An Expert Shares: 6 Must Do’s to Optimize Your Brand’s Social Media Presence
In 2015, if you’re not on social media then you don’t exist.
Brands are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to engage consumers and move them further down the purchase funnel.
But not everyone is doing it right. Between dead web links, accounts that haven’t been updated and “sell, sell, sell” messaging, some companies give consumers a hundred reasons to turn away.
Whether you’re a small business or a multinational brand, mastering social media can be a challenge. So we talked to Stephanie Voong, a social media consultant and instructor at Borough of Manhattan Community College Center for Continuing Education, to find social media can help companies boost business. Here’s her take.
Focus on the Right Channel
“Brands think that they should be on every social platform and that’s not the best strategy when they aren’t consistent in posting and engaging with the audience,” Voong says. “Figure out where your customers ‘hang out’ on social media. Focus on one or two platforms then expand to other networks.”
Think Mobile First
Voong says that brands should be mobile-centric because most consumers visit social media sites from their smartphones.
“Brands have to make sure their website is mobile-friendly because the purpose of social media is to drive traffic,” she says. “Depending on your business, it would be smart to include some type of SMS [text] campaign to offer coupons or promotions.”
“Visual social media marketing is huge — images and videos receive the most engagement,” Voong says. “Brands that are great at storytelling will connect with their followers. It’s important to get customers engaged, then they are more likely to share the post, photo, or video.”
Voong says Facebook is the best platform for video marketing because it allows users to post in more detail compared to Twitter. However, Instagram and Pinterest are good options, too.
“If the brand has a cool product, it should definitely be on either Instagram or Pinterest because these are the top two visual social networks” she says.
Brands should have a different strategy for each social media platform, but their content should be consistent, Voong says.
Companies that want to maximize their reach also need to speak to consumers—whether it’s Pinterest’s predominantly female users or Instagram’s teen-centric audience—in a voice that resonates with them.
Know When to Pay to Play
Some social sites now charge brands to expand their reach, but it’s still possible to build an organic audience. Voong says Twitter is the best place to do this. https://blog.coursehorse.com/blog/6-must-dos-to-optimize-your-brands-social-media-presence/Pinterest recently introduced Promoted Pins, but brands can still grow organically on the platform, too.
“Facebook is a bit harder to build an organic community because of Facebook Ads, but if you have a budget for Facebook ads use it to your advantage because Facebook is still the top social network,” Voong says.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
New technology is making it easier for brands to engage consumers, so they shouldn’t be shy about using it.
Periscope and Meerkat, two live-video streaming apps, are creating a lot of buzz, Voong says. Both apps brands let brands do live Q&A sessions and the video autosaves so they can use it again as content.
“The broadcast is shared to Twitter, which also helps increase followers and engagement,” she says. And if you’re on Twitter, Voong says to take advantage of Twitter chats to converse with followers in real-time about a particular topic.
All these tips will grow your customer base. But if you forget all of this, Voong says the most important rule of thumb for businesses is to: “educate, engage, and have fun on social media.”
For a listing of Stephanie Voong’s classes at BMCC’s Center for Continuing Education sign up on CourseHorse.
Learn more about social media at Borough of Manhattan Community College Center for Continuing Education or sign up for one of its new courses on CourseHorse.