Back in 2005, only around 5% of people in the United States had at least one social media profile. By 2011, that number had risen to 50% and today, around 70% of people use some type of social media on a daily basis, according to Pew Research Center.
As you would have thought, more than 90% of marketers today use their social media channels to promote their business. If you’re not putting in work, you’re definitely missing a large chunk of your target demographic.
If you’ve let your social media channels develop cobwebs during the last few years, here are a few things you can do to give them a much-needed boost.
1. Start thinking visually
First things first, visual content and social media channels go hand-in-hand. Using images in your posts regularly can be extremely beneficial for your reach. Just check out your Twitter or Facebook feed and you’ll see just how popular visual posts are.
As a matter of fact, according to Social Media Examiner, posts with pictures have an 85% interaction rate on Facebook and they can increase your retweets by roughly 35%. Start sharing behind the scenes pictures, highlighting your team members and holding photo contests to increase engagement.
2. Organize giveaways and contests
Speaking of photo contests, we should talk about how you can engage your core audience and promote your brand with little to no investment at all. The prizes don’t have to be too big; you can simply offer a free product from your brand or a free subscription to your services for a year.
While some will tell you that people who enter these competitions will no longer interact with your brand once the competition is over, don’t listen to them. According to a recent DMN survey, almost 85% of people will share content from the brand, even after the competition ends.
3. Listen to your followers
Social media might be a promotional tool, but you still have to try to give your core audience what they need. A recent Ambassador study revealed that more than 70% of people who’ve had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to their friends.
This means, you should reply to their queries quickly and try to jump in conversation whenever your brand is mentioned. Luckily, there are some social media monitoring tools out there that can help you monitor multiple platforms, analyze your audience and cater to their needs more easily.
4. Make sure to respond quickly
Of course, you should respond to all of your messages on social media – that’s a given. However, you have to make sure to do it in a timely manner. As Cognizant research has shown, almost 75% of users expect a response in 60 minutes or less.
Since you can’t spend every waking moment at your PC, find a social media tool with a smartphone app that will allow you to do your job on the go. So, whenever someone sends a message to your company’s page, you or one of your employees will be able to respond in a matter of minutes.
5. Time your posts accordingly
If you’re posting on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn when your audience isn’t active, your promotional content will never receive the engagement you think it deserves. So, when is the best time to post on social media? That depends on your target audience.
In case of Twitter, just click on the “Tweets” tab and see your engagement over the last month. When it comes to Facebook, look at “Page Insights” and see which posts have got the most traction and at what times they were posted.
Lastly, keep in mind that you have a small army of employees at your disposal that’s ready to help you build your audience on social media. Chances are, every single last one of your employees has multiple social media accounts, so make sure they use them to help your brand out.
Just try not to abuse social media too much. Posting about your business every five minutes will turn a lot of users off. Nobody likes a person that talks about themselves all the time, so don’t be that person.
About the guest author: Peter Minkoff is a marketing writer at OffTheMRKT and HighStreetGent magazine. Besides writing he’s also a freelance life coach around UK and AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.