PR is all about making connections. If you can make enough links with the right people, at the right time, your company is bound to get the exposure it needs to succeed.
One of the most effective ways to make connections is by generating a strong social media presence.
Through social media platforms, businesses can reach thousands of people who would otherwise be unreachable with a conventional digital marketing approach.
The various platforms of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Twitter are like the fingers of your brand, extending outward with a personal message to all.
Social Media Can Be Overwhelming
But there’s a problem: social media is overwhelming.
Many entrepreneurs get bogged down trying to manage all their platforms without a concrete plan. They throw tons of money at Facebook ads and expect a sharp increase in conversion rates - but it never comes.
This leads to many missed opportunities - especially when it comes time to plan a press campaign and social channels show poor numbers across the board.
Take Control of Social With 5 Easy Tactics
Entrepreneurs who feel overwhelmed with social media management should not be discouraged. There are tactics proven to generate meaningful engagement across social media channels that anyone can use!
Here is a rundown of 5 tactics for getting the most out of social media:
Analyze Target Audience
Adomas Baltalgavis is an expert of Facebook ads, and he has a lot of great advice about how to make the most of them. One of the first steps in his approach is to narrow down a target audience using Audience Insights.
As Adomas points out, “just by changing one interest you could more than double your campaign results.”
According to Adomas, the best way to connect with your audience is to target the pages they like to view. You can select the ‘Page Likes’ tab in Audience Insights to get a list of the most relevant pages to your company, and the number of likes they have.
Don’t forget: the key is to make sure your audience has a list of ‘Top Categories’ and ‘Page Likes’ that are specific enough to draw meaningful viewers, but broad enough to bring in thousands of new customers.
That’s why the average size of a target audience is so different for each business and each product. At the end of the day, the quality of your targeting is more important than your reach.
Connect With Influencers
Another important aspect of social media is connecting with influencers. There is no better way to strike up a conversation with important players in your field than by commenting on their posts and engaging them in conversation.
Christina Newberry has many great tips for how to connect with influencers. Her advice? Do the research and focus your efforts on the big players.
Big players are the key because they can help you “piggyback on someone else's follower base” without having to spend huge money on advertisements.
As Kristina points out, there are a couple ways to approach influencer marketing. The first is to research hashtags that relate specifically to your brand.
The example she gives is pretty interesting: the National Pork Board wanted to encourage more Latino families to buy pork for the holidays. In order to reach a larger audience, they re-posted a video by influencers Los Pichy Boys with the #sambrosasmomentos hashtag.
The video was a smashing success in terms of views and engagement!
Another approach is to go directly to the source. Ask an influencer to participate in your company's social media content, and before too long the page views will start to rise.
To get you thinking creatively, consider that one of the most common collaborations is for a company to make a series of Facebook ads featuring an influential personality in the field.
Generate Weekly Posts
All this social media work will be pointless if your own content is not consistently high-quality. You might be rolling along with a couple Facebook or Twitter posts a month, and wondering why no one cares.
The main reason? Lack of consistency. The funny thing is this: the more you post, the more varied your content will be.
After a few months of weekly posting you will have become creative in the types of things you post, which is of course a good thing.
Here are a few of the benefits to weekly social media posts:
Better Rankings - As Lenka Itsvanova puts it, having a strong social media presence will improve your organic search ranking. “With social and search merging” she writes, “having an active social presence online is essential as it’s believed social signals can help to improve your rankings.”
Brand Awareness - A brand is only as strong as it’s public notoriety, and social media platforms offer a great opportunity to increase awareness. The challenge is to remain punchy with every post.
More Traffic - Generating traffic to the homepage is probably the main reason a business should focus on social media.
However, Lenka is right to warn against spammy posts. She recommends an 80-20 ratio, and it’s a solid guideline to follow - 80% of posts about topics in the industry, 20% about the company.
Increased Conversions - The most valuable way to gauge social media performance is the number of conversions resulting from social platforms.
Regular posts help bump conversion rates up because they show your audience you are informed and have a lot to say.
It’s convincing, and people like to be convinced once in a awhile.
Start Converting By Getting Sassy
One of the best ways to keep social media interesting for you and your followers is to give it some attitude.
We all know what a bland business profile looks like. A monthly post with a stock press photo and a little blurb about what is available at the moment and how you are all valuable customers and … yawn.
To really ENGAGE people you need to be edgy! The best spot for this is on Twitter, a platform designed for one liners and off-the-cuff commentary.
Perhaps that is why, in her list of 7 customer engagement strategies, Audrey Ference recommends “getting sassy on social”.
Letting go of the branding leash on Twitter is bound to bring in some unexpected social cred because people respond well to honesty and humour.
Maybe it’s posting a personal reflection from the day, making some self-deprecating joke about your business, or even poking fun at the competition.
Whatever works for your personality will work on social media, and you may as well embrace your personality, right?
Develop An Editorial Calendar
The last tactic is all about organization and vision.
While the Twitter account can be left to inspiration, the Facebook profile should be very curated. That means developing a 6 month social media content calendar that lays out the structure and content of your posts.
It does not have to be specific down to every word, but should instead lay the framework for future posts.
Kendall Walters has some helpful advice on generating a social media content calendar. From researching which type of content resonates best, to auditing existing content and deciding on what mix of content will be most effective - Kendall really touches on all the key points.
Perhaps the most important thing Kendall mentions is collaboration amongst employees.
Sitting down for a brainstorming session is a great way to crystallize a branding message and then plug it into a date for publication in the calendar.
You’ve just accomplished three tasks in one sitting: encouraged team bonding, strengthened company branding, and developed fresh content that everyone can get behind.
All this organization and efficiency will come in handy when it’s time to set deadlines for the next press release.
Make Yourself Accessible
These are the 5 tactics that will help you reach way more people via social media than you ever have.
With much planning and a little bit of honesty, Facebook and Twitter can be transformed from a passing afterthought into your most important outreach platform.