What does it mean to be successful with social media for your business? Some businesses measure their web trends and increases in followers to determine if their social media efforts are working. Others look for engagement with their social media audience. The key to understanding if your social media efforts are successful is to first determine your strategy and goals for using social media.

Many experts say that social media is meant for engagement, to build your audience connection over-time which will eventually lead to sales. Some businesses focus on targeted Facebook ads and measure sales to determine the success of their social efforts.

At Strategic Partners Marketing, we recommend a combination of these efforts. We believe that social media should be fun! People follow/like brands that they enjoy, so give them something to enjoy and engage with! Not only will you be improving the engagement with your audience, but your business will move up in search results as well.

Even with 74% of US adults and 81% of small businesses using social media, most of these businesses report not finding the success they strive for. Utilizing these four tips will help to enhance your social media skills for your business: 

Use and manage multiple platforms 

Simply promoting your business through a single social media platform can result in missed opportunities in promoting your business. Choose the social media platforms that your audience uses and that is best for your business.

It may be enticing to follow every single new platform as they come out, but make sure you are where your audience is. Using multiple platforms allows you to engage with customers who, for instance, may be on Facebook, but not on twitter. It also allows you to reach same customers multiple times. So how do you determine which platforms to use?

When choosing the platform(s) that will work best for your business, figure out where your audience is. If your audience is 18-29 year-old females, Pinterest will be better a better choice than Google+. To find out more information on which social media platform each demographic prefers, check out Sprout Social’s article, Social Media Demographics to Inform a Better Segmentation Strategy.

Write great content

Your content is the first thing a user sees, and you only have three seconds to grab their attention, so make it great! How you may ask? Here are 3 tips on writing great content:

  • KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid): Make sure to keep your content short and to the point. Social media users tend to skim rather than read every single word. We encourage the 3-second rule. If you were scanning your social news feed, would your post grab your attention within 3 seconds and is there a call to action to engage or respond?
  • Spark conversation: Make your audience want to learn more about what you have to say and offer. Ask for ideas or answers to questions to encourage engagement. Speak their language and be consistent.
  • Change your tone accordingly: The voice of your business shouldn’t change, but the tone should depending on the situation. If a customer has negative feedback, the tone of your response should be more understanding. If they have positive feedback, your tone should be more appreciative.

Adding a relevant and eye-catching photo to your post can also significantly increase your levels of engagement. Research shows posts that include pictures or videos are twice as engaging. With Facebook’s autoplay feature, you have about 3-5 seconds to grab the attention of a potential customer. With this in mind, you want to make sure that if you include video into your post, the first 3-5 seconds will catch the attention of you audience.

Also, know who you’re talking with. An audience comprised of 18-24 year old males is going to respond differently than an audience made up of 45-54 year old females. Engage with your audience accordingly. Remember to reply to questions as well as both positive and negative feedback.

Negative feedback should be perceived as an opportunity to improve your service or product, and responded to as such. Do not simply ignore these comments. Instead, apologize and try to offer a solution to their feedback in a timely matter. The “We’re sorry for this and this is how we’re going to make it right” response shows the customer that you are personable and that you want to help them.

Understand timing

Timing is key! Simply posting content after you’ve finished writing it will inhibit your chances of a successful social media campaign. Know when your audience is most likely to see your content, but also know that different social media platforms and different audiences will have varying times that are optimal.

For instance, research shows that the optimal times to post to on Facebook are towards the end of the week from 1-3pm, while the optimal times to post on Google+ are Mondays through Fridays from 9-11am. Different social media platforms are used in different ways and by different audiences and as a result, require you to change your strategies based on which platforms you choose to use.

Knowing when your audience is most apt to seeing your content allows you to hone in on that timeframe and work with it. Find out which days and times your audience is most likely to share a post or click on a link. Some social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer use their own analytics to determine the best times to post content based on your account and your audience. You can also do this on your own by posting a few times and then reviewing how they did the following day or week. This leads us into Analyzing.

Analyze your efforts

Lastly, but most importantly, after you have perfectly crafted your post and have posted it to the respective social media platforms, make sure to check back and see how effective it was. See how many new followers you have, when your audience is interacting with your content, and determine how many people clicked on your link and whether or not they signed up for your service or product.

A successful social media campaign relies heavily on analyzing and optimizing your strategies. Comparing your tactics on a weekly, monthly, or even annual basis will help you gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work with your audience. Making changes accordingly to your strategies based off of the information you’ve gathered through your social media analysis will set you up for a successful social media campaign.

If you are looking for more tips to drive online business, download our eBook, the 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Your Business