7 Effective Social Habits for 2016
Humans may be creatures of habit, but social media is a constantly changing beast. Social media is a highly dynamic, ever evolving area that requires experimentation, continuous learning and an openness to trying new things. Whether you’re in a digital rut or seeking ways to step up your online game, here are 7 Social Media tips for brands and individuals:
- Source Relevant, Value-Add Content for your Audience
When used effectively, social media is an invaluable tool for promoting your business. But posting nothing but self-serving content in social media is a little, well…antisocial! Instead, reward your audience and encourage new fans and followers by curating external content that is relevant and valuable. Good content is hard to find, so positioning your brand as the go-to source for hot content will make you a thought leader and prime destination in the eyes of your target audience. Leverage online content discovery tools like feedly, or look to the platforms themselves to see what users, topics, content and hashtags are trending.
- Try A New Social Media Channel This Year
Facebook – Twitter – Instagram. We like to call this the “social trinity.” Those are the three core channels that most businesses focus on. Yet Coca-Cola made headlines with their Snapchat success, and 42% of adult women in the USA continue to pin this week’s recipes and next year’s home décor projects on Pinterest. There are lots of social media channels that offer a new demographic and opportunity for you and your brand. Ultimately, you won’t know what channels will work until you try them, so challenge yourself to experiment and expand onto at least one new social channel.
- Look Beyond Recycling Content Across Platforms
Is your Facebook page essentially a duplication of your twitter feed? Ever notice an eye-catching post on Instagram, then see that same image pop up on your Facebook and Twitter feeds? Recycling content can be efficient, but it can get repetitive. Instead, try optimizing content for each platform. Post eye-catching images for Instagram, topical articles for Twitter and shareable videos for Facebook. Give every platform some social love, and seek out unique, relevant content for each. We know it is extra work initially, but this will help facilitate the flow of your followers to all of your channels – which ultimately saves you time and synergizes your audience.
- Spend An Hour Each Week Researching New Social Innovations
How many hours per week does Hootsuite save you? Three? 10? A full weekend? Tools can help make social media and content management more efficient and new solutions are popping up every single day. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day operations, and many of us don’t take the time to research what is new and noteworthy out there. Whether they are paid or free services, knowing about and experimenting with the newest and most noteworthy social innovations will help you stay top of your game, while saving you time and energy. Carve out one hour of your week to research, download and experiment with the latest and greatest from the social and tech universe.
- Develop Your Brand’s Social Style
From Instagram aesthetics to your Twitter handle’s tone of voice, your brand should show its personality through all of its’ social expressions. This means establishing a consistent aesthetic – consider establishing a colour palette, or a list of go-to filters for all images shared. This also means a unique tone of voice, ask yourself: Does your brand talk in first or third person? Will your audience respond better to a conversational or professional tone? Is there a hashtag that unites your content? Make a point of defining (or redefining) your brand’s social persona, and come up with some guidelines and best practices for consistent representation in the social world.
- Invest in Engagement
Quite often, audience is the social priority for most small marketing budgets. While fans and followers are important, especially if you are a start-up and under the gun to get the word out, engagement is where the magic happens. Try experiment with your marketing budget and put some dollars behind boosting your Facebook posts rather than just promoting your page. When evaluating bloggers and brand ambassadors to partner with, look beyond follower numbers and seek out influencers with high engagement instead.
- Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Many users describe social media as reactive, with the role of community manager having emphasis on moderation and customer service. For SMEs and growing brands, the way to engage new audiences is with a proactive approach: Start conversations with strangers or jump into twitter chats that are already in progress. Get curious and ask your followers questions and try using polls to turn a simple post into a conversation. Commit to starting or joining at least one new online conversation every day.