In this social media age, it’s important for the modern man to keep up-to-date with the current social media landscape. With that knowledge, you need to know how to utilize it to benefit your business. Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or marketer, here are 30 ways to improve your brand’s social media presence.
1. Set the Right Goals
Before starting any social media plan, it’s important to come up with a plan that will best work for your business. Set goals that will set the direction for your social media strategy. Consider using the SMART framework when formulating your goals.
Specific: Consider the 5Ws — who, what, where, when, why
Measurable: Criteria to measure progress and success (ie: how much/many, KPIs etc)
Achievable: Is it realistic? Is my company capable of executing it?
Relevant: How is it relevant to our brand/industry activities?
Time-bound: Set a clear timeline and deadline
2. Know Your Audience
Know who are the people your brand is targeting. Consider their demographics and psychographics, their needs and wants. Since you’re working on increasing your digital presence among them, it’ll be useful to look into what your target audience is sharing and who they’re engaging with on social media.
One useful way to clearly map out all this information is to create a persona. This should represent an ideal member of your target audience. Think of this persona as a real person and create a whole profile of this person that is in line with the brand’s consumer segmentation.
3. Know Your Competitors
This goes without saying but in the corporate world, you’re bound to have competitors. When crafting out your digital presence strategy, don’t forget to look at what your competitor brands are doing on their social media platforms as well.
When comparing with competitors, try to analyze what’s working for them and then see if it can be applicable to your brand as well. Aim to match their results but ensure that your content doesn’t clash with theirs.
4. Know Your Platforms
As a modern man, it’s important to stay savvy on the difference between the social media networks and how to use them. Weigh the pros and cons of each platform and decide which will best fit your intended brand content.
Take into account your target audience’s commonly used platforms from your customer segmentation analysis as well. This will give you a better idea of which platforms to target and which ones are losing popularity among your target audience.
It doesn’t hurt to look at other options outside of the conventional social media networks. You can use social review sites to collect reviews on your business or products or social bookmarking sites for customers to collate content of their interest using virtual “bookmarks”. These are alternative ways to interact with your audience that you can consider using when building your brand’s social media presence.
5. Make Full Use of the Different Features
Feel free to play around the different features on each platform to diversify the type of content you can put out. For example, on Instagram, you can make use of the various Instastory features to make your stories more interactive, or you can use IGTV to publish longer video content.
This allows you to fully utilize the social media platform instead of just simply posting content on your main feed. It’s also a great way to experiment with different content formats and see how they fare with your audience.
6. Tailor Your Content Accordingly
Once you’ve established what platform(s) you want to use, now you need to know what mediums work best on each of them. How are the content formats like? What works best on each site? For example, Instagram is more visual with a heavy focus on images and short videos, whereas Facebook is a mix of both text and visuals. Craft your content around those mediums accordingly.
7. To Keep Consistent or Separate?
This decision will depend on how you want your social media networks to look like across the board. You can either fully keep the content posted the same across all platforms, or keep them separate and unique to each platform.
There are pros and cons to cross-posting so do weigh them carefully before deciding your course of action. On one hand, cross-posted content can give a consistent voice and message to your brand across all platforms; on the other hand, it can make your brand seem repetitive and unoriginal.
8. Plan Out Your Bio
The bio is the first thing people will look for on your social media profile as it tells them more about your brand. Feel free to get creative with your bio info; let it speak for your brand! Tell your brand story in your own way.
You should vary your bio depending on the format and theme you’ve set for each platform but one rule of thumb: provide just enough information so your followers can get a clear idea of what your brand is all about while still keeping things concise.
Write in point form and use short paragraphs and sentences that are punchy yet easy to read. Don’t be afraid to add a little humor or even emojis in your bio to show a more lighthearted, friendly side to your brand.
9. Have a Posting Schedule
You’ve got all your social media profiles set up and ready to go, now you have to work out when to post out content and on which platforms. This is where a posting schedule or editorial calendar will come in handy.
Your target audience analysis should include when your audience is most active on social media and which platforms are they accessing at those times. Using those “prime times”, schedule your posts accordingly.
You can choose whether to combine all your posting schedules into one calendar or create one for each of your platforms. Alternatively, you can decide whether you want to plot out the calendar on a monthly or weekly basis.
10. Make Time For Special Content
This is something you might want to include as part of your posting schedule. Dedicate a day of the week for special content; for example, you can post fun facts on your industry every Wednesday. Come up with a catchy name or hashtag for it so it gives your followers something to look forward to every week. It also adds an element of thematic consistency to your feed and makes it more organized.
This can especially come in useful if your brand is running a campaign and wants to put out regular promotional content. This will help you plan out how frequently in a week do you want to post and balance them out with your regular content.
11. Create Engagement
One of the key purposes of having a social media presence is for it to be…social. As much as you are putting out content regularly, it shouldn’t be a one-way transaction. You will know your digital presence has taken off once people start reacting and interacting with your content.
