How do you write and structure your social media content to break through the noise, provide value to your audience and ultimately contribute to the growth of your brand?
All brands and businesses, big and small, should strive to develop a captive social media audience. It requires little, and in some cases, even no investment on your end to elevate your brand awareness.
It’s not enough to simply create a social media profile with your brand information and hope for the best. Hope is not a plan. That’s where social media optimization plays a vital role.
There are roughly 3.5 billion active social media users worldwide, and that number grows by the day! Because of that growing number, you have an incredible opportunity to reach active users. To take advantage of this, you need to optimize your social media channels. To start, let’s define what social media optimization is.
What Is Social Media Optimization?
At a high level, social media optimization is the process of determining what social media content works the best for your business or brand. All you have to do is determine what type of content your audience is interested in, how to deliver that content on different social media platforms and then execute that plan.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry; we can break this process down into manageable steps so that you can enhance your social media presence.
Get Noticed on Social Media with These 5 Optimization Steps
Optimizing Your Social Media Strategy
Many companies fail to implement a social media strategy due to the fact that the social media landscape is constantly changing. In addition, many do not have the time or resources to dedicate to maintaining a social media strategy and implementing a content calendar. Clearly defined goals and objectives can help you to optimize your social media presence.
Your social media strategy should focus on growing your audience and meeting or exceeding measurable results. You can determine these metrics by analyzing both your existing audience and your competitors’. Pick your top 3 competitors and analyze what they’re doing and how their audience is engaging. Take what you learn from them and develop a strategy while being consistent with your brand’s voice and what your audience wants. Never directly copy what your competitors are doing. Audiences are unique and theirs is most likely slightly different than yours.
Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
This is commonly where everyone starts and then stops. Optimizing your social media profile is only one component of the overall strategy. It’s easy to create a social media profile, but most companies don’t put the time and effort into optimizing it.
The profile is the foundation of each of your social media channels. Here are the 3 elements of the social media profile to focus on.
Profile photo – For businesses, you want to ensure that the profile logo includes the company/brand logo. This will aid in building brand recognition as your content begins to gain more traction. As your social media starts to display in search results, this is one of the first things people will see.
Username – This is sometimes referred to as a social media handle. The username you choose should be consistent across your social media channels. This makes it easier for people to find you.
Bio – Be sure to fill out the bio completely. Clearly communicate what you do and integrate relevant keywords into the bio. Just don’t keyword stuff it. That will make you look desperate and unprofessional. Including a trackable link to your website can help you determine how much traffic your social media is pushing to your website. There are a few different services out there to choose from. Just do a Google search for trackable links or short links, do your due diligence, and pick one to try.
Optimize the Content in your Social Media Feed
Once you finalize your bio, it’s time to move on to the content itself. The content you post not only needs to be high quality, but it also needs to be optimized for your audience.
Optimizing your content will consist of posting two different types of content: original and curated. Original content is content that you create yourself. Curated content is content that you share from other sources on social media or the internet.
One of the ways of optimizing your content is through the use of engaging headlines. One way to test this is to come up with two different headings for the same post. Post each one at the same time on different days and see which one performs the best.
Having multiple headlines for the same content allows you to promote that piece of content multiple times, which also allows you to reuse content you may have posted the previous day or week.
Conduct #Hashtag Research
Hashtags are unique social media elements that allow you to reach a broader audience. Utilizing hashtags helps each post reach more users and makes it easier for people to find your content, even if they are not following you.
Don’t just use hashtags to use them. You need to be purposeful when choosing them, making sure they are relevant to your brand. You can find relevant hashtags by looking at industry influencers as well as your competitors.
Part of your social media strategy should be to build several groups of hashtags to rotate through, to keep your profile and posts from being flagged as spammy by the algorithms. Also, keep in mind that hashtag rules are slightly different depending on which social media platform you’re using. Instagram allows you to have up to 30 hashtags, whereas Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter prefer a max of 3 or 4 per post.
A Consistent Posting Schedule
Use data to your advantage. It can tell you when your audience is using the platform. Once you determine the ideal days and times to post, you can plan your posting schedule accordingly. This is something you want to check periodically, as there may be shifts over time which will require scheduling adjustments. Consistently monitoring the data will ensure that your profile achieves optimal reach and engagement.
Your posting schedule will depend on the social platform you’re using as well as your audience. Some social media platforms are better suited for posting multiple times a day, while others may benefit from only one or two posts per day. Reviewing analytics can ensure you’re maximizing your efforts on each platform.
Optimizing your social media schedule will ensure you reach your audience on the right day and at the right time.
Improve Your Reach and Engagement with These Additional Tips
Encourage Employees to Share
According to a survey done by Sprout Social, roughly 67% of people use social media for work. Users are also more likely to connect with people they know rather than a brand they’re not familiar with. In fact, users are more likely to click on and read a post about a brand they’re not familiar with if it was shared by a friend.
For that reason alone, it’s important to encourage employees to share your content on social media. The more your content gets shared, the more it will appear in social media feeds.
Leverage Visually Appealing Content
The more that you can incorporate visual content into your posts, the better. Images can get a user’s attention and also carry a lot of weight on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, and can be equally as important on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. According to a study done by Buffer on the Twitter platform, Tweets with visually appealing content get 18% more clicks, 89% more likes, and up to 150% more retweets.
If You Have a YouTube Presence, Use it!
Youtube is owned by Google and is the 2nd largest online search engine to Google. Because Youtube is owned by Google, Google will often display video content on its search engine results page before you see most of the other links on page 1 of Google.
For example, if you search “how to edit YouTube videos”, you’ll see three video results before the first article. Use this to your advantage.
Having a social media strategy in place is the foundation of your social media presence. Once the strategy is established, it’s time to optimize it for peak performance and monitor it for performance. Optimize your social media campaign consistently by tracking metrics that help you better understand your campaign’s performance and you’ll remain a step ahead of your competitors.
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