Instagram and Snapchat. Twitter is great for short updates, announcements and link sharing.

Benefits of using social media for business

·        Brand awareness

·        Brand personality

·        Thought leadership

·        Increased website traffic

·        Reputation management

·        Analytics and insights

·        Competitor analysis

·        Targeted advertisements

 

Don’t try and force your business to work on a platform that isn’t the right fit. The best social media is the platform you can leverage for your business's specific goals.

Your followers should know what to expect from you, so follow a consistent posting schedule, whether it be the number of times a week or certain days or even certain times of the day. This will also help you avoid posting too much, which can be off-putting for your followers. The best way to ensure success on social media is to go in with a plan. This means sitting down and coming up with a social media marketing strategy that includes each platform you plan to use. 

 

The best times to post on social media overall is 10:00 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

 

The best time to post on Facebook is 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The best time to post on Instagram is 11:00 AM on Wednesdays.

The best time to post on Twitter is 8:00 AM on Mondays and Thursdays.

The best time to post on LinkedIn is 9:00 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

 

This information was supplied by hootsuite.