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While it’s clear why having at least one social media account is a “must” for business, it might be difficult which social network site you should choose.
Some people think that because Facebook has 2 billion active users, then they should be present on Facebook. Or, because so many people hang out on Instagram (600 million users), you should be there as well.
The problem is, if you have no experience with a particular social media channel if you don’t know the social media etiquette, what kind of posts a particular audience like to read and what are the best times of posting, the social media magic won’t work.
Luckily, you’re reading this post.
Thanks to the below Q&A you will be able to develop your social media strategy from scratch and turn your social media presence into the best thing since sliced bread.
Q: Why do I want to have social media profile?
You need to answer this question at the very beginning. There are no wrong responses except one: “because everyone says that I should have them”.
Before you start to post, you need to know why you want to do that.
You may want to use social media for business to build relationships with your clients. You may want to showcase your brand, enhance trustworthiness, boost traffic, cut marketing costs or drive sales.
The bottom line is that once you choose your goal, you’ll avoid wandering around aimlessly and every post will get you closer to your goal.
Tip: Social media are the most effective tools in spreading the brand awareness, bringing website traffic, improving search rankings, bringing more leads and developing customer trust.
Q: What are the most popular social media sites and which should I choose?
That’s a tricky one as there are so many platforms and every single of them is different. But at the beginning you probably want to start from one of the most popular social media sites, so let’s check its specifics, according to Social Media Examiner’s survey.
- 93% of all Internet users
- focuses mainly on entertainment and is centered around sharing photos, links, and personal thoughts
- 79% of all Internet users
- popular as it offers bite-sized content, messages are limited to 140 characters
- 71% of all Internet users
- most popular site for professional networking
- 56% of all Internet users
- it’s said that it’s popular among those who are interested in relationship marketing
- 55% of all Internet users
- a video sharing service, its users watch 1 billion videos daily!
- 45% of all Internet users
- 80% of them are women and 20% are men
- ideal for “visual” industries like food, decor, clothing, etc.
- 36% of all Internet users
- as well as Pinterest it’s perfect for “visual” industries
- you can easily share your Instagram posts to other networks (e.g. Facebook or Twitter)
Depending on what you are going to distribute (informative posts, pictures, videos, etc.), you can choose a channel that fits your preferences the most.
It might look like Facebook is an obvious choice, but you might reconsider it. According to Social Media Examiner, “Only 45% of marketers think that their Facebook efforts are effective!”
So if you still don’t have a clue which network you should choose, Leverage’s infographic should come in handy.
Tip: if your company is B2B, you may want to focus on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. If you sell your products to both: businesses and customers, you might go for Twitter and Google+. For B2C companies, the best social media sites would be Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.
Q: What’s the best time to post on social sites?
According to CoSchedule’s advice, here are the best posting times you might want to use to get the maximum engagement.
Peak takes from Thursday till Sunday. It’s good to post funny stuff on Friday as people seem to be happier on Fridays (no wonder why!). The best times to post on Facebook are Saturday and Sunday at noon.
As opposite to Facebook, it’s better to post there during business days (as it’s often used at work). But still - B2B performs better during business, B2C on weekends. It’s said that the best time to post is on Wednesday around 12-1 p.m. and 5 p.m. during breaks.
As it’s a professional network, it’s used by professionals in the mornings, as a daily newspaper. The best time to post on LinkedIn is during the workweek, mostly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Midweek posting is optimal for 5-6 p.m.
The beginning of workday morning is optimal for Google+ and the best time is between 9 and 11 a.m. The peak is on Wednesday at 11 a.m. The bad thing is that nearly 90% of Google+ users will not interact with your content!
The best time to post on Pinterest is 8-11 p.m., especially on Saturdays. The worst time to post there is during working hours. An interesting fact is that there are top subjects of each day: fitness on Monday, gadgets on Tuesday, quotes on Wednesday, outfits on Thursday, gifs on Friday, travel on Saturday and food on Sunday. Without clear CTA Pinterest users won’t take any action!
The best days to post on Instagram are Monday and Thursday. There’s very low engagement on Sundays, but other days are just fine if you want high social share level. The best time to post is between 2-3 p.m. and between 8-9 p.m. Sharing video at 9 p.m. gets 34% more interactions. Here’s a short guide to an awesome Instagram account!
Tip: Of course, all the above bits of advice are just suggestions and you shouldn’t take it for granted. The best way to find out which posting times fit your business the best is to pick one and test it for a couple of weeks. It may turn out that you rock Instagram on Sundays!
Q: What’s the social media etiquette?
John Rampton in his post “25 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Presence” gives a lot of great advice on how to manage your social networking sites. Here are the most important tips:
Sound like yourself
People will immediately notice that you’re not genuine so don’t be afraid to tell them what you think and what you feel.
Provide a benefit to your audience
No one will visit your profile because your products are services are so awesome. You need to give them a reason to visit you: some valuable content: blog posts, interesting insights, free ebooks or discount codes.
Engage with everyone
Social media sites are based on two-way communication. Don’t leave any question unanswered, if someone leaves a comment on your profile, respond. It might seem to be time-consuming, but it will help you to build a community around your brand, so it’s worth of every minute spent.
Tackle customer complaints efficiently
Dealing with complaints via social media can be tricky because if someone leaves a complaint on your website, other network users will also see it. That’s why it’s so important not to leave an unanswered complaint as it will leave an impression that you don’t care about your customers. Respond as soon as possible, remain professional and try not to get emotional!
Go further in customer service
Regardless of the reason you have created your Facebook or Twitter account, it will quickly become an additional channel of contact for your clients. Prepare for their inquiries and try to provide the best possible service. Your customers will appreciate it!
Q: Which mistakes should I avoid?
I’ve asked Agnieszka, our social media expert, about a couple of tips on how to avoid social media faux pas.
Her advice on how to avoid the worst mistakes is simple and yet important:
- know your customers and be present on the same networks,
- always respond to customer inquiries,
- don’t buy Facebook likes,
- don’t buy Twitter followers,
- monitor your brand in social media to make sure that you don’t miss any opportunity to react
- don’t mess with social media without a proper social media strategy.
Your digital footprint
Social media networks are something more than just websites where people can find information about your business. It’s a place where you can let your personality shine, where you can build your community and share your values.
So, every time you post something, you need to ask yourself a question: does it bring me closer to my goal? Does it show my brand the way I want it to be seen?
Think about your network activities the way Amy Jo Martin described it:
Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.
Now the ball is in your court.