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If you have any kind of business or organization, then you should have a presence on social media. While businesses don’t need to be on every possible platform, they should be using the social media networks that make best sense for their audience. A social media profile can introduce you to new clients, remind existing customers about your value and be a means of sharing and boosting your content online. Take advantage of these social media tips as you expand your digital presence.

Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy


The first thing to determine as a business is what kind of social media presence you want to have. There are more than 2.13 billion monthly users on Facebook, so that is often a great place to start. Beyond Facebook, however, there are about a dozen major social media platforms to choose from. Do you need to be on all of them? Absolutely not. By being active on a few, however, you can connect with your audience in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, this is all about deciding what market you’re hoping to engage. If you’re hoping to connect with young women, then platforms like Pinterest are a fantastic option. If your company is largely visual and you have great photo content to share, then Instagram is recommended. If your business largely caters to other businesses and your audience is made up of business executives, then LinkedIn could be ideal.

The key is not to spread yourself too thin. Unless you’re an enormous multinational company, it’s not realistic to have active social media accounts on every platform. Commit to a few and expand if and when it is necessary.

Try A/B Testing With Your Social Media Posts


One of the most important Facebook tips to remember is that you need to track your results. One way to find out what is working and what isn’t is through A/B testing. This means sharing the same content twice but changing something the second time. In the case of your pizza toppings blog post above, you could share these two headlines with the link:
 

  1. Count Down the 10 Most Popular Pizza Toppings in the Country
  2. Can You Guess the Most Popular Pizza Topping in America? (Spoiler: It’s Not Pepperoni!)

 
Other things you can change include the image associated with the post, the colors of the words or even the time of day that you share the post. Over time, you’ll learn more about what works and what doesn’t. This is an important step in developing an effective social media strategy.

Don’t Be Afraid of Paid Advertising


Social media can be a free means of marketing to a new audience. If you have lots of time to spend on engagement and great content that you want to share, it can be successful without spending a lot of money. However, most businesses recognize that advertisements are a key part of the equation. For measurable results, paid advertising on platforms like Facebook is a savvy decision.

With a paid ad, you can choose your exact audience. You’ll be able to narrow down all Facebook users by categories like location, education or interests. You can create ads that direct people to the action of your choice. If you’re focused on getting people to your website, you can encourage them to click a link and head to a specific blog post. If you’re more concerned with building up your social media audience, you can encourage them to follow back or like a post.

Engaging With Your Audience


Of all social media tips, this is something that is often ignored. Businesses can sometimes see social media as a platform for advertising but not for conversation. Your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter profiles will always do better if you’re engaged with your audience. If you post something and then leave, only to return again to post something 24 hours later, you’re not making the most of social media.

To start, you might want to ask questions in your posts. If people leave comments, make sure that you are responding to them. You can also actively look at other content on the platform, especially if it is relevant to your company. If someone on Twitter says something positive about your company, you could retweet it. If you notice an interesting news article about National Pizza Day, that’s something that you might share on your pizza restaurant’s Facebook page. The more you contribute on social media, the more you’ll get back.

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Don’t Forget the Hashtags!

On certain platforms, hashtags are a search tool that can help users find content that interests them. As a business, you can use hashtags to increase your audience. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, a few well-placed hashtags at the bottom of your posts can boost views and engagement. The key is to use appropriate hashtags, not wildly popular ones that don’t relate to your audience. Also, keep in mind that using an excessive number of hashtags, often anything more than five or six, can be seen as spam and is not attractive for a business.

 
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Create Unique, High-Quality Content


While you can find lots of social media tips telling you what time to post on Instagram and what hashtags to use on Twitter, you first need to start at the basics: content. Social media can only be truly effective if you have meaningful and relevant content to share with your audience. Of course, that content can come in many different forms. Blog posts, infographics, memes, video content and images are all some of the most appealing content found on social media. If you’re struggling to create social media content, here are some tips to help you begin.

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Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes

One of the key Facebook tips to keep in mind as you’re creating content is to think about what your audience wants to see. Imagine that you’re opening up your Facebook page and you start scrolling. What would make you stop and react? It’s probably not a research paper, and it’s probably not a post with no images, questions or interesting information. You likely have a good idea of the demographic of your audience, so consider what those customers might appreciate seeing on Facebook. Whenever you post something, ask yourself: Would I enjoy this? Will my audience? If the answer is no, don’t post. It’s better not to post anything than to have social media posts that could detract from your brand.

Remember, Social Media Is Still Media


It is easy to think of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as the casual version of marketing or advertising. While that might be true to some extent, everything you post is still a reflection of your business. Quality content is key because subpar content could leave your audience with a bad impression. Obviously, that means avoiding subjects that are controversial as well as language that is impolite. It also means that grammar, spelling and sentence structure are important. A spelling error in a tweet can go viral, and that’s not the kind of attention you want for your business.

Tailor the Content to the Platform


Social media content should always be tailored to the medium being used to share it. You can easily share the same blog post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. However, the distribution for all three should be slightly different.

On Instagram, you might include the link in a story, asking users to swipe up to read the content. On Twitter, you can start with a brief introduction of the content and then include a shortened link so that it doesn’t push you over your character count. On Facebook, you can offer the link to the blog post along with a question, actively asking your audience for engagement. Don’t try to copy and paste the same tactic across multiple platforms because it won’t be as effective.

