Social media doesn’t stand still. Even seasoned marketers can struggle to make the most of their social presence as formats, algorithms and use cases evolve so rapidly.
However, despite the pace of change, some things remain the same – best practice will always lead to the best results.
Here are 12 top tips to help you bring out the best in your social.
Consider the right platforms for the right audience groups. Facebook is often thought of as a good platform for targeting a younger, 16-18 year old demographic. However, this audience is actually present much more on Snapchat and Instagram – something to bear in mind when planning social campaigns to target this age group. Twitter is home to a slightly more *ahem* mature audience.
Understand how your audience uses social media and create content for them to ensure it’s relevant. There’s no point in creating content if it’s not going to appeal to your audience. Find out who they are and tailor your posts to what they would like to see and are likely to interact with.
Discover the types of devices people use for social media – mobile, tablet, desktop, smartwatch, etc. Where are your audience most likely to view and interact with your content? Generally, there’s a peak of desktop use at lunchtime but, ultimately, mobile dominates. Square video formats work better than rectangle as people mostly view their videos on their phone upright rather than moving the screen to a landscape view.
Think about whether you need audio. Findings show that the majority of people are more likely to view a video without sound because of where they are watching it. If you do have key messages you need to put out there you can use subtitles as an alternative. 85% of Facebook users watch video without sound.
Targeting your existing communities. If you already have an audience, use this to your advantage. If you’re sharing some content about a football team, for example, share this on fan pages where you know the audience is already present and will be interested. This will help you gain reach and interaction through likes/comments/shares.
Emotionally engage with your audience for instance BBC Radio Bristol’s recording of a 999 call from a 3 year old, posted on their Facebook page, highlighting the service’s 80-year anniversary melting the hearts of the target audience (20-35 year old women) and gaining enormous reach. Personal and emotive stories get the most interaction.
Post native. Anything that means the viewer has to leave the social media platform is automatically pushed down the hierarchy of what is shown – e.g. a link to YouTube or a blog. This is something to bear in mind when sharing content on Facebook.
Get to the point quickly when posting video content. The first few seconds of a video are crucial in getting people to continue to watch and interact. You need to immediately grab the attention of the person watching, otherwise they’ll simply scroll on past.
Add topical content. What’s happening right now that your audience might be interested in? For instance the story about the ‘Red Hurricane Sun’ that featured prominently all over social media at the time was capitalized on by many brands.
To ensure your branding is ‘on point’, there are simple things you can do. Even adding a snowflake to your profile image at Christmas time lets people know that you are keeping your social presence up to date.
Choosing how to post is just as important.
Text updates are not an ideal way to get interaction. Video or photo updates always grab more attention and faster if they are interesting to your audience.
Instagram Stories is a fairly new way to advertise to a younger audience, a feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.
Geofilters on Snapchat are a great way to reach a younger audience (see here for how to create your own).
Infographics were another interesting route for marketing teams when posting social updates. A snazzy, good looking post with useful information will always get more traction and infographics help promote your brand in a good light.
Love your posts! Don’t just post an update and leave it. Interact with consumers – comment back, get involved in conversations, share posts to other pages and make the most of those ready-made brand fans.
Always check out the competition. What are your rivals doing? How could you do it better? Experiment with their successful posts and make them your own. It’s not stealing an idea; it’s making it your own story.
Ready? Why not give it a go and tell your brand’s story on social?