Social media is a frequently overlooked realm of digital marketing. It tends to be an afterthought in business, with leads and immediate results as a priority. The truth is that your presence on social media is essential in modern marketing.
Your social accounts are like your digital business card. They represent what you want to reflect as a brand. They may not produce instant results or sales, but they are part of a larger concept of creating brand awareness. Social media is a company's key to promoting their personal image and interacting with organic traffic.
They are a front-line for interacting with existing customers and potential leads. Your social accounts have the role of welcoming new users in, as well as pleasing and entertaining existing customers. The role of social media in marketing cannot be overlooked. It is a powerful tool for advertisement.
With that said, social posts, especially when there are multiple companies involved, can be very time-consuming. When you incorporate things like paid search, it becomes a full-time job to monitor social accounts, to be sure they are growing and doing well. Here are some easy hacks to quickly and efficiently jumpstart your social media campaign.
1. Schedule Social Posts In Advance
Scheduling your social posts is necessary. Especially if you are running more than one social account. The key to staying organized and on top of your accounts is proper planning in advance.
Keep a spreadsheet or document where you can plan out your social posts for the upcoming week. Designate specific roles such as content creation and copywriting. There are a variety of different tools that can help you schedule your posts:
HubSpot, the inbound marketing tool for small to large businesses makes it easy to organize and schedule your posts on all social media platforms. HubSpot also notifies you when you receive comments or messages on your social platforms, so you won’t miss a thing.
Buffer is another social media management tool. It allows you to schedule content, link to analytics and sync with multiple accounts, so you can ensure your posts are coordinated. Buffer can be used for all social media platforms.
Grum is a scheduling tool used specifically for Instagram. It allows you to switch between multiple Instagram accounts and schedule posts and captions.
These tools and many like them help to organize and align your social media plan. They give you a tangible way to control the timing and consistency of posts. They also give you insight on optimal posting times.
2. Adopt A Theme For Your Social Media Accounts
The highest ranking social accounts in marketing these days all have a certain theme. This theme accurately represents the brand and the content they want to be associated with.
Look at RedBull for example - the energy drink is associated with more than simply staying awake. They sponsor athletes and extreme sports competitions around the world. This commitment to action is reflected in their social accounts. They display the idea that drinking RedBull does more than energizing, it promotes individuals to go that extra mile and live an active life. Their social accounts attract younger target audiences with photos that all follow the brands' theme. The social accounts play a large role in creating this consistent image for the company.
Just like this example, it is very important to have a specific audience that you tailor your content towards. This helps you determine what themes you would like to use. Arrange your posts in a theme that accurately reflects your brand. You can analyze your target market to gain insight on what they like to see. You can also do competitor research in order to set your brand apart.
Helpful Tools For Social Themes
Some great editing and planning tools that help to quickly and visually improve your social accounts include:
Canva is a very straightforward design app. It lets you quickly create beautiful images and promotions. You can also pick from pre-made templates and stock images for inspiration and practical use.
VSCO is a mobile photography app that lets you design custom filters for your images. It is an interactive platform where you also have the opportunity to share a gallery and interact with a community of photographers. This app is useful if you are looking to create a unique or signature filter for your images across social media platforms.
Unum is one of the most straightforward planning tools for Instagram. It allows users to upload images to a mock gallery to see how they fit with your Instagram’s theme. The app connects to your account and displays your existing gallery, as well as blank spaces where you can upload images to see how they fit with your gallery visually. Unum also has a scheduling feature, so you can plan and schedule your gallery to post consistently.
A themed social media account is becoming less of a stylistic preference and more of a necessity. You want your accounts to reflect your professional abilities and your brand. You need to tailor your accounts and adopt a theme that’s consistent throughout for easy brand recognition and association.
If you are not sure what type of theme to adopt, check your competitor's accounts. Look at other successful pages and draw inspiration from that. Chances are, you have a similar buyer persona, that will be attracted to the same style. Pay attention to what your followers post, and post things that would be relevant, attractive, and useful to them.
3. Be Consistent - Manage Brand Reputation
In the vein of creating a consistent image, ensuring external factors don’t negatively affect that image is also important. Have your brand guidelines in mind when you create social posts. Use specific colors or logos so that your viewers are able to associate your posts with your brand easily.
Manage your digital reputation carefully. Unfollow or block unsavory accounts. You want your followers to be organic and interested in your profile because they are interested in your brand.
Delete unwanted comments and block spam users. No matter what kind of business you are, there will always be a time when you encounter negative feedback. Take the time to create a plan for reputation management on all social accounts.
Clearly outline content that you want to be posting, sharing and associated with, as well as users and content that you want to stay away from. It is also important to note that you should have complex passwords for all of your company social accounts and change them frequently.
The biggest part of social media brand reputation management is ensuring your image stays far away from negative associations. You want to connect with buyer persona’s, people interested in your brand and filter out internet trolls and spam accounts.
These accounts can tarnish your online image. You can add a watermark to your content or your logo, to ensure it isn’t being used by others on the web. Having a clean and positive digital image promotes credibility towards your brand, and builds trust in your potential clients and customers.
4. Be Interactive Online
One of social media’s core benefits is that it’s inherently interactive. It is easy to connect with people when they have inviting images and a theme that projects your interests. Be approachable online, and know that social is a great place to generate leads. People connect with your image and message you.
Use Automated Messages
It is very common, especially if a user really likes one of your social accounts, for them to message you as a business. This is done directly through social channels via comments or private messages. If you notice this happening frequently, and you have a lot of private messages on multiple social media accounts, it is a good idea to employ an automated system.
This automatic reply can be pre-written and it assures the person interested in your brand that their message has been received and they will have a chance to connect with a human soon. This saves you time so you can prioritize responses for those who are messaging. Facebook has this feature built in and you can choose to enable it in your messaging system.
Facebook has an automated reply option on the platform, but you can also generate your own through external apps.
Hold Contests and Secret Sales
A great way to reward your dedicated followers on social accounts is by hosting secret sales, only accessible by social media. It is also a great way to get noticed and get your name shared with others.
Depending on what you are looking for, you can have followers share a photo and tag your company, or use a company hashtag to indicate everyone participating in the secret sale or benefits. Contests create a sense of community while promoting interest and excitement about your brand.
Polls allow you to gain greater insight into what your users like. They are also much more direct than simply observing user behavior. With polls you can ask your users what they like, fun questions to get them involved, or simply inspire conversation amongst your followers.
Respond And Interact With Your Users
Interact with your users directly on social media platforms. Test your knowledge of your buyer personas and use what your followers are posting and saying to help add insight into what they like and what they are interested in.
Your followers will identify with you more as a brand if you are always on their minds (or phones). When you personally reach out to connect, be it through liking other photos, commenting or responding to comments, you promote direct interaction with your brand. You make your followers feel welcome and heard, they will look at you more as a friend than as a brand.
5. Track Change And Monitor What Does Well
It can be difficult to know exactly how to manage your social accounts right off the bat. It is best to monitor your progress over time.
Base new posts on posts that have done well in the past. Use the process of trial and error to experiment with your posts, theme and subject matter and see what content does well. Get feedback from your viewers both directly and indirectly.
Hold a poll to determine a new online theme, or simply observe which posts perform best and why. Perform competitor research and look at what is trending, as well as ways to stand out.
The best way to perform well online is to be observant. If a particular one of your posts is doing well consider investing in ads and promoted posts. These boost your reach to viewers who may be interested in your business.
Social media mastery isn't learned overnight. Due to its ever-evolving nature, some might argue that constant change and experimentation is the key to getting ahead with social media marketing. Use the platforms to your advantage and get your brand involved in social media.