11 Oct Quick Wins for Social Media
In 2018, there are currently over 3 BILLION social media users worldwide. When you consider that there are only 4bn internet users, it’s therefore highly likely that if you’re reading this, you’re also on a social media network (or two).
It can be tempting to think that as a user of a social media network, you automatically understand how it should be used from a marketing perspective. After all, as a social media user, you are also the audience for a lot of other brands. You know what you like and how you like to receive marketing messages and information. Surely it’s just a case of turning the tables?
This is the trap that a lot of brands that don’t have a social media strategy fall into. Here are some tips to ensure that your social media is as professional as you are.
Why are you doing this?
In the instant gratification of the Netflix-era, it can be tempted to start posting content straight away. Many brands fall into this trap and end of with what can only be described as a disjointed social media ‘strategy.’
We always ask our clients, ‘what are you doing this for?’ What do you want to achieve from your social media? This should be the first question you answer as it can dictate and determine all your subsequent ideas.
Typically, brands want to achieve one (or more) of the following objectives:
- Raise brand awareness
- Drive traffic to a website site or campaign landing pages
- Promote products/services and specialities
- Give their brand more personality
- Create sales leads and drive demand & opportunity
It is significantly harder to solve an objective when you don’t know what it is. Therefore this first step is definitely a big one. It will help you determine the following crucial criteria:
- Audience — who are you targeting
- Platforms — which ones will work best for you and your audiences
- Tone — how do you want to come across and be viewed
- Type of posts — original content, curated, promotional, or a combination
- Media used — will you include video, gifs etc to enhance your content
- Campaigns — is social media being used to support other marketing outreach
These criteria are the absolute crux of any social media strategy. The more time, research and thought you put in at this stage, the smoother the next steps will be.
This is where experience and expertise come in (or h2o Creative), as if you set off on the wrong path, it can be a lot of time, effort and money to get back on course.
What are you doing?
So, you know what you want to do — that’s a good start. The next difficult question that you need to ask yourself is, how are you going to achieve turn this lofty ambition into a reality and receive the boardroom adulation and audience engagement that this entails?
You know what you want to do, where you’re going to do it, to whom you’re planning on doing it to and how you’re going to say it. How are you going to know you’ve succeeded?
What are your KPIs and how will you measure the success of your social media strategy?
- Followers — increase in volume & percentage compared to when you start
- Interactions — likes, shares, comments on your posted content
- Impressions — for paid media, this is the most effective way to measure
- Clicks — how many times a user clicks through from your posts
- Conversions — as above, recipients taking the desired action from your posts
- Sales — attributable sales directly from social media campaigns
This is another hurdle that many brands overlook and fail to deal with adequately. A lack of understanding and experience can cripple a social media strategy before it’s even begun.
“We want to go viral”
This is one of the things we hear most when we meet with people to discuss their social media goals and highlights one of the biggest misconceptions about social media marketing in 2018.
(un?)Fortunately, it isn’t 2006, Tony Blair isn’t the Prime Minister, Steve McLaren isn’t managing England football team and you can’t just go viral with just engaging organic content unless you’re a Kardashian. Going viral requires a significant amount of money and effort. The era of viewing social media marketing as free promotion is as outdated as Myspace.
Yes, you can still post content for free, but you are not going to get any noticeable traction or get close to a decent return on your time investment.
If you don’t sponsor your content, you will essentially be talking to an empty room as nobody will be following you to hear from you. The competition for newsfeed attention is as vicious as it is expansive. Your poor, organic post won’t stand a chance against the bigger, more established (and probably paid) posts from other brands.
Creating a successful paid campaign is another topic entirely, and one we’d be very happy to discuss with you over a coffee.
Is your content working for you?
This isn’t to say that organic content doesn’t have a crucial role to play in your social media strategy. In order to make your social media work as hard as possible for you, here are some important tips
Nothing looks less professional than poorly fitting images on your social media. It screams that you either don’t know the required dimensions or don’t care enough to make any changes. If you’re not clued up on your social media profile or don’t care about it, why should anybody else?
Here are the best image dimensions for each function on each platform:
Banner image: 820 x 313px
Profile image: 180 x 180px
Timeline image: 1200 x 630px
Banner image: 1500 x 500px
Profile image: 200 x 200px
Feed image: 1024 x 512px
Share link: 520 x 254px
Profile image: 150 x 150px
Feed image: Will show as 293 x 293 px. Max square size is 1080 x 1080px
Banner image: 1584 x 396px
Profile image: 130 x 130px
Feed image: 520 x 320px
Link image: 520 x 272px
As we’ve already mentioned, the war for attention is huge on social media. There are over 50 million small businesses on Facebook now. With everyone and their dog having social media accounts, there is a huge amount of noise to compete with. You owe it to your brand to produce posts that are as engaging as possible.
Quality and quantity is obviously the dream combination. However, if you have to choose between the two, we would advise you to go for quality over pumping out posts just for the sake of it.
Social media teams can feel pressure to be constantly posting to keep their brands at the top of people’s newsfeeds. We’ve got news for you…
This can have the opposite effect and have a negative impact on your following and social media strategy. It’s impossible to come up with 10 pieces of grade-A social media content every day. Especially if your industry isn’t the ‘sexiest’ out there. Quality will inevitably suffer which can hurt your strategy.
A good way to plan content is to ask yourself, ‘how is this contributing to the aims and strategy that we’ve created?’ If you can’t answer that question. Get rid of it.
This isn’t to say you can’t have fun with your brand. Social media is a great place to show your brand’s personality. Just don’t get carried away!
Are you monitoring your accounts?
We’re sure you’re a natural at social media. But we’ve got a secret for you — Not even we get social media campaigns spot on the first time.
Especially if you’re not an expert in the industry (and unless you’ve been in the products team before you became a social media guru, that’s unlikely.)
This is why it’s vital that you monitor the responses and analyse your posts to find what topics, formats and platforms have the best response. It may be that Instagram or LinkedIn isn’t right for your target audience. It’s a waste of your time and money to appear on networks that aren’t pulling their weight.
Assessing your post’s performance can help you find how you should relate to your audience. Do you they technical posts, or memes? You can also check out what times and days have the best response to help you maximise your brand’s social media performance.
Social media marketing is a wonderful mix of art and science. It gives you the opportunity to be creative, yet offers you in-depth analytics and stats to assess. To do it properly, you need to be both a wordsmith, artist and statistician or the number of a great group of people who can do it for you… (0)1865 893 425 is a good one for example.