Today, social media and the business environment have become completely integrated. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (amongst many others) are powerful tools in conducting business and surprisingly, many organisations haven’t quite perfected the art of utilising them to their maximum potential.
To use social media effectively in business, an organisation must be relevant and visible so that it can attract an audience- it’s basic marketing and no different to any other type of promotional activity. An active audience ensures that brand awareness is high and that they’ll be there when you need new employees, have a special deal, desire feedback and, most importantly, have a product line on offer.
So here are a few brief tips and tricks about ensuring your business is riding the social media wave to its greatest success.
(1) Content… GOOD Content
Users of social media today are looking for interesting content, whether that be video, articles, photos, surveys, and so on. If you want to spark their interest and encourage engagement with your brand, give them something intriguing and interesting. However, keep in mind that people have a short attention span on these platforms, so keep it compelling and snappy, with a clear call-to-action.
You know your audience best, so ensure you’re catering directly to them. For example, some charity businesses find that videos featuring success stories of how funds are being spent will get the best response from audiences, whereas big accounting firms may understand that quick twitter posts about share prices are the way to go. Others may find that posting about an “employee of the month” will give audiences a favourable taste of what the business is like internally, or perhaps inviting customers to an event will gain a lot of traction. The types of content are so infinite and versatile that social media is a way organisations can experiment and get creative, finding new ways to reach their audience.
Let it be noted that content needs to be of a high quality and contextually relevant. If a business posts irrelevant material, or worse, “click bait” (ie: where the headline promises something news-worthy or shocking, only for the user to discover it leads to some lacklustre article which doesn’t deliver on the promise), your audience will soon distrust, avoid and unfollow you. Users can become easily annoyed or even offended at this, as their time is precious.
It’s a challenge to earn followers in the first place, let alone getting them to come back, so practise a little integrity here.
(2) What and When To Post
People want to follow businesses which are aligned with their personal values, interests and priorities. Therefore, posting company updates, industry information and career opportunities are all good ways to really engage with your audience and turn them into active followers.
Regular content is highly recommended (without spamming your audience) as their social media feeds move on so quickly that a business should be aiming to remain up there as frequently as possible. But again, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
(3) Know your metrics.
It sounds basic, but a lot of businesses don’t know exactly what all of the metric terms mean when describing how to track the success of your activities on social media platforms. So, here they are:
Impressions: how many users have passively seen your post, update or piece of content in their feed.
Clicks: how many users have seen it, and clicked through to see more information.
Interactions: how many users have ‘liked’, shared or commented on the content.
Viral Impressions: how many of the user’s friends have been notified about the user’s interactions.
Engagement: this is the interaction number divided by the impressions number, made into a percentage.
The standard average engagement rate is approximately 0.5%, so if your posts are getting above this, you’re doing well! Make sure you’re monitoring these statistics to track how successful each piece of content is and how your audience responds; the insights from these are valuable in researching your audience, and key to a better understanding of who they are.
Social media is such a fascinating and versatile weapon in an organisation’s arsenal, so it’s important to embrace the many different platforms, get out there and find your audience, so they can find you!