What is best practice for getting the most out of social media?
Start by listening
Getting the most out of social media is simpler than you think. You can first start by listening about what people are talking about to find out what they are interested in. Before you start blasting people with salesy content one post after another, it’s a good idea to find out who the influencers are in your sector and see what they are talking about and to discover the hashtags being used.
Work with a number of platforms that are manageable and appropriate
Another tip is to be on one or two platforms and do the social media well on those. We see companies who have a presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. That is too many platforms to manage if you are a startup company. However, if you are going to embed videos on your website, YouTube is a good platform to use. To decide on the right platform for your business, here is a list of platforms to consider:
- Twitter – great for businesses and getting clicks to your content as well as sharing other companies’ content. Twitter is the 11th most visited website in the world and a large number of people look at the content even though they don’t have a profile on there.
- Facebook – if you’re considering placing FB ads to drive website traffic, it’s good to be here. But bear in mind that people will be on Facebook in their leisure time. If you’re going to place ads here, best practice is for them not to look too much like ads.
- Instagram – if you have a highly visual product or service business it is worth being here. Click through rates from Instagram story ads can be particularly effective claim Hootsuite in their latest social media trends report.
- LinkedIn – good for businesses to showcase their company as you can list jobs and staff here as well as news/posts.
- Tic Tok – good if you are selling to Gen Z. Content about pets and children, due to the younger audience works well.
Social media is not the place to be putting out lots of sales information. Some posts can be about this but around two thirds of it should be sharing other people’s posts. Social media is also a great place to be connecting with people and having conversations. It’s very easy to start. On Twitter, you can just thank someone for following you and carry on the conversation from there. On LinkedIn you can request to connect with someone by offering something free that they might find useful. You can then follow up by asking for feedback.
Facebook ads for great targeting
A Facebook ad is a good way for getting the most out of social media. Did you know that Facebook knows more about you than your best friend? It’s constantly looking at who your friends are, what you like, the groups you are in etc to build up a picture of who you are and your interests.
To get started with ads, you install the Facebook pixel on your site so that Facebook can target your website visitors with ads in Facebook. Your website developer can help you install the Facebook pixel. The Facebook ad manager will tell you if you have installed it correctly. Because prospects typically need 7 touchpoints with a brand for them to remember it, Facebook ads are a good way of reminding them about your brand.
It’s important that your ad doesn’t give a hard sell. Using some kind of movement in the image is a good tactic. LinkedIn also has an ad platform but the ads are more expensive. However, they are a good way of turning soft leads into hard leads according to Hootsuite.
Working with employees for organic social media posts
Aside from ads, what about organic social media content?
By this we mean content on social media that you don’t have to pay for. One of the best ways to maximise your presence on Twitter and LinkedIn is via your employees. If they repost your content from their profiles it is more likely to be looked at. This is because you are more likely to read content posted by someone you know than a business. You can then take advantage of your employee networks too.
Employee posted content is reported to drive more clicks and likes. However, the content needs to be interesting for employees otherwise they won’t share it. At the end of the day people want to connect with each other not brands.
One way of getting employees engaged is for them to propose some content and contribute ideas for posts. The advantage of this is that you then get lots of posts all lined up for scheduling. The more posting you can do the more of a contribution social media will make to increasing your website traffic from social media clicks.
How can brands get more value out of social media?
The smartest brands understand how they fit into people’s lives. Take for example Salesforce. Salesforce understands that COVID-19 has made sales peoples’ jobs more difficult and has put out a post about some research they have done about how sales people are feeling. The images they use in their post are sweet and more entertaining than one of a salesman or woman.
Twitter suggests making more use of polls and posting up questions. It’s an easy way to use it as a research tool and to show engagement with your audience.
You may be asking are the people who engage with your company on social media more valuable to you? To know for sure, it is possible to join up all your prospects’ touchpoints with your brand by using CRMs like Hubspot. Then they can be tracked through the sales funnel from first contact to conversion.
What types of content should you post on social media?
Here is a list of some suggested types of content to post on social media:
- Your own blog content – These articles demonstrate your company’s knowledge and expertise, which can help build your credibility and reputation. This will help drive traffic to your website.
- Your lead magnet – This is a piece of content a prospect can get in return for giving their email address.
- External content – We have mentioned the importance of sharing other people’s content. This could a link to a podcast, one example is the Leaders in Cleantech podcast, which has now entered the top 5% of podcasts worldwide.
- Videos – these will help your post stand out in the feed and attract attention. There are many benefits of using video nowadays for your social media content.
- Infographics – these are a great way to set out information in a highly visual way and makes content easier to summarise and take in.
For some other ideas, a list is available from Mailchimp.
What are the benefits of using social media videos?
- The potential to increase brand awareness by 139%. Using videos will improve potential customers and prospects’ connection between your brand and the message you are wanting to address. For this reason, it is important to create a clear, relevant and entertaining story.
- Watching videos compared to static content increases buyer intention by 97%.
- They boost online engagement. In fact 59% of executives would rather watch videos because they are fun, entertaining and bring the message alive.
- Improvements in search engine optimisation, particularly if you put the videos also on your website. Google likes video content as it owns YouTube.
- Video content is effective and lasts forever. Videos stay online and in Google results for a long time. Unlike others ads that get taken down once you got your money’s worth, video content stays online, working for you and reducing your overall per-unit spending over time.
Finally a quick note on how to make the most of LinkedIn. Why is this important? Well according to Trent Kennelly, LinkedIn is the absolute best platform right now to find new business. You can make the most of it by understanding its algorithm which in 2020 has changed. LinkedIn’s algorithm prioritise comments over likes and shares. The platform, like Google works on prioritising relevance of content. By commenting on a post, you’re taking the time to truly engage with it.
What types of content are good for LinkedIn?
Video produces the highest level of engagement on LinkedIn because people tend to watch it longer than they read a post or an article, and so naturally it’s going to keep people on the platform longer. Trent sets out more information about the suggested types of video content here.
Regarding static content, long posts are suggested because everyone likes a good story. LinkedIn doesn’t like it when you take people out of the platform by putting in a hyperlink. So the best way to get round this is to make a comment and them put the link into the comment section.
For help with your social media strategy and social media videos, contact us for a chat.