Strategies to get the most out of your social media presence

By: Melissa Reeves

Social media is a great way to find out what customers think about your brand. Not very many people sit down to write a letter to a company when they are unhappy or pleasantly surprised about a product. They take to social media to tell others what they think. Often, customers will tag the companies in their posts, or post their comments to the company’s page. Having a platform like social media gives customers an opportunity to speak with the company and the company and opportunity to respond to the customers. There are many social media sites, and having an account on all of them is not the most effective way to spend your time, that is why there are services such as social media monitoring to track your name on social media.

If you simply do not have the time to run a social media account, but you want one nonetheless, you can try a third party tool such as TweetDeck, HootSuite or Sprout Social. You can schedule Tweets and Facebook posts so your time is freed up to do other things. However, there are downsides to using these for posting. Many believe third party posting lowers your analytics. Here is an article from LunaMetrics about this very issue. There are reports that say third party posting lowers engagement by as much as 88 percent! To be safe, if you do choose to use a third party tool, try to mix third party usage and direct posting.

If your company is just getting started with social media or you’ve found your efforts have not been effective quite yet, here are some ideas that might help.

In our recent Newz Group Newzletter, we explained six tips to getting the most out of your social media presence. Here are those six tips:

  1. Find the best social media sites for your brand. Twitter and Facebook are staples for all businesses and public figures, but should you branch out? If you’re a local business, like a bakery or school, then having a Foursquare account would be beneficial. Do you have a lot of photos and infographics? Then you might want to consider a Pinterest or Instagram account.
  2. Remember the 70/20/10 rule for content. For content you post on social media, 70% should be tailored to your audience, constituents or customers. Content from other sources, such as re-tweets or links, should constitute 20% of your posts. Lastly, 10% should be exciting information about your company, such as new products or awards.
  3. Make sure you have a Facebook page, not a profile or group page.Profiles are for regular people, and groups are for fan clubs, not for organizations, companies or public figures. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, make sure you’re standing on the right platform.
  4. Research the social media site before you join. Know how popular it is, general demographic information for users and, most importantly, how to use it. For example: Pinterest has more than 11 million users and is still growing. Specifically, 80% of those users are women and the majority live in the Midwest. Knowing this information will allow you to target your Pinterest content to Pinterest users.
  5. Be mindful of length. Try to keep tweets around 120 characters. You are allowed 140, but you need to free up 20 characters so followers can re-tweet it without having to change any of the original wording. Facebook allows 5,000 characters, but ideally you should keep posts below 250 characters so viewers can read the whole post without having to click to “see more.”
  6. Maintenance is important. Don’t let your social media fall into oblivion by forgetting to update regularly. If someone is searching for you or your company and comes across a dead social media page, it could lead them to believe you are inactive as well. You can’t assume potential customers or voters will go straight to your website first. Many start on social media, so make sure a quality, recently updated page is there to greet them.

There are countless articles offering advice on how to get the most out of your social media efforts. Each company is different, so tailor your strategy to what will work for you and your business.

What have you noticed has worked for you? Share in the comments below some strategies you use to increase social media engagement with your company and link to your social media sites.