Social media platforms are all about connecting with your customer or target audience. All too often, brands, businesses or individuals set up social profiles and don’t visit them again, or they only use those profiles as a means of posting content. Managing, updating and performing housekeeping on your all your online sites may take time, but the platforms do you little good if you aren’t taking certain steps to optimize and fully utilize your platforms. We have 15 steps to provide some direction on how to improve your social presence.
1. Make sure you’re using company keywords on your social profiles
This is one of those steps that often gets overlooked, but for brand consistency and SEO purposes, your messaging should utilize company keywords. For us at Alexander’s we perform keyword research every so often and set 25 to 30 keywords that we strategically use in all of the content we send out. For more information on keyword usage click here.
2. Be yourself
Whether you are a business, brand or an individual, your social profiles should reflect who you are. If your brand is fun and hip, don’t post sterile ‘businessey’ content. Your social profiles and pages should make people feel like there is a person behind the posts, and not an automated computer system (even if you are utilizing automated posting).
3. Blog post and page titles should be well thought out
You can spend all the time in the world creating a wonderful blog post, but if your title isn’t searchable or catchy, people aren’t likley to read that post. For general searchability and SEO purposes, be sure to craft titles that will spark people’s interest, and show up in search engine results.
4. Use creative, clickable hashtags
Essentially, hashtags are keywords preceded by the hash symbol (#) that mark content and make it easier for users to find and track conversations about specific topics. Most social platforms utilize clickable hashtags, which make them a great way to sort and promote your content. To read more about hashtags click here.
5. Make sure the settings on your page are set to “searchable”
Many social networks allow you to hide your entire profile from search engines, or even hide content on your page from the public. This is fine if you’re an individual who is trying to protect privacy, but as a brand or business make sure that the information and images you post are visible and searchable.
6. Set up social sharing buttons on your website
Your website should have social sharing buttons set up so that your visitors can easily access your social profiles. Most websites platforms offer plugins to make this set up pretty seamless.
7. Employ Google authorship
Google+ authorship allows you to connect content you publish on a separate domain to your Google+ account. If you have a Google+ account with a profile image, your content will rank higher in Google searches.
8. Make sure your images and posts meet the size requirements set up by the social media platform
Clicking on someone’s profile only to see that their profile image is too small for the space provided makes you think that person is technologically inept, right? Don’t be that person. Use high quality photos that can be scaled to the fit the correct dimensions required by each social platform.
9. Include good photos with your posts on all your social channels
Don’t just insert a link and call it good, use images that will grab attention and augment good content.
10. Rotate out your cover photos and background
You don’t need to do this often, but every month or two, offer your viewers and fans a new and interesting graphic. There is always room for creativity in you brand imaging, but not if it takes you too far away from maintaining consistency, so be sure that when you change or rotate graphics they all maintain consistent branding for your business and company.
11. Don’t forget the lesser known platforms
If your brand has found success through major social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, then consider implementing some of the platforms that aren’t as widely used. There may be a key audience utilizing a platform like Vine or Instagram that you aren’t reaching because you haven’t set up social profiles there. Explore this opportunity.
12. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe or sign up for you mailing list or blog updates
Your website should have a form or button that allows visitors to easily subscribe or sign up for email, blog updates and/or a newsletter. This form should be highlighted in the side bar, integrated into a landing page, or easily visible somewhere on the home page of your website.
13. Use multimedia
You want a visually pleasing social profile, so utilize photos,videos, slideshows, animated GIFs, illustration and other multimedia content to make an impression on your audience. Internet users rely heavily on visual content for information, so make sure your page offers important information in visual form.
14. Create an editorial calendar for posting to your blog and social networking sites
The calendar can focus on your key messages or topics of interest to your key audiences. Planning content in advance in this way ensures you cover all your bases and don’t get stuck sharing the same type of content over and over. The editorial calendar should help you maintain consistency with your messaging. Use this as a general guideline, but don’t feel constrained by it.
15. Engage, engage, engage
Sometimes no one is posting much on your company profiles or pages. Seek out communities that are relevant to your business or brand and comment, or share expertise. If you do have people posting and messaging you, respond to them. You should always take care of customer service issues offline, but be sure to invite an upset customer to contact you via phone. This shows your customers that you are willing to respond and help them with any issues as soon as they arise.