Post quality and relevant content rather than quantity.
Just posting something to your social channels doesn’t encourage followers to hang around. Making sure your followers and connections are relevant to your business and what you have to offer s the first step. Having 100,000 followers that will never support you business in any way, is useless to your business, but 10,000 potential customers or even 1,000 is more likely to generate business for you.
Having an engaging and dynamic online presence is an essential business tool and part of a practical marketing strategy and consequent growth. But be aware of your audience, simply creating a profile, getting people to follow you or posting material that is irrelevant, whenever you want, is not going to help your business. Set yourself a sustainable strategy and create a guide, but be prepared to be flexible. Social media and web based marketing is an evolving platform, constantly changing and rearranging, and you need to be able to redirect your efforts and keep yourself informed as needed.
We have come up with a few useful tips and advice, please feel free to subscribe or message us if you would like to know more.
Always stick to the facts.
Social media channels are a web of misinformation "fake news" created to look authentic, always check the facts before sharing content that may look real and relevant. Make sure your content is well researched and authentic. There is so much false data floating around, ultimately contributing to the dumbing-down of our society. One of the best places to check is Snopes – but you can always go to Google, as well, just ensure you follow facts and not fiction. If what you have posted is proven as “fake news”, your credibility depletes and you may even lose followers.
Posting for the sake of posting
Fear of missing out (FOMO) see teenagers posting everything from what they ate for breakfast to the movie they’re watching right now and is fast becoming a “thing to keep up with”. You may think that posting all the time is the way to compete with everyone else out there, but, if your audience feed is constantly filled with irrelevant information, your followers will start to ignore whatever it is you’re saying, or unfollow you all together. The real and relevant things you want to get out to your audience will be lost in amongst the clutter.
The studies on the best time to post on social media are vast, but many don’t take into account the industry you are in or events that occur in your business world. As a general guide Facebook statistics show:
Sunday: 32% higher engagement
Thursday: 18% higher engagement
Friday: 18% higher engagement
Saturday: 32% higher engagement
1 pm: Get the most shares
3 pm: Get the most clicks
Twitter, however, is quite different:
Wednesday seems to be the best day to tweet.
The best times are 12 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, and 6 pm.
Wednesday and noon and between 5 and 6 pm seems to be the best time to tweet, but increase retweets and clickthroughs by tweeting at noon and 3pm. Experiment with 2-3 am, 6-7am, and 9-10 pm as well, again dependant on your industry.
The best days to share quality posts on LinkedIn seems to be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with times between 7 and 8 am, noon, and 5 and 6pm.
Avoid posting on Google+ early morning or late evening, the best time being between 9am and 11am, or between noon and 1pm and best day is Wednesdays. The majority of people there are lurkers and will not interact with what you post but Google+ is great for brand exposure and to increase your organic hits for your landing page.
Instagram followers are generally engaged throughout the week, but Monday and Thursday posts tend to get more attention. Between 3 and 4 pm seems to be a flat time, while the best times to post to Instagram are between 8am and 9am, 2am, and 5pm.
Videos are increasing in engagements across most channels and obtain the best engagements between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am.
Factoring in time zones may be complex, but around 80%of Australians live in the east, so establish what and where it is you want to reach before posting.
Identifying the best times to post for optimum reach and exposure, doesn’t mean you have to post in every time slot. So how often you should post to your business accounts, just like each network, has ideal times and each network has ideal frequencies.
Many experts will tell you to post on Facebook twice a day, but this only works if your followers exceed 10,000. Posting twice a day with a smaller audience can result in up to 50% fewer clicks per post. Post just once a week or up to 6 times a month and watch your clicks per post double, slowly increase your frequency as your audience increases.
Twitter posting regularity really depends on your goals, if you want to want to get the best engagement from each tweet, then stick to once a day, If you want to get more responses overall, tweet as much as you want. Posting up to 50 times a day doesn't really seem to have a negative effect but sure takes time and no real value is proven.
Instagram depends on consistency and quality. You can start posting multiple times a day, even up to 15-20 a day without negative effects, but setting that standard means you have to do it consistently. Lessening your posts to just a few each week won't cause you to lose followers or effect your engagement for each post, so stick to something that is sustainable and maintain quality. You can always increase as interest grows.
*Note - If you are going away, schedule ahead of time and get it queued up and ready to avoid gaps. Don’t post to your social profiles apologising for a lack of posts recently, It’s pointless – and because posting more often doesn’t offer any benefit. Jump straight back in, posting regularly.
