Your company has decided that it wants to launch social media channels, but you are not sure how to go about this… Having launched and managed many highly effective and popular social media channels for various high-profile brands during his career Brett Cutbush, Client Services Manager at GFM ClearComms, shared with us his top 10 tips for making sure that your social media channel launch is a success.
1. Develop a social strategy
There must be a reason that inspired you and your business to start social media marketing; what is that reason? If you created social channels just because your competitors have and you do not actually have a objective in place then stop right there and reevaluate your purpose. Many people also interpret social media strategy as simply planning and scheduling posts and tweets, but what a great strategy consists of is planning those posts around key events and communicating what is interesting and insightful about those events to identified target audiences.
2. Choose your social channels carefully
3. Interact like a human
The whole point of social media is being social with people. If you want to make the most of your campaign, make an effort to talk to anyone that is willing to talk to you. Your first social media campaigns will often be with only a few people and you want to make sure they feel welcome. If a post is getting comments, respond to them and have a conversation. If one post is getting a lot of likes, perhaps that is a sign you need to post more things like it so take the time to interact with your followers and build loyalty.
4. Make your posts visual
Visual marketing has become more and more popular in the past few years. You hardly see any Facebook post without an image supporting it now and researchers have proven that posts with no visual element get little to no engagement at all. So use attractive, interesting and engaging images to get your followers to give you some kind of feedback. In addition, video marketing is also becoming increasingly popular and it could be argued that it is now essential that you also use high quality and good content videos in your social media marketing campaigns, if possible and relevant to your audience.
5. Post and tweet at optimal times
Depending on your industry, location and target audience your optimal time for posting will vary. Acknowledge this fact and then calculate the best time for posting on social media so that your posts do not just disappear into thin air due to lack of engagement. Tools such as Google Analytics can provide you with insight into who is visiting your website, which may then provide guidance for developing personas and what times these target audiences access content; which can then evolve once you start generating social data.
6. Describe what you share
Every now and then, you come across a post that you really like and you want to share it with your followers. When you do that, do not just share that post or retweet it, add a little comment on top of it too so that your followers could understand why you shared that post or actually post it yourself but remember to tag in the original author. This will increase your authenticity with your followers and can potentially attract engagement from other influencers.
7. Encourage people to follow you
Just because you have put social channel icons on your site this does not mean that your social following will miraculously grow overnight. You will need to regularly encourage people to follow your channels on your posts and reciprocate those that follow you by following them back; as long as they are suitable and relevant to your brand and industry. Also find out who the key influencers are in your industry and then engage with their posts to build a positive relationship with them. It is guaranteed to help you increase your audience.
8. Incentivise people
People need a reason to pay attention to what you are doing and saying. You can make it worth their while by doing the basics, such as product discounts, contests that reward shares, and sign-ups, but you should also think bigger. Long-term, active followers can be promoted on your channels (if they are the right kind of follower), which lets you very clearly show you appreciate them and that their values align with your own. This can and should also be supported by targeted social advertising to maximise its impact.
9. Measure your social success
Almost every social media platform offers a set of statistics that show you how much your brand has grown. You can also determine what works and what does not work for your brand in terms of social media engagement. Regularly monitor the analytics as it will help you make good decisions about the direction that your social media marketing campaigns need to take in order to succeed. Focus on the engagement metrics that are important to you and your strategy.
10. Follow the rules
Last but definitely not least, every social media platform has rules about what it will or will not allow on their network. Most things are easily understood and common sense, but others are not so apparent. For example, Facebook contest guidelines keep changing and you therefore need to be up to date with what are the latest changes before you run a contest and Twitter can also block you for mass following in an unnatural way.
Social media can serve as a hugely valuable tool when used appropriately but can also be equally as damaging when the right strategy is not implemented. At GFM ClearComms we have vast experience in delivering valuable social media campaigns and timely communications on behalf of our clients; which effectively grows their online presence. Find out how we can boost your brand awareness and increase your online visibility today through our social media management services please call 01206 226444 now or alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org