By Louisa Pritchard on behalf of Digital Mums
This is the first of a series of guest posts from my network of marketing experts. I turned to Digital Mums for this post because they know more about social media than any other organisation I’ve come into contact with.
Digital Mums first appeared in my world when I realised that my career break to have kids had exactly coincided with the transformation of social media from ‘a bit of fun on the internet’ into a serious opportunity for businesses. I knew that, while the fundamentals of marketing hadn’t changed, it had moved into an unfamiliar playing field and I needed to catch up with the game, fast.
I chose Digital Mums for my training after extensively researching the options. I loved their practical approach and the scary, but turbo-charged learning experience of taking over a real, live client’s channels for 24 weeks, that is included in their training. Being one of the growing army of Digital Mums graduates making a success of freelance social media management is the bonus I wasn’t expecting. The support and advice of this community is second to none, and I always know where to turn if one of my clients needs the help of a freelance on their social media channels.
This post has been written for Digital Mums by fellow graduate Louisa Pritchard. Formerly Features Director at Grazia, Louisa worked with The Womanity Foundation during her Digital Mums training. Louisa is a now freelance writer, editor and Social Media Manager.
Anyone can set up a social media platform right? In fact, you’ve probably already got personal accounts or business pages. And it’s true, getting started is pretty easy. But there is a huge difference between an average platform and a killer platform.
So how do you make sure your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts look as professional and engaging as you and your business?
Here at Digital Mums we teach our trainees what good looks like on social media both in terms of content, frequency of posting AND in terms of visual appearance. There’s nothing worse than grainy images, confusing branding or broken links. A massive 81% of SMEs use social media, and with that level of competition, you need to stand out…for the right reasons.
Here is our five-step guide for optimising your platforms.
STEP 1: Do a mini audit
We suggest this for when you first start out on social media to look at what platforms you are on and what you are doing there. And it’s super useful to do something similar now. Ask yourself the following questions about each one of your platforms.
- Are they appropriately branded, with hi-res images and logos?
- Do you have a kick-ass bio?
- Does everything link to your website?
- Are you following the right people? And are the right people following you?
- Have you segmented your audience?
Now let’s break it down into how you can optimise each one.
STEP 2: Use brilliant visuals
Images are key when it comes to social media. Photos are the most engaging content on Facebook with an 87% interaction rate from fans, while adding a photo on a tweet makes for 35% uplift in retweets. In other words, use them!
Don’t forget to make sure they are high resolution and also the right size for the specific platforms. Here’s a guide to the different dimensions for each social network if you need it. Sprout Social update this all the time so it’s a bookmark.
There are also photo editing websites that are free to use that you can resize your images with. One of our favourites is Picmonkey but do have a search on Google until you find one you like.
STEP 3: Get a kick ass bio!
There’s nothing more confusing than checking out a company’s social media platforms…and finding out they all look different. And this confusion could see you lose potential customers before you’ve even had a chance to say hello. A recent survey found the majority of 18-24s expected a consistent experience with brands across all channels.
As such, it’s key to make sure you are consistent with your logo, header images and colour palette. Colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80% according to research.
When it comes to your bio, we love this advice from Sprout Social: “Treat your bio like an elevator pitch. If you had to describe what your business does in one or two sentences at the most, what would it be?”
STEP 4: Clean up who you are following and identify new followers
If you went a bit ‘follow button’ crazy when you first set up your platforms (especially on Twitter), you’re probably now finding you’ve got a feed that is completely useless. Use Audiense to clean up who you are following and unfollow people who haven’t been active in six months. Word of warning – don’t follow people and then, when they don’t follow you back, unfollow them. This is seriously spammy and bad etiquette. To keep your following numbers down, we advise you….
Step 5: Create lists!
It’s massively useful to segment your audiences into clear groupings – the more you can target people and what they are specifically interested in the better. You might actually have quite different user personas for your various customers and there are some clever ways you can target content for different people on social media. On Twitter you can create lists, on Google+ you can create circles, and on LinkedIn filters.
What good looks like on…
Our Digital Mums course goes into minute detail on each platform, meaning our students create killer platforms for their clients.
Here are some video tutorials to get you started on each channel. They are aimed at our students but are just as relevant for you.
And if you’d like a great example…
While there are plenty of examples out there of people who are getting it right, we thought we’d blow our own trumpet somewhat and show you our Twitter page.
We stick to three golden rules for success on Twitter:
TIP 1: FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT!
Make sure you social platforms are a clear representation of your brand – be consistent, use an impactful cover image and logo that will work well across all your platforms.
TIP 2: BE RELEVANT
Always think about providing valuable, shareable content that’s relevant and interesting to your audience. It is important that the content you share supports your brand.
TIP 3: BE ENGAGING
Don’t just use your platforms to broadcast what you do. Engage with others, be human, be authentic, ask questions and have fun! And watch your engagement and audience grow.