Grow Your Social Engagement and Watch Your Brand Become Just A Little More Stronger
Tip 1: Identify Your Social Media Personality
How do you want to come across? Do you want your brand to seem technical and professional or funny and sarcastic? Find your voice and run with it.
Finding your tone is vital when if you want to truly connect with your audience. People often identify with brands they can relate to. Understanding their needs can help them draw an emotional connection to you or your product. For example, these questions can help you catalog some traits and attributes that will help you characterize your social media personality.
Defining your voice and online presence involves addressing these three things:
- Who is your target audience and what words do they use in every day conversation?
- How do you want your brand to be perceived across the web and social media accounts?
- Once tone and the target audience are determined, what will they be interested in seeing from your brand?
As you think of the answers to the above questions, pay attention to the adjectives that begin to emerge in your mind. Make a list and note the top three words. Those are what your voice will be defined as on your social medias. If you need specific examples, below are a couple of brands that have successfully established their voices.
- Hewlett-Packard (HP): Professional – but not uptight
- Walmart: Convenience Meets Trending Styles
Each of these companies have their own unique voice, targeted specifically towards their intended audience.
Tip 2: Select the Right Channels
One of the most important steps in creating any sort of social media presence is to identify what platforms work best for not only your industry but for your specific business. Where do you see the most activity from your potential audience? Those channels should be in the forefront of your priorities. Your next step will be taking the time to developing a strong following there.
Take advantage of amazing FREE tools that can help to make your life easier, like Google Analytics! This remarkable program can assist you in identifying and tracking your social media traffic, which can enable you to pinpoint your most popular channels.
To access, log into your Google Analytics account and select Acquisition from the menu on the left:
Within this screen, you will be able to review the top social channels that are driving the most traffic back to your website. If your purpose is to focus on brand exposure, your top channels will be those with the most likes, comments, shares and messages.
Tip 3: Address Negative Feedback Gently and Genuinely
Negative reviews and comments can be inevitable! It can be nearly impossible to please everyone, no matter how you may try. The most positive way to deal with negative comments and feedback is to empathize with your customers and clients. While there might be situations in which you may find it more difficult to be the bigger person, it is important to remember: you’ll catch more flies with hunger than with vinegar! That is to say, the more genuine and concerned you can be, the better outcome you and your business may experience.
Here are some example templates you can use if you encounter a negative review for your business:
Hello ____________! We’re incredibly sorry this happened to you. That is definitely not something we intended our customers to experience. Can you so kindly reach me personally at [insert your number here] and we’ll get this straightened out for you as soon as possible.
Hi _______________! Thank you for bringing this up to our attention. We want to fix this right away and make sure you are getting the services you were promised. Can you direct message us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get this processed for you? Thank you.
Tip 4: Choosing the Perfect Posting Frequency
There is an art to finding the adequate posting frequency for your business as it plays a paramount part to the on-going success of your social media presence. It may seem easier to simply post as frequently as possible, however, recent studies suggest that this technique can pile up to 35% of all unfollows.
Just as posting too much can have a negative impact, according to Sprout, posting infrequently can also cause up to 18% of your audience to unfollow you.
That’s why finding the perfect posting frequency is crucial to your online success. Below you can find an example of an ideal social-media posting schedule.
Tip 5: Post at the Peak of Audience Activity
Activity is a key metric. Posting your content during the best possible times will maximize the amount of exposure your brand will have. 80% of the United States population is in the Eastern and Central time zones. Basing your posting times around these time zones would give you the most success.
Tip 6: Superior Quality Always Trumps Quantity
Research has confirmed that quality of the content is more important than the quantity of your content. 41% of people will unfollow a brand if your content isn’t relevant or relatable to them.
Posting and creating high quality content is paramount. However, you don’t always have to create the content yourself, curating pre-designed content can save you time while still allowing you to put out A+ work.
To locate and curate high quality content:
- Find a tool like Feedly or Buzzsumo to help you find the latest content for your industry.
- Choose a specific time around once or twice a week, to review the content that these tools have provided for you.
- Browse through selected pieces to verify that they fit the interest of your audience.
- Schedule content as needed to fill in empty spaces in your calendar.
Tip 7: Automate Everything Possible
Running various social media accounts can take up a lot of valuable time, so one simple way to save you and your team time is by automating parts of your social media accounts.
Now, what should you be automating?
- Social media messages at scheduled times
- Queuing reshared content at the most favorable times
Tip 8: Consistency with Your Social Media Schedule is Key
Keeping up with your regular posts is very important because it establishes trust and reliability. Without a set schedule, your audience might start to think that something has gone wrong with your company or, worst-case scenario, think that you’re no longer in business.
Posting content steadily allows your followers to get into the routine of watching out for your posts at those certain times.
By publishing content on specific days of the week or specific times a day, you allow your social media to fall into a rhythm.
Tip 9: Be Human, Don’t Sound Robotic
While automated messages can save you and your team time, remember that it may not be the way to go on every situation. For instance, if you are dealing with an irate customer and they receive an automated response this might even escalate the situation and make it worse.
