Social media is one of the most important tools in your marketing belt. It’s a great way to connect with your current customers as well as generate new ones through sharing content and information about your products and industry.
You need to make sure you’re getting the best out of your social media efforts, so here are a few tips to help you along:
1. Have a content calendar
Your content calendar is the best place to keep track of all of the content you are going to share throughout the week, month or quarter. Using one means that you can plan your content around key dates in your industry, see if you have any gaps during the year that you don’t have any content for, and make sure that any content you have planned is ready to go by the time you need it for.
Basically, a content calendar is invaluable when it comes to your social media and content sharing organisation. Being prepared means you have a consistent flow of content ready to go exactly when you need it.
You can create your own content calendar using Microsoft Excel, or there are many free templates you can download online to get you started.
2. Schedule posts in advance
Most social media platforms have ways to schedule your posts ahead of time, and this is a fantastic way to save your own time. If you schedule a lot of posts in advance you are cutting down on the time during your day that it takes to post things to social media at certain times. You will be able to post at optimal times during the day without the worry of missing crucial audience time.
Not only does it save time on posting content, but it gives you more time to interact with people on social media, thereby nurturing your leads as well as creating new ones.
Scheduling is also handy for posting on the weekends when you might not want to be sitting at a computer yourself, but you want to keep your brand and company at the front of your customer’s mind.
3. Know where to find content
To engage with the most people on social media, you need to know what topics are relevant at the time. What are people posting on each others Facebook walls? What’s trending on Twitter right now within your customer group? And it’s not just a case of checking all of this first thing in the morning when you get to work. You need to be on top of rising trends throughout the day as well.
There are a lot of ways you can keep track of what’s going on in your industry and among your customers. Checking popular Twitter hashtags is one of the simplest ways to find out what’s trending. You can also sign up for Feedly and subscribe to blogs and news related to your industry. Google Alerts are another way to get up to date information straight to your inbox, so you’re always on top of rising trends and topics.
4. Know where your customers are
It’s important to have a presence on all social media platforms, but you have to make sure that you’re spending enough time on the ones that generate the most ROI. If you know that your customers are more likely to pin a picture on Pinterest, or retweet a blog post on Twitter, then you know you should be focusing a fair bit of your time on these two platforms.
That’s not to say that you should neglect the others. Rather you should make sure that you are tailoring your content properly for each platform. Get straight to the point on Twitter to fit into the 140 character block. Facebook posts can be longer and a bit more in depth, although you don’t want them to be too long. Facebook is also a good place to advertise offers and competitions. Pinterest and Instagram are both very visually-heavy platforms, so photos of your product, or infographics do the best here.
5. Know your product inside out
Social media is a place where customers can talk to you directly, and often they use it as a chance to ask you questions about your product. Customers often expect answers to social media posts quickly, with 53% expecting a response to a tweet within an hour.* So it’s important that you can answer any queries as quickly as possible, and this means that you need to know as much as possible about your product.
A good way to be prepared for this is to know what the most commonly asked questions are so you’re prepared to answer those quickly. Talk to your teams and make sure that you have answers ready for all platforms (remember that 140 character limit on Twitter).
Social Media is also a place where a lot of customers will air their complaints of your product, and the percentage of people expecting a quick reply goes up to 72% when it concerns a complaint. The most important thing to do in this situation is to stay calm and do your best not to get frustrated. Respond to the customer in a polite and genuine manner, making sure you apologize for the problem in a personal way, not just with the generic ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience.’
Staying organised and keeping on top of your content and posts is easy once you start, and the benefits are definitely worth it. So make sure that you’re optimizing your social media usage and reaching as many customers as possible.