Social media engagement is more than just comments; it includes likes, shares, retweets and more. Create content that encourages this kind of engagement, be it a funny post or an interesting fact. Remember that it’s important to come up with metrics to measure the engagement so you can regularly keep track of what works in drawing in your audience and make changes accordingly.
12. Give Your Followers Incentives
One way to build engagement is to give your followers reason to stay subscribed to your content. This can be done in the form of giveaways, contests, offers/deals; the point is to entice your followers with the chance of winning a reward if they like or share your post. This essentially “forces” your followers to engage with your content if they want to stand a chance of winning the prize.
Another plus of this is that it’s a way to give back to your customers and reward them for supporting your brand. At the end of the day, it’s an easy win-win solution for everyone.
13. Involve Your Followers
This tip can be incorporated with the previous point. Get your followers to share your posts on their personal platforms or tag their friends in the comments, and they might stand to win the reward.
Even better, you can tell them that the more friends they tag or the more times they share, it acts as additional entries to the contest, thus increasing their chances of getting picked. This not only appeals to their competitive spirit and encourages them to get involved, but it also increases your content’s reach and spreads word of your brand to a wider audience.
14. Build Relationships
An essential part of building engagement and your social media presence is forming relationships with your audience. Regularly check in to what people are saying about your brand in the comments or when they @mention your brand name. Like, share or reply to those comments or mentions in a timely fashion. Create Facebook groups to establish brand loyalty and a community of fans.
Another group you can build relationships with is influential people in your industry. Build a rapport with them and get them to promote your brand. This way, you can show off your industry connections while giving you an extended audience to reach out to.
This also lets people feel a lot closer to your brand as it breaks down that barrier and creates a mutual interaction. This can be advantageous to your brand’s digital presence as it shows that you are actively involved in the conversation between you and your audience.
15. Work on Your Customer Service
Sometimes engagement isn’t always positive. Customer service is a key element in maintaining a strong social media presence as it shows that your brand is open to addressing feedback and criticism. Directly reply to any complaints or feedback efficiently and professionally. Try to offer a solution to their issues or acknowledge their feedback.
While you can’t please everyone, promptly replying to these comments makes your brand’s digital presence more trustworthy. It reassures your following that you are actively keeping tabs on what people are saying about your brand and are willing to change for the better.
16. Don’t Oversell Your Brand
While you are still running a business, try not to hard-sell your brand or services on your social media platforms too excessively. Keep the marketing and promotional content to a minimum and focus more on the interaction and engagement with your followers.
Remember that the point of social media is to be social. Overselling your brand can come off as looking too self-focused and can put off people. Keep in mind the Pareto principle of 80/20 — 80% of your content should be customer-focused while the remaining 20% can be promotional.
17. Be Real
A surefire way to establish your social media presence through relationships and engagement is by being real. You don’t want your followers to feel like they’re talking with a bot so add that human element to your content. Depending on your brand image and tone, use humor or slang to make your content more personal and friendly.
One great way to do this is by showing the people behind your brand. This allows your followers to see the real people behind all the online content and can give them an insight into how your business operates.
18. Create a Brand Identity
This ties in with adding that human element to your social media presence. Imagine your brand as a human — what characteristics will that person have? Create a personality around your brand and use that to direct how you want to portray yourself to your audience. Whether your brand is fun and young or serious but reassuring, let that show through!
This brand identity should be the main direction for how you angle and phrase your social media content. Straying away too far away from it will only create dissonance in your content and the portrayal of your brand to your followers.
19. Have a Consistent Voice
Your brand identity and voice of your content should go hand in hand. Ensure that the language, words and tone used in your content is consistent. This will help in brand recognition for new followers as they will start to associate your brand with a certain personality and form their impressions from there.
If you have different people in your team managing social media, make sure that they are all on the same page on how to produce content. Alternatively, you can appoint one person-in-charge to standardize the content produced first before publishing.
20. Use Automation Sparingly
We get that managing your social media might be the last thing you want to manage when work really gets busy. Automation can help make the job easier by posting out automated content or responses regularly. It reduces the need to constantly have someone post manually, which can be useful if you are short on manpower or rushing an urgent project. However, you shouldn’t rely on it too heavily.
One obvious area where you should avoid using automation in is customer service. We’ve all seen those embarrassing stories where an automated response is sent to a client’s angry feedback. Using automated responses towards customers’ feedback and criticism makes your brand seem insincere and unapologetic towards the matter which definitely doesn’t reflect well.
If you do choose to use automation on your social media platforms, make sure it doesn’t pose any risk of jeopardizing your brand and spoiling your image. A good practice is to go in a couple times a day to check that your automated bot hasn’t been posting anything out of line. With automation, you cannot afford to be completely hands-off — if anything, you have to be even more involved in regulating what is posted.
21. Visuals are King
They say “a picture speaks a thousand words” — and this is especially true in the social media world. As people, we are naturally drawn in by visuals. When in doubt of what to post, always favor visuals over long chunks of text.
