Recently, at a local networking event, I found myself talking to a group of people about the power social media can have for a company, and with that, the burden it can be for others. While some people within organisations ‘click’ immediately with their target audience on social media, other industries find it difficult to find their direction. While there is no right or wrong way to use these powerful tools, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are using it in the best possible way.
Here are my top tips for businesses
1.Decide who you are and what you are saying. As an organisation on social media it is important to be recognised as that company, both visually and in what you are saying. Try to make sure that your companies branding is consistent across all platforms (whether that is LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Snapchat or any other). While ensuring the tone of what you are saying/commenting on, is also consistent with your brand; i.e. if you are a children’s nursery you wouldn’t start writing prolific posts (although I wouldn’t advise this for most companies!), or if you were a law firm you might want to reconsider posting pictures of your wild staff parties.
While this may seem obvious, deciding upon your tone from the outset can help you in the long run when thinking about potential content.
2. Know when to use paid advertising. There is nothing worse than scrolling through your Facebook timeline, only to see seven ‘sponsored’ posts from that dog groomer down the road. While using paid advertising on social media is a great way to increase awareness among targeted groups of people, this is being done so much today that many people have become ‘numb’ to it all and will simply ignore material that they see all the time. More than anything it will just annoy the people you want to keep on side (like the go compare advert on the TV), so keeping the paid advertising to a minimum is a good idea, promoting specific events, offers and promotions is a great way to increase awareness without subconsciously aggravating potential customers.
3. Mix it up! Having a wide variety of content is key to a successful social media campaign. At Simpsons for example, we make sure that we post a mix of work that we have done or work we are doing, industry and local news and internal or more personal items that are currently going on. This allows our audience to better understand not only what we do and how we operate, but also people can get to know more about the individuals behind the company, and who you will be working with. While this may not be the best ratio for every industry, the point remains, having a mixture of content keeps your profile fresh and will attract more people to it.
4. Know what is right for your industry. Every social media platform attracts a slightly different audience, knowing where your audience is will be crucial in ensuring the success of any social media campaign. While LinkedIn is fantastic for the financial services industry, I doubt their audience will jump onto Snapchat to see the latest office shenanigans. Likewise where YouTube works great for a Burlesque company promoting their dancers and shows, LinkedIn may not be where your audience will be found. It is okay to not have a profile on every social media platform going, in fact it is sometimes better to have a well presented and constantly updated Twitter feed than several under-used, and poorly updated pages which will make your company look unprofessional.
5. Report it! We like to document any changes in audience behaviour with monthly reports, this allows us to analyse any demographic changes, while also giving us pointers for the next few months. By keeping track of how things are progressing (or not) it allows you to better understand the audience and produce content in the future which will be better received.
At Simpsons we look after the social media accounts for a wide variety of clients. If you would like us to take a look at your social media profile and see what recommendations we would give you, let us know!