Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … Since their emergence and their meteoric rise to power among Internet users, social networks have gradually imposed themselves on businesses as means of communication on the Internet.
Having become essential to any communication strategy, we must know how to use them wisely to exploit the full potential of these tools.
Why communicate on social networks?
Social networks are everywhere, it is impossible for us to escape! Launching on social networks is no longer an option and represents, as well as the traditional media, an important lever to publicize its activity, its products or its services by forging links with its customers and prospects and counting on the virality of the diffusion of contents.
Due to the popularity they generate among Internet users, their advantages are considerable:
- Improve the reputation of your company: Whether you are a business manager, SME or independent, by investing social networks and creating a page on behalf of your company, you diversify its online presence and therefore you gain visibility.
- Generate traffic to your website and attract new customers: Whatever your business, industry or target (BtoC as BtoB), social networks are a significant opportunity to reach new prospects and boost your sales.
- Develop your image and affirm your values: Investing social networks is a good way to humanize your brand by developing a close relationship with its target and maintaining a special relationship with it.
How to do it?
1. Define your objectives
No need to rush and create accounts on all social networks that exist. Take the time upstream to work on your communication strategy according to your needs.
Whether it’s prospecting new customers to boost your business, boosting your site’s popularity, building brand awareness or building a community, set measurable goals:
- Number of fans and subscribers,
- Number of visits to the site,
- Number of prospects subscribed to the newsletter,
- Increased sales, etc.
2. Qualify your audience
In order to define a relevant communication strategy, it is essential to determine and be familiar with the targets we are addressing in order to be able to offer them content that is consistent with their centers of interest, their needs or their problems. Creating marketing personas is a very good method to draw the typical profile of each of your targets.
By addressing a clearly identified audience whose expectations are known, it is then easier to put in place appropriate actions.
3. Identify your priority social networks
To avoid scattering, it is important to carefully select those to focus on. How does your audience get information? What social networks does your audience use? It is by analyzing the behaviour of your target that you will be able to decide on which platforms to position yourself.
Each social network has specific characteristics that must also be taken into account:
- Facebook, popular with all age groups and population groups, is a great marketing database and, thanks to its advertising program, a powerful tool to promote its business to targeted users.
- Twitter is particularly attractive to opinion leaders who focus on very specific topics, particularly in the information and communication sector.
- LinkedIn is ideal to develop its network, its employer brand and modernize its recruitment strategy.
- Instagram is a good way to promote its products by setting up a storytelling strategy.
4. Take an inventory of your resources
Communicating on social networks requires regularity and organization. Before you start, think about evaluating your abilities and do according to:
- Your human resources: do you have the necessary skills internally?
- Your temporal resources: how much time per week can you devote to the animation of your social networks?
- Your financial resources: do you have a budget to invest in advertising campaigns?
5. Define your editorial line by network
Now that you know which networks you are positioning on, do not just duplicate the same content on each one! By considering your social networks in a complementary way and by distinguishing their editorial line, it is important to be able to put in place a strategy adapted to each community.
For each of your social networks define:
- The tone to use: humorous, offbeat, professional, serious…
- The type of message: entertaining, informative, promotional…
- The formatting: videos, images, computer graphics, photos, gif…
- Frequency of publication: per week and per day, the best slots.
- The bottom: give advice, organize contests, and bounce on the news…
6. Plan your publication schedule
Good organization is the key to effective communication over the long term. Planning your interventions will save you time and give you a global vision of the content to be broadcast.
It is recommended to elaborate its editorial calendar by defining the topics to be addressed and the messages to pass:
- Over the next 12 months in broad outline, depending on the seasonality and events of the year (Christmas, holidays, sales, etc.)
- Over the next 30 days in detail.
7. Use a tool to program your publications
Essential to avoid logging in to each of his accounts every time you want to publish! Dedicated tools make it possible to manage all social networks from a single interface. This saves time by scheduling posts in advance and you can optimize your communication actions by analyzing their impact.
Some go further, like Banana Content, which centralizes all digital communication (social networks, automatic newsletters and emailing).
8. Stay “on standby”
In general, it is essential to keep abreast of what is said about your company, your competitors and your market. This is especially true to ensure an effective presence on social networks.
On the one hand by monitoring your e-reputation you can react when we talk about you (thank you, share the content on your networks or your blog). On the other hand, the day before you will find content to share. Finally, watching the actions of your competitors and the content that generates the most interaction is a source of inspiration for creating your own content (we are inspired, we do not copy!). To make your work easier, you can help tools like Google Alert.
9. Take care of your pros pages
The configuration of your pages and business accounts is done most of the time in just a few minutes. Gather all the necessary information and make sure you maintain a certain unity on all your social networks by using the same name and the same photo so that users can find you quickly and have no doubts about your identity.
