Social media plays a vital role in business as a means of engagement, and also as a part of SEO strategy. Nothing can be built overnight - it takes time and effort to understand your audience. And it will take time before your posts to the network start driving targeted traffic. Just how effective is social media marketing?
There may be some smart, in-depth ways to analyze your audience behaviors, but that would require a skill and time to invest. Instead of spending hours or even days, you can improve your social network relationships just by pinpointing some basics too. Here's some essential information so that you won't waste time by promoting your brand in the wrong way.
#1 Know The Networks
People use various social network sites for different purposes. Blindly posting your contents without a clear action plan is not an effective way. You need to know the character of each network and use them wisely. For example with Pinterest, you need to create 'boards'. Your content should be posted to the most relevant board, and you should be following users who have similar boards.
#2 See How Many Platforms You Can Manage
There's nothing wrong with opening all the major social media accounts in the beginning, as long as you can manage them all. But there are other important things to do when you've just started off with your new brand. Focus on a few networks that you think you can manage.
You can automatically post contents from one to another by using IFTTT, but that would do very little if you didn't communicate with your followers/contacts (e.g. answering comments) on a daily basis.
#3 Post Your Content Every Day
Really, if you don't tweet every day, it's almost like you're saying you are out of business. How often you should post depends on the social network - it is said that you could tweet up to 20 times a day, whereas posting Instagram fore more than twice a day could annoy your followers.
#4 Use Scheduling Tools
Use a free social media scheduling tool such as Buffer and Hootsuite to post your content evenly throughout the day.
#5 Leave An Interval Between The Posts
Posting one content after another will also annoy your followers. If you find a number of interesting posts by other users that you want to re-share or retweet, save them in your scheduling tool (#4 above) and let it post a little while later.
#6 Be Responsive
Let your audience know that they're dealing with real people and not robots. You don't have to reply to every comment but you build a good trust relationship by responding to them. Be friendly, witty and interesting.
#7 Use An Image Or Video
I'm sure you agree that a plain, text-only post can easily be overlooked. As a user, your eyes will naturally focus on other posts that are accompanied by graphics. So use an image or a video clip to make your content effective.
#8 Use Copywriting Techniques
Your post content should also be brief and easy to understand, not lengthy paragraphs. Use copywriting techniques to draw your followers' attention.
#9 Ignore DM's!
Yes, ignore direct messages from other users! If you can handle every single one of them, by all means you can, maybe you should. But the reality is, more than 99% of DM's are either automated greetings or sales messages. "Good to connect with you! Did you know you could get 2,000 followers TODAY for as low as $29.99...?" They're messaging you directly "because you're specially selected" - don't believe that sh*t.
If they really need your help, they can leave a comment in your space/timeline publicly first.
Equally, you shouldn't use an automated DM service (e.g. as soon as someone follows you, it will send a "Thanks for the follow, have a great day!" message). Everyone knows it's a bot's creation. Let alone advertise your brand in the DM - that'll be a spam.
#10 Never Pay For Fake Followers
That'll be a total waste of money. People who buy followers generally have only one purpose in mind; to appear to have many fans. You can easily tell if a user is using a paid service, because their followers are all either bots or people with no quality intension of using the network. Your voice or campaigns will never be heard by these followers. Plus, these fake followers are programmed to unfollow you over time, one by one. For these reasons, there's absolutely no point in paying money to gain followers.
#11 It's Not All About You
Talking too much about your brand alone is a disposal effort - that would simply appear as too many adverts too often, in your audience's eyes. Social networking is a two-way effort, you need to show others that you are interested in them too. It's good to re-share others' posts from time to time and leave comments whenever you can.
#12 Hashtags Should Be Relevant
Hashtags are very similar to SEO keywords, therefore you need to find good, effective hashtags. Key in the first few letters and look for the suggested hashtags. Commonly used words such as #love #happiness will barely be noticed (in Instagram particularly) because too many people use these tags every single minute throughout the day. And a use of irrelevant hashtags for baiting purpose will only annoy some users.