You’ve heard all about social media marketing. You’ve heard that it can build a community of loyal customers. You’ve heard that it will give you more repeat business, more brand recognition, more… well, everything, really.
But those results don’t fall into your lap the minute you create a Facebook page. It’s not easy for small business owners – or anyone really – to build a business on a stream of statements in 140 characters or less. There’s nothing automatic about social media successes, and it requires more than a little effort: It requires effectiveness.
Being effective shouldn’t mean spending twice as much time on Facebook. As Sweet Brown once said, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” It will pay you to work smarter, not harder.
Where to begin? Here are 4 simple tips that can make a difference in reaching and connecting with your audience when incorporated into your current content marketing strategy.
It’s all about the timing
Schedule your emails, tweets, updates and blog posts to go live at a time that’s suitable for your audience.
When’s that? Well, that depends on three things:
– The platform you’re using: Twitter is usually buzzing around lunchtime, while LinkedIn is always a ghost town on Fridays. Think about the network you’re using before scheduling posts.
– The audience you’re targeting: If your audience works from 9 to 5, for instance, try to publish Facebook posts during the afternoon slump, as most people won’t check social media during the morning rush.
– The type of engagement you’re after: Looking to build awareness about a promotion? That’s great material for early mornings posts, when people sneak a quick peek at their phones over coffee. Do you want people to read your blog posts? Save it for late afternoons, when people will have more time to spend.
While these guides are a safe start, we would definitely recommend running your own tests before deciding on a time – every brand is different, after all.
Respond to direct interactions from followers
One of the most important things you can do within your profiles is to respond to any direct messages or comments you’ve received from followers or fans. Remember that these interactions represent people who have made the effort to engage with your brand on a higher level than simply viewing your content.
Whether the interaction is good or bad (in the case of possible negative reviews) it’s imperative that you respond to them as quickly as possible to return the effort in making that connection. Not only will you create a connection with a potential client, but it will also humanise your company profile and make it more accessible for future visitors to contact you directly.
Add a call to action
Do you want people to click? Ask them to. Want them to comment? Let them know.
Social followers are often so overloaded with information on their news feeds that it takes a clearly defined request to encourage them to take action. According to the Buddy Media report, Facebook posts with questions generate 92% higher comment rates than posts without questions, so a clear call to action could make all the difference to your post engagement.
As for Twitter, well, see for yourself:
A word of caution – please, please do not ask questions on every single one of your posts. Moderation is key, and overdoing it could make your posts less engaging and more annoying in the long run.
It’s about a lot more than a pretty picture: Kissmetrics finds that posts that include photos attract 53% more ‘likes’, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs than posts that are purely text-based.
It makes sense, if you think about it: As humans, it’s in our nature to communicate visually, and most people process images a lot quicker than text.
Here’s the caveat, though: Posting a stock image of a pretty face won’t do much. Ideally, your chosen pictures should be self-explanatory. The most obvious example of these are graphs or infographics, images that don’t need a caption to be understood. All in all however, the use of good visuals in your posts will make them more sharable and engaging. And bang on cue, here’s an impressive little graph to demonstrate the effectiveness of images in tweets, courtesy of Buffer:
There you have it – 4 tips to improve your social media marketing effectiveness. Making small improvements like these could get you to know your audience better and interact with them on their terms. By making it easy and attractive for them to engage with you, you can elevate your brand and continue to drive revenue through your efforts. Not bad for 140 characters or less.
Want to know more about improving your social media marketing strategy? This might be what you’re looking for.