With over almost 3 billion active users on social media, it is evidently one of the most powerful forms of communication. Social media is part of the everyday routine for many people and it also catalyzes the growth of several companies today. However, you want to make sure that using social media is helping to increase your social media presence. Since engagement is critical, you need to determine the right way to interact with your fans and followers.
Social media is seen as an effective customer service tool that enables companies to build relationships with followers. Engagement is a contributing factor in increasing your conversion rate, but coming up with content that is click-worthy isn’t as easy as it seems. Without further ado, let’s delve into the main tips that will strengthen you into an unshakable force!
Before you implement social media into your business strategy …
It is crucial in determining which social media platform is most suitable for your business needs. It is helpful to perform research to determine your audience demographics and which platform they access the most. There are a few factors that you need to consider when it comes to choosing the right platforms for your business. Once your business becomes accessible, try to focus on one or two channels that you believe your content will perform well in.
For example, if you are running a restaurant, your audience could be more engaged on Instagram and Facebook as it provides a more visual experience. Once you’ve found the right social media platforms, you should consider using a metrics tool that enables you to measure your success. From providing rich insights into your metrics to monitoring multiple platforms, it will assist you and your company towards improving your online presence.
Some of the most popular tools, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social, are often praised for their wide array of functions. Facebook and Instagram also provide a free tool for a business that create a Facebook Page or Instagram business account. Using these analytics tools will go a long way in providing guidance for your social media strategy.
Survival tip #1: Get to know your followers a little more – strike a conversation!
It’s a good start for companies to start filling up their dashboard with tweets, photos, and videos. But to make the most of your social media platforms, you need to go above and beyond to showcase your original content. Although linking your blog posts and other visuals could bring in traffic, they can only do so much for your online presence.
One of the most effective ways to interact with your followers is to initiate a conversation. Even if it’s easier to communicate behind a screen, it can be difficult to find the right words to say – especially if you have a large follower base. Don’t be afraid to talk to your followers through social media – think of it as having a regular conversation with a stranger. Here are some of the ways where you can break the ice:
Whether it ignites a friendly debate or if you want actual answers to help your business, this encourages users to interact with your company and the post. It helps you understand your followers better, allows people to communicate with you and others, and it shows that you value users’ opinions. It’s important that when posting a question, you try to incorporate a compelling graphic that will draw your audience in. An example such as, “Do you pour your cereal or milk first?” or “Which type of sleeping position are you?” can stimulate conversations. However, try to avoid asking yes or no questions. Not only are those bland and boring, but your audience may not even bother answering them. Remember, it’s all about the engagement and how you deliver it, so try to form a question that is fun, intriguing, and creates engagement.
Ask for advice and feedback
Having to reach out to your followers for their opinion not only stirs up conversations and interest, but it also shows that you care about your own audience. For example, you can create polls or surveys as a way to ask your followers on what content they’d like to see. This shows your audience that you value their opinion and they are important to your business.
Despite how much you try to satisfy your audience, there’s always that one person who holds an opposing opinion or a complaint. Sometimes, they can be difficult to handle but it’s all about helping your audience in a friendly manner. Try to understand their perspective and strive for a solution. However, if it starts to escalate, you can ask the user to speak with you through private messaging.
Engage your users with content encompassing on national days, holidays, and current events
When you’re developing your brand personality, you want to make yourselves look more approachable, fun, professional, and human. When it comes to building relationships, there is no better way to unite and engage your audience than to keep yourselves updated on what’s happening around us. You can always use the National Day Calendar. For endless ideas, take advantage of the holidays by posting any relevant content. The more creative you get, the more people will engage with the conversation.
Survival Tip #2: Post your content during peak hours
Once you’ve created your content and are ready to share it with your followers, there are optimal times to release your content. It’s difficult to rule out the absolute best time across all platforms since people interact with each social media platform differently. There are, however, a couple of factors that determine good posting times such as:
Audience Interaction. What is your audience demographics? Are they using their mobile or desktop device to access social media? When are they accessing social media?
Time zones and location. Generally speaking, it all depends on where you’re getting the most engagement. For instance, in the U.S, about 75% of the population is within the Eastern and Central Time Zone. It’s also worth trying to experiment with different times to find that sweet spot.
