Be real human
One of the worst social media mistakes is to come off as a faceless corporation with zero personality. In the modern age of transparency, people want to get to know your company on a more personal level.
Many brands these days are joking and not afraid to talk to their followers like they are their friends. While brands were once criticized for coming off as robots, a human presence on social media has become an expectation among many followers. Similarly, showcasing the human side of your brand means showcasing the faces behind your social channels. Whether it’s office photos or shots of your team “in the wild,” getting personal with your followers can help you make that much-needed connection.
Look for relationships, not just followers
We can debate all day whether your follower count is just a vanity metric.
This means that having 50 followers who regularly engage with you and your content is infinitely more valuable than 5000 who ignore you.
It may be cliché, but don’t leave the “social” out of your social media presence. The beauty of social media is that you can create relationships with your followers from almost anywhere in an instant.
For example, Sprout Social’s own #SproutChat gives us the opportunity to regularly connect with our lovely followers who are also excited to connect with us.
Create an editorial calendar
Spoiler alert: sticking to a content schedule isn’t just something “extra” that brands do.
If there’s a common thread among the biggest brands on social media, it’s that they post regularly. Chances are you’re juggling multiple social channels and trying to make sure you tick a lot of boxes when it comes to descriptions and when to post them, right? Consider how a content calendar can make this process much easier…
• Allows you to fine-tune each of your posts for each platform without jumping between sites.
• Time your posts to maximize engagement so you don’t have to constantly post in real-time.
• Avoid repeating the same content over and over again, make sure each of your articles or images gets as much love as possible.
In short, take the time to do double duty to keep your social media presence organized while maximizing the reach of your content.
Automate the right way
Automation is all the rage in marketing right now, and for good reason.
But you can’t expect to successfully put your social presence on autopilot and walk away.
For example, mass autoresponders have gone the way of dinosaurs because they tend to come across as disingenuous. This now classic tweet from Bank of America is a good example of using the wrong automation to turn off your social followers.
This means that automation in the form of scheduling or content management is absolutely fair game. Avoid this when dealing with questions from real customers or followers.
That’s why brands rely on social tools to help them curate content that’s already been approved by marketing leaders. In fact, Sprout Social’s Employee Advocacy is just the piece of software needed to turn your employees into brand advocates. Leverage your workforce and help build your presence!
First thing first: don’t let the word “optimization” scare you.
Unlike SEO, social media optimization is not particularly technical. This means profiles can be optimized with images, and keywords and fully fill out your account information.
For example, brands can use their Instagram bio to link to promotions, advertise their hashtag, and make their brand voice heard.
Make your presence known
If you’ve gone through the hard work of growing your social media presence, you need to let the world know.
From homepage feeds to icons in your website footer or email signature, anyone who comes into contact with your brand should be just a click away from becoming a long-term follower.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram feeds can be easily integrated into your website with little more than copying and pasting code. See how Keds allows customers to create a highly authentic lookbook on their website:
Inactive social channels are a bad look for brands, plain and simple. Instead of letting your Facebook or Instagram collect cobwebs, you need to “show up” with fresh content day after day.
Some quick tips to help you stay active include:
• Incorporate social planning and automation to save time and energy.
• Selecting and prioritizing your social networks based on the location of your audience.
• Finding ways to rework content so you’re not always trying to reinvent the wheel.
Staying active on social media doesn’t have to be a complete waste of time. By scheduling or simply blocking off 10-15 minute blocks, you can post content and respond to customer concerns without wasting time. You can also try to base your activity around the best times to post on social media to maximize engagement.
Don’t be afraid to pay
Like it or not, social media in general is not quite the “free” channel it once was. While there’s still plenty that can be done organically, Facebook’s updated algorithm and Instagram’s new business features signal a clear need for businesses to experiment with ads.
But it’s not just the ads that deserve your attention. Looking at the recent boom in influencer marketing, paid relationships between social movers and shakers are becoming more common.
The good news is that both social media advertising and influencer marketing can have insane ROI. Between laser targeting on Facebook or reaching out to hyperactive influencers, a paid strategy certainly has its time and place depending on your business’s social goals.
Understand that this is a long game
Many of the mistakes brands make on social media stem from the desire to grow quickly.