Likewise, a clear and concise presentation of your activity, updated information and quality photos will enhance your professionalism and seriousness.
10. Expand your network
The goal is to bring together a large community of qualified Internet users . For that, use your personal profile to join groups dealing with your themes or to get in touch with people, influencers and experts who have the same professional interests as you.
By creating a targeted personal network from which you can relay the content of your business page (in moderation), you will help increase the visibility of your business.
However, to follow other brands, comment and share their contents, be careful to interact with your professional page!
11. Vary your contents
Whatever your business, always offer useful, rich and engaging content; advice, feedback, white papers, sharing statistics, anecdotes about the life of the company, etc. Ideas are not lacking! Do not forget to share articles from your blog to generate additional traffic.
In terms of format, images and videos are very popular because they promote engagement and improve the performance of a publication.
12. Choose quality over quantity
Forget about exclusively promotional content, you need to add value to the messages you broadcast. By publishing quality content tailored to your target audience, you demonstrate your expertise and interest.
To find the perfect balance between quantity and quality you must take into account:
- Your audience: capture their attention by providing content relevant to their expectations.
- Your budget: limit your communication strategy to the essentials.
13. Engage your community
For your communication on social networks to be effective, the biggest challenge is to federate a community with whom to build a lasting relationship in order to convert subscribers into customers and increase their commitment to your brand so that they become their ambassadors.
Engage and maintain dialogue by launching a discussion or survey, have people interact by encouraging them to share (with skill), invite them to share their experience…in short, show them that you are interested in them!
14. Respond to your fans/subscribers
Any comment, request or question deserves answer. Whether positive or negative, you need to be able to quickly provide an appropriate, transparent and relevant response.
Showing that you are listening, accessible and that you know how to keep your emotions under control in all circumstances will return a positive and professional image of your company.
15. Thank your community
Thank your fans and followers, but also your employees, partners and customers is a great way for the loyalty and humanize his company . The techniques are varied:
- Recommend the skills of a person on LinkedIn
- On Twitter, thank the user who retweet your post
- Put forward a collaborator or a customer to thank them for their fidelity
- Post a thank you photo when 1,000 fans/followers are reached, etc.
16. Mutualize your actions between partners
Do you work with service providers, resellers or franchisees? What if you could share your communication and increase your visibility rather than communicate on your own?
This opportunity of collaboration, still little envisaged, is nonetheless proposed by Banana Content which allows easily creating and transmitting content to your business partners, who can then distribute it on their own channels. You will be able to:
- Manage content posted on social networks,
- Control which partners speak,
- Analyze the overall performance of their digital actions.
17. Encourage your collaborators
Your employees should be considered the first ambassadors of your company. Involve them in your communication by highlighting the work of your teams or by encouraging them to share their experience for example. It is a good way to humanize your brand, materialize its values and federate your employees by developing the sense of belonging of each.
Encourage them to relay your job offers and interact on your social networks but do not forget that this approach is based on volunteering and requires certain sensitivity to digital.
18. Measure your actions
It is very difficult to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of its social media strategy. Do not make the mistake of focusing only on the number of fans/followers or the number of times a video is viewed. The most important indicator is community engagement, which takes into account the amount of shared content and the quality of the interactions with Internet users.
From the objectives that you will have set, determine the indicators that will allow you to judge the relevance of your actions and the success of your communication strategy . If the results are below expectations, you will be able to readjust it!
19. Be patient
Internet marketing, especially on social networks, takes time to observe the results of his work. Arm yourself with patience and keep in mind that a web marketing strategy is a long-term strategy, since it’s about developing a loyal community over time.
Conclusion: mistakes not to be made on social networks
Social networks are an excellent lever to publicize your business, but communicating effectively does not happen. These following rules summarize the mistakes you need to avoid at all costs. Now that you have all the cards in hand, do not hesitate to keep us informed of your progress!
- Start without strategy
Upstream, define your objectives, your targets, your editorial planning, the frequency of your publications, etc.
- Position yourself on all social networks
Each social network has its own characteristics, choose those that will allow you to achieve your goals and optimize your performance.
- Minimize the investment required
Social networks may be free media (excluding advertising campaigns) they require a real involvement and an investment of time and human resources.
- Adopt a too commercial approach
Purely commercial content does not interest users. Respect the 20/80 rule: 80% quality content, 20% advertising!
- Do not follow the fallout of his actions
Use statistical data from your publications to improve and refine your strategy by identifying the best niches or the most engaging content, for example.
- Manage and manually animate the social networks
Many dedicated tools will make your job easier, why not use them!