If you’re in the beginning stages of seizing the power of social media to engage with customers, here’s a checklist separated into four phases:
Phase 1: Research & Planning
Review current and past statistics about viewers and their engagement on your web site and social media channels. On Facebook, click on the Insights tab. On Twitter, go to https://analytics.twitter.com/ and click Turn Analytics On.
Survey your users. Who is the typical engaged user? Do we like that answer, or do we want to attract a different target user? Why do they engage? Do you notice a few users who frequently comment and interact on your social media accounts? Ask these “super users” some specific questions about their interest in your business in an online survey or chat.
Think about your company’s goals and brainstorm how social media can support your goals. This will help you focus your social media posts by topic or objective.
Review competitors’ social media presence and determine what they are doing that you could imitate or do better.
Interact with others’ social media accounts. Determine the possibility of strategically engaging (commenting or retweeting) as your company to other organizations or people on social media. Here’s how to “like” another Facebook Page as your Page. In Twitter, simply “follow” businesses or people in your industry.
Phase 2: Prepare
Create a social media style guide for writing and graphics. Decide on voice/tone of posts. Are you super-friendly or serious? Are emojis OK to use? 😉 Do you always include your company logo on graphics?
Use a management tool like Hootsuite and set up all your social media channels. Not only will it keep you organized, it will help you with planning and reviewing statistics.
Set up a process for editorial review and copy editing before publishing. If you’re not the best with grammar and spelling, get someone with an eagle eye to review your posts.
Phase 3: Publish
In addition to publishing straightforward posts on Facebook and Twitter, get creative with features like:
- Facebook Live – a real-time, live-stream video
- Instagram Stories – sharing photos and videos with your followers that disappear after 24 hours
- Twitter chats – an assigned time when your Twitter followers get online at the same time and follow and discuss a predetermined topic
Do A/B tests. Use different teasers and tweets for the same story. Does a particular headline get more responses? Do users retweet more often in the evenings?
Think about keywords. Look at your web site visitors’ search terms and Google Trends and use popular keywords in teasers/tweets.
Plan, plan, plan. Prepare posts for special series like holidays, sales, industry conferences — and be prepared to respond to breaking news in your industry. You can pre-schedule posts so they’re automatically posted on the right day and time.
Phase 4: Revisit
As you continue to publish on social media, monitor your user engagement with business goals in mind. Before you hit publish, always ask: Does this post build my customer base?
Amy Warren is available to assist your company with the above strategies for social media. She’s a graphic designer for web and print, and a WordPress and social media expert with strong writing and editing skills. She’s seeking a long-term contract with a corporation or agency and freelance design projects for entrepreneurs, small businesses, schools, and corporations. Follow @AmyWCreative on Facebook and Twitter.
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