In the past five years, social media has gone from just being a way for friends to connect online, to an essential tool for generating leads, becoming closer to customers, building your online reputation and growing your audience.
The challenge of winning online success via social media is huge, especially with algorithms such as Facebook’s new News Feed rules prioritising friends and family updates above brand posts. In this landscape, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd as a business and differentiate your posts from those of your competitors.
On paper, it might look like you’re doing everything right – you’re posting regularly and keeping your pages updated, you’re engaging with users when you can… but you might find that new connections, new follows and likes are drying up. Maybe it’s your social media posts that need a little attention.
Follow these six tips to improve your social media posts and better serve your audience
Use impactful images
Images and visuals such as quotographics are an important part of all strands of digital marketing, so if you’re primarily just updating your Facebook and Twitter feeds with text-based posts you could be missing a trick. Choosing an impactful image can boost the engagement of a post numerous times over. Research by Xerox (cited by Hubspot) found that colour increases readers’ attention spans and recall by 82%.
This knowledge suggests that you should use strong colours to attract the attention of your audience and keep them reading. Make sure above all that the images are actually relevant to what you’re posting to retain their goodwill for next time.
Keep a consistent voice
All of the best brands have their own ‘voice’ on social media. It’s an outward projection of the brand and the company, and it makes the company appear more consistent and trustworthy for users.
You can choose any kind of voice for your brand, as long as it fits with what you’re selling. You’ll find that certain types of voice go particularly well with certain industries. For example, an inspirational tone is well-suited to businesses in the fitness and wellness industry, as well as recruitment and marketing. Fashion outlets will often strike a sophisticated or playful tone, depending on their target market, and businesses in the food sector often position themselves as being “cheeky and fun’.
Whatever style and voice you choose, make sure it’s consistent throughout all of your posts and platforms.
Engage your audience
If you’re using social media purely to direct traffic to your website or boost your SEO, you’re scoring an own goal right from the off. The whole point of social media is to engage with your audience, and that can only be accomplished with posts that are… well, engaging!
Focus on creating positive interactions with your customers, rather than trying desperately to rack up likes or force visitors to your website. A meaningful conversation with one customer on social media can be worth more than fifty pointless likes on a status update! The more your audience see that you’re a personable, approachable company, the more they’ll start to engage with you and your business.
Emotion plays an incredibly important role in all forms of marketing, so it’s important to convey emotion in your social media posts across all platforms. The emotions that you choose to invoke will speak volumes about your brand in general. Posting happy, uplifting, light-hearted and friendly posts will invoke those feelings in your followers and fans if that is relevant to your brand. Be consistent and they’ll soon come to associate those feelings with your company.
Scheduling endless promotional posts and sales pitches on your social media channels is a guaranteed way to reduce your follower count. Social media is about providing value for your readers, so you need to make following your accounts worth their while, or they’ll look elsewhere.
Don’t mistake social media for a direct sales channel. Think of why you log in to LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it isn’t to be sold to but rather to discover, to be entertained or become informed. Your own social media audience is the same.
You don’t necessarily have to stick with your own content here. Curated content can be informational and helpful for your target audience. A make-up brand for example might share a v-logger’s beauty tutorial. A travel provider could share travel blogs focused on certain cities, or an article on how to pack light. It’s all about ensuring that your audience finds your content interesting enough to continue following and eventually engage with your brand.
Integrate current events
By relating your posts back to current events or big news stories, you’re keeping your updates relevant and timely. Take the upcoming Olympics, for example; you can be sure that thousands of the world’s top brands will link the Olympics back to their own activities, whether they’re a B2B firm talking about a ‘winning mentality’ or a sports company posting inspirational messages.
The important thing when linking your company to current events is not to force it. A tenuous or irrelevant link is worse than no link at all. If you can’t find a natural way to relate your posts with what’s going on in the world, wait until the next big news event hits. There’s sure to be something relevant just around the corner!
If you would like to understand more about social media marketing please leave a comment below or call us on 01293 822755