4 Easy Ways to Take Your Social Media Presence Up a Notch
Updated: Feb 3
How to show up and engage with your ideal customers
This post was originally published on Medium
Social media is one of the best marketing tools available to most small business owners. Along with messaging, it accounts for roughly 1 in every 3 minutes that users spend online, making it the perfect venue to get your brand in front of your target customers.
And as consumers age, social media is becoming an even more vital tool to reach them: Millennials and Gen Xers are now 2X as likely as baby boomers to follow brands on social media.
Want an easy way to take your social media presence up a notch? I’ve listed 4 of the simplest right here.
1. Optimize Your Profiles
If you want to attract more customers through social media, your accounts need to present a clear picture of your brand.
Start by making sure your usernames and handles are consistent across the board — the last thing you want is for your audience to be confused about who they’re Liking and Following. You should also customize your URLs wherever possible to match those usernames.
Next, add keywords to your titles, descriptions, bios, and any other section of your profile where you can add custom text. These keywords will help you show up in a potential customer’s search results, so be sure to choose terms that are relevant to your business.
On Instagram and Twitter, you can include these keywords as hashtags in your bio, but Facebook and LinkedIn still only support hashtags within posts.
Finally, fill in any fields that are still blank, including your website, other social profiles, and your Facebook business story.
Profiles that are left incomplete look sloppy, and may give your audience the impression that you don’t really care about your business.
2. Post at the right times
If you want your organic (i.e., not paid) posts to reach as many of your followers as possible, you need to post when your audience is online.
The ideal time to post varies depending on the platform, where you’re located, and what your own, individual audience’s habits are. But according to 23 different studies, these times are when you’ll get the most traction:
The best times to post on Facebook are late-week afternoons. Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. is the ideal window, though some pages may also see a spike in activity around 9 a.m.
You can find out when your audience is online through your Facebook page’s Insights feature.
Twitter’s peak window falls slightly earlier than Facebook, with posts getting the most traction between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. The platform also sees a surge in use around 5 p.m. as people start browsing the platform during their commute home.
As for the best day to post, Wednesday comes in top, though Monday through Thursday all see good results.
And depending on your business’s target audience, you may want to switch up the days you post. CoSchedule found that B2B companies’ posts perform better during the week, while B2C companies fare better on weekends, when people are away from their desks.
On Instagram, Monday and Thursday are the best days for performance, especially for posts published between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Instagram is also the only platform where CoSchedule found a definitive worst time to post, a.k.a. from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. any day of the week.
LinkedIn rules the middle of the week, with Tuesday through Thursday clocking in as its most popular days. You’re most likely to catch LinkedIn users scrolling before and after work, as well as on their lunch break.
But just because studies show that the days and times listed above tend to perform best doesn’t mean you should never post outside of those windows. Every audience is different, so test different days and times and see what resonates with your followers.
If your audience is geographically diverse or if you don’t have the data to show when your audience is online, remember that 80% of the U.S. population lives in the Eastern and Central time zones, and schedule your social media content accordingly.
3. Engage with your followers
Engagement is the secret sauce to pretty much any social media growth strategy. People love attention, which is a large part of why they’re REALLY on social media in the first place. And when you give them that attention, they tend to give it back.
People also want to feel cared for, especially by a brand they’ve invested in — whether by following on social media or by purchasing a good or service. Taking a few seconds to like a post or comment on a photo makes them feel like you really care about them, which gives them all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings toward your brand.
But engagement comes with a dark side that most businesses don’t think about when they implement their social media strategy: When you stop engaging with your audience, your audience stops caring about you. They may hang on for a few days or weeks, but eventually, your followers start dropping like flies and all of your work is undone.
Fortunately, the solution is pretty simple. Block out a set amount of time each week to spend engaging (not posting!) with your social media followers. Like their latest posts, comment where appropriate, and share if it’s relevant to your audience.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing this, but even an hour a week can make a big difference in your numbers.
4. Give more than you get
One of the best ways to improve your social media presence is to provide value to your followers far more often than you promote your business. This is partly because 74% of buyers choose the company that was the first to add value, but it goes deeper than that …
Constant self-promotion may be great for getting your content in front of people, but it’s not great for conversions. When people constantly feel they’re being sold to, they stop paying attention.
There’s no reason for them to listen to you and engage with your content unless they’re ready to spend money right that second.
But when you make a point to share valuable content, your audience feels like you actually care about them as people, and not just numbers on a spreadsheet. And if they found one post valuable, they’re more likely to look forward to your other posts.
Helpful tips, stats, and curated content from other sources are all good ways to share value with your audience. But when in doubt, you can always post a poll asking what types of content they want to see.
Up your social media game today
Social media is hands-down one of the best tools available to engage your potential customers and clients. Want help implementing your social media gameplan? Contact me to get started.
This post was originally published on Medium