Social media tips for busy brands
Social media is relevant and important for all brands, whatever sector they’re in.
When the topic of social media comes up, it’s not uncommon to hear comments such as:
We don’t really do social media….we haven’t got the time or money to do social media….social media is not a priority for us….our clients don’t use social media…
These might be excuses but they’re valid: there are lots of competing demands on the managers and owners of fast-growing businesses. And the speed of change in social media can be nothing short of overwhelming. So, if a business is doing ok, it might well ask, why should we bother to create and maintain a social media presence?
Start by asking yourself where you first look for information about a new brand, product or service, whether in a business or personal capacity? A reasonable bet is that you turn to your nearest device and open a search engine in the browser app. If you search for a brand or product with a strong social media presence, chances are that the social media profile or an individual social media post will be returned as one of the results.
Research by SiriusDecisions indicates that 67% of a typical B2B buyer’s journey involves self-directed online research via search engines and social media. Meanwhile, Hubspot research found that buyers feel more connected (and therefore more loyal and likely to purchase) to a brand that has a robust presence on social media.
Whilst social media might seem like another thing on the never-ending to-do list, it’s becoming essential to a brand’s public image. Not having a social media presence is akin to getting dressed for work in the morning but forgetting to brush or smarten your hair: OK, it’s not the end of the world but ‘bed hair’ is not going to do anything for your professional image.
If a brand’s social media presence is out of date or inconsistent with the brand’s website and other marketing communications, the prospective buyer or new recruit gains a poor impression. Research from LinkedIn indicates that more than half of candidates search a company’s social media to find out more about a prospective employer.
The good news is that maintaining an up-to-date presence as part of wider marketing efforts isn’t difficult and need not be time-consuming. Rather than a complete guide to the perfect social media strategy, we’ve put together our top tips for maintaining a modest social media presence and included some of our favourite apps that help save time too.
#1 Consider the strategy upfront
#2 Audiences are a core reference point
#3 Share relevant, engaging and authentic content
#4 Use a scheduler
#5 Ask for help
What are the brand’s wider marketing objectives? It’s common sense to coordinate other digital and offline efforts with your social media to ensure consistency. Depending on the existing follower base on a particular social media platform, it may be necessary to build awareness and engagement with the target audience before setting lead generation goals. Beware of too much focus on follower numbers: a smaller but relevant and engaged audience is far more valuable than thousands of random followers.
As with all good brand communications, one of the core considerations should be the audience: which social media platforms do they use? Prioritise these. When are they looking at social media (revisit audience personas and consider what their routine is on a working day): plan any posts to coincide with their viewing habits so that it appears towards the top of their feed.
If you’re struggling to establish a social media presence, chances are creating appropriate content is also a challenge. But whilst there’s no shortcut to producing good quality assets, even with a small amount of created content, repurposing it in different formats – quotations, testimonials, infographics, for example – broadens the available options. And it doesn’t have to be all created content, in fact a good target is 75% curated content (created by others) to 25% created content.
Share content on a variety of topics that you want to be associated with and that your audience will find informative or entertaining. Ask questions, bring others into the conversations by @mentioning and share the relevant and interesting advice or content of others generously – most are happy to reciprocate.
When it comes to finding curated content, there are lots of tools to make life easier. We like:
Sometimes it’s not convenient to post on social media at the times identified as being optimal for a target audience. Using a scheduler means it can be done in advance. There are some brilliant tools; we like ContentCal for its flexibility, user–friendly interface and fantastic range of features which are being added to each month.
As a business grows, it employs an accountant to check the numbers. Once it hits critical mass, it likely pays a specialist to make sure the tech works seamlessly too. Likewise, with a good brief, social media can be cost effectively outsourced with fantastic results. By leveraging the skills of subject matter experts, whether on a full or part-time basis, managers and leaders can get on with running the business.
And finally, don’t forget that it’s social rather than broadcast media: let the brand personality shine through with an authentic, natural tone of voice. As with a networking event in real life, offer help and information, not a continuous stream of sales posts (we’ve all met those eager sales people at an event and let’s face it, they’re boring and the type you avoid at all costs; it’s no different with social media networking).
We’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg here on how brands can build momentum on social media. For more in-depth, bespoke advice on building social media presence, give us a call or connect with us on social.