Most of our clients understand that social media is an important part of the marketing puzzle, but few of them can explain why. To be sure, it's not always obvious how a "like" or "share" impacts the bottom line, and the math gets even trickier when you dive into impressions and views.
To be sure, social media is a relatively inexpensive means to regularly connect with fans, build a following, and offer promotions to your most loyal customers. Imagine getting the opportunity to show a TV ad to only the people who care about your brand. Wouldn't you seize that opportunity?
The question then becomes, "OK, so I have a social media profile. Now what?" How can you create a social media calendar that works?
1. Make sure your content is both valuable and relevant.
The most important question you can ask: "What will provide the most value to my followers?"
How you define "value" makes all the difference. Value can be in the form of an exclusive social media-distributed coupon code, a behind-the-scenes look at an upcoming product, or even a comic strip related to your industry.
Whatever you put out there for the world to see, make sure it's relevant to your followers. If you're posting about refrigerators on your used car dealership account, a lot of your followers are going to scratch their heads, and others may even unfollow you.
2. Be consistent.
One of my content clients once told me, "I've never been a fan of posting just to post. I don't want anything to go up unless it has value."
True, no one should ever post just to fill a quota—that's asking for trouble. And as we just said, we want everything to be both relevant and valuable.
But this client only posted internal developments, like new hires and company developments, and she often posted these months apart. There are a few issues to sort through here:
This sort of inactivity gives fans time to forget about you. Imagine your posts as free mini ads for your brand. They're quick, five-second (or longer, if you're using video) commercials that remind followers you're relevant. This is crucial for smaller brands that rely on frequent purchases from repeat customers, like restaurants or video game stores. If you go months without posting, your followers may forget about you because they're missing the reminders to come to your store or website. This is not to say you should post every hour, but that you should have enough frequency to remain top-of-mind.
These posts are "me"-focused. Posts about internal developments and HR are certainly great for short-term boosts in engagement (whose mother doesn't love seeing her child in a picture?), but they offer little value to your followers. Picture that person in your feed who posts every second of his life, from breakfast to commute to the book he's reading. His self-absorbed posts eventually become tiresome. This is exactly what you don't want to happen to your brand.
3. Don't flood the feed.
The key word here is "balance." You don't want fans to forget about you, but you don't want to bombard them every minute of the day.
So, how much should you post? It depends. It could be once a day, or it could be once a week.
If you rely on frequent, small-order, repeat B2C business, especially in the food or entertainment industry, you may want to post more frequently. This keeps your brand out in front of people, and may help to drive more traffic to your store.
If you're selling larger, one-off products or services, you can probably afford to maintain a slower pace. A few times a week will likely suffice.
In general, try to shoot for at least three times a week.
Take Denny's, which has a very popular Twitter account, thanks to its surprising wit and self-awareness. On average, Denny's posts once a day.
This seems to be a good cadence for the brand, as it regularly receives thousands of likes and hundreds of shares on each post. Every time Denny's gets a like or a share, it gets more exposure, creating a ton of user-generated marketing. Pretty cool, huh?
4. Talk about more than yourself.
We touched on this in tip no. 2, but it's worth repeating: Don't focus solely on your brand on social media. Sure, a great shot of your product is worth including, and you should post about your upcoming public events. But do that too much, and you risk driving away loyal followers.
No one likes a selfish person, and only posting about yourself makes your brand look self-centered. This is social media, after all.
To supplement your internally-driven posts, include posts on related topics. For our special effects client, we often post about things like haunted houses, fake blood recipes, scary animals, and local myths and legends.
5. Measure everything.
At Poetica Marketing, we gauge the performance of each and every post. This helps us determine what we should and shouldn't include in the future.
We opened this blog talking about the apparent fuzzy value of social media. Here's the bottom line: If you're not measuring, you're not growing, and at that point there's little reason to be on social media at all.
Clicks and website analytics shows you how much web traffic (and leads) your posts generate. Shares show how many people want their communities to know about your content—which is extra valuable since people trust their friends more than brands.
BONUS: Bring in the experts when you need them.
When you're stuck in a rut, it's hard to find a way out. That's where we can help.
Poetica Marketing has experience partnering with brands across dozens of industries—all in the interest of growing brand following and increasing leads. Contact us today to learn how we can help your brand.