CREATING A LIVING SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Updated: Feb 2
A guide to bringing your businesses social media presence to life so it can grow.
Social networking is a type of media that has taken full advantage of the digital revolution. The first social sites that lead the way for social media as we know it today, is said to have been launched in 1997. This was a profile uploading service called Six Degrees. In 2020, over 3.6 billion people are using social media worldwide, which is a significant amount of the world’s population. This goes to show you the importance of getting to grips with social media and utilising it for your business.
There are so many users on social media, which directly correlates to the amount of content on the platforms that people consume. We are exposed to so much content every day, that it is very easy to become numb to what we see. It has become increasingly hard to capture users' attention because of this but also because Social media use was blamed by academics for shortening the average human attention span from 12 seconds to 8 seconds.
This means that when working with social media for your business you cannot take the traditional advertising approach. It is a place where people want to have fun and socialise. If every post you create is overt, in your face, loud advertising or just demanding the audience to buy, they will not engage with it.
Businesses must approach social media in a social way; you must have a living social media presence. This means you must engage your audience in a way that brings some value to them, has character and is interesting to engage with.
In this addition to the blog series How To 2021 Proof Your Business And Brand we will be going into detail about how we can create and grow our social media following. We will be discussing different techniques to build your brand on social media by targeting and communicating with your target audience.
Bringing your social media to life
How to write copy for your posts
Why is content so important
Strategy for social media
Examples of a bad social media presence
The best social media platforms
How to bring your social media to life
Social media is now one of the first port of calls when a customer wants to find out about or engage with a brand. Your social media account speaks to your potential customer, it gives them a taste of your brand’s voice and personality. A good social media account will include a variety of content that not only displays your skills and products in a nice way but also engages the audience further by rewarding them. This does not have to be a prize, (although we will be discussing this later), it has to be something that stirs your emotions; this can be to laugh, to cry, to feel intrigued, to feel satisfied, to feel hungry, to feel motivated or to feel excited. These are the things people look for when on social media. It is important to remember not to bombard your audience with sales, but to engage with them on an emotional level.
One of the main attributes of social media is engagement. It allows your customers to express themselves to you in a way that was not available before social media. What makes it so much more powerful is that you can respond and engage with them directly. You can have a one on one conversation with your customer while developing your brand. When you like and reply to comments, it not only shows that customer but all other viewers of your profile that you have a living social presence, it shows that you actually care what they have to say and gives a personal and rewarding touch to your engagement.
The most rewarding thing about getting likes, comments and retweets are that it helps push your page to more people; this is known as growing your reach. This means when someone engages with your business’s page, their friends or followers will see it on their homepage or discovery page, therefore you multiply your reach if their friends see it and do the same thing the cycle continues. This is how content grows and the best eventually go viral. This is very important when choosing the content you would like to create and why you should not just post things that are selling something. The odds of someone sharing a post that sells them some shoes over a post that makes them laugh is very low, 9.999 times out of ten they would choose the post that made them laugh, this is because they were connected emotionally and they want to share that same feeling with their friends. If you do not get engagement your post will not gain traction and get reach, so you must create content that rewards.
Like all parts of branding and marketing, your target audience is the most important thing to think about when developing a branding or marketing strategy. Social media is a personal thing and people use it to show their character and consume content they find interesting. The way that the algorithm works is that they will be shown content that they find interesting and most relevant in their discovery page.
So in order to reach your right customer, you must know who they are, where they are and what they like to consume. Your social media brand must have your character voice and presence. For instance, if you had a luxury jewellery brand and your target audience was upper class and over 40, you would not have lots of bright colours or cartoons or silly visuals. This brand may have beautiful photography, a clean consistent design, high end photorealistic and 3d animation. Just by choosing the right content you are targeting your audience and appealing to what they like and speaking to them in a way they are familiar and comfortable with.
This can go for platforms as well; not all social media platforms are built for every audience. There are distinct differences in demographics when it comes to social media platforms. Some target audience is children, some are women and some are businesses. A great example of this is Snapchat. This platform’s users are predominantly occupied by young people and 45% of Snapchat users are 18-24 years old. It would be ridiculous for a business like a life insurance company to post content on Snapchat. This is because their target audience is not on that platform and it would be a complete waste. It is important to understand where your target audience spends most of their time and will be going into more detail about the different platforms later in the blog.
Why is content so important
Content is king when it comes to social media, content can include:
The content is so important is because:
It shows your business is alive and active
It shows your business is alive and active
It improves your SEO
It gives the opportunity to gain engagement
It shows your personality and character
It gives an opportunity to showcase services or skills
You must be active on your social media platforms on a regular basis. The more content you post the better. If you can post consistent content that brings value and stir emotions in your audience, you will start to build a following and people will start recognising and looking forward to seeing posts from you. It will give your page authority and if you utilise your hashtags properly you will start to reach people you never thought possible. Social media platforms will reward profiles that post regular content and get engagement. If your post does this you will be in front of more eyes on your business, meaning more exposure for your business.
When creating your content, variety is very important as you want to keep the audience interested by posting different types of valuable content, but you have to be careful when doing this because you do not want to lose your brand identity. It is important when creating digital content to keep to your brand guideline and identity. Remember, your social media identity is a big part of your brand’s identity, so you must keep your brand in mind when creating. This can include:
These are areas that are important when creating work. You want to decide what it is going to say about your brand. For instance, you might be a business whose target audience is children. You would not want anything to do with gambling or alcohol near your brand as it would not be wise for that business to endorse that. Brand consistency is also so important in your posts. I always say a badly run digital presence is worse than no digital presence at all. To be successful with social media you must post a lot of valuable content but also make sure it represents your brand’s identity and values in the right way.
