Without large scale, in-person events this year, methods of online communication have been critical for brands to relay messages to customers, partners and prospects. Social media in particular has been leveraged to inform audiences of changes in hours and operations, execute customer service, share how companies are keeping on and moving forward, and in some cases, weigh in on social and political conversations. According to the Digital 2020 July Global Statshot by We Are Social and Hootsuite, over half of the world’s population now uses social media. That’s 3.96 billion people!
With a global audience of that size just a few clicks, taps or swipes away, it’s important your brand stays top of mind with a robust digital presence. Below are simple guidelines for posting to social media as a business that provide your audience with content that shows who your brand is and why they should pay attention to it and engage:
Know Your Tone of Voice
Audiences can’t effectively become loyal to a brand when that brand doesn’t take the time to know itself first. Are your captions going to be purely informative? How about humorous? Maybe gritty? If your brand is new to social media or you’re trying to reinvent it with a more consistent public image, pick a tone of voice that most (say, 80%) of your posts will be written in. Keep in mind, social media audiences best connect with brands and content they feel is authentic (check out DiGorno). Brand authenticity can be achieved by sharing photos and videos of real people (sorry free stock image sites) and demonstrating acts of corporate social responsibility, to name two of many ways.
Create a Content Calendar
This doesn’t have to be fancy. Organize your ideas in a doc or spreadsheet. Coming up with themes for each day of the week you will be posting on will help both save time on planning and establish a consistent content mix your audience will come to expect. An example of what this could look like is below.
|Share a relevant industry article||Thought leadership article||“Marketing” post linking to the website||Share a tip, use #ThursdayThoughts||Employee Spotlight|
Not to be forgotten are holidays and ‘special’ days. Take a look through the National Day Calendar each month to find days relevant to your business that could offer a chance for fun or interesting additions to your typical content calendar. If you have an event (ex: webinar) coming up, start sharing posts with information about the topic, time, etc. a few weeks prior to build up awareness and anticipation. Over time, you’ll notice trends in what times of day and which days of the week your audience is most active. With this knowledge you can better tailor when you post - it doesn’t necessarily need to be all seven days!
Schedule Posts in Advance
Depending on your industry it might make sense to plan and schedule social media posts on a weekly or monthly basis. Take a glance at your daily themes, are they heavily reliant on the latest news? If they are, that is a sign that planning on a weekly basis makes the most sense so that you don’t schedule an article for three weeks out and the story changes in the meantime.
To keep it simple, drafting posts within a doc or spreadsheet works for this purpose too. Or, better yet, invest in a social media scheduling tool. Here is a list of options. Hootsuite and Buffer are two of the most popular, easy to use and affordable options. These tools come with a plethora of extra features, the greatest of which being a central location for analyzing how your posts perform.
Pay Attention to Competitors
Keeping a close eye on what competitors are posting (and if it’s performing well) can help give you a sense of if you should pivot some of your content to be reflective of what they are having success with. No one wants to be a copycat, so if they are having particular luck with say, testimonial graphics, try adding testimonial videos into your content mix. Twitter is particularly helpful for tracking what the competition is up to because you can make a private list of their Twitter handles and see what they are posting, all without actually having to hit ‘Follow.’
Listen to Online World
Social media is not a ‘set it and forget it’ type of marketing. Being present on your profiles daily is a must. Regularly sharing or retweeting content from ‘friendlies’ and reporters will help build repertoire (this is helpful for public relations) and responding to comments on your posts in a timely manner demonstrates your business is ‘active’ and engaged – this places into authenticity as well. Social ‘listening’ also refers to monitoring your brand being tagged or mentioned by others.
Be Ready for Anything
As a final note, social media planning, execution and metrics reporting is a full-time job. It can be challenging and ineffective to tack this responsibility onto another role and expect incredible outcomes (dramatic follower growth, great engagement, shares galore). This year has proven that anything can happen and completely change the news cycle on a dime, for this reason, it is essential someone on your team takes the lead on making sure your social media posts remain appropriate as social, cultural, political, environmental, etc. stories break.
LaunchTech Communications offers comprehensive social media management services to clients in the technology and cybersecurity industries. If you’re interested in learning about this service, get in touch!