I think we can all agree that, at times, we feel like we have no idea what we are doing with our company social media pages. The majority of companies (especially from the construction industry) hastily started their social media accounts because someone told them that they needed to be there because their competition was. So it was assigned to someone on a Monday to have their company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. by the end of the week. After that it became a random spray of posts with no real plan by someone with no social media training, who most likely had Company Social Media Administration added to their already long list of job duties.
If this wasn’t how it happened for you, and you were given months of time to plan the perfect strategy and were assigned to only focus on social media, kudos to your company. For the rest of us out here, it feels like we’re in a never-ending race to catch up with ‘everyone else’ with no finish line in sight. But, to be fair, I don’t think a finish line actually exists when it comes to social media for business. Instead, social media is an ever-changing marketing strategy that requires creative thinking and adaptability. With a little careful planning, a company of any size will benefit from having a social voice.
So, here are some helpful reminders for juggling a social media marketing campaign:
1 – Track Your Numbers
The only way to grow and improve your social media marketing campaigns is to keep track of the numbers. Depending on what social platforms your company is on, you should, at the minimum, be tracking followers, reach, impressions, engagement, mentions, views, actions, clicks, etc. You also should be tracking the demographics of who is engaging with your content because if you are noticing that the top users are not your target audience, you may want to make a shift in your strategy. Decide what you are going to track and then make sure you are recording your numbers on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. You won’t know if and when you need to make changes to your campaigns if you’re not tracking what is going on. Having your numbers recorded also makes it easy to report in staff meetings on the effectiveness of your social media strategies.
2 – Plan and Schedule
Create a social media posting schedule if you haven’t done so already. Make sure it is set up at least a year out, if not two. You also want to be able to see all of your social sites on the same page so that you can better plan how to spread posts out across all platforms. Be sure to set aside time at least once a month to brainstorm and plan posts, ads and boosted posts for your pages. Look ahead at your company calendar when doing advance scheduling, as well as other industry and national calendars to get ideas. When scheduling posts you want to be consistent. You don’t want to have 5 posts a day for two weeks, and then only have 3 for the entire week following. This is where the planning sessions are key. When you see these inconsistencies far enough in advance you will be able to shuffle things around.
3 – Get Your Employees Involved
Even if you have someone that only works on social media, you still need the support of everyone else in the company. Employees are an easy way to boost social media marketing. Be sure to report on social media in weekly meetings, newsletters, emails, etc. Get excited when your number of followers increase and engagement spikes. Soon enough, others will begin to take notice and will look forward to hearing how the social campaigns are going. Once you have everyone on the social media bandwagon, numbers and goals will be reached much more easily. The more involved your team is in your social media strategy, the better.
- Ask employees to send invites to their friends to like/follow your company pages
- Regularly encourage employees to like, comment and share company posts
- Ask for ideas of things to post – you never know what could be hiding in someone’s head
4 – Monitor Page Activity 24/7/365
Definitely not saying that you need to stay up all hours of the night or let ‘work’ cut into your family time in order to constantly check your company’s social pages. However, make sure that the individual(s) that control your accounts have them available via a tracking app, or the social apps themselves on their mobile device. The last thing you want is for a question from a potential client or a negative comment to go left unattended for days, or sometimes even hours. We have found that it is helpful to have more than one person connected to our social sites so that we are able to engage with our followers more frequently and consistently.
5 – Pay to Play
Advertising on social media is surprisingly very affordable. It also allows you to easily target each message to your ideal customer. A great way to increase your followers is by running an ad meant to increase page likes. Another great time to put money into your plan is during holidays and long weekends. A good portion of your target market is most likely traveling and/or find themselves with more downtime than usual. Traveling and downtime generally mean more time spent online. Create an ad or boost an important post during holidays.
6 – Use More Than Just Text
It is a proven fact that posts with images or videos attract more engagement from followers. Yes, there are times when your message can be without an image or video, but keep those limited. Don’t be afraid to create your own ‘image’ to add to your post with just words and color to draw attention to your main point or call to action. If you don’t have access to one of the advanced programs like the Adobe Creative Cloud, there are plenty of free products on the market that will get the job done.
7 – Humanize Your Company
Statistics are showing that consumers are more loyal to companies that they follow through social media channels than those they do not. This most likely is due in part to having the feeling that they know the people who work there. One of the best results of having a social media presence is the ability of your customers to meet you, without you actually ever seeing them in person. Be sure to post photos of employees, your office, events, etc. to build lasting relationships with your followers.
8 – Stalk Your Competition
Maybe stalking is too harsh of a word to use on the subject, but isn’t stalking basically what social media is all about?? A great way to increase your own social media footprint is to watch and learn from what others are doing.
- What do they post? Gain ideas, but don’t copy.
- Who do they follow? If they are your competitor, it only makes sense to follow who they are following.
- Who’s following them? Again, if someone follows them, they should be following you too. Follow their followers and there is a good chance they will follow you back.
- How often are they posting? Does your schedule compare?
- What are their most popular posts? Learn from what they are doing to drive your own engagement numbers.
9 – Recognize Them
Increase engagement and reach by tagging other companies and/or individuals in your posts. People like to be recognized for what they’re doing, so why not build them, and in turn your relationship with them, up. This is a win-win.
10 – Engage With Them
The fast lane to increasing your numbers on social media is to be active. It is important to like, share, retweet and comment on the pages you follow. You are working to get your followers to do the same on your page, so it only makes sense that you should be doing it as well, right? Engaging with others on their pages will extend your reach past your own followers and they will most likely return the favor by engaging with your posts.
11 – Send Them Back to You
You have followers. Make sure you are sending them right back to yourself by linking to your website(s), blog, other social sites, etc. whenever possible. If your post is related to something that can be found on one of your other sites, link it. It will help boost your numbers on all sites.
12 – Hold Contests
Contests are a great way to build your audience and increase engagement numbers. Be sure that you are requiring ‘entrants’ to follow you and to like, share and/or comment on your post to win. Have your prizes be business related as an extra way to market services and products.