Adding Value to Your Social Media Presence
Throughout my experiences on the web, I’ve seen far too many companies just go through the motions when it comes to using social media in online marketing. They heard somewhere on the internet that social media is important for online marketing, so they made a Twitter account and Facebook page for their business and figured that was that.
Well, unfortunately just having a social media presence is only the first thing you need to do in a long strategic process of making updates, corresponding with your audience, thinking of innovative ways to deliver your content through social media, and a whole host of other tweaks and considerations.
Updates are make or break
There are two ways to consider updates as you make them, and I suggest you take both considerations into account before posting any tweet or update. The first consideration is that every update should have a purpose, not for you or your company but for your audience. Before updating, think about whether your audience even has a need for the information being posted.
The second consideration is that every update should be fun or enticing. This may mean improving the titles of the content you are trying to market through social media. This also means coming up with short, concise descriptions of your content that will lure in new customers and audiences. Always seek a more attractive and exciting combination of words, but also be sure not to mislead or oversenationalize.
Make your feed a content resource
You should actively look for ways to provide more or clearer information than your competitors. Research how your competitors are using social media, and offer a better experience than their current setup. If you are providing information that would otherwise be hard to find on one site or in one feed, then you are definitely on the right track.
Interact with your audience
One of the primary functions of social media is to provide a means of communication between two entities. Yet I am surprised how few companies seem to take this principle to heart. Of course the most obvious thing you can do is respond to inquiries on your Facebook page and @mentions to your Twitter. Beyond this, you should take active steps to find out what your customers or audience want. Ask for feedback. When you have two options to deliver a certain type of content, poll through social media which delivery method they prefer. In general, updates that end with questions receive more attention and more responses than those that don’t.
Experiment for the optimal publishing time
You may have to do a little bit of testing to determine when would be the best time to post updates and content for your audience, but really just a combination of good logic and close observation should work well. Be sure to check likes, comments, @tweets, and retweets to get a decent grasp on who gets your updates when. Your most vocal audience should count for a lot as their clamor will likely help your clamor.
Experiment for the optimal social media outlet
Remember that you aren’t just limited to Facebook and Twitter. There are several specialized social networks such as Dribbble for graphic designers and then there are also other online venues to consider as well. Keep in mind that you don’t have to necessarily create an account to access certain social media outlets (although I would recommend creating an account when and where you can); for instance, I know through Twitter several different people who keep Tumblr blogs, and apparently I will ask them to share a post on their Tumblr as well as Twitter accounts.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.