I was recently asked to guest blog for Debbie Whitaker at Not Just Numbers http://www.notjustnumbersltd.co.uk/and I was given the challenge to write about social media with an accountancy twist! So I have decided to publish and share the blog here.
The word social is crucial here – since when did we have a conversation with a friend and want a statistical analysis on that conversation? Yet in business we expect to be presented with the statistics, facts and figures on our investments, and social media marketing is no different.
Brand awareness, sharing, talking to people – the good old adage of the sales and marketing umbrella. In today’s society we are presented with facts and figures, return on investment, cost per hour, how much, how many… Yet when talking to other entrepreneurs they will always emphasise the value that they place on relationships.
Wasn’t Facebook originally set-up by Mark Zuckerburg to talk to girls? LinkedIn, created to nurture and keep business relationships. Twitter, designed to feed online relationships by directly trafficking followers to websites and blogs. Their soul purpose for existing is to nurture relationships – not generate stats!
My thoughts are; if a business or person likes you then they will engage with your social media, follow you, and subsequently engage with your business – so content is king!
What purpose does paying for hoards of likes and followers serve? They are not helping you with your business, or verifying who you are. They are just facts and figures.
Instead, it is all about making your account look interesting and exciting – a far more organic way of increasing followers and gaining likes! The goal is to build social media alliances online and become an influencer.
How do I increase my followers?
- Make sure you are consistent throughout your social media.
- Think about your tone of voice for each social platform you choose – consider what each audience wants.
- Make sure you also focus on keeping existing followers, as well as gaining new ones.
- Put share buttons on your traditional marketing, website, email signatures and blogs.
- Many search engines and social platforms change their algorithms all the time – it is a great way to refresh your content on your website with out even doing updates!
- Engagement is hugely important on social media and is a great way for you to network online. Tell stories to engage chat, and comment or tweet back when someone sends a post.
How many posts should I be making?
- Twitter – in an ideal world 15 posts a day
(As much I hate automated direct messaging on Twitter, we decided to run a test to see if there was any engagement from this method. Instead of doing what everyone normally does, and try to sell, we sent out a riddle. We received about 20% engagement, and one abusive message – not too bad! This is a great way to identify your live Twitter accounts.)
- Facebook – once or twice a day
- LinkedIn – one post a day.
I often get asked this question, but I would argue a better question is, “What time of day should I be posting?” as certain times of the day are proven to receive more engagement on certain platforms.
I always think of my daily routine when sending out social media messages, and when I am more likely to look at a social media and on what device:
- First thing in the morning I am commuting or eating breakfast, so am more likely to be using my mobile phone.
- Then during working hours, I am likely to be sat at a laptop/desktop.
- At the end of the working day I am more likely to be using my phone again, and then using my tablet after dinner!
So early morning is a good time, followed by mid-morning, lunch-time, mid-afternoon, after 5pm, then after 8pm – however, it depends on the platform you choose and your audience. There is no right or wrong time for posting out the weekend and bank holidays!
There are lots of apps out there that can determine when is best for your account to send messages to reach the best readership. This isn’t a cheap tool, but can certainly be a life saviour and will take the decision making process away from you!
So what social platforms should I focus on to get the most engagement?
Well that is a question you will be thinking about in your initial sales and marketing plan. So when you are on your journey of social media, set yourself a goal. Think of your target clients, where they ‘hang-out’, what age group are they?
Teenagers and young adults are not going to be on Facebook or Linkedin – they are more likely to be using Snapchat and Instagram. So if you are targeting young adults, it is best to focus on these platforms to gain engagement.