Learning when to use automated messages and when to reply sincerely is a task that must be taken head on. Treating each issue as its own individual situation may save you more problems down the road.
The fitness app Runkeeper is a great example of a brand that is doing everything right! They have a humanizing way of connecting with their target audience all while being effectively funny. They remind you to use their app, while being so incredibly relatable.
Tip 10: Show Your Audience Who You Are As a Brand
One of the convenient things about social media is that you can give your followers real time insight to the inner workings of your brand. Looping your audience into what’s going on allows them to feel like they are a part of the company too. This technique can help increase loyalty amongst your followers.
Learning to find the right type of content to showcase in this category can deem itself tricky. Below, we offer a couple of suggestions to help you get started!
Show your audience what it’s like to be at the office with you. Any unique traditions? Do you have distinctive meeting strategies that boost your company’s morale? Sometimes filling in your audience about what happens on the inside may create a feeling of insightfulness and trustworthiness.
Behind the Scene Bits
Behind the scene moments allow your audience to feel included as if they were actually part of the team. Transparency enables your audience to feel connected with you. Share videos and images of occurrences of some of the following to give your followers a sense of fellowship.
- Office birthdays
- Office events
- Job postings
- Fun work snapshots/selfies
- Technical Difficulties
Tip 11: Engage With Your Audience
Whether it’s a general question or a complaint, don’t ignore your customers! No one enjoys being left to wait for a response.
Setting up a response protocol will help your brand efficiently reply to your customers in a timely fashion. Whether it is a complaint or a compliment, having a designated response template can help your response time. Here are some helpful examples:
- Negative comment towards the brand: Apologize for any inconvenience and inform the customer that their negative experience will be assessed immediately. Assure them that their issue will be corrected as soon as possible. Respond as often as necessary to ensure that the customer feels looped into the claims process.
- Compliment towards the brand: Express your appreciation for sharing their comment/feedback. Inquire if there is any way their experience could have been improved and then warmly thank them for reaching out.
Tip 12: Choose Which Conversations to Engage in Wisely
Don’t allow for your company to sound like it’s trying too hard to engage. You shouldn’t force social media interactions or you will risk sounding disingenuous. Avoid this mishap by asking yourself the following questions:
- Is there a relationship here? Could there be one potentially?
- Is this relevant to our industry?
- Can replying be beneficial to the company?
Tip 13: Avoid Slang Unless It Benefits Your Brand
It is important that you always keep in mind who your target audience is, instead of spending unnecessary time appealing to audiences that may never see your ads.
Avoid sounding insincere. When brands use slang that is completely out of character, it creates a sense of artificiality with their true followers. Research has shown that 39% of brands that use slang outside of their target audience’s jargon end up being unfollowed.
- Remember, the best way to interact with your audience is to use the same vocabulary that they use.
- Reading user comments and taking the time to learn their jargon can help you seem more relatable.
Tip 14: Switch Up Your Content
No one likes to see social media posts that are solely about the products and services you offer and getting you to buy them.
45% of people will unfollow brands that post too much promotional content. It stands to reason that if your customers already made the effort to find you and follow you, then bombarding their feeds isn’t really necessary. Instead, you should dedicate the time to appealing to your audience by sharing other engaging content.
Below is a list of how you can spice up the variety in your content:
- Job postings
- Brand Content
- Community News
- Informative blog posts
- Behind the Scenes
Tip 15: Know Who Your Competition Is
Researching your competition can prove itself beneficial in more ways than one. Since your competitors are fighting for the same potential followers, it is necessary to take note of what might be working for them. If your audience is being lured by your competitors, it might be time for you to revamp and change up some of your content.
Tracking Your Competitors
First, start off by making a list of your 5 main competitors and study them.
Second, look at their past 6 months of content and take notes of the following:
- On average, how much attention do they receive on every post?
- What is their tone & voice when engaging with their customer base?
- What kind of content are they publishing?
Tip 16: Track and Use Your Engagement Information
If you want to track your social media progress and goals, you can do so easily thanks to the resources at your fingertips.
If you want to learn where you are with your followers, then you need to learn to track your engagement statistics.
You can track your this information by taking notes of your brand’s likes, comments, and shares for each one of your posts manually or perhaps use a tool to track it for you.
You can use the following tools to track this information:
Tip 17: Create an “In Case of Social Media or PR Emergency” Plan
Social media is an amazing platform that connects you directly to your audience; however, this has the potential to be a double-edged sword at times. Even the smallest mistake can send your company into a downward spiral resulting in a massive PR disaster. Being prepared for this before it actually happens can end up being your best solution.
When a crisis is happening, immediately notify the appropriate teams and individuals, typically your PR & social teams.
Create a list of the subjects that should be addressed prior to a PR disaster occurring. Some helpful hints:
- Prepare apology drafts that don’t make your company sound like a robot.
- Draft standard/generic responses to common problems.
- List of press contacts in case you need to get ahold of media in order to keep the situation under control.
- Have all social media login info readily accessible, including your posting schedule. Your team will not need place all social media posts on pause for the time being.
