Social media is one of the most powerful tools at your business’ fingertips, and if used correctly, can do much more than gain you followers and likes. As the resident millennial at Rein Communications, it seems only natural for me to be sharing this piece. But don’t be fooled: age or the ability to post flawless selfies does not make you a true social media strategist. In order to be effective you need the insight and direction of a communications professional.
This is the step many people tend to skip. I know posting and interacting with comments is the fun part, however this gritty step is essential to having a solid social media presence. This is the part where we strategically think of what we’re going to post, why it’s relevant and when to post to receive the most engagement.
As you determine content categories that are relevant to your brand, ask yourself “Why would I post this? What is the goal?” If you can’t think of an answer, hold off on publishing. Not every post has to be focused on generating business- it’s okay to show the culture of your business or things that your brand values. That type of content humanizes your business and gives your followers a sense of not only what you do but the kind of people who they will interact with.
Then comes the million dollar question: When is the right time to post? Unfortunately there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer. It varies on every platform and audience and takes research, trial and error and often a professional to help you determine the best time to strike and with what kind of content. Maybe your audience is stay at home moms who use social media while their kids nap, or maybe it’s business owners who don’t have time to check Facebook until after 5pm. Knowing these details about your target audience makes it easier to determine when it’s appropriate to post.
Utilizing the Right Platforms
Unpopular opinion: you do not need to be on every social media platform known to man. Just because you can push content out on 6 different apps doesn’t mean you should. If it’s not intentionally-made, it often falls on blind eyes- if any at all.
Each platform has its own unique user demographics and purposes. It’s critical to know who you are trying to reach. Start here: What is their age demographic? Where do they live? What are they interested in? The more specific you can get, the better. The more detailed of a picture you can paint, the better you can tailor your efforts.
Each app has its own nuances, for example LinkedIn is perfect for professionals, Tik Tok is crowded with dancing Gen Z-ers and Instagram is prime for B2C businesses or those with profound stories to tell. Decide which platforms make the most sense for you to utilize and stick to them.
Our world has never had such a powerful storytelling tool. Social media gives the world an up-close, personal look into your business. That being said, the content you put out matters. Your posts do not have to be exactly identical to each other, but sticking to brand guidelines of colors, fonts, and types of photos/videos can increase brand recognition. Whether your brand is more minimalist or bold and colorful, having a consistent look and feel to your page is crucial to credibility. While evaluating if they’ll do business with you, a potential client is likely going to look at your social media pages. What do you want their first impression to be?
Some brands dive deeper into their aesthetics on platforms that thrive off of images and videos, like Instagram, and create curated looks for their grid. You do not need to design the most intricate, detailed grid the world has ever seen, simply put some extra thought into how what you post will follow the look and feel of your page. (However, if you do become a grid person, let me know because I geek out over these things and would love to see it.)
Every brand has a personality. Sure it’s shown through visuals, but it’s also shown through the tone of what you write. You may want to use a more formal, strictly-business tone, or maybe you’ll be witty and use an emoji here and there. Whatever you decide, it should reflect both your brand and audience, which means it might even differ slightly from channel to channel. Be sure to stick with it and ensure it is consistent throughout the messaging in all of your posts, stories, comments and messages. Your voice is a branding opportunity and helps your audience recognize and become familiar with your business. Others become accustomed to how you show up online. Now more than ever is the time to show them who you really are!
Your work isn’t done once you hit “post.” You must also interact with the messages and comments you receive. When we see a page do this, it makes us feel like we are cared for and our feedback is genuinely appreciated. Responding to comments in a way that sparks a further conversation will make your customers feel appreciated and more likely inclined to use your services. Make your interactions thoughtful and personable, this will go a long way in your audience’s eyes.