We all know the way social media goes. In January you pull out your brand new social media strategy, you know, the one you were so excited to implement. You’re certain that this is the year…
Then it’s suddenly April, and things have gotten so busy. As the year goes on, you tend to fall back into the familiar. Come November, you’re busy churning out holiday posts while wondering about next year’s plan.
What if I told you that you don’t have to sing that same old social media song come January? Sometimes you just need to take a step back, look at what you’re doing and make some simple, but important, changes.
To help you with that, here are 5 tips to help you get some better social media next year:
Analyze what worked
Every content creator knows that social media marketing is kind of weird. Some throwaway post or piece of filler content might see tons of reactions and engagement, while the stuff you actually want people to see gets ignored. It’s easy to feel like the whole ecosystem is just too unpredictable to manage properly.
But maybe your view is all tree stumps and no forest. What I mean is, when you track your engagement day-by-day, post-by-post, you might miss out on the bigger picture. There are likely some overarching trends that you could pull a lot of useful information from, and almost every social media platform offers some form of analytics. A macro perspective can help you get past your squeakiest wheels and get a glimpse of the things your audience likes as a whole.
Don’t be too eager to dismiss those outliers, either. Review your greatest hits from this year to see if you can find a theme, or a pattern to replicate. Unexpected success is still success, and it’s something you can learn from.
Post with purpose
Once you’ve got a sense of what your audience prefers, it’s time to review your own goals for each of your social media channels. What is it that you’re trying to accomplish and how does that benefit you? These questions should lead you to something that might be even more important to ask: Are you using the right tools for the job?
Every type of social media has its own style, purpose, demographic and quirks. Content is often different and comes with various limitations. Advertising works differently from platform to platform. And crucially, your audience probably isn’t the same on every social media site.
It is imperative that you’re using the social media sites that align with your goals and allow you to target your audience’s interests. Posting everywhere just to see what sticks might work at first, but it’s rarely the best use of your time.
And don’t forget, sometimes driving engagement is as simple as checking to make sure you’re publishing posts when people are active and likely to see them.
Connect with the community
You can produce great content that’s relevant to your audience and still miss the mark. Make sure you understand how your audience uses the platform, too. Remember, your content has to meet their purpose for using the site.
What I mean is, people don’t necessarily get on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to think about your products and services. In all likelihood, they’re messaging a friend or family member, or discussing something within their online community. Or maybe they’re just looking for some good memes.
Lots of folks need to understand that social media is an engagement tool, not just a digital platform for promotions. Advertising your products isn’t bad, but you’re missing out on the opportunity to do so much more for your brand if you stop there.
I should add the caveat that it all depends on how your audience interacts with your content. Plenty of brands find a lot of success just by posting their promotions. You have to take the time to figure out what is going to work for you.
Consolidate the clutter
If you’re managing a number of different social media accounts at the same time, you owe it to yourself to check out the various social media management tools that are available. There’s no reason to post on each social media site individually, when you can save yourself time and headaches by consolidating those channels.
A good social media management software allows you to make posts, schedule them in advance, and monitor each channel’s feed for engagement. It really is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to be able to do. Just make sure you keep your permissions up to date so that you don’t stall your scheduled posts.
I even went social media management speed-dating a while back, to give you a sense of what might work best for you.
Always go for authentic
Everyone wants video, but it’s unfortunately common that people haven’t budgeted for it. There are a lot of beautiful video content options available, it’s just that most of it costs a pretty penny to get.
But don’t write it off yet! Video content doesn’t need to be a silver screen production. Thanks to those fancy smartphones we all carry, the means to make authentic video content is more accessible than ever.
I use the word “authentic” because most brands want to make videos for social media, and the videos you see on the internet usually aren’t Hollywood-ready. People expect lower quality video, and it’s actually become more appropriate for the medium. Too polished, and people get wary, thinking you’re trying to sell them something.
What’s important here is you have the means to make some video content happen already. Why not go with your gut and make a video just to see how it goes? Nobody expects perfection, and if you put in the time and effort to make something fun, people might just love it.
Need assistance? Just ask
Good social media is mostly perseverance with a bit of luck. Your strategy has to stay flexible, because the whole industry is constantly evolving. If you have trouble keeping up with it all, I guarantee you’re not alone.
The good news is that you don’t have to be alone. There are lots of folks out there happy to help you with social media, and we’re among them. If you need a hand, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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