So, where do you stand on your social media strategy? Well for one, start by downloading our social media planning template. But we digress.
You have a good grasp of who your audience is and understand your buyer’s interests. You’ve determined which social media channels are going to work best for your audience, now it’s time to start sharing content.
The best brands listen, share and post in that order. It’s up to you to really create the “social” aspect of social media.
Start by listening.
Listen to people’s concerns, the conversation they’re having, their concerns and the questions they’re asking. For the most useful conversations, search for and follow those related to your business. This is where you will learn the most about your social media audience and, more importantly, what is important and relevant to them.
Imagine your social channel as a cocktail party. Everyone is there socializing. No one is walking around selling and pitching themselves as the best at what they do. Those who get the most attention at cocktail parties aren’t the ones that talk about themselves -- they’re the ones listening, responding, and having engaging conversations. The same holds true on social media; if you want people who join your social network to stay, you better be doing a lot more than talking about your products.
Build relationships and your customers will return the favor. We all know how to work a cocktail party, so apply that concept in a social media setting (only minus the cocktails, of course.)
Listen and respond. Provide solutions.
The key to sharing relevant content is targeting your messages according to the specific social media audience. As we know, social media platforms vary by channel and users, so it’s no surprise that the type of content shared across those platforms varies too.
Your goal is not to just share any content, but to share content that’s pertinent to your followers-- the things your audience wants to see. It’s always important to keep in mind that your audience consists of many people – from buyers, to random followers, your exact target market, your competitors and even your employees.
Think of your social media responses as your 24-hour customer service hotline - and you had better believe that your followers will view it the same way. They will ask questions. Lots of questions. Even completely irrelevant questions. Just be ready, available and always respond.
Share and share alike.
Believe it or not, sharing your competitors’ content isn’t a bad thing in the social media world. Your followers will appreciate relevant content whether it’s coming from your or someone else. They count on you to provide answers. That’s why they’re there and that’s why they stay. So be the curator, the solver of their problems. If you are always there with a solution, they will continue to come back to you.
But there is such thing as over sharing, so be careful not to post too often, as this can turn your audience off. Create a content calendar and the pre-schedule posts to help you with this.
Optimize sharing across all social networks by offering share buttons on the content you’ve created and on your website. If you have blog posts, be sure to enable share buttons there as well. Social sharing buttons help maximize referral traffic.
So be there to listen and share, don’t brag and boast. At the end of the day, we would all like to grow our business and be more influential in our industry; social media is there to assist in the process.
And remember, you’re there to build a relationship with your audience by providing messages in the right place at the right time. If you do it right, your followers will thank you for it.