When it comes to social media for businesses, with sixty-two per cent of Australians using social media sites every day, it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ but ‘how’ and ‘how much’.
Not surprisingly, the 2018 Yellow Social Media Report, notes that the number of Australian businesses with a social media presence has hit an all-time high. Facebook remains the most popular platform (about 90% of businesses surveyed are using it), with LinkedIn and Instagram following (second- and third-most popular, depending on business size).
The most popular reasons for social activity? Advertising and promotion were listed as the most popular, followed by customer interaction and contact. However, remember that customers look at it the opposite way. They want to communicate and interact with just a touch of selling so it’s really important to get the right mix.
If you’re not already getting social with your customers, it’s time.
The golden rule when deciding what social media platform(s) to be on is to think about your target markets: what social media platforms are they on? To help you work this out, the 2018 Yellow Social Media Report on consumers may be useful. It provides insights into consumer social media behaviour, the technology and platforms people are using, and when and why they’re connecting.
Tools to help you plan and organise
Social media does take time and planning. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re posting on a regular basis is to include social media as part of your overall marketing plan. That way, you can ensure that you’re posting about events and sales before they happen and don’t forget to share news with your audience in a timely manner.
To help with planning, I’ve put together a free marketing calendar template that you can download and use to schedule all your promotional events for the year, including all social posts. You can customise the template in Excel and adjust it to your needs.
You may also want to consider something like Hootsuite to help you stay on track. Hootsuite is an online social media planning tool that lets you organise and report on all your social media activity, as well as calculate ROI. You can also schedule posts in advance and create assignments for teams.
With Hootsuite, you can try any plan for free for 30 days, and there’s a basic free plan that allows you to manage up to 3 social accounts; more robust plans are available for a monthly fee.
But what about content?
Worried about what to post? Many businesses struggle to come up with enough things to share. Plus, with so many businesses out there angling for the attention of their followers, how do you make sure your efforts aren’t wasted?
Here are a few tips for creating engaging content and working posts into your overall strategy:
- Add photos, videos & images — Including an image with your text post catches the eye of your followers and helps them engage with and remember your post. Photos and videos are common, but infographics are also great to include because they combine visual interest with information. In fact, infographics are liked and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content.
- Use live video (wisely) — If you read our post on Facebook Live, you know that it can be a great tool – IF used appropriately. You need to practice with this tool, have a good reason to use it and notify followers in advance about the event so you’ll get as much engagement as possible.Think about a way to use Facebook Live that will provide something of value to your viewers so it’s worth their time to tune in. Use it as a chance to answer questions, promote a new product or service, or get feedback from customers. Don’t forget about YouTube Live, too.
- Repurpose and link to content — Social media posts are a great way to take people to your website, as well as repurpose other content you’re creating. Remember, social media is about engaging with audiences, so it’s a great way to provide additional information they may be looking for.When you build your strategic plan, look for ways to create social posts that tie into your other marketing efforts. You can also edit text you write or use photos you take for your website, news releases or sales promotions and use them to create quick posts.
The B2Me Experience
Now we’re in the Age of the Individual and customer-led experience, social media has become even more important. It’s the only medium that enables one-to-one communication at scale. B2Me personalisation is about creating unique experiences that are interesting and timely for the individual. In social media terms this means that messaging is gaining increasing popularity. This year, the number of users on messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp grew twice as fast as users on Facebook. These apps offer fantastic opportunities for brands to establish meaningful conversations and should also be considered as part of your social media strategy.
Need help setting up your accounts or putting together a social media strategy? Contact Breathe Marketing today.