You are impatient and want to generate results quickly. So, you can try the social version of get-rich-quick programs to build your following. However, these strategies are only valuable on the surface.
But you’ll soon realize that it doesn’t actually get you any closer to meeting your goals and connecting with your audience.
“Don’t take the ‘easy’ route by paying for views and followers,” because eventually, you’ll hit a wall where you have this audience but no engagement, no one converting or subscribing to your content.”
Organic growth is the most authentic and effective way to build a sustainable presence. Why? Because you’ll be getting real data from your target audience that will help you tailor your approach to better serve them.
Track your competitors
Your competitors are like your neighbors. It’s nice to be a little curious and see what they’re up to from time to time.
“When I think about doing a competitive analysis, I go into it with the expectation that I will be both challenged and inspired,” Boswell said. “The biggest thing you should look for when evaluating a competitor’s social media presence is how they’re positioning themselves in the market and how shared or overlapping audiences perceive their efforts.”
While it’s good to be aware of your competitive landscape, Boswell stresses that it shouldn’t affect your entire social strategy. What works well for one brand may not work for yours, so be selective about what ideas you adopt.
Listen to your audience and adjust as needed
Social monitoring and listening can be your cheat sheet for social media success.
They will give your insight into not only your industry and competitors but also how your audience perceives your brand. Leveraging this to inform your brand strategy can help you stand out from your competition.
“Where we once lived in the marketing age of brand innovation, we now live in the consumer-first era. This is an exciting time, especially on social media, where brands have direct communication with their audiences,” said Boswell. “Brands that not only actively collaborate, but strive to deeply understand their audience, win on social media.”
Not sure where to start? Start by finding topics related to your brand and see how your audience reacts to them. Then search for your company name and see what the general sentiment is around your brand.
Invest in the right platforms
It’s easy to assume that you should be visible everywhere to increase your social media presence. But if your audience doesn’t live on certain platforms, it’s a waste of time and resources.
That’s why you should do your research to narrow down exactly where your audience is so you can meet them where they are. You can find this information through surveys, interviews, competitors, and platform browsing.
Promote your social accounts on other platforms
You have amazing social media accounts. So, you should make sure your audience can find them.
For example, you can have a dedicated list of subscribers who may not yet be following you on social media. So be sure to include links to your social platforms across all channels – digital and offline.
- Tick Tock
Depending on your industry, the type of content you create, and your audience’s preferences, try selecting a few new platforms to test engagement.
Focus on eye-catching visuals
Getting noticed in crowded social media feeds is a challenge, so you need to make your business stand out. Focusing on eye-catching visuals is one of the best ways to stand out on social media and increase your presence.
Don’t use too many boring photos. Instead, focus on images that connect with users. Share high-quality behind-the-scenes photos and images of people using your products. Encourage customers to post photos of themselves interacting with your product.
Video branding is also an effective social media strategy because users love to engage with videos. Post videos on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Publish Posts regularly
Finally, for any of these social media marketing tips to work and help you improve your social media presence, you need to consistently post on whatever platform your brand is active on. Find a posting frequency that you and your audience are comfortable with, and make sure you release new content on that schedule.
This could mean posting at the same time every day, or even specialized posts for different days of the week, such as posting user-generated content on Fridays or new product launches on Mondays.
Achieving your goals for increasing your social media presence won’t happen overnight, but if you’re consistent with your posts and stay active on all of your channels, you’ll find that you’ll keep getting closer to your goals.
Keep an eye on what’s trending
One of the best ways to create a bigger social media presence for your business is to monitor social media trends and catch hot trends at the right time. Riding a popular trend can get your profile in front of new users and can even help your posts go viral.
Stay on top of trends by following what’s popular. Keep an eye on Twitter and see what hashtags you can use to get more views. While it’s helpful to use hashtags that relate to your business.
Maintaining a consistent social media presence is extremely important for businesses as it not only builds authority, but can also boost your business’s SEO score, increase brand engagement, and provide opportunities for marketing and brand discovery. Social media can be a powerful tool for any organization. It can increase your visibility, improve relationships, establish two-way communication with customers, provide a forum for feedback, and improve organizational awareness and reputation.