Orlagh O'Rourke

February 19, 2018

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Although it didn’t even exist 20 years ago, social media has now become one of the most crucial elements behind a successful business in today’s technology-driven society. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow companies to create content, interact with their target audience, and build and expand their own unique personal brand. These platforms allow any business to have their own creative freedom, giving managers the ability to mold tweets, Facebook posts, and even Snapchats to support their companies’ values and goals. While social media managers may be able to produce the highest-quality content, if they fail to attract an audience, a companies’ social media presence will dwindle and fail to make an impact. However, with proper planning, timing and the right strategy, any social media campaign can be successful.

In a perfect world, a business could post on social media at anytime, anywhere, and receive the same amount of attention. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply pressing the send button and waiting for the responses and likes to pour in. Any successful social media campaign takes strategic mapping, a detailed schedule, and a whole lot of patience. Many companies make the mistake of believing that they don’t need a detailed plan, which results in either very sporadic or overbearing posts which drives audiences away. Social media is like a science experiment, get one thing wrong and it can blow up in your face. However with these tips, you can ensure that you can kick-start your company’s internet presence with the full confidence of a seasoned social media veteran.

1) Know Your Audience

This seems like a simple concept, but failing to understand your targeted consumers can lead to a lack of social media interaction. Is your business focused on mainly attracting college students? Working adults? Senior citizens? Determining the scope of your audience is crucial because this will also determine what social media platform would be most appropriate for your business. For example, if your company wanted to attract consumers over the age of 65, Snapchat probably wouldn’t be your best approach. Likewise, if you wanted to recruit a younger crowd, establishing a presence on Instagram and Twitter would be extremely beneficial to gaining a millennial following. Doing thorough and extensive research on your audience will do wonders to help you plan your strategy as well as make the whole process less stressful!

2) Be Consistent

Once you have established which platforms work best for your business, it’s important to remember that consistency is key to not only initially attracting a consumer but also retaining their presence as well. If a company is only posting on Facebook once every two weeks, tweeting every 6 days, and posting on Instagram once a month, it most likely will fail to maintain audience attention. Before you post, come up with a social media plan. Which platform(s) will you use the most? Why? How many times will you post a week? Find a plan and stick with it. Determining and fixing a solid social media schedule will not only make you more organized, but will also get your team into a routine. Also, maintaining a consistent flow of unique content will not only excite your audience, but it will allow you to gain a more solidified internet presence over time.

3) Be More Than Present

In a fast-paced society like ours, it’s easy to be pulled out of the loop when it comes to staying on top with audiences. With more and more businesses popping up everyday, it’s sometimes a battle to keep audiences loyal to your brand. Consumers want a company that shows, just not tells, how much they value their business. Being present does not only mean to make sure your team is doing the bare-minimum or simply keeping up with your biggest competitors, but doing above and beyond to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Companies like Jet Blue, Wendy’s, and Denny’s all have an amazing social media presence because they are doing far more than the minimum effort. They have created their own unique brand, and used that to establish a truly impactful presence on multiple platforms. It’s no wonder why all of these accounts have hundreds of thousands of followers. These companies interact with customers, create content that is relatable to their consumers, and consistently provide quality feeds that are both entertaining and insightful. They aren’t just being current, they are setting the standard for companies everywhere. Make it your goal to come up with a plan on how to not only be present on social media, but how to maintain a presence with your consumers.

4) Utilize Tools

Social Media management tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Sendible are extremely helpful when it comes to organizing and analyzing your social media activities. Many leaders make the mistake of underestimating how tricky social media can be. It’s simply not as easy as retweeting a post or sharing a video. It takes planning and a lot of future foresight to create a successful campaign. Tools like Hootsuite help you plan future posts, gain access to all your media channels, and help you analyze data to see if your strategy is effective! Social media is tough in itself, don’t add the extra stress onto your team, and utilize the resources that are provided for you.

5) Be Passionate

I’ll keep this short and sweet. Passion is key in social media. Plain and simple. If you are passionate about what you do and what your company stands for, that should be reflected in your social media presence. Don’t be afraid to show your excitement!  If this means adding color to your posts or throwing in a exclamation point, it’s up to you. Every company is unique and you need to do what’s right for your brand. Remember that your companies’ platforms are the digital representation on your business. They are the face that is shown to the world-wide web. If your posts lack enthusiasm and zeal, most likely your clients will think that your company lacks that too. Be proud of what you post, and be proud of where you work!

Social media is a tricky and yet an extremely important aspect of any business’ marketing plan. It honestly can be overwhelming getting started at the beginning, as establishing your brand online can be difficult. However, with the right attitude and motivation, you too can build your online presence. Remember, every successful company with millions of likes once started with zero followers. With these tips and more, you can feel confident to start off with the right footing. Happy posting!