What you need to know about social media

What you need to know about social media

    Social media has become embedded in everyday life. Everywhere you look, there will be someone that’s on social media or an organisation advertising for followers.

    Social media is a huge opportunity to reach out to different people, usually at a very low or no cost. It can boost your public profile.

    Knowing how to engage this online community, especially on social media can be tricky to master – but here are the answers to all your questions.

    How social should I be?

    Nowadays, everyone and their dog is on social media – literally. So, it’s good to know how present you should be on social channels and whether it’s actually necessary.

    CEOs in particular, should be present on social media. This is a digital world that requires social media as a public engagement and marketing tool.

    Here are a few tips to consider:

    • Create a strategy:

    The first main question you should ask yourself is why do you need to be present on social     media?

    Social media is a helpful tool for increasing public awareness, marketing purposes or to manage crisis communication.

    Your main goal is to make the public engage with the content you’re creating on social media so look at other popular pages and how they get success.

    • Know your target audience:

    The next step is to think about which platform of social media is suitable for your target audience. For instance, you don’t want to start making posts on LinkedIn if you have a younger audience who prefers to use Instagram.

    Once set up with your social media account, you need to work out a strategy for getting people to follow you.

    The easiest way to do this, is to add social media links on your websites, advertisements or even in your email signature.

    • Time your posts:

    Find out when the best time is to post for your audience. You can test this by posting at different times of the day and seeing which one gains the most traction or reach.

    Also, keep monitoring the reaction your content achieves. Figure out what type of posts are working and which ones aren’t.

    The hard part about a social media profile is keeping it updated. It’s best to set a time to post or hire an employee or an agency to post for you. The public will appreciate having regular posts about any updates that communicate what the company is up to.

    • Gain attention:

    Getting those first few followers may seem difficult, but if you’ve already got a company website or blog, that is an easy place to start.

    Telling your audience or customer base about your social media profile is the best way to start getting the message out, as many people probably wouldn’t stumble across your site themselves.

    Many businesses tend to wait for things to happen, but proactively telling your customers about your social media profiles is great promotion. Adding social links to your website and putting your social media details on flyers and advertisement are ways to notify the public.

    New products or announcements are a sure way to create public attention, but preview posts beforehand can help make people excited and talk more about your organisation.

    Look at other content that people are engaging with and see if you can add something similar onto your social media or share what’s trending.

    A strategic way to gain attention is to build relationships with influencers, well known brands or recognised blogs.

    Social media influencers usually already have an established brand, with many follows who read and share their posts. Getting mentions from these influencers will attract more people towards your brand and social media profiles.

    The best influencers don’t necessarily have the most followers – they also need to be authentic, active, engaging, authoritative and show strong leadership skills. Their image and values also need to align with your brand.

    Building relationships is the best way to market and brand your social media profiles.

    • Appearance and voice:

    Your social media needs to attract people, as well as having a large presence. So, try to put as much effort in as you can to make it look good.

    Creating a presentable social media profile will take time and money, however if you plan ahead and use all of the resources available, your profile will attract attention. Content should vary too – utilise article links, blog posts, photos, graphics and the king of all content, video to engage your audience.

    You need to tell a story with your social media profile. Fill out all the necessary fields to explain to the public who you and your organisation are. The more description you add, the more professional and credible your profile will look.

    Remember to sound human. You don’t want your organisation to come off sounding very corporate with no emotion or personality. Develop the overall tone and voice of your company’s social media.

    Anything that you post should be authentic to your brand. Don’t try to style your posts just to fit in.

    Always proofread your posts. Sometimes you may not even notice a mistake but your audience will, so it’s always a good idea to get someone else to look at it before you post.

    • Choose a consistent theme:

    To attract people, create an overall theme for your social media profile and keep it consistent.

    It’s like creating your brand or an extension of that brand – your profile represents your organisation and keeping it consistent will make it look more attractive. This also will help people recognise your brand instantaneously and know you are the official social media page for that organisation.

    Your theme should include a consistent colour palette. If you have a significant colour like the purple that’s synonymous with Cadbury, show it off in your posts, as it will gain you more recognition from the public.

    The overall theme should also extend to the content you’re posting. Avoid just posting about random subjects and instead create topics that are related to you and your industry.

    • Pictures say a thousand words:

    Social media is a very visual platform. People are constantly uploading videos and photos to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, not to mention Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more.

    Picking your profile picture can say a lot about who you and your company are and what you stand for.

    Using a logo for your profile picture is the best option, as people will know your company brand and recognise it.  Use the same picture all across your profiles.

    All videos and photos must be copyrighted. You don’t want to get lawsuits because of a photo you posted that doesn’t belong to you. Ask permission or credit the source. Beware, you may need to pay licensing fees for some images or photos.

    Remember when choosing a filter for your brand for Instagram, it’s a good idea to pick one and stick to it. Your photos may turn out appearing unorganised and uneven if you vary the look of the images.

    Here’s a quick social media checklist:

    1. Understand your target audience

    • Have you created content and posted it on a social media platform specifically for your target audience?
    1. Be consistent

    • Have you been consistent with all your social media platforms, to create your brand identity?
    • Are you consistent in the types of posts and the frequency of your posting?
    1. Refer to your website

      • Social media should be a platform where you can entice people to your main website. Have you referred back to your website, so people can find more information about you or your organisation?
    2. Answer any questions

      • The best way to get exposure is to comment on other blogs or social media posts. Are you remaining active on your social media sites and responding to comments or questions from the public?

    Creating a social media profile may seem like a huge amount of work, but social media platforms are an invaluable tool to proactively promote your brand and engage with current and future followers.