It can take a while to gain traction for most people / sites / brands on social media. A whole year isn’t an unlikely time frame before you start seeing any results at all, and it can be quite disheartening until you do start seeing results.
Therefore, you should use that first year to hone your skills. What should you do during that first year on Social Media though?
There is so much advice out there when looking at social media as a marketing tool. Cutting through the noise to find advice and information that is right for you can be very difficult for anyone.
This is why we have put together our top tips for social media marketing below, which apply regardless of your circumstances.
1. Choose the social network that is right for you.
You don’t have to be everywhere all at once, at least not to start with. The easiest way to decide which social networks are best for you is to check to see where the majority of your competitors hang out.
Or if it’s a subject you are interested in personally – where do you hang out? The key is to find where the audience for your website / business / product is, and then start there.
For almost everyone this means at least Facebook and Twitter. If you have lots of pictures to post, then Instagram and Pinterest should also be considered, and if you have lots of videos then YouTube is probably the right place.
2. Decide on how to communicate to your followers and stick to it.
If your site is a passion project, that makes it easy – just be yourself! The best people to talk to your audience are participants/experts in your field, so if you are a fan of what your site is about then all the better.
If you don’t have such an affinity with the subject matter, then it can be a little bit harder. Decide who you want to be in any conversation about your site / company / brand and then work towards that.
Are you offering help? Then post helpful things (in a helpful tone),
Are you an expert? Be informative and authoritative.
Are you just having fun? Crack jokes, and actually try to enjoy yourself!
People who follow your account will read your posts in a voice in their head. You get to decide what that voice sounds like! It can be hard to change it once you’ve started talking in a certain way however.
3. Talk to people who talk to you.
Don’t leave comments or messages hanging (unless they are auto DMs on Twitter, you can ignore those if you want). It’s just rude.
It’s called social media for a reason, and the very least you can do is respond when someone talks directly to you. And always like comments or posts which are complimenting you.
Conversely, don’t be too needy either. There is nothing sadder than a post asking for conversation which gets none (“How’s everyone doing today?” has been posted millions of times on Twitter by noobs, and very rarely gets answered).
4. Be consistent.
Come up with a publishing schedule and stick to it. This should be based on when people are likely to come to your site, or read your messages. You can work this out by:
a) Looking at Google Analytics and checking out stats by time of day to see when people come to your site
b) Checking out hashtags related to you and seeing when people are most active on it
Don’t over tax yourself for no reason – make a schedule you can stick to (and do it!). Many people have great intentions to post 10+ times per day, but burn themselves out quickly. Start off slow (3 times per day on Twitter for example) and build up as you get used to it.
5. Use images.
People like images, even simple ones.
Make sure the pages on your site have images on them, and make sure your posts appear with images most of the time.
Infographics are amongst the most popular things on Social Media (along with anything to do with celebrities, and original research), so make them if you are able.
It’s just an image of a pigeon, but it’s still pleasing to look at right?
6. Use videos.
People love videos (more than images even!). Videos get so much more engagement than any other format it’s ridiculous.
If you have them, post them!
7. Fill out every section of every profile page.
You want the social network to like you, and this is how to do that! Information about your business shouldn’t be a secret anyway, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
The more your social networks know about you, the more they can show you to relevant people.
Most importantly – always add your website address to your social profiles, as it’s good for SEO.
8. Promote your social media profiles on your site.
Even if this only means adding them to the footer, then it is worth doing. You should also add them to your contact page.
People expect this – if they don’t find it, they get slightly angry!
9. Never be negative. Never be political.
When you write on your personal pages do what you want, but on your company profiles you should stick to talking about what your company is about.
Some companies go political, and it works for some, but not for others. For small accounts finding their feet, you’ll probably just get more vitriol then you can handle whatever you say, so it’s not worth it.
This goes double for being negative. Being mean too, or about a customer might make you go viral in all the wrong ways, and getting negative press from what is meant to be a marketing exercise just makes no sense.
10. Use tools to save time.
This is the very toppest top tip. You should use social media scheduling tools to save time, otherwise you’ll go mad.
Hootsuite, Buffer and Statusbrew are all great social media scheduling tools (and there are tons more out there too).
If you want to make images, we recommend using Canva, as it’s free and easy to use.
Even using these tools, Social Media can still take hours every week. So on top of tools, use a spreadsheet to keep track of your tweets, and reuse them as appropriate (not too often though!).