For companies who are new to the world of social media, it can be a scary place. You’ve already established that it’s great to make your brand visible on social media, but how? The temptation can be to open an account on everything. Then, six months down the line, you’re potentially left with a Vine account with one video, a sparse Instagram and a Facebook with no interaction.

The best way to approach the situation is to choose the most appropriate platforms and create an amazing presence on there. It’s easier than it sounds. Ricemedia is going to help you to plan, prepare and then post. Follow us…(see what we did there?)

If you have social media profiles set up already and you’ve had a go at using them, do a mini review of what is working for you and what you can leverage on.

What should I be looking for?

– Followers – have you been building an audience, over time? Who are they?
– Shares – have people been sharing your content?
– Likes and retweets – do people actually engage with your posts?

Also, take a look at your Analytics, as it will be able to show which social networks have driven traffic your way. Not only this but how long those users have stayed on your site. What’s the bounce rate like? Do they arrive and visit a lot of pages? Consider what they might need from your website. If it’s just a phone number, they may not stay onsite for a long time. Match your findings against your goals and expectations.

The above factors will help you to determine where to invest your time. A common mistake that businesses make is in thinking that social media is just to pass the time. It is an investment – most certainly of your time and occasionally, of your money. If you’re seeing no return, it’s time to re-evaluate where your efforts are going.

Before you decide which platform to use, ask yourself why you chose it. Let’s say for example that you are an ecommerce website. Pinterest would be an excellent option for you. Why? It’s an image-heavy platform with more valuable options, beyond simply sharing your own content. Don’t choose a social media platform just because it’s popular.

Think about who you’re trying to connect with, what your content is going to be and where would be most appropriate to share it.

Who are your audience? The easiest way to decide is by thinking about who will want your product or service. Where are you likely to find them? When you have decided, go to that place. Look at the sort of things they’re already sharing and talking about. Think of how to get yourself noticed, in that space.
What do your audience want to see? Your niche finance company may not have an exciting office environment but maybe your finger is on the financial pulse. In which case, photos of your office on Facebook won’t be the best way to reach your audience. However, your articles about the falling inflation rate may be just what your connections on LinkedIn need and voila! You have found your place.

What content are you going to share? There can be a lot of pressure in social media to constantly churn out content. Yes, you’ll need to post regularly but it isn’t all about you and what you’re doing. Share things that you’re interested in. Talk about what is going on in your industry. Share good quality articles. Maybe your website has a blog? Share that content and make sure it’s more than once. Encourage readers to comment on it or share, if they found it useful. Pop stars have to perform their single more than once, before it’s a hit. Approach your content with the same attitude.

Don’t forget to make use of the ‘scheduling’ options that most social media platforms have now. You don’t have to be present 24/7 for your social media to run constantly. And be alert. Once you’ve been posting for a while and your audience has grown, people will inevitably begin to interact with you. Reply to those users and be prompt. This builds brand loyalty and does wonders for your reputation.

Be an active member. Nobody likes a social media profile, where all the user does is talk about themselves. Even very big brands can rarely afford to adopt this stance now. If you’re bringing something of value, there’s no reason not to acknowledge others who do the same. A retweet, like or share can do wonders for building online relationships. After all, social is a two-way thing.