As a general rule, people use social media to discover new products and services, but want do so on their own terms, they don’t want to be sold to constantly. Tooting your own horn all the time, will lead to followers ignoring you, or completely unfollowing you all together. Tooting your achievements is fine, but focus on providing content that educates, entertains, and informs, but most of all relevant. If you’re creating interesting and useful content, get that content in front of the people that are actually interested, the rest will fall in line.
Only 20% of your social content needs to be about your brand, while 80% should be focused on building relationships with your followers, engaging and entertaining them.
Personally I am not a fan at all of automated social posts or direct messages. You may think that a Twitter response, to say “Thanks for the follow!” or “Check out my new…” is a good idea to connect with followers when you are offline, but it really does defeats the purpose of social media.
All social media platforms are created to connect with people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to meet… on a personal level. Regardless of which channel you use, the automated message approach is highly impersonal, and can turn off new followers.
Keep it professional
Social media was once just a fun method of communication among friends and family, but it has fast become a powerful professional tool, and should be treated as such. When you communicate with clients on social media, It’s okay to be casual, but don’t use that as a reason to be informal, show respect and leave an impression. TyPiNg Lik DiS, Or This, OR THIS, won’t do that, it's just tacky. Be polite, professional and practical.
Jumping on trends
Just because something is trending, doesn’t mean you need to jump on the train and get in on the action. Thousands of people may well be talking about it, but that doesn’t mean your business will get the exposure, outside of your current audience. Before you jump on that hashtag, do some research. And remember, any social media campaign can be hijacked for negative purposes, so check before you post.
Do your research, test hashtags and check your facts - We all love a good deal, but make sure you don’t get so excited you accidentally promote a competitor’s sale.
British Airways mistakenly shared a Virgin Atlantic Facebook post advertising nonstop flights to London with Virgin’s tagline “There’s never been a better time to visit London.” The misstep was pointed out by a British Airways fan and Virgin was quick to rub salt in the wound by tweeting out a thank you saying: “Thanks British Airways! So kind of you to share!” They also used the hashtags #onethingweagreeon #flyvirginatlantic. BA tried to rebound by editing their old post with “Finally we agree on something except for how to get there. #FlyBAtoLondon.”
Paying for likes & followers
Okay, so this one should be dead obvious, and most of us know better. Having said that, there are still agencies out there offering to increase your social media followers, across all channels, for a fee. As tempting as this may be for unsuspecting business owners, don’t get roped into having high numbers to make your business look good.
Many followers and fans are likely just spam accounts, as around 12% of Facebook accounts are. And although social media channels are cracking down on this, it’s a bit late once the horse has bolted to lock the gate. Many services tell you that they are actual user accounts, chances are they’re not. You may end up with hundreds, if not thousands of followers, that really are of no use to your business and don’t give a flying hoot about what your business has to offer.
Your business is far better off with just a few hundred followers, who are actively engaged and genuinely interested in what you have to say, your services or your product. A few thousand random people does nothing for your business, it’s not a numbers game, no matter how important you think they are. Quality over quantity should be the priority of every business.
By all means boost your posts or your page, ensuring you use targeting and research, but don't get caught up in the hype that more followers or impressions means success. It's engagements that count.
Hashtags or trashtags?
Hashtags are used on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as a way to categorizing information, sorting and categorising content, specifically to reach a specific audience. Limit hashtags to maximum of 2 for Facebook, 2 to 4 hashtags for twitter, and more for Instagram, up to 10 where the image or video could easily appeal to a wider audience. Keep it simple, and don’t make up crazy ones, check what's available and relevant - hashtagify me is a great start.
We spoke about automation previously, and it's so easy to think “Hey, this is a good update for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, so I’ll just save time and sync them all to each platform automatically.” It all sounds good in theory, but treat your followers with respect and take the time to truly engage them. Each network has its own format and the audiences expect content to be delivered accordingly. If you can’t be bothered and automate the process from one network to another – you’re letting your followers know that you’re lazy, and followers on all platforms see this over and over and frankly, are fed up.
Engaging your followers
If you receive a message on social media, don’t ignore it, 32% of customers expect a response within 30 minutes while 42% expect a response within an hour, so respond as soon as possible. 57% even expect a timely response outside of normal business hours, nights and weekends. It's OK to not to be on top of things all the time, but make sure your followers know you are paying attention. Failing to respond to customers on social channels results in disengagement of existing customers.
In a nutshell
Pay attention to your audience analytics across your social media channels.
Identify when your audience is most active.
Use that facts to determine the types of posts and topics they engage with and do so accordingly.
Focus more on providing quality content and less on how much, how many followers and fans, the hashtags you add.
Respond to your audience.
Remember your goals.
Make sure everything you post fits into helping you reach your goals.
If there are social media habits and practices you find annoying please let me know or subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with more tips, testimonials and guides. We don't spam our subscribers.