The Ultimate Social Media guide

Unfortunately, it takes more than a few silly cat pictures to win on social media. The social landscape is more complex than ever, and here at Actionable Insight we spend every waking minute trying to understand this social space so our clients don’t have to. In this blog post we will look at what you need to do to create a sustainable, engaged community that helps you achieve your business goals.

Step 1: Social Media Best Practice

Depending on your platform of choice, there is generally a form of best practise that you should abide by. However there is usually one code of practise that all good Social Media Marketers abide by, and that is to actually limit the promotional updates we use. Why? Because most of your users don’t only want to hear about what your company sells.

This is more common in traditional marketing practices, but things have changed; now we build our marketing efforts on trust, engagement, and community. Of Course there is a time and a place for promotional messages, but once you have built your community, you should focus your efforts on engagement and nurturing those who follow you.

Tips and tricks:

Now we know how to best abide by the unwritten rules of social media, we can start to reveal some of the magic tricks we use here at Actionable Insight to make some of our clients campaigns that extra bit special.

Our first inside tip is to create adjacent content. If someone is following you, it is even safe to say that they are interested in what you have to offer. It’s even safer to say that their interest probably don’t stop at what you have offer. Create and share adjacent content that is relevant to your business or a common interest to your audience. How do I do that I hear you ask? Well the first trick is to utilize the wealth of social media tools at your disposal. One of our favourite tools to do this is Simply Measured. And best of all it is free to use! If you navigate to the free tools section of their site, you can get custom reports on most major social platforms that will tell you what your audience is talking about. Yep, you guessed it. This data tells you what your followers are talking about/ interested in. So fill your boots and make some great content.

Step 2: When to share and publish content

This is one that most social media marketers get wrong. Simply because they either get all Rambo and start spraying out content like it’s a machine gun, or they just lose interest and won’t post at all. Unfortunately, there is no best practices for this. It depends on your audience, their appetite for what you have to offer and what kind of content you are publishing.

However, our friends over at Buffer have been conducting a lot of research in this area and have published an amazing guide on when to post depending on your time zone and platform preferences. Unfortunately, social media updates don’t tend to last too long. For example the half life of a Tweet is around 18 minutes and even less for the likes of Facebook and Instagram. This doesn’t mean you should be getting your machine gun back out and start spraying content again, but instead it gives us the unique opportunity to measure the quality of our content by seeing how long our users engage and share our content for.

How do I get users to engage with what I have to say?

Apart from following the steps above, there are a number of tactics you can use to foster engagement among your community. The golden rule is, if you can achieve an engagement level of between 1-2% from your audience for each post then you are doing pretty well.