Noticed a drop in likes? Or are people not tweeting the way you expected them to? It might be time to reevaluate how you’re using your social channels, and whether or not it’s time to explore some new options. Today, I’m breaking down the most popular social networks and sharing tips for changing up your social media strategy!
How to Evaluate Your Social Media Presence
Taking the time to evaluate your social media presence should be a priority. If you’re not experimenting with your posting schedule or finding new content to share, then your profiles will end up looking stale to your followers and you’ll see less engagement over time. To analyze what’s working and what’s not, I’ve got a couple of suggestions for you!
Let’s start off with the basics: reporting. I recommend keeping track of regular social activity, like likes, mentions, comments, clicks, and +1s on a weekly basis. The key is consistency, since over time these interactions will give you more insight into what your audience responds to on social media.
To get even more insight, try using the award-wining combination of Google Analytics and UTM parameters to help monitor which channels are bringing you the most website traffic as a result of your social media promotion. While you might think Twitter or Facebook is the key player, your conversion rate for LinkedIn posts might be higher, so remember to predict, measure, and repeat. If you’re not familiar with UTM parameters (for shame), then Monique’s post on the subject gives you the low-down on everything you need to get started.
Finally, evaluate whether the times and days you’re posting are working for each social network. This requires some more experimentation because it’s not a perfect science and your audiences may vary from channel to channel. Another great test is whether you need to be posting every day, because it might not be necessary depending on the social network you’re using. To get started, Buffer has an informative post on how frequently you should post on social media.
Now, let’s explore some of the major social media channels, and I’ll give you a few pointers for shining some light on your strategies for each network!
The big guy.
Facebook has always dominated the social discussion and for good reason: it was one of the first to start it all. However, it might be time to reconsider how you’re using Facebook for social media marketing.
A trend that many of us have noticed in the past year is Facebook posts getting less organic reach than previous posts. Some experts label this phenomenon as Facebook Zero, which is the bane of many marketers’ existences. Nowadays, it seems like the only way to get your posts seen is through paid Facebook Ads. This free social network is now favoring a “pay to play” scenario and because of its popularity, we are paying for it (in more ways than one).
What To Do: While it does seem dismal, don’t give up hope and delete your entire Facebook Page. Start looking into Facebook Ads because it gets your content in front of the demographic you want engaging on your Page, and for the most part, the ads are relatively cheap. If you want to work with the big guy, paid promotion must be part of your Facebook strategy.
Given its short character count, Twitter has proven it’s here for the long haul, and many companies are #hashtagging, tweeting and on occasion, making some terrible decisions along the way.
With Twitter, it’s all about staying on top of the conversation, and sometimes this might require a little sleuthing, since studies show 30% of tweets containing company names don’t include their Twitter handle. You can’t expect users to come to you. To do this, you must take advantage of the various social tools available for tracking conversations about your brand. We are particularly fond of SproutSocial, Hootsuite, and TweetDeck.
What To Do: Set up custom searches in your SproutSocial, Hootsuite, or TweetDeck accounts that pull in both mentions of your website and brand name (without the “@” symbol). This will create new opportunities for getting involved in the conversations about your brand. In the example above, none of the tweets mention @Guardians (the official Guardians of the Galaxy Twitter handle!), but they are sharing thoughts about the brand and website. Get on it, Marvel!
From Four Seasons to Lowes, brands have found how to use Pinterest as a great driver for social sharing and leads by appealing to the demographic of this social network. They have proven that great, visual content can result in success for their organization, and we totally agree.
What To Do: Start creating unique visual content that specifically caters to the Pinterest audience. It’s no surprise that DIYs, recipes, and nail art do really well on Pinterest, but there are lots of ways to build engagement with all types of content on Pinterest. If you’re not a lifestyle blogger or professional nail artist, try thinking about overlapping interests or random affinities. If you’re business is a luxury apartment community, share tips for maximizing a small space, organizing your closet, or even boards about where your residents like to go on the weekends. Don’t forget about leveraging the Pinterest community to supplement your own content. The more people share your content, the more Pinterest traffic and conversions you’ll get.
You forgot about this one right? Well, it’s time to dust off those circles and get back into this social network because it can be one of the biggest drivers of engaged traffic to your website. You should start taking this network seriously because let’s face it: Google isn’t going anywhere and they’re going to promote their own products first.
While it does not have as much activity as Facebook, Google+ does have a more concentrated amount of users who belong to Google+ Communities that are passionate about their interests. To succeed in Google+ Communities, find and share content specific to their needs. There may be less of them, but Google+ users might be more willing to engage than an average Facebook user. Interacting with Google+ Communities could be the “make it or break it” moment for your Google+ presence.
What To Do: Start researching Google+ Communities in your industry or vertical. While we don’t recommend jumping in and contributing right away, it’s OK to start exploring the types of content being shared, as well as the Community’s influencers. After you’ve +1′d and commented on a few posts, start contributing your own content, but don’t be totally self-promotional. Instead, try helping another Community user out with an informative link or a fun GIF. No one likes the guy that passes his business card out at the start of the networking event, so tread lightly and provide value first. If you need more insight into Google+ Communities, here’s a guide to get started.
Another great (and often overlooked) social network is LinkedIn, which has stood the test of time. While many users view it as just a platform to find a job, it’s so much more than that. Great content is being shared on this network and it’s time to jump in!
Perfect for corporate brands, LinkedIn opens up a world that targets business professionals and companies. Did you know that similar to other social sites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn also has opportunities to advertise your content to a niche audience? However, LinkedIn ads can cater more specifically than other social ads because you can target your ads by job title and function, industry and company size, and by seniority within the company.
What To Do: Go beyond job ads and start promoting your website content with LinkedIn Ads. If you’re targeting a certain group of professionals, make sure the content you serve up in ads is relevant to them. It might even make sense to create specific landing pages for LinkedIn Ads, since you might only have a few seconds to get users to take action. The ad for a Mobile eBook popped up in my LinkedIn feed, and the landing page made it easy to download the eBook with just a few clicks.
When you’re promoting your brand online, you have to realize that the most important thing is to post quality content on a fairly regular basis. While it’s easy to get caught up in the next trendy social network (read: Snapchat or Instagram), you have to participate on the channels where your audience is participating. Finding social networks that are right for your organization might change, but that’s what makes it fun, right?