Is social media important? It's a question that we're asked by our clients often and the answer is a resounding yes. Whether you're a B2B or a B2C company, social media can work for you.
It's all about customizing a social media strategy that's going to work…and help you to be more successful.
When you plan your social media strategy, you need to look at:
- Where you're posting
- What you're going to say
- When you're going to post it
- How you're going to get it done
We're here to help you figure it all out.
Determining the Social Media Networks to Use
Every social media network is a little different in terms of who engages with it. The audience can vary dramatically, so you have to know your target audience. What's the age range? This will make it easier to explore the right social media platform.
Establish customer personas so that you can familiarize yourself with your target audience a little more. Knowing the age range and their social media habits can help dramatically.
There are a few things to know about each of the networks in terms of the percentage of US adults who use them and their age ranges:
- Facebook: Facebook is still the most used platform with a percentage of 69% of adult users. The average users are between the ages of 25 and 64.
- Instagram: 37% of adult users are on Instagram. The average user is between 18 and 24.
- Snapchat: 18 to 24 is the average age for Snapchat and there are about 24% of US adults who use the platform.
- TikTok: More people are learning about TikTok and it's a great way to reach a younger audience with users between 13 and 30.
- Twitter: Twitter has fallen considerably over the years with only 22 percent of adults using it. The average user is between 18 and 30.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn certainly has its purposes, especially for the B2B crowds. 27% of adults are on it and the average age range is 25 to 49.
- YouTube: Approximately 73% of US adults use YouTube and the age range is across the board.
These are just to give you a base idea for choosing the platforms. Some people under the age of 20 use Facebook just like some people over the age of 30 use Instagram.
This will give you an idea of where you should be to ensure that you're not wasting your time on the wrong platforms. Additionally, it's always a good idea to be in a few networks to get cross-exposure as well as to increase your audience.
How You Should Talk to Your Audience
Deciding what you need to say can be difficult. What you have to worry about is how to say it in as few words as possible and ensure that you're staying branded to your company. People are engaging with social media on their phones, so they don't want to read through a lot of words. Use pictures and say it with a one or two-liner.
Videos, animations, and photos are a great way to catch someone's attention. There are a few tools we like to help you:
- Ripl – Free add that allows you to create animated images.
- Promo for Business by Slidely: Create a 15-second video that allows you to have the rights to the music and video footage included in the price.
Whatever you say, be sure that you're being conversational. When people like and comment, it can raise the exposure of your post. Make sure that you're writing in a way that relates to the age of your audience – like using contractions when talking to a younger crowd as well as some of the text abbreviations.
By the way, you're going to have negative comments from time to time. Learn from some of the greats by turning a negative into a positive. Reply back to solve the problem, ask questions, or offer your apologies. It can be a great way to prove that you're engaged in your business and that you're truly interested in providing the best possible customer service.
Choosing the Right Times to Post
Timing is everything. Once you've figured out what to post and where to post it, you have to figure out when you're going to do it. If you're posting about a sale on pizza at 6 am, you're not going to get the desired effect. Similarly, if you're posting about business software at 9 pm, everyone in the office has already gone home.
Remember that most people will see something and engage with it right away if it applies to them. Here are a few things to consider:
- The timeliness of your offer
- Your audience's working hours
- Your time zone
The best thing to do is post a few times throughout the day to determine what time gets you the best engagement.
Also, if you have a breaking news kind of post, get it out right away. Otherwise, you can always use timed posts to ensure that it gets posted when you want to share it.
Deciding on the Approach to Get the Desired Engagement
There's a lot going on and you have to make sure that the posts are going out so that you get the desired level of engagement. You should always have someone who is out there taking photos and videos of what's going on with your business.
Make sure they know about:
- The hot topics
- Celebrities that visit
- News items that affect the business
The person who is involved in collecting info and photos should also be the one responsible for monitoring the comments. This is someone who should know how to address comments, questions, and complaints. Staying on top of any comments is critical to your reputation.
You can also get help from a marketing agency to help you with the social media planning components.
How to Get Started
Now's the time to get started. Have someone start planning your social media strategies. If there's no one in your business that's ready for the responsibility, contact a marketing agency.
Originally published March 2017. Revised March 2020.