We’ve been learning a lot about social media planning and strategy over the last few months. Personally, the word algorithm makes me want to yawn or cry depending on the mood I’m in. But in the world of start-ups you’ve got to learn and do a lot of new stuff yourself to stay lean (even when you’d rather outsource to Romania).
We’ve been attending some great little workshops, listening to podcasts, watching tutorials and reading blogs – all to make sense of this social media puzzle. So, here are some tips we’ve collected that might be useful for you too:
- Schedule your social media. You can post spontaneously here and there but a plan and schedule is better for branding and the long-term. There are several scheduling apps (eg. Buffer) or use a calendar to indicate what day you’re posting, when you’ll post and what you’ll post. The more you can schedule and work proactively, the less pressure you’ll feel about social media becoming an ‘extra job’.
- Strategise your social media. Posting ad hoc content is great for a time but it isn’t sustainable. Come up with a strategy, for example, the ‘5:2 strategy’ if you’re posting daily. 5 days out of the week post ‘regular content’ (whatever that looks like for your brand) but on the other 2 days post something different and observe engagement to figure out what works with your audience.
- Ask: ‘what is the objective of this post?’ Don’t create social media posts without first asking this question. Is it to create brand awareness, give customers a glimpse behind the scenes, get a laugh or promote social change, for example? You might even choose a theme for the week, eg. ‘This week I want to talk about mindfulness’, so all posts that week can relate to this theme.
- Be aware that only 1–3% of your audience see your posts. Gasp. Yes, it’s true – you’re not Pink at Rod Laver Arena, sorry to say. Choose nights that make sense to post your material for your particular audience, eg. it might be Sunday nights, 8pm. Use, for example, ‘Insights’ on Facebook to get to know your audience’s peak times are and post at these times for a better chance of reaching that measly 1–3%.
- Post content that makes sense to the channel. Think about why people are on certain channels and post stuff that makes sense to that channel. You can post different content across different channels. For example, Facebook loves video. It will share video more than anything else, and more so if your audience watches your videos to the end, so keep them short (15-30 seconds is ideal). LinkedIn loves professional content, Instagram photos and stories – you get the point. In other words, don’t feed the cats the wrong food because they won’t eat it!
- Be authentic and offer value to your audience. Omg, if I hear the word ‘value’ one more time in business speak… But it does make sense to think about this for social media. People are on social media to connect, they don’t want to be sold to. Photos featuring people and getting to the core of what people care about are great ways to inspire connections with your audience.
- What should I be posting? While different brands will have different ways of expressing themselves, some things that work are: fun photos of the business’s culture and personality, behind the scenes stuff, ‘How to’ videos, photos from themed days or colourful festivals, staff profiles and stories, testimonials and quirky memes.
There’s far more I could say about social media, but I might save it for another blog. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt from the research though is to post LESS with a focus on quality and post when your audience is online. Oh, and don’t be afraid to experiment, try new things and change tact as many times as you need to find that winning formula.
BRG Learning and Development