Tip 18: Claim Usernames on All Sites Even if Not Active on Them
This may sound like a waste of time, but think about it this way: if you ever need it, it will already exist! The idea behind this tip is that if in the future you want to be a part of any website that was once considered irrelevant to your needs, you now can.
This is a precautionary move that can:
- Reroute your current audience to the site that you are currently on and
- Can save your username in case you want to be on that site in the future.
There are free services like namecheckr that can help you figure out if your username is available on social media websites.
Namecheckr is a database full of different social media websites where you can check if your username is already in use in any of those channels.
This can be incredibly helpful in determining if you need to tweak your social media name. You can also find if you need a new username entirely because it’s already unavailable throughout a significant number of social channels.
Tip 19: Be Intelligent About Your Social Media Giveaways
Social media giveaway can be tricky, but a big hit when done correctly. Running a successful social media contest requires the following:
- A proper mention of what your giveaway will be.
- Draft standard/generic responses to common problems.
- A set deadline your audience needs to abide by.
- A team member recording all of the names and info of people who met your requirements.
- A pre-determined time when the winners will be announced, shortly after the deadline.
Tip 20: User-Generated Content is Beneficial
Research has shown that 50% of consumers trust the content provided by their peers more than the one generated by the company.
A second benefit to using user generated content is that this will alleviate some of the burden of having to create all the content yourself.
But Marli, how can I motivate my audience to submit content to me?
Engage with them! Create a #hashtag trend on Twitter and/or Instagram.
Take a page from this well-known company: Starbucks is a great example of a brand that does everything right! They successfully utilize user-generated content.
Tip 21: Research Hashtags Prior to Using Them
This is a fairly self-explanatory tip. Using hashtags that may be currently already adopted by other campaigns can prove itself to be problematic.
Take note of this example with the hashtag #NotGuilty created by Entenmann. In July 2011, Entenmann’s told Twitter followers they should feel #NotGuilty about eating the brand’s low-calorie sweets.
Unfortunatly for them, the hashtag was already trending. But it wasn’t because of Entenmann’s tweets. “Not guilty” was the verdict of the Casey Anthony trial, which revolved around the death of her two-year-old daughter.
The twittersphere largely didn’t appreciate the post. And social media reporters were quick to cover the story.
Trust me, researching your hashtags will save you many headaches!
Tip 22: Don’t Utilize Automatic Posting of the Same Content Throughout All Channels
This is a pet peeve of many people. Redundancy of the same post across all of their different social medias can deem itself incredibly annoying for many followers. Plus, it can come across as downright lazy.
This includes when you must click a link that redirects to another social media platform in order to read the rest of the comment. This is a big no-no.
Try NOT to do this:
No one wants to make the effort to click into another social media to see your entire post. Some many not even be members of that particular site! Avoid this by making sure each of your channels has their own proper link to your content.
Tip 23: Use Humor Wisely
You must be careful when using humor on your social media. Not everyone has the same sense of humor and any small mistake can be potential for a big disaster.
Test your audience with a few funny posts at first. Monitor your follower’s response and see if it was a success. After all, a handful of great funny posts are better than a bunch of mediocre ones.
Humor can be a stepping stone to your brand’s success in more ways than one.
- It shows that you’re human
- You’re relatable
- You’re being interactive with your customers.
Here are a few examples of humor being used correctly:
Tip 24: Make All Social Media Accounts Consistent for Maximum Exposure
A quick tip! Make sure that all of your online profiles are completely filled out with all of the same information throughout sites.
Skim through your social media accounts and make sure that they are all consistent in the following areas:
- Profile pictures
- Company descriptions
Tip 25: Allow Limited Access of Your Social Media to Your Employees
It is okay to want your employees to be involved in your company’s social media, however it is vital that you limit this to only the ones that are completely necessary.
There was once a company that fired many employees at once, including their social team. The fired employees ended up tweeting about their termination and creating huge backlash to the company. This was a bad situation, but what was even worse was the fact that no one else in the company knew how to shut down the rogue employee’s and their access to the company’s social media accounts.
Take the necessary precautions to ensure your company doesn’t suffer the same fate. Always maintain control over your company’s social media and make sure to only appoint a couple of trusted others to have access to such a delicate platform.
Here is a list of potential people that should have login access to social media accounts:
- Public Relations
- Graphic Designers
- Social Media Specialists
- Marketing Manager
Don’t forget! If any one leaves the company, you should immediately revoke or change all company user names and passwords that they had access to.
Tip 26: Ignore Bullies
Learning to distinguish between an actual complaint from a customer and a troll can be tricky at times. The best thing to do with trolls is to completely ignore their existence.
Here is an example of a valid complaint from a customer:
On the other hand, this is an example of a troll. DO NOT REPLY TO THESE:
Tip 27: Keep Your Social Media Organized with Clicc Media Inc
A lot of information was provided for you above. Strategize and allow yourself to create an effective marketing plan for your brand. If you find yourself needing assistance with any of these tips, Clicc Media Inc can facilitate this for you.