With pictures of cats going up online quicker than their host’s bounce rate it’s difficult to know how you can really get the most out of social media and reach your audience. Croud’s Social Media Manager, Emma gives her top 4 points to put social media into a bit of perspective.
A man walks into a Juice Bar…
A few months back when I was speaking to SMB owners at a Google Juice Bar, I met a man who a owned a very niche and specialist boating software business. He asked me why he wasn’t getting many Facebook Likes or Pinterest Pins. So I had to break it to him… I told him first of all no one wants to see a picture of your boat’s hard drive whilst they’re looking for cupcake recipes and secondly no one wants to ‘Like’ a picture of your boat’s hard drive whilst they’re nervously going through tagged photos from last weekend…
Ok, ok people don’t just do that on those social media channels. What I am trying to say is Facebook isn’t for everyone, Twitter isn’t for everyone and Pinterest certainly isn’t for a lot of people. Just because you have a wealth of social media channels and social sharing mobile apps at your fingers tips doesn’t mean that you should embrace them all.
It can be quite tricky to work out what social media channels you should be on and what you should talk about, but don’t be intimated by big social media channels and think “I SHOULD be on there!” Instead think about where your audience are, how they interact and how they can get the most value from your social media presence.
If you’re finding it hard to get some interaction, or hard to think of what to say on a social channel, then you should ask yourself ‘What am I doing here?
Here’s 4 points to consider when putting your social media channels into perspective:
1. Your Goals:
Write down what are you trying to achieve on social media. Social media can reap many benefits so consider what you want out of it. Are you looking for a way to increase brand awareness? Or do you want to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty or perhaps you’re using it as merely for increasing website sales so are going to focus more on social media advertising.
If you write a list of goals you’ll find it better to work out what social media channels will help you achieve them.
2. Target Audience:
Who are your target audience? Certain demographics have different social media preferences. A quick Google search will give you an indication of where your target demographic lay.
Another way is to survey your existing customers. Ask them about which platforms they use the most and how they like to interact on those platforms – what do they like to see and do there?
3. Competitors – a great way to see what is working and what is not!
Knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing is just as important as knowing everything about your own business. Plus you can borrow inspiration from their ideas and avoid what isn’t working. Make sure you have a snoop around and see what social media channels they are getting interactions on and also what types of posts are working.
For example a competitor of one of my clients were using Facebook to post (show off) good feedback they received in a ‘feedback of the week’ type fashion. However, to date this has only resulted in an influx of customer complaints targeted to one post, which because of its high number of (negative) engagements means it’s highlighted in the news feed, making it noticeable. A good example for us of what not to do.
4. Be realistic – Consider Your Budget and Resources.
Social Media can be time consuming especially if you want to use a range of social channels. However you wouldn’t start a blog and not maintain it… actually you would, we’ve all been guilty of that haven’t we? Well no more (no really). If you’re setting up a social channel don’t let it die in the cyber wasteland. A dead social channel can look a lot worse than one that isn’t there.
Start small first; pick only a couple of social media channels and focus on them. If you’ve seriously answered all the questions above you should have an idea of what channels you need to concentrate on. As your business begins to grow you can then review your social media situation and alter it accordingly.
On a final note…
So hopefully those four points will put your social media into perspective. It’s good to ask yourself these questions regularly and also consider them when thinking about content too. Remember do what’s right for your business and your audience.
A social media channel can say a lot about your business so think about how you want to come across. There’s some really, I mean really pointless social media profiles out there and some really frivolous posts and some that are downright condescending.
Don’t be influenced by posting tactics that encourage ‘easy’ Likes or shares. Stop and ask would an actual person talk that way? Think about what value you can give to your following and what you can offer them as in the long run this will encourage stronger more valuable relationships.
After all anyone can post a picture of a cute kitten.