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Social media adoption has grown remarkably over the last decade, and a social media presence has become an important aspect of any website’s overall performance. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of American adults are on one social media network or another, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Being on a channel where your audience will most likely be present allows you to gain insight into who they are, and provides an opportunity for you to bring them back to your website. It also allows you to keep watch over your competitors, and how they’re utilizing social media.
But to do so, you have to take your social media presence seriously, and continuously grow your audience base, expand your reach, and increase engagement. Here are a few tips to get your social media presence going.
1. Determine which Social Media Networks to Use and Set-up Your Profile
First things first: determine what social media networks make sense for your brand. Focus on the two main social media networks first, Facebook and Twitter. Your brand will most likely want a presence on both of these. From here, which networks you should join will depend on your brand and your audience. If you are a professional, B2B brand, it makes sense to join LinkedIn. If your brand has products or services that are very visual, joining Instagram might be a good idea. If your audience is on the young side, you may also want to be present on Snapchat.
Once you’ve determined which networks your brand should be a part of, it’s time to set up your social media profile on the channel, and optimize it so that it’s in line with the look you have for your website and brand. Each channel will allow different options, but in general you should choose a page or user name that your audience can easily identify, upload your logo to your profile pictures, and add a short description of your brand.
2. Determine your Content Strategy
Now that you have your social media profile set-up, it’s time to determine what kind of content you’ll post. An important first step you shouldn’t miss is creating a social media persona that reflects your brand. This is an important strategic step that will help you determine what image you want to project to your audience. Is your brand lighthearted and fun, or serious and professional? Crafting a social media persona will not only allow you to narrow down what content to publish, but also the general tone of your social media presence.
Next, find out what kind of content your target audience is interested in and which topics they engage with most on that specific social media network. If you have an ideal customer profile or your social media profile already has some followers, find out what posts they regularly share, comment on, retweet, or just engage with in general. And take note of any that are similar or related to your brand.
Once you have both of these, you can determine what themes your content should revolve around by finding the intersection of the two. This will take some experimentation, but once you find the sweet spot, you can be more confident that the posts you publish will be met by an interested audience.
3. Post a Variety of Useful and Shareable Content
Now that you have an initial strategy, it’s time to create the content. You will, of course, make use of your social media profile to promote your website or business, and announce new products and services. But as a rule of thumb, the majority of the content you publish shouldn’t be overtly promotional. Otherwise, your audience will just tune you out and stop following you. A good starting point would be to limit promotions to 20% of the content you publish, reserving the rest to engage your audience in a conversation.
Each channel has it’s own set of best practices, and the content you publish should follow it religiously. Usually, It’s the eye-catching and visually appealing posts that elicit more attention and eventually engagement from audiences, so adding these to your posts is often a good idea. But it’s also important to be mindful of the restrictions for each network as well. Everyone knows, for example, that Twitter has a 140-character limit, but embedding a photo, GIF, or video reduces that limit even further, so be guided accordingly.
Lastly, always experiment with different kinds of content. Always create alternate versions of your posts, experimenting with different social media copy, a different photo, and so on. Or you can also try different content formats, like polls, or even the paid social media ad formats. Facebook in particular is always creating new ad formats for brands to experiment with, like Canvas. By constantly mixing it up, you can ensure you keep things interesting for your audience.
4. Track Your Performance
Determining whether your social media presence has had a positive impact on your website and overall online presence will be difficult without a way to track your performance. As mentioned earlier, the brands that establish a successful social media presence are the ones that grow their audience base, expand their reach, and increase engagement.
Each social media network will have its own performance monitoring and reporting tools that track these three things. But mastering the ins and outs of one tool is difficult enough. What more several of them? Oftentimes, what website owners is need is a tool that can provide them with insight at a glance.
Siteoscope provides you important metrics on key social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as your social signals on other networks like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and others. Gain the perspective you need for your social media campaign in a single tool. Join Siteoscope today, and get a 30-day free trial.