So, you’ve chosen your platforms, you’ve found where your audience are hanging out ‘socially’ and you’re ready to get started. Well, almost. There a few more things to consider, if you want to crack social media once and for all.

Be consistent…

People like to know that they have arrived in the right place. Have you ever searched for a popular brand’s page and stumbled across a handful of fake ones, before finding the official one? It’s frustrating and the best way to overcome this problem is to be consistent.

Ensure that your profile image is high quality and is the same across all social media platforms. It’s the easiest way to engrain your brand into the mind of your potential customers. Make life easy for your audience. Keep your tone the same, in all of your bios. The same goes visually, for your logo. Inconsistent fonts and colours will only serve to confuse people.

What do Google, Nike and Starbucks have in common? They are all big brands who are consistent, no matter where they appear. Excellent content will be enhanced by an image which can be recognised immediately.

Be active…

In part one of Getting Social with Ricemedia, we mentioned that it is not enough to merely exist on social media and expect that to be enough. You’ll be missing a huge opportunity, if you don’t use the platforms that you have.

The idea of thinking of something witty and engaging every single day can be overwhelming and is a common reason that some company’s social media doesn’t quite make it off the ground. Don’t panic, it’s usually not the laborious task that it appears to be. Most of the hard work is in the planning.

Ask yourself some questions, to help you decide what to post. Generating ideas is often a case of thinking ahead a little bit. Sometimes, you needn’t think more than a few weeks in advance.

Are there any events in your industry that you can talk about?

What recent success stories are worth shouting about?

Who are the leaders and influencers in your industry? Follow them and share their content with your audience.

Are you writing great content? Make sure you’re sharing it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that once is enough. You are not the only user appearing on the feed of your followers. It can be easily missed amongst other posts. You’ll have to do some work, to keep their attention. So, write a catchy headline that will stop them mid-scroll. Your followers won’t know your content is worth reading, unless you tell them.

Social media is about interaction and engagement. Don’t be afraid to start conversations. End your articles with questions. Encourage your audience to engage with you. Social media requires persistence. Maybe there is a slow response, at the beginning? Don’t stop. Another excellent way to be involved in relevant social media circles is to join a conversation that already exists. The easiest way to get started? The humble hashtag.

Hashtags are clickable, searchable phrases used in social media. Have a look around for hashtags that are relevant to your business or industry.  Then, begin to use them. Popular hashtags can be a springboard into growing your social media following and forging new relationships. Find people and companies who share the same interests as you. Interact with them. Making use of hashtags can help to increase your visibility, as your posts appear alongside everyone else who is talking about the same topic.

Maybe you have an event coming up? Create a unique hashtag, to get people talking. Encourage people to share their photos or their thoughts with it. People even use them at weddings now. Instant online album. If you attend an event, it will more than likely have its own unique hashtag. Find out what it is and get involved. 

Be organised…

It’s no good planning excellent content, if you forget half of it. So, make a plan. Do your company host events? Think in advance of what you can say about it. Is there a national holiday coming up that is going to be relevant to you? Social media moves so quickly that no opportunity to post or talk about something interesting should be wasted. This is why planning your content is more important than ever. You don’t need to plan every tweet, post or photo (unless you want to of course) but write down those unique hashtags you’ve thought of and when you’re going to start using them.

If you have a launch date for something important, plan when you’re going to begin your campaign to create a buzz around it. Plan your social media based on:

–          – what you have to say

–          – when you’re going to say it

–          – how you’re going to say it

–          – which platform you’re going to say it on

You don’t need to plan your entire year in advance. Even knowing what you’re going to focus on for the next month can be a huge weight off your mind.

Don’t forget to schedule some time in to monitor your stats. Check your most popular posts and think of ways to leverage on that sort of content. Maybe your blog posts get more reads during lunch? Great. Use that information to decide when to post. So photos on Twitter don’t work as well as on Facebook, for you? That’s fine. Use that information to inform the next steps in your strategy, so that no time and energy is unnecessarily wasted on platforms that don’t quite suit you.

Social media can be hard work at times but done the right way, it can do wonders for your brand.