Whether it’s a veteran business owner or a fresh newbie, I frequently hear the question “how do I know what to post on social media?” Not only is it crucial to capture your target audience, but it’s even more important to be authentic, trustworthy, and to grab peoples’ attention! There are some companies that do this well and so many that do not, so consider your favorite social media mavens (e.g. Lauren Conrad Pinterest, Nike Running Twitter, or Intel’s Instagram) and mimic what you like. For a more calculated plan, follow these social media best practices to determine what to post in what tone:
1. Market Research
Look into your market and assess your competitors. Depending on your industry, look at their social media networks and consider the following: current and former products, what they’re known for, customer reviews, branding, messaging, content, and more. Find their strengths, weaknesses, and what’s missing in their posts and social branding. By running a market analysis, you’ll paint a snapshot of what’s already out there, what’s working, and where you can plug-in and soar.
2. Industry Standards
What is expected in your industry from social media? How is success measured, and what is the context for standards or quality? These are the questions you need to answer to understand the standards required and/or expected from your prospects in your specific industry. For example, perhaps in your specific industry the majority of companies have a support Twitter handle dedicated solely to its customer’s inquiries and troubleshooting. It’s important to know this and to make sure your business has one too.
3. Target Market Information
Using Google Analytics, your blog or website’s own tracking tools and your social media profiles’ insights, build one to three marketing personas to represent the buyer/client that is engaging with you the most online. These personas can then be assigned to your different profiles and act as the “target audience” for any posts.
Once you’ve done the homework, follow these three social media best practices:
1. Make it conversational:
No one engages on any social media platform to be talked at or sold to. Generate high quality, genuine, and conversational content to build a following and gain trust.
2. Be consistent:
It is crucial to establish and follow a posting schedule. Posting 5 times one week and one time the following week is unreliable, hurts branding, and doesn’t foster a coherent messaging strategy.
3. Give your audience something they consider valuable:
A strong rule of the thumb is the “would I feel compelled to share this if I saw it?” If your post and content pass that test then your followers will be more likely to engage and come back. Strive to consistently provide tips, tricks, ideas, and information that will make the readers life better in some way.
Stay engaged on your social media and make it a routine of checking to see the latest on each platform. You have followers for a reason… they value you and the information you publish!