What do the Pope, POTUS and the Queen of England all have in common? Well. Let’s not open that can of worms but just say one thing they definitely do all share is an understanding (or acceptance) of the power of the tweet:
@RoyalFamily: 3,260,000 (Come on, Lizzie!)
With Facebook breaking the two billion user mark this summer, the signs have never pointed more clearly to the need for brands to socially engage with their audiences. And it’s more than a need: it’s an unavoidable, powerful, useful and essential weapon in any brand’s arsenal. Here’s why - and how to best deploy it.
Why Social Media?
It’s direct, it’s cheap and it’s easy to find your tribe and learn about them. Sold?
If you use it right, social media increases your conversions and audience reach. As you communicate consistently and relevantly, you’re working to strengthen your brand and push key messages - increasing engagement via deeper levels of intimacy and subsequently, loyalty.
Get your ducks in a row
Social media’s all about engaging on a personal level. Understanding your audience is key. Check out Xtensio’s free User Persona tool and use it to get acquainted with who you’re talking to. Find common ground: which platforms do they use? What expressions do they like? What do they believe in? How do they take their tea? Maybe not that last one…but you get where we’re going with this.
You know us, we love a story, especially one that helps a brand demonstrate its personality and values. Personality resonates; we gravitate towards traits which appeal to us. Let your customers know you’re human and they’ll offer up a human connection in return.
TOP TIP: Fix up, look sharp.
Optimise those profiles. Consistency is key. Reflect your brand and website in your username, imagery and keyword rich descriptions.
Grow your tribe
How would you build a community in the real world? It’s no different online. Identify who’s going to help you - do they share your values? Are they’re an influencer in your world? Can they can help you get bigger? Make friends, follow, comment, share and they’ll return the favour.
Commit time to searching out new people to follow. Like, subscribe, engage, retweet, comment, share, follow their followers and you’ll find your audience widening before your very eyes.
Here’s a quick checklist of who to start with:
- Prospects and clients
- Media (local and national)
- Competitors (add them to your Facebook “Pages to Watch” list)
- Thought leaders
- Your business network
Above all, remember to be active. Talk to fans, listen to what they want (and give them more of that) and respond to their questions. Never ignore the negative. Remember social media is a symbiotic network – share your follower’s (relevant) content and follow back.
Post the right things
Generating content needn’t be a daunting prospect. Start with what you have and what you know. Trawl the archives, organise your photos, mine the expertise contained in unexpected sources. Think about a common question your customers ask when they call you up - that’s a blog topic right there.
Inspire trust and confidence by talking about what you know. Give your opinion on industry news, talk about your services, share your business tips and lifehacks. Let your followers get to know you with staff interviews, snaps, live vids, days in lives, behind the scenes.
Get the team involved and have a central point for sharing ideas and articles they’ve stumbled across during tea breaks. How about a messaging channel, or regular slot at meetings?
Take advantage of opportunities for quick wins. Another day, another hashtag - MondayMotivation / #TBT / #FF come around week on week. And if it’s relevant, jump on #strictly #GBBO #EdBallsDay #StarWarsDay.
Remember: Snackable content’s where it’s at for social media. The fast-scrolling feed of most platforms make easy-to-digest images, short vids and minimal text preferable. Make sure images are high quality and on brand and vids with sound are signposted as such.
For more insights and tips including the do’s and don’ts of the hashtag, working with influencers and tools to simplify the management of your social media accounts, download our white paper or come have a chat.