Welcome to our 5-Step Guide to getting your brand set up and looking active on social media. In this guide, we will take you through five key steps to ensuring that your online social media presence is achieving its potential.
These steps include the following:
- Making the most of an editorial calendar
- Writing posts
- Building followers
- Quick Wins & Competitions
An editorial calendar is a day-to-day plan for your social media presence. It allows you to take a birds-eye view of your campaign and plan out exactly when you will post and what type of things you will post about.
Proofer.com has an inbuilt editorial calendar which you can customise to suit your brand. We would recommend you start with four posts a day on Twitter, one post a day on Facebook, one post a day on LinkedIn and one post per day on Instagram. Whatever channel you’re posting too, you don’t want to bombard your followers with sales messages, this could cause them to get fed up and unfollow. Instead, use your calendar to help you stick to the 80/20 rule of 80% interesting and fun content to 20% sales messages.
It is recommended that while promoting yourself or your product on social media, you should stick to a rule of 80/20; that is to mean that a maximum of 20-25% of your content should be promotional, showcasing your services, products and offers, while the remaining 75-80% should be fun, interactive content that gives your page added value for its followers.
For example, include more laid back, or fun posts like a Throwback Thursday, #WednesdayWisdom post, a fun image or a Question.
Try to plan the categories of your posts at the right time of day. For example, on a Friday night or Saturday morning, you would be much better off posting a Weekend Fun or light-hearted post, rather than trying to sell something to your followers or promote your brand. Who wants to be sold to last thing on a Friday?
When planning your editorial calendar, ask yourself the following questions to help put together your plan:
- Do you have any blog posts/ videos /podcasts of your own? They should each have a category per week showcasing your work
- Do you have a newsletter? Ask people to sign up once per week.
- What are you trying to achieve through your posts? If you’re trying to increase web traffic, have you added enough links to your website in your promotional posts?
- What kind of competitions could you run? The winner could receive something small or something big – it’s completely up to you!
- What kind of material, other than your own production information, would your followers be interested in?
- Do you work with good causes that you could be getting your audience involved in and raising awareness for?
So, now you know the purpose of an editorial calendar! There’s an inbuilt calendar in Proofer and once you’ve created it, it’s easy to write lots of content that is both varied and includes everything your organisation should be talking about. And did we say Proofer also saves all your content by category to re-use at a later date or across other platforms / accounts!
2. Writing Posts
There are a number of elements that come together to make a great social media post. These include utilising hashtags, tagging other users, using flawless imagery and being quirky if you can, so despite being scheduled in advance your posts sound human.
A few tips…
Users engage with positive and unique content, things that are fun!
It’s always a good idea to have a social media specific offer. Many people follow brands to get discounts so make the most of this and give them something special because they’re a fan on social media.
It’s always important to include personality in your posts. Show your followers who you are and engage them! Think about the language you will use when posting, and consider the tone that your followers would use to communicate. In other words, consider your target market.
When you are writing promotional posts, give your followers a reason to follow a link and tell them why they should purchase your product.
Remember, most users scroll through social media at a certain speed and will only stop to examine further if a post really catches their eye or stands out as something they should spend their time investing in. Keep your posts short, snappy and easy to digest. This will result in more shares, leads, follows and eventually, sales.
Including positive reviews and positive feedback from clients on your page is another way to reinforce the credibility of your business or brand so don’t just use your words when it comes to promotional posts, share reviews and real thoughts from your customers.
Remember to stick to your non-promotional editorial calendar categories. The bonus of creating posts such as these is that you don’t sound overly promotional and keep to the essence of social media.
3. Building Followers
It’s true that posting consistently great content on social media is a sure-fire way to gain a steady following, however if you have no following to begin with, it’s a good idea to think of ways to expand your reach. Many people find themselves paying for artificial likes and follows, but these bring no post engagement and definitely no chance of product sales.
Luckily for you, it’s easy to build targeted followers on Twitter.
The first step is to find accounts whose followers you think will be interested in what you’re doing. Think about who your target market will be following; it could be a website or blog, it could be a competitor, it could be another local business.
If you’re looking to break into a larger industry, try searching for accounts that are in the same industry and following their followers, and if you’re a local business, connect with accounts that are part of the local community. At the end of the day, it comes down to considering exactly whose followers would be interested in the content that you are offering.
It’s always important to be following less people than are following you. One of the benefits of Proofer is the Unfollow feature, which allows you to see exactly who hasn’t followed you back on Twitter. Yep, you guessed it – the ones who haven’t returned the favour, have got to go! With a simple click, you’re able to unfollow accounts who haven’t followed you back and always stay ahead of the game. Don’t unfollow to quickly though! Give the person you’ve followed around a week before taking any action as, we’re sure you probably know, not everyone is on Twitter every day.
4. Quick wins & competitions.
Generating interaction is another important task to consider whilst running social media. Every day, you want people to be liking, sharing, interacting with your posts! Great ways to do this are to tag other uses. For example, if you run a cake shop, you might share a 10-step guide to baking the perfect cake from a blog you like. When doing so, you could tag the author of the article and the website it’s published on. They will see that you’ve shared their material and may share or retweet it, increasing your visibility through their platforms.
Another great way to keep users engaged is to run regular competitions – we recommend running a competition at least once a month. Competitions are a great way for your audience to feel like you’re giving them something back and are a fantastic tool to boost your engagement. Competitions that require only a few seconds of the user’s time to take part in, are most likely to get a high level of engagement, along with competitions with a big prize of around £100 value plus.
Asking a question can also provide some useful feedback for your brand or provide an opportunity for you to engage with your fans on a more personal or emotional level. Asking users to tag friends opens up your page to a new audience and potential customers.
When posting questions as part of your competition, think of questions that don’t necessarily centre around your product, but that can generate interesting user generated content for you to share.
To get the most out of this interaction, try to respond to as many posts as possible. Your fans are more likely to engage again if you recognise their response and deepen the conversation.
Now you have the information required to master the basics, you can keep improving your social media presence to ensure that you stay on top of the game. At the end of each month, take a moment to have a look at what’s worked well and what could do better. It’s easy to swap out your least performing editorial calendar category and try something new.
Each platform has their own analytics systems built into them so you can see what content is doing well and who is engaging with your page. If possible, it’s a good idea to take a note of some of these key metrics each month so you can see how effective what you’re doing on social media is.
Below are a few ideas of what you could track:
- Total reach
- Total engagements
- Engagement rate (Engagement / Reach)
- Special offer uptake
- Website link clicks
- Best performing posts
Set yourself goals
Once you have decided what you are going to track, set yourself goals and targets. That way when you come back the following month to look at your analytics you can understand whether any changes you have made have had the right impact.
So let’s have a look at some of the changes you could make…
Update your calendar
It is a good idea to examine your editorial calendar at the end of the month. Scrap any categories that didn’t perform well and replace them with new ones. Don’t change everything at once though; only make one or two category changes in a month and see how they go down.
Make sure you are keeping the right tone of voice
Always keep your tone of voice in mind. Have a look over your past month’s content and see if you feel the tone of voice is right, the audience you have been targeting is right and if they both fit together.
Interacting with your followers
If your engagement isn’t at the level you would have hoped, start by looking at how you responded to interaction from fans. If you could have been more responsive or could have taken more time to continue conversations and build on these interactions, work that into your social media plan for the following month.
So, there you have it! 5 Steps to keep your social media game and online presence on top!
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