There is no denying that all businesses need to be present and active on social media in order to compete. After all, the average Internet user spends 2 hours a day using social media and messaging services. So how do you make sure to engage users during those precious few hours? As someone who is self-employed or runs your own business, you might assume you don’t have the time or financial resources to invest in a winning social media strategy. But you can easily start growing your social media engagement with these 3 must-do steps.
Research Your Audience
First and foremost, you must understand who your target audience is and what makes them tick. After all, social networks present content to users based on relevancy to the users’ interests. According to Twitter, for example, “Tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline.” Once you understand who you are trying to target and what they care about, then you can make informed decisions about what type of content to post on social media and when. Ask yourself:
- How old is my audience?
- What is their average income level?
- What time of day do they spend the most time on social media?
- What is their education level?
- What are their general common interests?
- What types of content do they interact with on social media?
Luckily, most social networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, make it really easy to get insights on users who follow your account. Use this data to understand your audience and create content relevant to them. The more relevant your content, the higher the engagement will be.
Create a consistent schedule
One of the key rules of engaging users is sharing a consistent stream of content. If they have followed your Facebook Page or Twitter, for example, but you don’t post consistently (a minimum of 3-5 times a week for Facebook and once per day for Twitter), then users won’t see your business in their feeds and will likely forget about you. As for attracting new followers, the same rule holds true.
Make it a priority to post consistently, and don’t get too ambitious. If you do not have the capacity to post content daily on Facebook or multiple times a day on Twitter, then start with a schedule you can easily manage. Also, remember quality over quantity: Sharing two pieces of relevant content within a week is better than posting daily content that doesn’t resonate with your audience.
Include Relevant & Engaging Images
Make your content visual! Adding high-quality, relevant images to your content is proven to increase engagement, which is why 74 percent of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing. Many small business owners worry that they don’t have the budget or time to create captivating images for their content. But it’s easier than you think!
Sure, sourcing images can be pricy with services like Getty, iStock and other stock image databases. However, you can create your own graphic or find free stock images by searching through Creative Commons. You can also quickly and easily create tables and infographics with user-friendly tools like Canva. There’s no need to be a graphic designer or spend lots of time and big bucks on images.
That’s it! These three building blocks are your foundation for a solid and high-performing social media engagement strategy. Just remember to measure and analyze your progress. Luckily, many platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram offer great insights tools that make it easy to track how your content is performing.