Part 9: Social Media
Lets get social
Social media is the last piece of our digital marketing puzzle. Here, we’ll look at social media planning, posting and engaging.
But first, the current state of social media in Australia.
The size of the social audience and their hours of consumption usage are unparalleled in the media landscape today.
72% of Australians are on social media. 50% of the Australian population scroll their Facebook feed daily.
Second to searching on an engine like Google, Australians are going to social to find solutions to their problems. They’re asking their friends, family and local groups for recommendations for everything from butchers to funeral homes.
These potential customers are then using social media to further examine and scrutinise a business. Has it got good reviews? What types of complaints does it receive? Is it active on social media, engaging with its audience and offering value-add content?
Create your social media plan
Social media should no longer be a minor task given to the junior of the office, simply because you think they use social more. With all the other parts of your marketing strategy, you should devise a plan to tackle social media for your business.
- Choose your platforms. What platforms are your audience and potential customers using? LinkedIn is great for professional contacts but if your audience is on Facebook, that’s where you need to be. Popular Instagram is an extremely visual platform. Only engage on Instagram if you can produce visually appealing content on a regular basis.
- Commit to a minimum number of posts. Three per week is a good number. As a guide, write one post on:
- your type of business and sector. Look to relevant news and article to share.
- your business. Link to your newest blog article or provide a direct call to action for people to contact you, buy from you or get more detailed information about the company.
- being personal and human. Work anniversaries, professional milestones, birthdays, charities and causes that the business supports, furry friends in your office. This shows your audience that you’re personable and approachable.
- Be consistent. Don’t dip in and out. Social platforms reward those who are consistent users of the platform. Also be consistent with your messaging and branding. Ideally, use an overarching branding guideline and tone of voice for all your marketing activities.
Posting on social media
Follow these steps to embed a solid posting strategy in your business.
- Plan and prepare in advance. You’ve invested in a plan, so you should be able to develop a content calendar to aid you in preparing content in advance. Collect relevant news and other articles about your industry that you can then on-share. Some events such as a birthday may need a photo to accompany it so leave a space in the content calendar and post the photo when it happens.
- Tag others. Wherever possible, tag and mention others to bring them into the conversation and boost your engagement.
- Schedule natively. Facebook allows content to be scheduled in advance, so you can prepare it, schedule it and get on with your core business activity.
- Consider third party tools. For scheduling to LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, you’ll need to rely on third party tools to schedule content. Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer are great examples of platforms to consider.
The special sauce – engagement
Posting your content is a great start but managing engagement on your social platforms is key to bringing your audience into your world. Some social media platforms reward your content by sharing it further when more people engage with it.
But how to engage? Consider this like you would treat people face to face. It’s courteous to respond to someone who takes the time to react to you and your post, to answer questions, to give back to the conversation.
- Review and respond. Review and respond to all comments and mentions across social media. If someone takes the time to comment, or mention you, keep the conversation flowing with open ended replies that encourage further conversation.
- Remember, it’s not all about you. Don’t be that person. Talk to and about others, make others feel good, thank and encourage others. Ask questions!
- Follow, like, comment and share others. Especially if there’s a particular business, organisation, individual or similar you would like to start working with – follow their social media. Genuinely like, comment and share their content. This will get you noticed.
- Have a plan for your engagement. Social media can be a black hole of time if you’re not careful. Plan a time for your engagement activities. Also implement a plan for different types of engagement – one week start following and engaging with potential referrers of work for example and the next week, look for groups on social you can join as the business.
Catch up on previous articles in this series.
Part 8: Email Marketing
Part 7: Search Engine Optimisation
Part 6: Leverage Your Content
Part 5: Create Your Content
Part 4: Define Your Keywords
Part 3: Content is King
Part 2: Why Digital Marketing?
Part 1: A Realignment