By now, we all know that having a social media presence is a must for any lifestyle brand or agency. It gives you credibility, boosts brand awareness and lets your customers feel more connected with you/your products. However, while there are many social platforms out there – you don’t have to be on all of them. It is better to put in a decent effort to a select few than to halfheartedly post on all – especially seeing as an abandoned profile is worse than no profile at all!
Social media maintenance can be a tricky and time-consuming task – especially when resources are already stretched – so we’ve compiled a few quick tips for the biggest roadblocks we’ve seen some of our brands and agencies struggle with.
FINDING YOUR VOICE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Look for inspiration from successful brands
“I feel like everything is inspired by something else. There is no 100% original thought.”– Ne-Yo
Aside from being a consistent hit-maker for a good ten years now, Ne-Yo has a point. Look to other brands who have strong, successful social media voices and take note of what they do well. Perhaps it’s their creative, bubbly tone, or being relatable to your consumers; whatever the reason, ensure you find a way to adopt it and make it your own.
Maintain consistency amongst platforms
Having a consistent social media persona is key when aiming to represent your brand using a particular tone/voice. Take time to master the different social media platforms and their unique characteristics (see below for a more in-depth look at each channel). Communication between team members is key here too- sit down with co-workers to sketch out and agree on the tone of your social media voice so that it remains constant no matter who is clicking the ‘post’ button.
Have your social media voice reflect your brand & its audience
Think about your consumers and what kind of language would appeal to them and cater to their needs; is your brand humourous? Intellectual? Quirky? Sassy? Take the time to figure it out and develop a unique brand voice.
It’s essential to consider what jargon, abbreviations, references, and phrases to use when posting on social media. For example, Frank Body refers to its models and customers as “babes” and uses sexual innuendo to create a cheeky tone. This wouldn’t work so well for a more serious brand such as Tiffany and Co. who utilise an elegant and serious tone in posts and avoid jargon. As each brand is unique, it only makes sense that their social media voice should be too.
TAILOR YOUR CONTENT FOR DIFFERENT NETWORKS
While it is important to have a consistent social media persona, each channel is designed for a different demographic and requires a specific style of content. There’s an art to tailoring your posts so that they can be as effective as possible without creating a tonne of extra work.
Twitter – Constant, Speedy, Hashtag
Because Twitter’s feed moves at lightning speed, very regular posting is a necessity to keep your message visible. Research also shows that if they tweet to a business, 72% of Twitter users expect a response within an hour or two, which is much faster than other social media networks. Twitter users are also looking for links to articles and shared images (these also tend to drive more likes and retweets).
Don’t be afraid of the humble hashtag, it’s a necessity for Twitter users who tend to search based on trending topics to cut through the sheer volume of information on the site. Engage with trending hashtags at your own risk, however, especially those dealing with serious or tragic events. Many a business has come under fire for appearing to market their brand on the back of a serious news event.
Facebook – Informal, Friendly, Shareable
The best post on Facebook is one that is personable and warm in tone, triggering an emotional response from the reader (such as a desire to like or share) which allows your post to be seen by a wider audience. Because of the casual and personal nature of the network, Facebook is the ideal platform on which to directly ask your followers questions or invite them to share their experiences with you. You also have the ability to post your longer tales on Facebook, but you should still aim to keep your text to one small paragraph or less.
Imagery is your friend on Facebook! Images and videos drive approximately 95% more engagement than word-only posts. Remember to keep those images clean and of the best quality, the last thing anybody wants to see is a messy, unprofessional page.
Instagram – Aesthetics, Consistency, Hashtag
It probably goes without saying, but beautiful images are key to Insta success. Make sure your content is crisp, clear, and PLEASE don’t over-filter (personally we’d recommend avoiding filters altogether). This isn’t the place for long-winded captions or storytelling, research suggests that Instagram users only read captions sometimes anyway!
Hashtags like #igers and #tagforlikes might be the most used and interacted with on Instagram, but think carefully about their value to your business specifically. You’re better off sticking to a small number of carefully considered hashtags per image, as you’re more likely to connect with followers within your target market, not just Instagramers hoping to receive a reciprocal like from you.
Instagram Stories are also HUGE and should be added to whenever possible. While the algorithm lords say that watching or posting stories won’t boost your position on the feed – stories are a great way to post a short-term video or photo that will let your audience get to know you better but won’t affect your overall aesthetic.