 
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Tips for Success with Social Media Marketing

 

Step 1

Beware of Content Length

When you’re creating content for social media, content length should matter. Most people are familiar with the fact that Twitter has a character limit for tweets. Up until the end of 2017, that limit was 140 characters. Today, however, users can type up to 280 characters in each tweet. On Facebook, you can offer long captions and include multiple photos, if desired. On Instagram, captions can hold a lot of content. However, longer captions won’t be visible unless the user clicks “See More,” so hiding valuable content at the end of the caption isn’t a good idea.

 

Step 2

Keep Content Current

Although the content you want to share might be interesting to your audience, make sure that it is also current. There is nothing wrong with sharing old blog posts on social media, especially if the content is evergreen. However, posting a holiday gift guide from 2014 is incredibly unhelpful for today’s audience. Share seasonal content at the right time of year, and update older content before sharing if necessary. If you can respond to industry trends and current events in real time, that content will be especially interesting and appealing to your social media audience.

 

Step 3

Look at What Your Competitors Are Sharing

If you’re struggling to think of relevant social media posts, it might be a good idea to see what your competitors are doing. While you don’t want to copy their content, it can spark some new ideas for your business. If you see that some of their posts get excellent engagement, then you can explore those topics as well. This works especially well if you look to a company in your area that is slightly larger or more profitable than your own business. What are they doing differently from you? How can you learn from their success?

 

Step 4

Answer the Questions People Are Asking

As your social media presence grows, you’ll start to get more and more questions from your audience. Prospective customers might ask a wide range of questions about your business, your products or your customer service. If the same questions pop up again and again, you can address them en masse on social media. While you can write a blog post about this and share it on social media, you can also create platform-specific posts to address these questions.

 

Step 5

Ask Questions of Your Audience

Finally, don’t forget to ask questions of your audience. This accomplishes two major goals on your social media accounts. First, it boosts engagement and encourages people to see your profile and remember your brand. Second, it gives you more valuable feedback that you can incorporate into your business. If you’re an online clothing retailer, ask your audience what their biggest shopping problems are. The answers you get could help shape your own business practices in a positive way.

 

Step 6

Consistency

One of the biggest problems that companies have with social media is inconsistency. When you create a social media profile for your business, you might have a lot of enthusiasm. A few weeks later, however, it’s common for profiles to get ignored. A key part of any social media strategy is releasing consistent content. Below are a few reasons why consistency matters as well as some Twitter, Instagram and Facebook tips to keep you on track with your posts.

 

Step 7

Recognize the Algorithm

All social media networks use a complex algorithm to rank content, and this is done for each individual user. This algorithm determines what each user will see and in which order they will see it. Not every Facebook follower you have will necessarily see your posts. By posting quality content and getting a lot of engagement, the algorithm boosts your posts to more users. Another way to boost your posts is by being consistent. Your posting frequency can dictate how active your account is. Ignoring it for even a few days can mean that fewer people will see your posts in the future, thanks in large part to the algorithm at play.

 

Step 8

Don’t Ignore Your Audience

If you’re not using your social media accounts on a regular basis, then you might be ignoring your audience. If you get engagement, it’s important to provide a response in a timely manner. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a time-consuming process, but it needs to happen regularly. If a post you share on Facebook gets a dozen comments, the very least you should be doing is liking each comment within 24 hours. In many cases, providing a responsive comment can also be beneficial. Also make sure you’re responding to direct messages on all your platforms. If you don’t respond, or if you don’t respond in a timely manner, that information may be visible right on your profile. That can make it appear like your business is not responsive to its customers, which is definitely not ideal.

 

Step 9

Consider Automation

If you have all the content you need for social media posts but you struggle to be consistent with distribution, then you might want to consider automation. There are a number of programs that you can use to time the release of content across multiple platforms. You can schedule several posts in advance, and at the peak times for release, without manually pushing the button. Some of the most popular automation tools include Hootsuite and Buffer. They can also monitor all your social media accounts comprehensively, which means that you won’t miss a comment or a message. Keep in mind that while automation is incredibly helpful, you still need to be actively engaged with your accounts on a daily basis.

 

Step 10

Develop an Editorial Calendar

Running a business involves a lot of moving parts. Keeping everything scheduled and on track is challenging. Many businesses find that social media gets ignored because they can’t create or find the right kind of content for the occasion. One way to avoid this problem is by creating an editorial calendar. You might take a calendar and plan your social media content a few weeks or even months ahead of schedule. If necessary, you can hire writers to create this content in advance. This makes it far easier to know what to post on any given day. Plus, it ensures that you don’t repeat content too often or ignore key parts of your audience for an extended period of time.

 

Step 11

Brand and Voice Consistency

While consistency in posting schedule is important, so is maintaining voice consistency. Between social media platforms, it is common to change your brand’s voice slightly. The tone of your posts on Facebook, for instance, could be different from the tone of your brand’s posts on Instagram or Snapchat. However, the overall image of your company should remain the same. It would be unusual to have several formal, grammatically correct posts in a row followed by a post with emojis, no capitalization and a lack of punctuation. For this reason, it’s often helpful to have the same person handle all social media posts. Or, be sure to have clear brand guidelines so that all content creators know what kind of tone and voice you’re looking for.

 
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