If you’re not doing it, you likely have someone saying you should, and if you are there is someone telling you how to do it better. Whichever camp you fall into there’s a simple solution; if social media will offer your audience value, then it’s worth doing. Here are five things to ask yourself to make sure it does.
Which social media channels should my business use?
Statistics show that social media is getting more popular and prevalent, which means there’s plenty of potential for businesses. The key to tapping into this potential is to make sure you pick the right social media channels for your business – just like ‘traditional’ media, different people will use different offerings and you need to target the appropriate ones.
Find out which platforms your target audience use, as this will affect your style, tone of voice and what you say on social media. For example, LinkedIn is clearly a lot more serious in tone in comparison to Instagram.
And don’t forget, not all social media is short, sharp and witty comment. YouTube has huge potential for businesses where videos offering tutorials and how-to content will be extremely useful for their customers.
Find out more about choosing the right social media channels for your business here.
Would I read it?
Let’s say you have the first point nailed. You have a target audience who use social media regularly and they have good reason to follow your Facebook page or Twitter account etc.
You then need to ask yourself, “is the stuff I post on social media interesting, relevant and am I saying something new?”
Think carefully about what you are saying and why – are you repeating yourself, is it something new and can your target audience actually do something about it?
Also, try to stay ‘on brand’ – there is a place for more light-hearted posts, as these can showcase your character and sense of humour, but try to keep it in line with your brand’s tone of voice and style. Likewise, don’t overdo this either – if you fill your social media with office or warehouse banter or internet memes constantly, you’ll probably find your engagement rate will dip.
Are we just selling stuff?
This might sound like a ridiculous question to ask – you’re in the business of doing business, right?
That is true, but think about how you like to be sold to. There’s a time and a place when you’re happy to be sold a product, which is usually of your choosing. On social media there is less choice if a customer follows your business, so try to keep the hard sell to a minimum.
Instead, talk about the service you offer, or the quality of your products, or a special event that might be coming up. Of course, it’s okay to talk about money, but make sure it’s good – for example, if you have a ‘limited time offer’ then your followers will probably want to know about it.
Are we interesting?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to question two, don’t assume that because you would read your posts that it automatically makes them interesting.
Think about those times where somebody has chewed your ear off with what promised to be a unique and fascinating story, but said storyteller sucked the life out of it. No matter how good or life-changing that story might have been, like a courier throwing your fragile parcel over the fence, it was ruined by the delivery.
Thus, make sure your social media posts have a bit of flavour. After all, you are competing with everyone else in your customer’s newsfeed and generally cat memes win the day, so you need to do something to catch their eye (preferably without using cat memes!).
Get to the point, but don’t be afraid to show some personality.
Are we regular?
Sorry if that sounds too personal, but it is healthy for your business if you are regular. How regular really can depend on your business offering, so check your posts against the previous four points and then finally check if what you’re saying needs to be said right now.
Can it wait until later in the day, or week, so you aren’t scrambling around for interesting, readable, non-selly stuff that people will want to see?
This one is not easy and you must strike the balance between saying stuff enough times during the day or week so people engage with your business, but not too much that you become the social media embodiment of your annoying nephew.
Try using scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite or Buffer, which can help you plan your content across multiple platforms. You might also find this infographic useful too.
The beauty of social media is real-time results and analytics – use this to your advantage and look at how people respond to your posts and when. These will be good indicators on how you’re performing and whether you need to amend your strategy.
If you’d like more help on social media best practice, whether that’s through social media training, strategy or management, find out more here.