Not all social media platforms are created equal
The audience demographics and content shared on each social platform caters to different business models and industries. Before choosing a social media profile to use for your business: consider if your audience is actively using it and your content is relevant to the platform.
For instance, if you are a bakery, LinkedIn is probably not going to get you the same engagement metrics as Instagram. People are visual, and if you have a product based or eCommerce business, Instagram is a gold mine.
According to Hootsuite, “most businesses maintain between four and 10 social profiles,” but choose wisely. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot manage a social platform by regularly engaging with your audience and creating valuable content, don’t use it at all. Go all in on the ONE platform you know you can manage well, then move on and expand your reach.
social post tips: 3 questions to ask
Facebook is always a great social profile to start out on. The demographics widely range, although Facebook leans towards older adults. Having trouble trying to figure out what to post? Think of what you would want to see if you were following a business page.
When Mark Zuckerberg updated the Facebook algorithm, we discovered that “meaningful social interaction” was going to be the primary purpose of the platform. Meaning, newsfeeds prioritize posts from family and friends before pages. It’s time to get social and stop selling!
Content should pass one (or all) of the following questions before being posted:
Does it inform or add value?
Does it actively engage or encourage a response?
Does it bring joy or positivity to someone’s feed?
Posting content that educates and informs presents you as a resource to readers. You own a business for a reason; and most likely, you are an expert at what you do or know a lot about the product(s) you sell. Share your knowledge and give tips to those who are less knowledgeable. Post content that will benefit someone’s day, solve a problem, or answer frequently asked questions. Whether people are contacting you for services, or just to gather initial information, you want to be a resource for them.
After you have proven yourself to be a wealth of knowledge and helped them learn in some capacity, you create a level of trust. Trust is an important aspect of social media engagement. In a world of pretty posts surrounded by half-truths and marketing dollars, honesty is not a common policy online. Be a page people can trust.
Stay personable as a brand or business and engage with your followers. Do not post something without writing a short blurb about it first. People are visual, but they also need context. Think of who your target audience is, what they already know, what they don’t know, and how you can learn those things. Some pages write mini blog type of entries in the text area of a post. Others simply need a few lines of text and the content will speak for itself. Ask questions in your posts that require a response. Poll people using Facebook’s free poll feature.
Respond to people’s comments! Comments are the best kind of on-page engagement you can receive (next to shares). When your post is actively being engaged with, Facebook knows people are interested in seeing it so comments are important to monitor. Shares are the golden engagement metric. Shares organically put your post on another person’s personal (or business) page. Sharing increases brand awareness by reaching a new audience of unique viewers who will see, and hopefully engage, with your content.
Share content that requires a reaction of some sort. Literally! Reactions on Facebook (love, laugh, sad, etc.) all started performing better than a simple “Like” in 2017. Engage your followers with emotional responses; not in a manipulative way, but in a sincere, exciting way. Make someone smile, laugh, reflect, dig deeper, think bigger, empathize…etc. surprise them! Engage with people online like you would in person. Depending on the brand voice you are establishing online, post content that will encourage an appropriate response.
Even negative emotions, like anger, are not bad to stir for a good purpose. For instance, the recent awareness that plastic straws hurt sea animals. I am sure any post showing a hurt sea turtle is not getting “Love” reactions. The angry face is probably stimulated most, but that reaction is appropriate for the content shared. You should believe wholeheartedly in what you are selling, saying, promoting, or providing as a service to people. The best thing you can do through social media is to convince others how valuable that “thing” is and create advocates as a result.
Now put these tips into practice. Hope this helps to stimulate your idea train and send you on your way to a purposeful posting strategy. Happy socializing :)