Social media is the single best way to engage with your current audience and reach even more readers, customers and partners. However, it can be intimidating and difficult to know how to stand out in the crowd. Here are my five best tips for improving your social media presence.
1. Interact Wisely
I’m sure you’ve noticed, but there are quite a lot of people using social media. 500 million updates are sent per day alone just on Twitter, and therefore it’s easy for all of the cool content and campaigns you’ve been working on to get lost in the shuffle. This is why it’s important to make sure you’re conversing and engaging with the right people, whether this is other brands, potential customers or potential partners. Create a list of the top influencers in your niche and make sure you’re connecting with them regularly. Check in with this list every week or month to make sure there is nobody you should add or delete. This way, even through all the noise on social media, you’ll be able to focus in on the voices you really do want to hear.
2. Remember That It’s a Conversation
Approaching your social media accounts with the sole goal of selling something to your customer won’t get you very far. Social media is, at its core, social. If you want to get the most out of the time you spend on social, you’ve got to focus on genuine conversations versus constant self-promotion. This is your chance to engage with your target audience, and their friends and network and beyond! Respond thoughtfully, retweet, share and promote the links and posts of others, almost as much as you do your own, and don’t be shy about jumping into a conversation uninvited. In general, most people and brands using social networks are looking to connect, and will be glad you made the first move, so to speak. We’ve found that many of our members and followers respond overwhelmingly well to personal conversations online. Some of WeLoveDates’ most successful posts on social media have been simple questions we’ve asked our audience in an effort to strike up a dialogue and get to know them, nothing less and nothing more.
3. Share Awesome Content
Now that you’re working on establishing a target audience, you’ve got to have something of your own to bring to the table! Creating great and engaging dating content on your site or blog is important so that when you do strike up a conversation online, you have something amazing to share with your audience, and if it’s something they respond positively to, they will virtually do the sharing work for you. Publishing strong dating content not only builds your reputation as an authority in the dating industry, but cements to your followers that your social media updates are exciting, newsworthy and applicable – and, more importantly, worth them sharing. For example, late last year WeLoveDates published our 25 Most Romantic Cities in the World interactive map, and it garnered 3,346 Facebook shares and 1,091 Twitter shares. We poured everything into this project, taking our target audience into account, and were very pleased with the results.
4. Utilise Apps To Help
There are a plethora of apps and software available that can help make managing your brand’s social media accounts much less daunting. While I definitely utilise apps myself (Buffer is my current favourite!), it’s important to not completely rely on any one thing to automate your social profiles. When a potential customer or follower checks out your Twitter feed and notices that it’s just a list of pre-scheduled, self-promotional blog links with zero engagement, chances are they won’t give you a follow or like. Why? Simply put, your feed is boring! Scheduling updates is fine, and necessary in many cases, but it’s crucial that you have a real live human being on staff who pops in throughout the day to engage with followers or adjust that day’s posting as necessary. Apps should be just one piece of your social media strategy, not the entire thing.
5. Test, Test and Adjust
Every brand is different, and there isn’t a one size fits all answer to what type of content will do well on social media. Play around with it and get creative. Test out different initiatives, whether it be contests, Twitterchats or hashtag promotions that are on-brand and fun. You’ll slowly begin to see what works well and what doesn’t with your audience. On that note, social media trends are ever evolving and you’ll need to keep adjusting your strategy to keep up.
6. Remember That You Are Customer Service
More and more, people are using social media to resolve customer service issues or complain when something has gone wrong, whether it’s a canceled flight or poor service at a restaurant. Social media provides a way for the customer to get a quick, and hopefully satisfying, resolution to their problem and gives you as a brand the opportunity to really shine…or not, depending on how you handle the situation! This is where it’s crucial to have a real voice behind your social media accounts, so that when a customer tweets you, frustrated that they can’t log-in to their online dating account or were billed incorrectly, for example, you’re there to help or to direct them to someone who can. Not only do they see and appreciate your help, but all of your followers just saw it too!
Liz Spornick is the social media manager for the worldwide online dating site WeLoveDates.
Yes, she’s always on Twitter. Come say hi @welovedates!