We live in an ever-changing digital world—where digital involvement has become a necessity. As communicators, we have to understand how our audience is evolving; where they are now and where they are going. Right now, social media is the today and the tomorrow. Since the beginning of the Internet, communication has been getting more and more simplified and now, social media has allowed it to skyrocket. From hearing the latest breaking news being covered on Twitter, to checking Snapchat to see what our favorite celebrity is up to only means everyone is connected.
So, whether you’re looking to brand a small business or to brand yourself, a social media presence is crucial. But it’s not just about creating a Twitter with your company logo and tweeting whatever comes to mind, it’s about connecting with consumers and creating value. Those are the two most important outcomes to keep in mind when maintaining a social media presence. Here are a few ways to successfully nourish these outcomes:
Choose platforms to best fit your business and consumers
Ideally, it would be great to join every major social platform to increase your reach. But we all have time constraints and limitations. Besides, it’s hard up keeping a Snapchat with relevant content for, let’s say, a medical office—not the right target, not the right fit for your content.
Especially when starting small, we should focus on choosing the perfect platforms based on our target demographics and content we plan on posting. For example, 45% of Snapchat users are ages 18-24. So if you’re choosing Snapchat as one of your platforms, you’re probably planning to target teens and millennials.
So always remember to ask yourself when choosing a platform, what type of content you’d be posting and who are the users that will be receiving this content?
Engage with consumers
The best thing about social media is the two-way flow of communication. You’re not only sending messages for people to read, you’re also receiving feedback such as likes, comments, shares, etc. It is crucial to be in conversation with your followers. It creates a voice for your company and also allows your followers to ask questions, raise concerns or provide feedback.
It’s always good to reply, even to negative feedback. And engaging with consumers doesn’t mean just answer questions that are sent your way, it gives you the chance to ask your consumers some questions too!
This constant flow of communication within these platforms will add credibility to your company and strengthen your online presence.
Market your social media profile
Besides the obvious keeping links of your profiles on all your pages, there is one important way to keep your social media presence relevant and interesting: Be creative. We have so many virtual tools nowadays, the possibilities are endless! When using Twitter, make sure to upkeep a likeable personality for your company. On Instagram or Snapchat, its all visual.
People are extremely visual. They love pictures, videos, graphics, animations, gifs, etc. These things can (and should) be posted to any platform, even Twitter and blogging sites which are more text oriented. Another example in terms of marketing your business is using geo-targeting, a way to send messages based on user’s locations. This can be useful to certain companies that want to send very specific messages to a specific set of users. It’s all about finding new and creative ways to reach your followers. Whether it be through geo-targeting or through a contest on Instagram, always make sure to stay connected with your followers and create value to your brand.
Keep a blog
People love to say that blogging is taking over traditional journalism. While this may or may not be true, it is a very important factor for maintaining a social media presence. And definitely beneficial for your company.
Unlike Twitter and Instagram, where it’s limited by a 140-character tweet or a picture with a caption, blogging has no limitations! Here is where you can really connect with your consumer, get a little more personal. You can use blogs to talk to your consumers and share some insight, a story, inform them on the latest news, etc.
Topics can range from things happening in your company such as events, or big things happening in your industry. Blogging will also get your company ranked on Google. Using SEO techniques will help your post get ranked online and increase the chances of your company being found. The best site for blogging is probably WordPress.com, it gives you a lot of freedom and interactive widgets to use.
Measure your results
Analytics are important. Measuring your most popular tweet or how many views a blog post gets is important when brainstorming for future content. Through analytics, we can see what our consumers are most interested in and what they’ve engaged with the most. This can help us set a model for future posts. A post with something visual such as pictures or a video might get more views than a post with just words.
To keep our presence relevant, we must know what our consumers engage with the most, to be able to provide more of it. Google Analytics is widely known as one of the best analytics tools, they even have a social report, which reports the way visitors behave on your site compared to others.
All in all, maintaining a social media presence isn’t as easy as it sounds. There is much thought that goes into managing an Instagram account or a Facebook page. We must be aware of our followers/consumers and constantly stay relevant to our brand and what our followers would engage with the most. With all the great tools that the Internet can provide us with, all it takes is a little creativity. And don’t forget the two points that should always be kept in mind to maintain a social media presence: connect with your consumers and create value!