Often when I tell people that part of what I do is manage social media they assume that all I am doing is posting a couple of tweets and poking around on the Internet all day. They don’t come out and say it directly like that, but that’s the way it feels sometimes. In reality though, there are job titles solely devoted to social media research, SEO, social media campaigns and more. Social media is a growing field and is showing no signs of slowing down in the near future. Here are 7 things that you need to know before creating a social media profile and going down the rabbit hole.
Social media takes an incredible amount of research. Those that work in social media know that it is exceedingly difficult to communicate if you don’t know who your intended audience is. Get to know them: their age, marital status, schedules, everything that you can learn about your audience will make your communication strategy that much easier.
I’m a huge Dr. Who fan, and if you’re not, bear with me for a bit. In one episode two of the most ruthless species in the entire series come face to face. They go back and forth trying to identify the other species. Both are curious which is stronger and the only way to find out is by diligent research, and then applying that research to their attack strategy.
Social media is the same way (minus the nerdy Dr. Who part). What are you going to say? How are you going to say it? It’s important to keep voice consistent, because once it is established your followers will come to expect that same voice.
Remember to interact.
Social media is a lot more than posting content and then checking back later. Brands that do this typically are not all that successful on any platform. The brands that are actually successful listen and interact with their followers. They chat, message, and whatever else it takes to make sure that their followers have a great experience with their brand. That should always be your goal.
Buffer does a great job at this. They encourage interaction and they are always great at getting back to their customers on social media. They publish great content that their followers can share, comment on, or ask questions about. They also have a weekly chat session that engage many of their followers.
As I mentioned before, when I tell people I manage social media the common perception is that anyone can do my job. There is a lot that goes into it, including research, content writing, interaction, analytics and more. It’s important to treat social media as its own project. For a lot of companies it’s a heavy load and it should be treated as such.
As humans we gravitate towards engaging visual content. When I scroll through my own feeds, I quickly scan content until I see something that captures my eye. Oftentimes what I stop and look at is something with a great visual attached to the post. Having engaging images, photos or videos will likely result in higher post engagement. If you're short on quality images, download these free B2B images.
There are some great social media management tools out there like Buffer, Sprout Social, and HootSuite that are specifically designed to help you schedule posts around the timetables of your target audience. These tools are great because you can pre-schedule content, track analytics, shorten links and more.
If you’re using Twitter or Instagram, another tool I recommend checking out is Statusbrew. It allows you to schedule posts, but it is also great for growing business and finding followers to increase your social presence.
Oftentimes people that think they should be on a specific platform just because it seems like everyone else is there. It’s important to realize though that each social media platform has its benefits. For example, Pinterest may work well for a small fashion startup, but a software company may not find much value. It’s all about knowing what you want and knowing what each social media platform has to offer.
Social media is more intensive than it might seem, but it is definitely an investment worth your time and effort. If you do everything needed beforehand, your social media efforts will be more likely to succeed.
What other info is worth knowing before creating a social media profile? Let us know in the comment section below.