Today, it's an expectation that companies have a website, but it’s quickly proving not to be enough. Marketing departments are seeing their company Facebook and LinkedIn profiles on the first page of Google Search results, sometimes even above their own website.
Your company social media is now as important as your website with future customers and employees looking at both to evaluate your company. It is important to ensure that both resources present your company in the best possible light.
A profile page that is updated weekly shows that the company is current and listening to what their target customers are saying. A page that hasn’t been updated in over three months makes readers think that the company has stopped operating or is going through a transitional period, regardless of what your company website looks like.
Your company social media accounts act as the heartbeat of your company, showing both customers and employees that you’re relevant and active online.
Every brand has different goals for their social media accounts but no matter your individual needs, these three best practices will help you launch or rejuvenate your company's social media presence.
Most clients make the mistake of believing that they can use their company social media like their personal social accounts. But only posting when there's current news or events relevant to your company brings up two problems.
1) Inconsistent brand voice - The tone you use on your personal social media is different from the one you should use for your brand and you risk sounding too informal to your followers. On the other side of the spectrum, brands might find that their posts have a variety of voices when a social media account is managed and posted on by two or more employees. An inconsistent brand voice signals to users and followers that your company might not be as polished as your website suggests.
2) Erratic posting schedule - If you are using social media to just react to recent news, you're going to post inconsistently. Users will see you post ten times in a week and then go silent for two months or send out delayed posts with old information. Consistency is key as social media audiences are constantly evolving and company social media accounts are a great way to keep track of your audiences’ preferences, values, and goals.
To avoid these two common pitfalls, make a content calendar, a document that shows what each account is posting each day. Not all brands need to post every day but a written plan helps you see what weeks are content heavy and where you need to create new content. To get started, put all of your company’s upcoming events, announcements, and celebrations on a monthly calendar, then add in national holidays and fun social media days (like National Puppy Day) to have an idea of how often you will need to post.
I use a spreadsheet in Google Drive to keep track of all of my company social media content. It lays out what I will post on each account each week and I break my content up into themes. Some of them include: promoting website content (links to my blog, company news), national holidays (Christmas, New Year’s), Chinese holidays (Dragon Boat Festival), and fun social media holidays (Pizza Day). The different themes serve as a framework for me to use when I’m thinking of next month’s content. They provide direction and consistency across my company social media accounts.
Once a company has a content plan, the next step is to execute it. Clients often believe that they, the CEO or CMO, will be able to post on their social media accounts but even at a small company, it’s tough to remember to post each week and quickly your accounts can become dormant.
Large companies can devote teams of people to work on content for their website and social media accounts but for brands with a leaner setup, it’s helpful to hire someone to manage their social media, even if it’s only part-time.
For the larger budgets, company’s can hire a full-time social media manager or contract an outside agency to manage their online presence. For smaller budgets, interns are a great temporary solution to finding a person to manage company accounts without using the entire marketing budget.
At my one-woman concierge agency, I take time each month to fill out my content calendar and then set alerts on my calendar to remind me to post on each of my company accounts each week. I’m currently working toward updating my company LinkedIn and Twitter accounts once a week but even that limited posting schedule has proven to be a challenge during my busier weeks.
Before a company can execute an effective social media strategy, they need to determine what their goals are on social media. Do you want to increase the number of followers so you can reach more people with your ideas or product? Make your goal a target number of followers for each account. Do you want more people talking about your brand? Set a target number of monthly engagement, the sum of likes, comments, and shares. Or do you just want to post to show that you're relevant and active? Set a goal to post a minimum of one time each week on each platform.
Now, with those Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), social media managers can start tracking the company’s progress on each of their platforms. No matter your goals, I recommend tracking followers (total audience), impressions (how many eyeballs have read your content), and engagement (how many people saw your content and then acted, whether they liked, commented, shared, or clicked on the post).
Start putting all of this data into a spreadsheet and record it on a weekly or monthly basis. Tracking these KPIs will help you see how your content plan is performing. You will have data to back up posts that resonate with your audience and you’ll also be able to see what does not work and you can go back and adjust your content plan accordingly.
Most clients’ problems stem from failing to execute one or more of these social media habits. All three rely on each other to succeed and combined, they give you a well-rounded social media framework to market your business and drive sales.
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