Be it original content created by an in-house design team or simple stock photographs, the most effective visuals are those that tell a story in itself at first glance. There are different types of visuals you can experiment with so there’ll definitely be one that expresses your message best!
22. Use Your Tags Right
Hashtags are useful in helping people find your content easier. Choose hashtags that are related to the industry you’re in or contain keywords for that specific post. Some people tend to use an extensive number of hashtags to try and increase their searchability but we recommend using just a few (about five to six) really strong hashtags so your caption doesn’t look too wordy.
Keep an eye on trending hashtags and use them accordingly in your posts to help rank your content higher in the algorithm and thus get more eyes on your content. It also shows that you are aware of the ongoing trending topics and makes your content more current and relevant.
If you’re running a campaign or putting out some form of regular content, consider creating a custom hashtag for it. Use this hashtag in all your related posts so your followers can follow that hashtag to keep up-to-date with the topic. Custom hashtags are also a great way to garner engagement when you encourage your followers to use your hashtag in their posts as well.
23. Use Links
Links are also a great way to build engagement. These can be links to your brand’s own website (if you have one) or any other related sites, or links to your partner sites/accounts. Include them in your bio or in the main body of your post.
A great way to make use of links is to create custom referral links so you know where and how your target audience found out about your brand. Share these links with your clients and partners so that when their followers access your pages, you can see where they were referred from. This makes it easier to analyze later where you should focus your promotional efforts on.
24. Include Cross-Links Across Platforms
This is a good way to promote your various platforms to widen the reach of your social media presence. Include links to your other social media profiles across platforms. For example, you can feature your social media links to your blog or website and vice versa.
You can even cross-link your other platforms in your content as well. This works great for contests and giveaways, where you can tell your followers that if they submit an entry on your other platform, it will be counted as another entry. These crossovers across platforms allow customers to find your brand’s digital presence easily, no matter what platform they’re on. It gets them to follow and engage with your brand on more than one platform.
25. Use Analytic Tools
How do you know if your brand has successfully established or improved its social media presence? There are so many analytic tools, both in-built into the individual platforms and external, that you can use to track how well your platforms are performing across the board.
These analytics can give you a better overall idea of who is viewing your content and what content are they paying more attention to. With these statistics in mind, you can then decide whether to stick with your current gameplan or make adjustments. If you do decide things need to be changed, analytics can help you determine what areas exactly need to be improved.
26. Adapt Accordingly
Your social media content shouldn’t be stagnant and fixed, it has to be flexible. Frequently check on your analytics to see how and if your target audience is changing over time. Take into account those changes and adapt to them. Remember, your aim is to cater to your target audience while still maintaining your brand identity and voice.
These changes don’t need to be just based on your analytics, it can shift depending on trends as well. Whether it’s a change of trends in your specific industry or external societal trends, these all can directly or indirectly impact your brand and would require you to adjust your tactics accordingly.
27. Expand Your Audience
While it’s nice to have a niche community, it’s good to expand into other areas as well. Consider posting or sharing content from related industries to include people who subscribe to those wider interest groups. This will broaden your social media presence outside of your own field.
Constantly posting about your own industry can get a bit dry and boring, and it limits your scope on what kind of content to put out. By mixing it up with content from other related industries, you show that your brand is multi-faceted and forms inter-industrial connections through your content.
28. Switch Things Up
While we’ve been emphasizing the importance of consistency throughout this article, it’s okay to vary your content once in a while. For example, if your brand voice is more serious and corporate, you can try adding some lighthearted humor in your posts. If your feed is mostly image-based content, try putting out some video content or changing the format completely to maybe a contest or giveaway to engage your followers.
It’s all about finding that balance on how to variegate your content without deviating too much from the tone and image you’ve established for your brand. The goal is to sustain your audience’s interest in your content but still maintain that brand recognition and association.
29. Spread the Word
Now that you’ve done all your planning and have your accounts up and running, the final step is to make your social media presence known. Include your social media profile links in your email signature, on your personal social media platforms; anywhere where your friends and potential clients can see them.
The power of word-of-mouth referrals can prove very effective in publicizing your digital presence. Make full use of your connections to help promote your social media accounts to their networks.
30. Get Your Clients to Share
Reaching out to your personal connections is one way to promote your social media presence but don’t be afraid to get your industry clients to plug your content as well. Encourage your clients and partners to share your content on their platforms. Mutually return the favor by doing the same for them as well.
This will allow you to reach out to their following and thus expand your brand’s reach beyond your network. It can also encourage closer collaboration with your brand and theirs, which will be advantageous in building up your working relationships in the long run.
The social media market can be a very viable one for your business — if you know how to use it properly. At the end of the day, boosting your social media presence is all about knowing what your customers and followers are interested in and producing content that fits that. Hopefully, these tips were helpful in getting you started and if you have any other tips on how to market your brand on social media, let us know!