In the year where David Attenborough shocked the internet by gaining 200,000 Instagram followers in one hour, the power of social media has well and truly swept the globe and made a stance in 2020.
A staggering 3.8 billion people use social media, that’s over half of the world’s population scrolling through social media apps and keeping connected online. Social media is the powerhouse of the twenty first century and it has revolutionised the world – not only in a digital sense, but in how we live our lives. So, how can we harness the storm of social and benefit from this truly connective tool?
Mentioned above, social media has altered the perspective of the modern world as these digital platforms command our attention and give users what they want.
If you asked the average millennial where they got their main source of news they would probably say social media – likely Facebook or Twitter. Equally so, Gen Z users are likely to diarise their lives, hobbies and interests via Instagram or TikTok rather than keeping a diary or journal. Social media has change the landscape in which we search for and consume information, as well as how we present ourselves to the world.
These behaviours are set to be cemented into society as younger generations activity and values are already highly integrated with social media. A report conducted by OfCom in 2020 showed that 21% of 8-11 year olds have a social media profile, rapidly increasing to 71% of 12 – 15 year olds. With three quarters of the younger generation fully embroiled in social media, we can comfortably predict that social media is now fully rooted into our culture and behaviour.
With social media users and digital consumers investing an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes a day on social media, it is now crucial that brands invest in their social media marketing strategies – your ideal business prospect is waiting to see your brand on their feed.
Social media is now fully integrated into our everyday lives. So, what are the key principles to take away from our social media platforms? When we consider the values of social media, brand and businesses can implement these values into their social media strategies to harness the root of social media’s success.
GlobalWebIndex research shows that 41% of social media users want to stay up-to date with news, events and current affairs and that 29% of users engage with social media to research and find products to buy. These are two key aspects which brands and business can tap into to promote themselves through social media.
By ensuring your website produces and promotes relevant, exciting and interesting content, you could attract the 41% of users who want to engage with the news and trends of the moment. Tap into your industry news and produce content which engages with those topics. You can attract new customers through insightful blog posts, inspiring videos or interesting info-graphics which delve into the top searched topics of your industry.
One of the key stats for businesses and brands is that 29% of social media users use the platforms to research and find potential products to buy – and this is set to increase. In light of COVID-19, eCommerce sales have increased by 24% and a spike in product searches through social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest has been recorded.
Social media users engage with their favourite platforms at all hours of the day. However, analytics have shown that certain times of day do prove better for certain types of content posting.
Understanding when your audience log into their social media apps and engage with the content on their feed is crucial for building a successful social media strategy. You want to be posting when your audience is most active and likely to respond to your content. To understand when your followers are active you need to conduct some simple analytics to track your audience engagement.
Once you’ve determined your followers most active user times, you can implement this into your content plan to ensure you are posting at the best possible times. For a general overview, take a look at the main social media platform’s most active times for global engagement:
The customer experience and relationship with your brand should be the center of your social strategy moving forward. This is because, at its heart, social media is by its very name social – so you can use this fantastic tool to connect with you clients or customers.
Your businesses’ social channels need to foster a deep relationship with your customers to convert your social media following into valued customers. By applying your brand values to the social media value chain, you can build a social media strategy which will support and uplift every aspect of your business.
To get started, there are a few key principles to get in place to ensure your social media platforms are reaching out to your potential clients.
A great first place to start is the general house keeping of your social media pages. Make sure your brand accounts all follow the same branding through your account name, account handle and bio. You want to build a recognisable brand across all platforms so making sure your pages’ match-up is the number one step.
Now is also a great time to scroll through any old content and make sure it aligns with your current brand message – if it doesn’t express your current brand values, archive or delete the content to give you a clean slate.
In the same way you create an ideal customer or client profile when building your brand strategy, consider who your target social media audience is. It is imperative that you channel this information into your social media strategy to understand who it is you’re targeting.
Reflecting on who your audience are and what they want should be ongoing as you grow and develop your social media pages. Understanding your audience will help navigate what content you create and the way in which you post it.
Key Audience Information to Consider:
Your social media pages should promote and uphold the same values, goals and unique aspects as you overall business plan. Consider your brand’s USP, how can you implement this into your social media content? Think of creative ways to demonstrate why your USP is useful for potential customers, entice followers with a unique view point and channel your independent perspective into every piece of content.
You must give your followers a reason to stay loyal to your page and engage with your content, and demonstrating your individual brand values and selling points is a great way to hook people’s interests.
Remember, social media is at its heart, social! Use this to your advantage and import your contacts into your social apps and see who you can connect with. You’ll likely have tens, hundreds or even thousands of people you know who will follow your page if you reach out to them. Industry colleagues, business partners, sector enthusiasts, friends and family will all be interested in your brand’s social media pages, so, make sure they know you’re online and invite them to connect.
Import your email contacts from Gmail or Outlook, or you phone contacts, into your social networks to find out who you’re missing and who you can reach out to on your social media pages.
Now that you’re primed to start posting, take a moment to plan what content you want to put out into the world and schedule out your posts. You should be mindful to stay consistent with your posting times, planning 3-4 pieces of content a week tends to be a good starting point to help you build an audience and allow you to review each post’s engagement.
As well as posting consistency, you need to ensure brand consistency across all content. Keeping brand voice, image and tone uniform across all posts is vital for building brand awareness and promoting your brand values. Give your audience an easily recognisable brand image or caption style to build a relationship with your audience and increase your profile views. Building a consistent brand social media presence will translate into an increase in website clicks and follower to customer conversions – the main aim for a successful brand social media page.
With half of the global population at your fingertips, connect to the world and boost your business with our social media team. For more information, get in touch with a member of our friendly team, today.