LinkedIn – Professional, Leadership, Achievements
Do you consider yourself a thought leader? Do you enjoy engaging in professional conversations and debates with your professional network? LinkedIn is the most serious of the social networks we’ve discussed here. Users here are seeking a professional tone and discussions about current industry events and ideas. This is an environment that’s less about your brand and more about selling yourself – so start sharing your professional accomplishments, goals, and skills in more explicit terms than you can do on other social networks – t
YouTube & Vimeo – Quality, Engagement, Accessibility
Unlike a photo, a few lines of text and a hashtag, a video is a much harder piece of content to tailor to different social networks. In this case, considering your end game is important when deciding where to share your content.
Hoping to drive a higher number of views? YouTube is the place to go. Vimeo’s user base is less than 20% of the size of YouTube, so you’re less likely to have somebody stumble onto your content by posting it there.
Hoping to earn money from your video? YouTube is your only choice here. Tread carefully though, because even though it’s tempting to want to see those dollars rolling in every time someone watches your video, you might be annoying your viewers with ad content. Vimeo has a zero ad policy and actually charges a usage fee for businesses to upload content, which means the quality of content being uploaded tends to be of higher quality than on YouTube. So, consider whether the company you keep is more important to you than some ad revenue.
Looking for a more specialised viewer experience? This one is all Vimeo. Instead of “Public/Private/Hidden” video sharing offered on YouTube, Vimeo allows you to share your videos publically, to followers only, by invitation only, with a password, or just for yourself. When we talk about social media being all about individuals, what better way to make your followers feel special than to have the ability to offer them special content the general public can’t see?
5 SOCIAL MEDIA SINS
Here’s the scenario: You’ve posted something online that got way more likes than usual. You decide you’re totally about to go viral and the best thing to do is immediately chase your post with a bunch more with similar content, only to see them all fall flat. Worse still, you’re pretty sure you’ve lost a couple of followers too – what gives?
There’s definitely truth in the old cliché about there being too much of a good thing. Just like you sneakily unfollow that Facebook friend who posts poorly Photoshopped motivational quotes fifty times a day, your followers will drop you if they feel like you’re trying to monopolise their news feed, no matter how great your content is. Keep it to a maximum of four or less Instagram posts spread out over the course of the day and one or two Facebook posts…and never post back-to-back.
Valuing quantity over quality
You can probably download any Kim K photo from the internet, throw it on your Instagram with a few hashtags and pull a decent number of likes. If you’re really sneaky you can sign yourself up to a “totally-legit-followers” website and grow the number of people following your social media profiles by anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand overnight. But one of the biggest mistakes businesses make on social media is thinking that one like = one potential sale. Take a look at your list of followers or post likes. How many of them are actually potential customers?
Social media is about people and relationships, it’s not a popularity contest. Work on building solid content and authentic relationships with a small number of quality followers, because this is what will drive sales – not the ever-tempting ‘instant gratification’ posts that spur a few extra likes and nothing more.
No matter how fantastic your brand is, noone wants to be sold to every time they scroll. One of the quickest ways to lose followers is to make them feel like their content feed is one giant ad break. To avoid this, remember the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be informative, engaging and non-sales related. When you ARE selling, make it useful and easy! Always post helpful info such as new stock drops and sales alerts and if you’re using Instagram, experiment with the handy ‘shoppable posts‘ feature to really to make it even easier for your followers to buy items straight from your feed.
Not checking your analytics
Would you ever re-stock a product in your store that didn’t sell last season? Of course not! Then why post on your social media channels without checking your analytics and insights first? With a couple of clicks, you can find out the success of your previous posts as well as the times your followers are online to interact with you.
By failing to consider the type of content your fans like to see, you run a serious risk of seeing the growth of your profiles stagnate, or worse still, losing the followers you already have.
Deleting the negative
Nothing makes your stomach drop like discovering that the little red notification on your brand’s Facebook profile is an angsty customer publically calling you out.“I could just delete this and nobody would ever know…” you muse to yourself. Don’t be deceived, they will notice and they’re likely to return with all their friends to spread further righteous fury all over your page (and who knows where else). It might sound like a cliché, but consider negative comments as an opportunity. We all make mistakes and responding to an angry comment with an apology and sincere offer to rectify their issue can turn a grumpy customer into a dedicated fan.
Images: Cora Emmanuel, Malaika Firth and Riley Montana by Emma Summerton for W Magazine 2014