Audience growth, engagement, branding, content production, analytics, ads… when it comes to Marketing, the list of important matters to consider is endless. It can be hard to figure out where to start, especially with Social Media. For this very reason, we went in-depth on 8 best practices to perform on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Find out more about content optimization and social media management.
1. Know your audience and where to find them
When dealing with social media, knowing your audience is key. By understanding who is part of your target, you can choose the right platform and create content to support their needs with your products/services. To do so, start by asking yourself 3 questions:
What are you trying to achieve on social media? For example, you could aim to increase brand awareness, drive sales, establish authority, etc. Then, move on to smaller goals like driving website traffic, conversions, and likes.
Which social media can help achieve these goals? If traffic is a primary goal, something like Instagram might not be the right choice. But if you want a strong visual brand, Instagram is the way to go. A good tip is to weigh objectives against strengths for each social media platform.
Where is your ideal client expecting you to be? Start by checking out the competition and how well they’re doing on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube. If they're present, that's a strong indicator that your potential audience might be too!
If any social media platform doesn't pass this test, consider dropping it and placing more resources behind platforms where opportunities are better. This way, you will ensure that your services reach your ideal clients. To go further, study your ideal client behaviour and needs: it’s an extra step to make sure you choose wisely.
2. Read your analytics
Once you have some followers, you gain access to data about their behaviour, gender, age and preferences towards your content.
You can link metrics like likes, comments and views of each post to topics to find out what’s working out best. Social media analytics also indicates the best times to post on social media to reach your audience. If you’re still figuring out which platform to choose, many articles online mention demographics on each social. For instance, the majority of users on Twitter are 18 to 29 years old, which is interesting information if you are targeting this age group.
3. Stay on Brand
Everything from the colours to the font featured on your content sends a message to customers. Think about Tim Hortons, all it takes to recognize one of their products or content is the font and the red and white colours. This is exactly the goal: create a brand that’s easily identifiable by your ideal clients. Because your brand is a set of expectations, stories and testimonials, that are the very reasons why a consumer chose your service over another. Whether you’re just getting started on social media or have been a pro for years, there are many ways to ensure you’re staying on brand:
Use brand guidelines to have a cohesive brand identity across all your platforms and a recognizable presence. You want your potential customers to know who you are at first sight! To do so, you should consider:
Tone and voice
Kick off your journey by choosing colours and photos matching your brand with my mood board template.
Define Your Social Media Voice And Tone: the way you interact with your audience is going to be different depending on your platform.
Use the same elements from post to post, to build consistency. It’s one of the most efficient ways to strengthen brand awareness.
Get everybody on the same page. All your content on social media should have the same quality across platforms. Therefore, communicate your guidelines to everybody: freelancers, partners, coworkers…)
Be visual. Videos are ideal to tell more about your personality. In addition, it’s the most likely format to drive conversations, as video posts receive the most comments.
You worked hard on building a brand matching your values. But to really work, your brand messaging should also match your client’s vibe. It’s the perfect combo for a successful outcome!
4. Consistency is key
Posting consistently keeps your audience engaged and entertained. The more you post, the more they get familiar with your content, and are inclined to look forward to what’s coming next. If you fail to post regularly, your followers may end up losing interest and stop interacting with you. It’s better to focus on quality over quantity.
Consider using a Social Media Calendar to map your content. This way, you keep yourself accountable and plan ahead :
Planning ahead saves time. Knowing what you'll post in advance reduces time wasted searching for content to share.
Calendars keep you accountable for deadlines
You can post strategically. Instead of trying to throw out a holiday post at the last minute (for example), you can plan out entire campaigns around an intentional schedule, all in one place.
5. Choose 2 platforms & use different types of content
To succeed online, it’s always better to have several points of contact. It all depends on the type of information you want to share, but we recommend a combination of short and long content to stay relevant.
Types of long content
Long content is the opportunity to educate your audience on your area of expertise.
Goal: establish authority
Types of short content
Short content typically promotes longer content.
Goal: build engagement
Social media posts
6. Repurpose content
Content is definitely a powerful marketing tool. But its secret weapon is that you can always get more out of your old posts, and that’s exactly what content repurposing is about.
Content repurposing is the process of taking performing content and turning them into another format. The most popular ones would be blog articles to social media posts. With content repurposing, you’ll save considerable amounts of time while maintaining engagement rates.
Combos working well together
YouTube + Instagram Stories
Post a video on YouTube and use Instagram Stories to promote teasers and share the link. Including videos and reels regularly boosts your Click-Through Rate (CTR).
Pinterest + Instagram Stories
A carousel published on Pinterest can be simultaneously shared on Instagram and Facebook Stories. It’s easy because the size is roughly the same ;). Using more carousel posts drives engagement and likes. Don’t forget to add a call to action like “swipe for more” or an arrow in your visual.
Instagram Post + Instagram Stories
Although it’s good to diversify, you can also make in-app combos and use one type of content (stories), to shine a light on another (posts).
7. Engage with your followers
Engagement is about interacting regularly with your followers. If consistency matters while posting on social media, varying themes and formats is also key. Although Reels bring a lot of visibility on Instagram, Carousels and photos can be more effective and relatable to your target. Talking about Instagram, the best thing you can do is to get in there as fast as you can! The average engagement per post is higher than Facebook combined.
Regarding themes, it all depends on your industry. You might want to start by taking a look at the competition. But if you want to start right after reading this article, I do have some ideas in mind that can help you:
10 engaging posts ideas for your social media :
Share short tips or tricks
Host a giveaway or contest
Create a “Ask me anything” post
Share someone else’s post
Inspire followers with a motivational quote
Collaborate with another brand
Talk about trending topics
Use a GIF
Create “how-to” tutorial content
Celebrate different holidays
8. Use social media features to your advantage
Stay up to date with new features and news from your chosen social media. Many platforms like Instagram or Twitter have a blog about key topics like business, features, creators and products. Recently, WhatsApp shared a new feature called Communities on the WhatsApp blog.
Users will be able to react to messages, share files up to 2 GB and call +30 people simultaneously. For now (May 2022), the news was only shared through the blog, you see where I’m going with this? Another example would be the Facebook guidelines that you have to comply with to place ads on their platform. Knowing them ahead will ensure your campaigns are launched smoothly.
Another way to make the best out of social media features is to consider image sizes. They do vary from one platform to another and evolve with time. To make sure your content is both accessible and responsive, you can count on socialmediasizes.io or Canva. Just click on the platform logo to access all the info you need, and even download templates (all the popular formats like PSD, Sketch and Figma are included).
Finally, don’t forget about the hashtags! On Instagram for example, profiles with over 100K followers should use at least 6 hashtags in the first comment for more reach. For smaller profiles, putting hashtags in the caption works better.