Best practices for social media success

If you think social media is a passing fad… think again. 2.8 billion people across the globe use social media – that’s 37 percent of the world’s population. If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out.

Social media has become a key component of any communications campaign or strategy, so it is important that your business has a digital presence and is harnessing the power of these tools.

Follow these tips for social media best practices:

1. Identify the audience(s) you want to reach

Are you trying to reach baby boomers or millennials?  Do they use social media?  Which platforms? These are just a couple of key questions you’ll need to delve into as part of your digital strategy. Consider conducting a little research first, like a simple online survey, to better understand your audience’s social media preferences and usage. If you’re going for a younger audience, think Instagram. More mature audience? Try Facebook.

2. Create a plan for each digital platform

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever comes next down the pike, each platform needs its own content and strategy. The content can be similar, but it should be adapted to each unique platform.

3. Grab more attention with visuals

Just as the saying goes. . . a picture is a thousand words. Did you know that visually appealing content, photos and videos are 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other type of content? This should incentivize you to work graphics into your posts when possible with the goal of standing out to users as they scroll through their endless feeds.

4. Create interesting content

Refrain from “binge” posting and going underground for days or weeks at a time. Instead create a content calendar to regularly post content. Realize that you may also need to post content that’s timely as well.

5. Engage with your followers

Social media is a full-time commitment; be on the lookout for any comments – the good, the bad, the ugly. Since social media is all about two-way conversation, be sure to interact with your followers and respond to comments in a timely manner.

6. Utilize hashtags

Hashtags are one of the best ways to organically expand your reach on social media. When you add a hashtag to a post, it’s able to be indexed by the social network and becomes searchable by others. But, don’t throw random hashtags on your post. Research popular, generic and widely used hashtags that relate to your post. And make sure that the content you see posted is aligned with your message.

7. Measure and analyze your results

Many social media platforms have built-in analytics. Take full advantage and get to know your audience better! With Facebook, for example, you can get details on when and how users interact with posts, as well as a snapshot of page likes, page views and more. Once you define your social media objectives, you can determine which measurement metric is most important.