What social media strategy should I use?
A social media strategy is unique to each business and everyone will have different goals, objectives and audience. Spend time developing different ideas that suit your business. Remember, variety is important so try and develop multiple ideas at the same time. Think about what your target audience would enjoy and get value from then work out the best way to achieve this.
It is important to create as much content as possible, you can achieve this by repurposing content.
For example, you would like to write an informative blog post. With this information, you can now repurpose it into:
By just repurposing work you have already created you now have seven pieces on content instead of one. It is very important to utilise your time when creating a post.
Templates are also a great way to create content efficiently and consistently, by using a premade template you can not only create new variants at a fraction of the time but also keep a uniformed style. This will help with brand consistency, but can also differentiate between different types of content or different types of product.
For instance, you could be a sports brand and you want to create animations for your different product lines. You may create a template for trainers, very fast-paced, with bold lettering and impactful colours. Then you may have a different template for your beach shoes which might have a simple font, pastel colouring and simple animation. By doing this, every time you want to release a new product or a new piece of content you can use the same template.
Ideas for social media marketing campaigns
When working with social media it is good to keep your ideas fresh and varied. A good way of doing this is by running campaigns. A marketing campaign is a project over a limited amount of time that has one running theme that ties all content together. By using marketing campaigns you are able to put emphasis on a particular subject, whether it is an event, a product or a national holiday. You will be able to gain traction from your content if you post on a regular basis and people become familiar with the campaign design feel and ideas.
Below are some ideas for fun campaigns
In-store call to action CTA
A call to action is a marketing term for any device designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. If you are able to set one up in-store you can actually have a conversation with them guiding them to use the CTA. Your call to action can be alike, a follow a comment, a review or a share. To take this further, you can request user-generated content UGC. This is when the user creates their own content like a picture or a video with your product and then tags you in it when posted to their personal social media. This helps with growth and engagement and a positive endorsement of your product will then be shown to that customer’s whole network, where they can also engage with and learn about your product.
When running a campaign like this, participation is vital and you need as much engagement as possible. A way of ensuring this is by using incentives. This could be a
A fun task or objective
When properly integrated into your in-store experience this can be a vital method of gaining vital social media traction.
Run a social media competition
Competitions are good for many reasons; they can increase
You can also get great data about your customers because you are offering them something in return. Customers are more likely to give information such as name, email addresses and phone numbers.
A competition can be as simple as the user giving a like or a retweet and picking a winner. But the more interactive and fun you can make it the better. A couple of good ideas for doing this is asking them to work out a riddle or spot the difference. If your budget stretches further you could create an online game that customers could enter the competition by playing.
Different social media demographics
Although social media platforms are so popular, they have people from every age, gender and walk of life and there are definitely differences in the demographics between the platforms. It is essential that when choosing the platform, you will put your effort into, is where your customers will be. If you try and post to every platform it will be time consuming and inefficient.
Facebook UK Users
Facebook is still one of the most popular social media platforms. Whether you want to reach a local audience or a worldwide one, Facebook provides flexibility, targeting and opportunity.
Facebook has more than 44 million users in the UK
71 per cent of UK adults can be reached through the platform
48% of Facebook users are male
In the 18 to 54 age group, between 85 per cent and 92 per cent of the population engage with the platform across all income groups.
These statistics show that Facebook is the most well rounded platform when it comes to users or a variety of users. It hits most demographics and has a vast user population. As Facebook is so popular and has so many users it is a good choice for targeted advertising, as your customer most likely uses it.
LinkedIn UK Users
LinkedIn is a social media platform for businesses. If you run a business or are a professional, the chances are you will have a LinkedIn account and the company indicate they have some 20 million users in the UK. This means for businesses trying to target businesses or professionals, it makes sense to focus a lot of energy in this area.
In the UK 60% of users are male and 40 percent of active users use the site every day
61 million users worldwide are thought to be 'senior-level influencers'.
LinkedIn drives much more B2B traffic to blogs and websites than any other social media platform.
Snapchat allows users to post videos to their profiles in the form of a video story. Friends of that user can watch the videos and send messages. The videos last ten seconds, but can be taken continuously. Brands have been utilising this through influencers that gain thousands of views a day, generating their own content and posting it daily or using adverts that automatically play in between the different user's stories.
30% of internet users aged 26–35 use Snapchat.
18% of internet users aged 36-45 use Snapchat.
Roughly 61% of Snapchat users are female and 38% are male.
Only 5% of U.S. 56+-year-olds use Snapchat.
Snapchat is definitely targeted at the younger generation, and if your product or service targets them to Snapchat can be a great tool. Videos can be quick and snappy and because of the DIY approach that most videos have, it will not cost as much to produce on a regular basis.
Some honourable mentions for the best social platforms for businesses
When developing your social media presence you must always keep it alive and kicking. You can do this by:
Posting regular content
Always keep your target audience in mind
Post in places your audience will be
Create content with value
Keep your design and branding consistent
Add variety in content
Engage customers in person
By doing this, you will see your social media grow and you will start getting more and more comments and likes, you will grow your reach and increase your brand awareness. This should all translate into more revenue and sales.
But remember social media is only one side of marketing and branding and to have a successful business you have to attack it with the same energy in all areas like; website, third party sites, in store marketing, customer service, interior designing and more.
At Adrastichyperlink our goal is to help each business reach its goals and objectives through design. We can help you with your social media branding and marketing and make sure your company has a lively interesting social account. For more information get in touch, we would love to hear about your business.
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