Millions of businesses use social media to communicate with their customers and grow their business but working on your accounts can sometimes make it difficult to see what you need to do to improve. These 5 actionable tips will help you to take a step back from just creating content and work on improving your overall performance.
- Review your social media accounts
Lots of businesses create their account, craft their bio etc. and then never go back to it. The focus becomes all about creating content and pushing it out. BUT your about, bio, profile, description and services sections are all highly searchable keyword rich opportunities to help you to be found. When was the last time you reviewed your accounts? Are they still an accurate representation of what you do? Make sure that your descriptions all include the keywords that you know your customers are using to find whatever it is that you do or sell. If you have won any awards or worked with new clients or industries make sure that these are included.
- Be regular
As a digital marketing trainer one of the most frequent questions I get asked is “How often should we __________?” (insert post, tweet, pin, update, go live etc.). The reality is that there is no magic formula or one size fits all answer to the question. What is true is that regularity and consistency is rewarded on pretty much all of the platforms. Think quality over quantity here as well. Two or three good quality Facebook posts a week that engage with your audience and are well received are much more valuable than 10 posts that receive no engagement. Genuine engagement is a key to success on social media and regular, good quality content will always receive more engagement than poorly thought out mass produced content.
- Stay social
One of the quickest and easiest ways to lose followers and customers is to bombard them with “buy now” type messages. The clue to improving your performance on social media is in the name (and it’s not media!). Staying social will reap much longer lasting results than just selling. Social media should, in some ways, be treated the same as a face to face interaction would be. If a customer was in front of you it’s unlikely that you would grab something off the shelf and tell them to buy it now but on social media that’s what businesses have a tendency to do. Good sales people get to know their customer. They find out their preferences and their intention i.e. are they ready to buy just yet or still browsing? and thenthey make suggestions based on the information they have found out. Being social on your platforms will give you the same answers but only if you craft the right questions and listen to what your audience are telling you.
- Always be responsive
If a customer came up to you in real life and asked you a question or paid a member of staff a compliment what would you do? Would you walk away, leave them hanging for a day and then go back to them? More importantly, would they still be there if you did? Unlikely as that scenario sounds on social media it happens all the time. I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen reviews, recommendations and comments unanswered or a thumbs up and nothing else. All of the platforms expect a certain level of responsiveness and in order to do that you have to be present. Make sure that someone is monitoring notifications and responding to comments and messages as quickly as possible across all of your platforms. Bear in mind that this can be time consuming – to achieve “Very Responsive”on Facebook you need to respond to 90% of private messages within 15 minutes which takes dedication. Unfortunately Instant Replies aren’t included as a response but they are a good way of managing a customer’s expectations.
- Measure then analyse
One of the biggest differences between online and offline marketing is the ability and depth to which you can measure. However, measurement for the sake of collecting numbers on a spreadsheet is no use to anyone and only works if you use it as a basis for a deeper analysis. Highest growth in followers on your Twitter profile? Great job but the numbers alone aren’t enough. What did you do to make it happen? Which tweet had the highest engagement? Did you increase traffic to your website at the same time? Analyse what has worked in the past and what hasn’t. Use a deeper analysis to help you decide what you need to do again, what you need to differently and when you need to do it.