In two recent blog posts, we have talked about what social media platforms are the most popular, and what you can actually accomplish with social media in your business. In this post, now that you are clear on what platform you are going to use, and what kind of results to expect, I want to talk about developing a strategy for how you are going to engage on social media.
Keep it Social
The most important thing to keep in mind with a social media strategy is that it must be social. Strategies that are limited to talking at people will have limited success. A successful plan must involve a genuine attempt to connect with your followers. Ask questions, create polls, run contests, and more than anything, deliver content that is valuable. This doesn’t mean giving away all of the answers for free. Providing value can be as simple as entertaining with appropriate memes, or even sharing a hint of your personal life. The goal here is engagement, but not just for engagement’s sake: you are looking to build a real relationship.
Visual content is a great place to start when trying to get attention and engagement online. People love to share pictures: visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared than text-based content. It is best to use bright and high-resolution images (you don’t want them blurry or pixelated). If you can include people’s faces, all the better. We are drawn to pictures of faces; a post that includes a human face will be more likely to stand out.
Don’t be afraid to show personality and enthusiasm on social media, either. Imagine this as a real-life conversation: pepper in jokes and anecdotes. Even throwing in some emoticons can help create a sense of warmth – posts with emoticons receive around 33% more engagement. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your professional image, but you do want to look human.
If you are really looking to boost your results, video is a great option. Videos are five times more likely to engage your followers as images. You don’t have to make it fancy, but videos showing you at work, quick how-tos, or even funny videos related to your industry, are a great way to start conversations.
Lastly, it is really important to keep your promotional posts in check. Yes, you want to tell people what you have to offer, but you want to make sure that you are primarily delivering valuable content. At most, you should have one promotional post for every 3 content posts. Many social media marketers put the ration at 7:1 (seven posts that deliver valuable content for every one promotional post). Whatever frequency you decide on, know that surveys show that 46% of people on social media will unfollow a company that posts promotional posts too frequently.
If you keep your goal – to create a conversation and establish a connection with existing and potential clients – at the forefront of your social media strategies, you will forge stronger and more loyal bonds with customers. Let people love you on social media, and they are more likely to love you as a faithful client.
(Of course, if all of this sounds like too much effort, we are happy to create and implement a social media strategy for you!)