Whether you’re a new business trying to decide where to focus your social media efforts or a large corporation seeking ways to improve your online engagement, there are many ways to improve your social media presence. While seemingly straightforward, there are countless variables that go into play when working at something as all-encompassing as establishing and enhancing a social media profile.
One of the most common issues people face when undertaking this considerable task is simply not knowing where to start. We’ve outlined the following ways you can improve your social media presence (in a good way).
Increase your social media presence with quality content
The Huffington Post declared 2015 “The Year of Quality Over Quantity” for social media marketing, and rightfully so. When thinking about quality over quantity, this can refer to the number of messages you are posting, the number of accounts you are attempting to run, the number of followers you have, or a variety of other measurable components. As Huffington Post author Giuseppe Crosti explains, “The role of the marketer is shifting quickly to encompass far more than it traditionally has. In addition to effective communication, marketers will be called to understand new and changing platforms, collect and analyze data, and find new tools to work more efficiently.”
Keeping up with this constantly changing social media landscape does not necessarily mean that you need to post content more often, or that you need to sign up for more social media accounts. Instead, focus on ensuring that the content you are posting is of high value to your audience, or that you are doing two or three social media accounts really well rather than nine mediocrely.
When concentrating on getting a high number of followers or posting too often, it’s easy to lose sight of your original goals, whether they be engagement, brand awareness, or an increase in conversion and sales. As Forbes contributor Jaysen DeMers explains, “Your likes don’t correspond to a line of revenue, nor do they correspond to a level of brand awareness, since many of those likes may be from indifferent users. The truth is, the number of followers you have is nowhere near as important as the type of followers you have.”
Conduct a social media audit
In order to establish your goals, you need to know what components of your social media presence are working, and which ones aren’t–something that can be achieved through a social media audit. In researching and assessing your company’s social media activity, you can gain valuable insight into your social campaigns ROI, what your audience members want, along with identify areas in your strategy that could be streamlined for efficiency.
Additionally, after conducting a social media audit, a practitioner should be able to understand which social media platform brings in the most value to their business. This could be anything from customer service or sales to online engagement. To help with you undertake a social media audit, we’ve provided an easy to use template here. To accompany the template, the main points we discuss in our guide to conducting a social media audit are as follows:
- Create a social media audit spreadsheet
- Go on a search for your social presence on Google
- Evaluate your social media profiles
- Make sure your social media profiles are on brand
- Centralize the ownership of your passwords
- Create a process
- Target a specific community
Once you have completed your social media audit, you should have a much better picture of the audience you are trying to reach, whether it be the valuable community of parenting bloggers or music loving teenagers. While you may feel that you want to define your target audience as “everybody and anybody as long as somebody is looking at my content,” you will see much greater engagement and results with a targeted strategy.
If you have a specific age group in mind for targeting your audience, our post on how to engage any demographic with your social media presence offers helpful tips for this. To further help you target your social media audience, we also suggest considering the five following statistics:
- 38 percent of Internet users now access social media via a mobile device
- 23 percent of Twitter users make more than $30,000 per year
- 54 percent of Millennials use LinkedIn to read industry news and seek professional advice
- 76 percent of Tumblr and 74 percent of Instagram users are teens
- Snapchat’s user base skyrocketed 67 percent over the six month period between February and March 2014
This kind of information can help you decide, based on your brand or company’s goals, whether you want to focus your attention on something like Tumblr, where teens are, or on Twitter, where the majority of the users make over $30,000 per year. Once you feel that you have a targeted community in mind, you should think about the following questions in order to give your audience a reason to pay attention:
What does this specific community need?
If you can grasp what your audience is seeking and in need of, it’s almost inevitable that you will be able to connect with them on a closer level. Recognizing what they are looking at, reading, and interacting with online means that you can curate and target your content to fit their needs, increasing your opportunity for engagement. As our Evan LePage explains here, “rather than broadcasting messages, businesses have to actually engage in two-way communication. It requires you to actually listen to your audience, rather than throwing your name out there and hoping for the best.”
What do you want the audience to know about your business?
Once you are engaging with your community and providing them valuable information and content, ask yourself what you want them to know about your company. With this, consider your brand voice, and how it reflects upon your overall objectives. To do this, “make a list of the qualities and values you hope to embody and use it to shape your existing voice for social media. Decide in advance the type of language you will use and how you will address various situations on social media.” Before sharing content, think about how the tone and style will reflect upon your social media presence, and how this will affect the audience’s concept of your business.
Tools of the trade
Like a gardener’s favorite shovel, there are certain tools that should be in every social media marketers toolbox to help improve their brand’s social media presence. From monitoring and listening applications, to editing and scheduling platforms, there are countless tools available to make your social media strategy as pain-free as possible. With social listening a crucial part of any social media efforts, we recommend the following nine effective social media monitoring tools:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of social media tools available, we put together a guide to choosing the right social media tools for your business, that can help narrow down your choices. It’s definitely worth exploring the different applications available, as the right tools can make a huge difference for your social media presence.
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