Social media has changed the face of marketing, but with Facebook dating back just 12 years, it’s a relatively new phenomena and one that’s in a constant state of flux. Algorithms are altered; advice changes; and opinions on best practice vary so drastically that it can be tough to keep up with the times. One thing that all companies can agree on is that social media marketing is a crucial way to grow and engage your audience, so I’ve put together a hit list of habits that you should adopt to keep your company social media pages at the top of their game.
- Be on Top of Trends…
Remember the days when market research meant focus groups and street surveys? Today the rise of the hashtag means that you don’t need to try and wrangle consumers while they’re out shopping in order to get their opinion – you can see what they’re talking about with a quick glance at your computer screen.
Make sure you’re regularly looking at what’s trending on Facebook and Twitter – and remember to set the country preferences in-keeping with your market. Not only does this help you stay relevant and adapt with the ever-changing times, it’s also a great place to seek out inspiration for new advertising and product ideas.
Social Media Landscape and Trends (Click to Enlarge)
- And Be Part Of Them
While you’re scrolling through those hashtags, think about ways you can incorporate them into your posts. The fact that they’re trending means they have a ready-made audience who are searching for those terms, so you have a potential wealth of customers at your fingertips.
Don’t feel limited to tags that are directly related to your product, either. Joining in with Twitter games (for example #UnexpectedFilmTwists), answering questions or coming up with jokes are a great way to convey your brand’s personality. Skyscanner has been a great example of this recently.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should adopt every trend you come across. Think about your audience and adapt accordingly; followers of your cooking blog probably don’t want to hear your opinion on #TrumpVsHillary, and clients of your finance consultancy firm are unlikely to be impressed by your insights on #Brangelina.
- Respond to Everything
Think of social media messages as the new customer service calls – except now your call records are open to the public. It’s more important than ever to demonstrate top-quality customer care and to inspire confidence in your brand.
One of the most important aspects of using Facebook for business is directly interacting with your audience. Just as you wouldn’t hang up on a difficult customer on the phone, you can’t ignore negative comments – as temping as it may be. Make sure that you regularly check both your private messages and wall posts, and respond quickly and professionally.
It’s also important to make sure that any comments or complaints made through your social media pages are communicated in the same way any other customer feedback would be – particularly if you’ve made any promises to your customers. Have a system in place for following up on these interactions and make sure they reach relevant team members.
- Use a Social Media Manager
Individually, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and just about every other social media site you can think of have great management tools in place specifically for businesses. The problem for many social media managers is trying to keep track of them all.
Opinions may vary on the best social media management system for small businesses, but whichever you choose, it’s guaranteed to make your life easier. Not only can you coordinate all your different social media pages, you can schedule posts in advance, review old posts and easily collate statistics so you can see what works.
- Follow Your Competitors
You know that old saying; “keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” Whoever came up with that saying was destined to be a social media marketer.
As well as helping you keep on top of what’s new in your industry, following other companies allows you to see what consumers are responding to. Being able to see the reaction your competitor’s posts get is like getting a sneak peek at their marketing data – which is especially useful if you have the same audience.
It’s also worth following popular accounts that aren’t directly related to your business. It’s a great way to get some inspiration and a good snapshot of current social media trends. You might find that there are certain ideas you can adapt to suit your brand.
Share your social media habits and top tips in the comments below. What’s been your greatest social media discovery? Which platform has gotten you the best results? Feel free to contact me vial email to discuss about your social media plans and habits.