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Have you ever looked at your competitor’s Facebook page and wondered “Why does everyone like their posts and not mine?” or “Why do they have more Twitter followers than me?” You’re not alone. We’ve been asked these questions often, and after completing many social media analyses and successful campaigns, we’ve identified the steps companies need to take to be successful on social media.
How to Get Engagement on Social Media
Have a Goal
This is the number one, biggest mistake we see small businesses make. They know that being present and active on social media is important, but they don’t really understand why or how to do it effectively. So they don’t see results.
No one will engage with your content on social media if you don’t have a purpose behind publishing it. There would literally be no point for you or for them. Before you write your next post, think about what you’re trying to accomplish. You might want to:
- Create awareness about an offer
- Drive traffic to your website
- Encourage people to attend an event
- Stay top of mind with your audience
- Alert customers about a new service
- Solicit leads
- Demonstrate industry expertise or a unique value proposition
Choosing a goal allows you write more effective copy, better target your audience, and allows you to see how well your post performed—which will give you an idea about how you can tweak your next post to be more effective.
Choose the Right Platforms
After you’ve determined what your goals on social media are, you need to decide which platforms you’ll be active on. Think about your customers—what are they like? What do they want? Where do they spend their time?
Below are the most popular social media platforms and recommendations for which companies would benefit most from using them.
Facebook – Facebook is a platform that every company—even ones in “boring” industries—should utilize. This year, more than half of all Americans will use Facebook, so if you want to reach a wide range of people with very specific ad targeting options, this is the place to do it.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a good place for you to reach professionals, or people looking to network or find jobs. Staffing companies and B2B companies can find success here.
Instagram – If your service or product is very visual—like landscaping, for example—you need to be on Instagram.
Houzz – Remodeling companies, we’re looking at you. If you’re not on Houzz, you’re missing out on the (stat about Houzz audience).
When choosing which platforms to post to you should also keep your goal in mind, and consider whether it can be accomplished on each platform. Does it make sense to post drive awareness about an HVAC financing special on LinkedIn? Probably not. Ask yourself questions like that before creating a profile, and if you’re not sure what’s appropriate for each social media site, consult a social media marketing company.
Post About Content That’s Relevant to Your Business and Your Customers
When crafting your content calendar, first, keep in mind the 80/20 rule. About 80% of your content should not be about your company. Businesses who always post about themselves can seem spammy and annoying to social media users, so you should use posts about yourself sparingly and with strategic intentions. Most of the time, you should create posts that either informative and helpful in some way, or entertaining. But make sure you stick to a topic that makes sense for your industry—a plumbing company has no business posting a recipe for red velvet cupcakes. Use these posts to demonstrate your industry knowledge and expertise or to delight your customers.
Use Paid Ads
This really is the secret sauce, especially on Facebook. In the days of yore, posting to your page with no ad would garner you enough organic reach to sustain your engagement rate. However, social media companies have figured out how to monetize their platforms in a way that makes organic posting useless for both you and them.
That’s not bad news, though. Facebook, for example, collects so much information about each user that you can target them based on:
- Their location
- Subjects they’re interested in
- Whether or not they’re homeowners
- Their job
- And much, much more
The granular precision you have in ad targeting makes the payment for social media ads worth it. It’s also incredibly cheap compared to many other advertising methods. We can virtually guarantee you, if your competitors have tons of engagement on social media, they’re using paid ads effectively.
Don’t over-saturate the news feed. Over posting can appear repetitive and spammy, and can result in more people unliking your page.
Post shareable content. Photos and videos are given preference over links in the news feed.
But Before You Do All That, Scope Your Competitors
Every market is different, so the tailoring your efforts for what works in your market is of paramount importance. Find out which platforms your competitors are on, how much success they’re having there, when and how frequently they post, and what kinds of posts are most successful for them.
Gathering research is one of the most important things you can do before investing in any marketing campaigns, and it helps you understand your playing field. At Blue Corona, we’re big believers that “you can’t play the game if you don’t know the score,” so we always help our clients gather a baseline of data before they start a campaign, that way we know exactly how they and competitors are performing, and we can see what’s effective and what’s not moving forward.
Need help with this step in the process? If you’re interested in finding out which platforms your competitors are on, which platforms you should be on, when your competitors are getting the most engagement and what kind of content is most effective, we can provide you with a free social media analysis. Fill out the form below to get started!
About The Author: Jenny is a content marketing specialist at Blue Corona. When she's not helping her clients grow their businesses through the web, she enjoys furnishing her new home and exploring new restaurants with her husband.
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