Part 10: 9 things to consider when improving your social media
Read time: 10 minutes
Social media has made it easier to inspire, be in contact and maintain a relationship with customers and reach potential customers. The following 9 points could help you improve your content strategy to increase your online success.
1: Where is your target group?
Depending on the age of your target group, different social media channels are used. Research shows that younger age groups, 14-25 year olds, are more active on Instagram, whilst older age groups, 25-50 year olds, are still very active on Facebook. A reason could be that Instagram is a fast growing social media channel which keeps improving its functions and usability, whereas Facebook’s user-base is no longer growing and sees its average usage time decreasing.
Some experts in social media analysis expect Facebook to gradually fade out as commercial medium, more now that algorithms don’t prioritize branded content anymore. Currently, Facebook is already showing a decline of engagement numbers and site referrals. It can be expected that Instagram will continue to grow as a medium and that the older user group will gradually make the switch.
Our tip: Make sure to understand who your target group is, and spread your message using the social media channels they use. Keep experimenting and make sure to spread your message offline as well.
2: Goal per media
Each specific target group requires its own specific message based upon its needs and desires. So, each medium must have its own type of message and goal. For everything there is a right time and moment to share. Find out by testing and experimenting when your target group is active, on which channel and when certain content is generating engagement.
3: Instagram is all about what is happening NOW
Traditionally, photos that inspire are always a success, so make sure the image you share is original and creative. Now, what can help boost your engagement are the ‘stories’ and ‘live videos’ functions.
Stories are a selection of vertical photos or videos that are visible for just 24 hours (and will then disappear), that allow your followers to see a bit of extra or backstage action. The cool thing about these micro moments is that you can add various things to the story such as the time, temperature, location or a poll. Perfect to show your cold, early morning session at the secret spot, and ask your followers if you should go for a freestyle or a wave session. Great tool to experiment with what is working with your audience group. You can also repost stories that you’ve been tagged in!
Live video is another cool feature that is scoring big in terms of engagement. Not only can your followers interact with the live video by giving reactions and likes, but they can also re-view the video within 24 hours. Bonus point is that the live video does not need to be in ultra-high quality. Do keep in mind that live videos should have a topic and should be interesting to watch or listen to.
Our tip: Experiment, make sure to diversify the content you put on a channel, find a mix between the product or service you sell, your customers, the people behind the scenes and the experience.
4: YouTube : the second largest search engine
Videos are always a success. YouTube is claiming that 18-49 year olds are starting to spend more time using their channel rather than watching regular television. YouTube is one of the surviving mediums that offers on demand content to its users. Adults (35+) are the fastest growing demographic, whilst millennials already prefer YouTube to traditional TV.
YouTube channels are used mostly used to inspire, explain, or showcase. However, it also functions as a search engine, being the second largest one after Google, and the third most visited website after Google and Facebook. Having a YouTube channel is a great way to be found or to promote your activities with product reviews, guides, tutorials, vlogs or funny behind the scene videos.
Our tip: Make sure that videos ore high quality, high resolution, and not shaky, and make sure that every second is worth watching. 20% of the users will leave a video if it hasn’t hooked them in the first 10 seconds and keep them short, 3 minutes is about the longest the average user wants to commit.
5: Twitter : real time news updates
Twitter is sharing real time updates with photos, videos, gif’s and more, all in 280 characters or less, with the option of categorizing conversations and topics by using hashtags. Basically, it’s a great way to push official and breaking news, facts or updates into the world. We expect that Twitter will stay around in some form for a while, as it remains a quick news source. However, it is not specific to marketing, since tweets are chronological and can get lost in the feed more than on Instagram.
6: Linked in – B2B network
Started as a business and employment orientated service, LinkedIn is growing into an important social business network hub that makes it possible to boost business. Focusing on business to business markets, for some schools it can generate leads and put them in contact with companies that are looking for activities for their employees. It can generate fruitful collaborations with brands that are looking for ways to display their company values, or can help you to establish your business as an expert in the field. Connect with business groups and share useful information or experiences.
7: Use the proper #
The modern day use of hashtags was introduced by Twitter but mastered by Instagram and is a great way to categorize and add a topic to your message. You just add a tag to your message so it can be recognized and easily be found, and increase engagement. Hashtags can be themed, such as #throwbackthursday, #motivationalmonday or #sundayfunday or simple, which explain what is happening in the photo or video, like #sunsetsession, #adventure or #sendit. Find out what the popular hashtags in your industry, region or target groups, and add hashtags to your messages.
8: Power in your Phone
Nowadays over half of internet traffic is generated through mobile phones and tablets, so having a mobile friendly website is very important. Pushing the content at the right time will also make a big difference: a blog that takes 8 minutes to read must be shared when your target group has time and interest to read it. It will take experimenting to find out the best times to maximise engagement.
9: Story first, medium second
A lot has changed over the past few years and the days of TV and newspaper ads are coming to an end. That said, a lot will change in the future and it’s important to stay flexible to the change that will come, especially in the ways people communicate and are receiving information.
The one thing that has not changed though is the value of a good story. Make sure you are able explain what you are doing, why you are doing it, why and how you are different than others, how you can help your customers, etc. Listen to them and keep the conversation going, online and offline!