11 Tips for Using Social Media Effectively
In the last several years, social media has become a buzzword not only in society, but also in the business world. Social Media platforms are, of course, primarily for individuals, but that hasn’t stopped organizations and companies from jumping on the bandwagon. Sometimes companies think that the act of having a social media account is enough and will attract their target market. This mentality, however, can become the breeding ground for poor and unengaging content.
Below are a just few general social media tips to help you develop a social media strategy and create engaging content for your business.
1. Use an active and friendly voice.
Using an active voice makes content interesting, and, when content is interesting, people will read it and, more importantly, share it.
2. Use proper grammar and punctuation.
Not only is using improper grammar and punctuation unprofessional, but it also causes you to lose some of your credibility with your followers.
3. Be concise.
There is a time and place for long-winded posts, but if you regularly post content with a lot of text, more often than not, your followers will just keep scrolling. Research shows that the average attention span is eight seconds. It is up to you to strategize how to grab and keep your viewers attention in eight seconds or less.
4. Define a goal and brand for your social media.
Think of what you want to accomplish through social media, and then try to use text and images that reflect your goal and ultimately convey your brand.
5. Know your target audience and post appealing content.
Begin with defining your target audience; then create a persona and determine what type of content that person would be attracted to. Finally, think of ways you can effectively engage them with your visuals and text.
6. Study how other brands use social media.
Make a habit of studying how other brands use social media, and write down what you liked and didn’t like about their social media accounts. Make sure to study not only brands in your particular industry but also brands that do social media well in other unrelated industries.
7. Be interactive.
Ask questions, engage with your audience, host giveaways, and so on. Plus, don’t just stay on your own feed; interact with your fans and other accounts on their own personal feeds as well.
8. Be approachable.
Respond to people’s questions as best you can, tweet back and forth with people, and be kind. Do not be a mindless machine that only creates content but does not interact or contribute.
9. Use social media scheduling services.
There are several sites such as HootSuite that enable you to plan out your posts with various social media platform accounts. Some platforms, like Facebook actually have this feature built into its business pages. With Facebook scheduling feature, and sites like HootSuite, all you have to do is insert your content, schedule a time for it to post, and those services will automatically post the content for you.
10. Know peak times.
Every platform has a different peak time. Research the different peak times for every social media platform, and then plan your posts according to those peak times. Plus, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook offer audience insights for business pages’, which include what days and times your audience is most active. Protip: Don’t be afraid to experiment with varied posts times on different platforms to find the most optimal time for your audience and each platform. Just because you post to Instagram at eleven in the morning, doesn’t mean that it will also be an optimal time for you to post to Facebook or Twitter. This is when using a social media scheduling service will become vital.
11. Have fun!
Break up your normal routine and post a funny picture or video, or even do a behind the scenes shot. Not only will this help break up your routine, but will also help make your brand feel more authentic. Protip: Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram Stories are all great ways to give your audience an inside look at your daily life and operations – still, use each application for its intended purpose and do not abuse it. Don’t let your desire for “fun” outweigh the need for purposeful strategy.
We're so grateful for Ana taking the time to provide these helpful tips for us! As a challenge to you, try taking three or four strategies from this list and applying them intentionally this week. We'd love to know what results you see! Let us know in the comments!
Ana Campbell is a social media and public relations professional living in North Carolina. She is a creative at heart, Liberty University graduate, and lover of all things striped. She is passionate about helping other creatives create successful businesses through marketing and social media and encouraging others in their God-given callings. Follow her on twitter or Instagram.