Social Media 101
In today's day and age social media is a topic that isn’t going away anytime soon. Social Media can be what springboards your business forward, or be what holds you back in the long run. The impact that social media can have on a company's image can be extremely positive or negative and that’s why it's crucial to get it right early on and continue doing so.
Social media will help your business more than it can hurt it if done correctly. It helps build your businesses trust and credibility and allows you a great way to engage and interact with your customers. It offers you a platform to show the world what projects you’re doing, update them on new employee hires, and all other aspects that the average person would never see otherwise because they aren’t in your building everyday. It is a tool to give or receive tips and tricks of the trades, connect with potential prospects, and really build a following for your business. Social media is a great resource to any company because it can be little to no cost, yet if done incorrectly can damage a reputation that took years to build. So let's talk about social media and steps to have a firm foundation and starting point that can later be built upon.
To start there is no correct way to do social media. There is no formal rule book that needs to be followed and no checklist to complete. Each and every business is different and has different goals for what they want out of their social media. A first step in setting the foundation would be to think of who your target market is. Once you’ve established that baseline you can build your audience.
Below are 5 steps that will help set a firm foundation in establishing and maintaining a strong presence on social media.
What does it take to have a positive impact on social media?
- Consistency in posting. This is one of the hardest yet most important aspects of really creating great social media platforms for your business. The reason consistency is so key is because the goal is to create a solid following across your platforms. Consistency is so pivotal because you need to continuously be posting around the same times. This so that your audience will be looking for your posts rather than stumbling upon them whenever they show up. The goal is to always be posting new and engaging things, because if you’ve created the following then you have people awaiting your posts. If those posts simply stupor are inconsistent, then your audience will often look elsewhere for their content.
- Quality Content. Posting to social media is a fine line between posting often enough to get high engagement, yet not posting just anything. You want to really stop and think about what you're posting before you post it. Is this an image I'd be happy with showing the world? Does this image represent our business and the standards we hold? Is this image in focus and high resolution? Is this image relevant to my industry and my audience? These are all questions that you should ask before posting. Oftentimes people will look at the quantity over quality aspect and post anything and everything, but in the long run that will only hurt your image as it will lower your audience's perception of your business.
- Interaction with audience. Posting to social media regularly is only half the battle. The other half consists of continuously growing your audience, liking others posts, reply to comments on your own posts, etc. Having social media platforms where you continuously post, engage, like, and comment on others will grow your following and platforms much faster than posting every image you can. Organic growth is important on social media, yet if you are engaging with other pages and are highly active on your own, the platforms will promote your page more. This higher level of promotion will allow you more exposure to people outside your audience resulting in faster growth.
- Post a variety of Content. There isn’t a hard set of rules of what you should post to social media so explore what you post. There is a variety of media that you can post - photos, videos, blogs, etc. The variety that you post should be as wide as you see fit for the audience that fits within your target market. If your audience is engaging more with photos then post more photos or if its video than vice versa. The important thing is that you start by posting a variety of things to see what your audience is engaging the most with. Then prioritize that as your audience grows to maximize the impact it has. The point of posting a variety is so that your viewers will continuously be seeing new and different things rather than the exact same thing.
- Timing is everything. Timing is vastly important when posting to social media. The recommended times to post are all different across all platforms and are constantly changing. These times can simply be found via a quick Google search to see where the trends are and when analysts recommend the best time to post is. The reason when you post is so important is because it directly ties into your engagement. Think about in your own life the different times you might use different platforms. For example at work you might use LinkedIn. If everyone is on linkedin during work hours, maybe you want to post before 8 am so that your post is ready before everyone logs on, instead of after 5 pm when everyone heads home. Maybe you like to go on Facebook after dinner, if everyone else is similar then maybe your post would already be buried if you posted it at 5am rather than 5pm. Knowing what to post and at what times can be the difference between having a good presence and a great presence online.
- These are just some of the foundational pieces to growing your digital presence and building your audience. If done correctly you can have social media platforms that will work for your business to create leads and advertising. These tips are just the surface of all that can be done in leveraging social media to your benefit. Keep an eye out for continued resources about building your brand and digital image.