Love it or hate it, Social Media presents the most effective way of reaching out to new and existing customers. If done correctly, Social Media allows you to rapidly develop your brand personality as well as drive traffic towards your website. Once you’re set up on Facebook, Twitter and any other platforms, there are some best practices you can follow to maximise how effective your campaigns can be.
Setting up your accounts
Make sure that your accounts are completed fully and include your address, phone number, website, description and photos. As well as counting towards your citations (learn more about Local SEO here), visitors will not be impressed if you have incomplete profiles. Some organisations have a tendency to believe they must be active on ALL social media platforms. This is exhausting to manage and untrue. Pick platforms that work best for your business – Instagram is great if you have lots of visual products to show and Twitter/Facebook are great because of their large user bases.
What do you post about?
The golden rule for social media is to have a ratio of 80/20, where 80% of your posts should be informative, amusing or interesting and no more than 20% should be promotional. Users will be bored by a constant stream of your products and offers but will be engaged by thoughtful articles – a great start to build trust and awareness of your brand. Where possible you should try and link back to your website and this is where blog posts come in really handy. Make a habit of blogging regularly (see our guide here) and sharing with your social media following. Not only are you building trust with these individuals, you are also driving traffic back to your website. Above all, the worst thing you could ever do on social media is become silent – so many sure you keep up with the content (great tools to help you with this can be found below).
How do you organise a social media post?
For maximum exposure there are a few rules to follow when ever you post to any social network. A blanket rule would be to always include an image, a website link (where possible) and hashtags. Social media posts with images get more interactions than those that don’t, and the link provides a great call to action if your following want to find out more (even better if this is your website!). Finally you’ll want to use hashtags for any keywords in your social media posts as these will position your posts in front of more eyes alongside other posts that are related to the same keywords. If you are using Twitter then you are limited to a certain number of characters, so make your copy stand out! If you are on Facebook then you have a little more room to expand on your written content.
How do you respond to negative comments?
Sooner or later you may experience a disgruntled customer reaching out to you on social media. Although at first this may seem damaging to your business and brand, these are great opportunities to show the world how good your customer service is. The worst thing you can do in this instance is delete any negative comments. Instead, respond positively as you would face to face – your following will notice how well you have dealt with this situation and this will count for more than the initial negative remarks.
Tapping in to established Hashtags
Over the years Twitter users have established a number of recurring hashtags that you can take advantage of to expand your online reach. If you tweet and include a well known hashtag, not only will your followers see your post, but anybody look at the hashtags will too. This means you can effortlessly reach more people just by posting about certain topics. Some well known hashtags include #WednesdayWisdom, #Charityhour, #ThrowbackThursday. Just do a bit of quick research and you’ll find many of these, including those that will be automatically retweeted by certain accounts.
The best way you can expand your following on social media platforms is to collaborate as much as possible. If you are running events in conjunction with other organisations you should take these opportunities to post and tag them in. If you are providing useful information that another page’s following would benefit from, don’t hesitate to post on their walls or send them a tweet. Viewing social media as give and gain is the most effective way of building your audience, rather than just thinking about what you can benefit from.
There are a number of online tools you can use to take the hassle out of managing your social media accounts:
Crowdfire – A fantastic tool that will aid your social media content strategy. Amongst other features like posting your blog content and managing your following, Crowdfire will suggest content for you to publish based on your keywords, making finding new content to post a breeze!
Hootsuite – Hootsuite allows you to schedule your posts so that you can spend a few hours queueing up your tweets and posts every month and then forget about it. Just remember to check your platforms regularly so you can reply to anybody getting in touch!
Need a hand? Get in touch, we’ll be happy to help!
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.