When is the best time to post on social media:
On average, it is ideal to post between 9 a.m and 2 p.m on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and also at 4 pm. These times are when people have the most time to access their social media, during the commute to work, on lunch and on their way home. Other studies have shown that posting from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays are most favourable. There is lower engagement on weekends since people are presumably busy with their own plans, but click-through rates are at its highest between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
Most people use Twitter between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m as well as 5 pm to 6 p.m on weekdays. There is a considerable amount of volume during the hours of those who are commuting to work, during their lunch break, and when they get off work.
Since most people log-in using their mobile device, they avoid browsing through their phone during work. Generally, the ideal times to post are on Monday and Thursday at any time but refrain from posting between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s worth experimenting to post between 8 a.m to 9 a.m, 2 a.m., and the evening hours between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m on weekdays.
Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, it’s highly recommended to post throughout the workweek. The best time to do this is at 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 5:45 pm.m. Most brands and companies post on the hour mark so if you post on the 45-minute mark, you will attract a unique audience. Again, it is recommended that you test and measure the results against a different schedule. Experiment during the time slots shown below:
- 7:30 a.m to 8:30 a.m
- 12:00 p.m
- 5:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m
Pinterest, as a marketing platform, can be overlooked but is a great way to create strong visuals as part of your content marketing strategy. The best times to post on Pinterest are 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays may also be the best times since people often use Pinterest to plan a project. Try to experiment posting during the morning and evening commute hours.
As shown above, there are recommended times to post but you should always monitor your social media platforms using insights and analytics to help figure out what posts create the most engagement. It’s important to experiment with the type of content and the time of the posts to find your ideal schedule. Once you figure out your content schedule, you’re on your way to creating more social media engagement.
Survival Tip #3: Develop an Incentive – Organize contests and giveaways
Who doesn’t love winning free products and insane discounts? As a way to build and engage your fanbase, offer your followers something for sharing and liking a post, using specific #hashtags, commenting, and other sorts that will get the show rolling. It creates an interactive experience, but it’s not simple to say “Who wants to win this or that?”. It takes a lot of planning and in order to run a successful contest, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Planning phase. Before hosting your contest, you should always think about what you want out of it and use it as a guide to pave your way. What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to gain exposure for your products
- Structuring your contest. Once you found your goal, determine which platform suits best for your contest and try to adhere to it. For your sake, it will be easier for you to cross-promote your contest and it eliminates any confusion since every platform has different rules.
When it comes to hosting contests, there are a few types to choose from. Sweepstakes, where you ask users to provide their email and their name, is one of the popular options since it’s easier for users to enter but it produces a low engagement. On the other hand, hosting photos or video contests has the potential to gain the most engagement but it requires a lot of effort from the contestants. It’s all for you to decide on what you think is best for your company. To further assist you in the process, you can use some of the readily available third-party apps such as Rafflecopter, Promosimple, Shortstack, Wishpond, and other alternatives.
Develop a time frame
How long will the contest run for? What’s the prize? Whether it’s a gift voucher, a coupon, a giveaway of your own products or something in between, ensure that your prize is worth the contestants’ time and effort! Also, prizes work best when it corresponds to your business and its philosophy.
In terms of time frame, it all depends on your budget and the type of contest you’re running. In general, try to aim for the middle ground where you don’t want the contest to be too short, but you also don’t want users to lose interest by stretching out your contests for too long.
- Clarify your rules. Make sure your rules are easy to understand and include important information such as entry dates and the fine-print conditions.
- Attract your audience – develop compelling graphics. Including graphics is almost crucial across all social media since it’s what grabs the attention of many nowadays. However, keep in mind that each channel has its specific requirements. For instance, if you’re promoting your contest on Facebook, you’ll need to use the text overlay tool to check that you follow the 20% rule.
Survival Tip #4: Post frequently
One of the principles of social media management is to keep your platform alive by posting. However, for a straight-forward rule, it’s easy to make or break your success. By posting infrequently, you will be forgotten easily but posting too much will overwhelm your followers to the point where you’ll look like a nuisance. New and frequent posts show your audience you’re active, legitimate and care about them. On Facebook, it works if you post two times a day but only if you have a large following. According to a Hubspot study, posting a few times a day on Facebook will actually result in 60% lesser clicks if you have a small follower base. You can always try to post a few times a month but overall, your safest bet is to post at least 1 to 3 times a day across all social media channels.
Summary and Thoughts
The power of social media not only unites a global community, but many businesses see the potential it brings towards growing their brand awareness. There are many ways to catalyze your engagement within your audience, but the secret lies with the execution. It’s important to test and analyze all social media platforms to find the right one to grow your social media presence. Don’t stop testing and always experiment!