I really enjoyed my time at the Autumn Fair a couple of weeks ago. Over the four days of the show, I held several one-to-one sessions discussing social media with different retailers and suppliers. Here is my round up of the most frequently asked questions.
If you are a new business or you are new to social media it can be very tempting to open an account on every platform. Accounts are usually free so why not? In reality, this is usually the wrong thing to do. Not only can you spread yourself too thin and struggle to keep up with managing multiple accounts but you can also find yourself spending time in the wrong place. The most important thing to do before you start on social media is to work out where your audience is and to concentrate your efforts there. Research the different platforms and monitor potential audiences. If you already have accounts on different platforms ask yourself if they are really the right ones. If they’re not then unpublish them or close them down. Do one or two platforms well and then decide whether or not you need to include other platforms in your digital marketing strategy.
Businesses will often link platforms together, effectively pushing content from one to the other. This is usually seen as a great way to save time as you can just duplicate material over platforms quickly and easily. Each platform, however, works differently so this doesn’t work well. To be successful on the different platforms you need to understand the language you need to use for each and image sizes all need to be slightly different. You can use the same content but tailor it for the individual platforms and make sure that you also adjust the size of the images. Unless it is date specific you should also put it on different platforms on different days – you don’t have the put the same content on every platform at exactly the same time. It is also usually obvious to users that the content has been forced through so it can look like you are not really committed and could indicate that you won’t be responsive.
Even seasoned social media professionals can sometimes struggle to know what to talk about on social media but don’t fall into the trap of just talking about your products and services. Think about the interests that your customers have and talk about those things as well. Share content from other sources that also talk about similar interests and get creative with a combination of video, live video, images, and text. Any content that centres around your product or service should only be a small percentage of the content that you create. A content calendar can also be a lifesaver when it comes to coming up with content. A well thought out calendar means you can plan ahead, avoiding the last minute panic for content and being more strategic about sharing the right content at the right time.
There isn’t a set rule for each platform as to how often you should post (or a secret formula to work it out). Generall, you would tweet more than you post on Facebook and Instagram but there isn’t a specific number of each that you should commit to. The key is to be regular and consistent. That doesn’t mean that you should post every Monday and Thursday or every third day but that you maintain regular tweets and posts without big gaps in between or clusters of content for a few days and then nothing for several weeks. Being consistent in the type of content and how often you post will make your audience more likely to engage with you and to follow you.
Don’t forget to check out my Autumn Fair 2017: SEO Round-Up here.
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