Social media has become practically unavoidable. It seems like every single brand today has at least one social media profile. However, out of all those brands, how many of them have an active social media presence? How many of them are simply there? How many of them post random links at random times, name-drop famous brands or spam the living hell out of their following?
You might think that it’s virtually impossible to stand out, with so many successful brands competing for their audience’s attention. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of content circulating through different social media channels at any given moment.
Large brands may have large budgets, but the underlying philosophy behind creating an amazing social media presence is pretty much the same, whether you’re a startup, small-to-medium-sized business, or a large corporation. That said, here are five sure-proof ways to develop and improve your startup’s social media presence.
Develop an editorial calendar
There are countless articles online spinning the same exact story for social media success. Set reachable goals, research your market, target your audience, provide them with valuable content, etc. While they might be far from being wrong, most of them seem to forget one simple, yet crucial little fact: timing is everything! Granted, most brands rely on content scheduling software, but good timing is more than posting consistently.
Each social media platform has different posting times when sharing content will produce the most engagement. Mind you these times are not set in stone, but rather represent a collection of heat map information that lets you know the platform-specific window of time when the audience is most likely to engage with brands. This window will depend on your specific marketing goals, but also your audience’s location and corresponding time zone.
A properly developed editorial calendar is ideal for juggling more than one social media channel. It allows you to fine-tune posts according to their type, platform, and different schedules, manage descriptions and avoid spamming your audience with the same exact content. Creating a posting calendar allows you to manage and organize your social media presence while maximizing the reach of your content.
One of the biggest mistakes brands make on social media is having zero personality and appearing as nothing more than a faceless corporation. These days people want to know the brands they endorse on a personal level and interact with them the same way you would interact with other human beings. Don’t be afraid to crack jokes or simply talk to your followers as you would with your best friend. Show off the people behind the brand using office photos and team snapshots. The best social media presence is a human one.
Follower count has become a metric for vanity. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but at the end of the day, would you rather have a thousand followers that regularly engage your brand or a million who ignore it? As cliché as it sounds, there’s a reason why the word social is in social media presence. There’s an innate beauty in being able to form a good relationship at any given moment with followers from around the world.
Answer any questions your followers might ask, reply to mentions, and don’t be afraid to mention people back. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. It only takes a single reply to start a conversation and show that you are genuinely interested in forming and maintaining relationships with your following.
Don’t sell, help!
Social selling might be on the rise, but social media presence should never be about hard selling. That is unless you’re an e-commerce business pushing deals and offers to your following. At the same time, it’s not as simple as replying to a comment, but rather replying in a timely fashion with an intent to help and not sell.
For example, Design Rush’s entire website and social media presence are dedicated to helping people find the help they need. They don’t offer products and services, but rather a categorized guide for finding professional agencies organized by awards, clients, expertise, profiles, and reviews.
Optimize for engagement
Brands often associate world optimization with SEO or search engine optimization. Social media optimization (SMO) might not be as technical as SEO, but the best digital agencies recognize the importance of optimizing profiles for account information, keywords, and imagery. In fact, they advise it.
For example, Instagram might be an image- and video-oriented platform, but Instagram bio is an excellent place to advertise hashtags, link to promotions, and establish your brand voice.
A carefully curated Twitter profile with just the right imagery and @mentions signals authority and helps attract followers. A properly optimized profile with filled-out info can help it rank better on the search engine results page.
Cultivating a successful social media presence is less about the technicalities and more about sharing a human connection with your followers. What you post, when you post it, how often do you answer queries and reply to comments, and how helpful you actually are… These are just some of the main points of becoming a beloved, and more importantly, a human brand in the eyes of your audience.