Updated: Dec 7, 2019
There’s a big difference between using social media for your business and using social media for your business correctly.
And if you’re planning a marketing strategy, especially one you’ve put significant money into, it’s important to make sure it’s effective.
Keeping three simple things in mind at all times can go a long way.
1. Be mindful of when you post.
Don't throw social media posts against the wall and hope for the best. Taking the time to plan and take note of when your posts will do well is important.
Looking through the “Insights” and “Publishing Tools” sections of your Facebook page can help you find out when your followers are online, what kind of content resonates best with them, and more.
You can find the best times to post on social media, by platform and business type, at sproutsocial.com.
Sometimes you need to post for timely reasons. For example, if you have an unexpected business closure, don't wait on that. Use social media to your advantage and reach a lot of people quickly.
And don't post too much either. Chances are that your content, while perhaps enjoyable, isn't an integral part of the lives of your followers. You don't want to cross into annoying territory, which could result in your followers muting your accounts or unfollowing you altogether.
If a lack of interaction has you posting more, just keep this all in mind. Little interaction doesn't necessarily mean little visibility. It's very easy to find out how much reach your tweets and Facebook posts get. While not everyone is going to like, share or comment, eyeballs on your content are still a big plus.
2. Don't forget that communication is a two-way street.
If somebody takes the time to ask a question or make a comment, then take the time to interact.
Never embrace the "set it and forget it" mentality. Don’t post something and never return to it. If you’ve got interactions, know how to handle them.
Now more than ever, we live in a digitally-driven culture in which we feed on social validation through social media. If you’ve liked a comment or responded, you’ve given somebody, likely a customer of yours, assurance that they’ve been heard. They feel recognized. And that goes a long way, especially if they’ve taken the time to recognize you.
If you plan to ignore or delete the negative stuff, don’t. Again, this is a digitally-driven culture and we can all hide behind a keyboard to make a complaint. It’s less intimidating than making a phone call or face-to-face confrontation. But letting it go entirely can allow issues to fester.
As with the positive stuff, people want to be heard. Hear them. Apologize if need be. Offer a solution. Perhaps it was simply a misunderstanding that can easily be cleared up. Maybe other customers had the same complaint and didn’t say something. They also see you’re taking feedback seriously and working to improve.
All of this shows you care about the people who make your business possible. If you support them, they’ll support you.
Also, be sure to keep all your company info updated as well. Let's face it, people are going to ask Siri or use Google to find something, such as your business hours, rather than call. There's no reason to miss out on connecting with someone because you dropped the ball on keeping everything updated online.
3. Use different platforms and use them appropriately.
First of all, don't just stick with one platform and go about your day. Depending on your business, you should probably pursue as many as you can. Just make sure if you have them, you use them.
Different platforms have different audiences and provide different experiences. What works on one likely won't work on the others.
Your messaging can be the same across the board for sure, but presentation and format may have to change.
For one, optimal image sizes vary. Knowing this could be the difference between sharing a photo of someone exactly how you want it and sharing a photo of someone with half their head missing.
You can find all of these appropriate sizes in one place at sproutsocial.com.
Chances are you can easily get access to something that allows you to resize images, whether it's a program included with your desktop or laptop or an app you can download on your phone or tablet.
And then there's captions. Ideal lengths vary as well.
Never try to write a book. There are moments when you may have to say a little more, but for the most part, keep it brief. Give people something they can take in quickly, which hopefully leads to an interaction. If someone is scrolling through their feed, give them a reason to stop, look and listen. Make it as simple for them as possible.
Again, sproutsocial.com is a great one-stop shop to learn about the ideal length of each type of social media post.
Also, on the topic of captions, it's important to remember that including hashtags on Twitter and Instagram can also go a long way for your visibility.
If you’re taking the time to post on social media, as you should be, take the time to make sure your efforts aren’t wasted. Keep these tips in mind, but be patient. You won’t see rapid improvements overnight.
Good social media practices make perfect.