It is no secret that modern society is dependent on social media so it only makes sense that businesses are using it as a vital marketing channel to grow their business. The question they face now is no longer “Why do we need social media?” but, “How do we use social media strategically and effectively?”
At South Florida and Aspen-based public relations agency, Durée & Company, we have over 20 years of experience learning the ins and outs, likes and stories, retweets and pokes of various social media platforms. To make things easy, the D&Co Dynamos have condensed our years of expertise into 8 simple rules for effective social media.
- Conduct a social media audit
Before diving too deep in creating your brand’s social media platforms, take a look at your competition. This is a good way to garner some inspiration or even learn what you don’t want to do. Compare the types of content, engagement, frequency of posts, audience size, visuals, video use and more, and then ask yourself if your competitors’ tactics work for your brand.
- Develop a persona for your brand
Every brand needs a voice, a personality, a sense of character. Is your brand witty, childish, romantic? Maybe you prefer a more serious, emoji free platform? Once you’ve established your brand’s voice, stick to it! The more consistent you are in how you interact with your followers, the more recognizable and dependable your brand becomes.
- Take advantage of scheduling tools (Schedugram, Facebook Scheduler, etc.)
Managing social media platforms can be a full-time job! That’s why scheduling tools such as Schedugram, Facebook Scheduler and TweetDeck are so important. These tools give you the ability to think through your posting strategy and time your content accordingly. This way, you can plan some posts days, weeks or months in advance and free up some of your time to continue engaging with your followers.
- Strategically “boost” posts
If you use Facebook, there is a good chance you have used or seen the “boost” button to increase your reach. Although the promise of reaching more people sounds great, this tool can be a huge waste of money if not done strategically. The D&Co rule: only boost posts that help you achieve a specific goal. Another tip: boost the posts that have already proven popular with your followers. It is a common misconception to boost the posts that didn’t do too well but if something isn’t getting much traction, there is probably a reason for that. Maybe your audience just doesn’t find it that interesting or valuable.
- Utilize hashtags
While hashtags originated on Twitter, they quickly became an important part of each social media platform. One way people find content they enjoy is by searching with hashtags, which means your content has a better chance of being discovered. As a general rule, every image and video that your brand posts should include at least three hashtags – although Instagram allows up to 30! But be careful, it may be tempting to use a popular hashtag in the hopes of reaching thousands, but you run the risk of getting lost in the clutter. So choose your hashtags carefully.
- Timing is key
You may have worked hard on your social posts, but if it is posted at the wrong time it could get lost in the shuffle of the ever-changing algorithms of social media platforms. Learning the best times to post on social media is more than just turning a few clicks into a dozen. This data lets you understand your audience inside and out. Sprout Social has done research behind this and, generally speaking, they’ve found that engagement rates consistently peak midday on weekdays – so Wednesdays around noon are your best bet for engagement. A detailed look into this research can be found – here.
- Engage with your audience
In the world of social media marketing, the term “engage” gets thrown around a lot, but few brands actually know how to properly do it. The best way to engage one of your followers is to flat out ask a question. People today love to tell others what they think, and social media is the perfect outlet for that. Include a question in your caption, or maybe post a poll. Another way to garner engagement with your followers is to offer an incentive. Satisfy your audience’s competitive spirit by featuring compelling incentives and promotions for your brand. Social media was always intended to be an interactive way of connecting people with others, so be sure to keep that two-way street open.
- Track and measure
Measuring what matters is the key to an effective social media strategy. Although every outlet has its own version of analytics, be sure to take advantage of them. Your social media strategy should change as your audience changes. Did that GIF you posted get a ton of likes? Maybe consider more GIFs. Did the post that went up on Saturday morning not get any attention? Stick to weekday posts. Overall, it is best to step back and analyze what your followers want, then give it to them.
So, the D&Co Dynamos have revealed their 8 simple rules – now what? You might find yourself heading in a different direction as a result of your new social media strategy process.While it’s important to have a social media strategy, it’s more important to make sure the plan is fluid and flexible. Be sure to keep up with what’s trending, it could change at the click of a mouse!
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. The firm serves the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients focusing on public relations for real estate, public relations for restaurants, public relations for law firms, public relations for charities, public relations for healthcare, and many more. Durée & Company services include Public Relations, Social Media, Marketing, Advertising, Special Events, and Radio Promotions and Outreach.