6 Steps to Social Media Maven-dome
By Natalie Perkins
I’ll admit it – as a millennial, I thought that building and maintaining a social media profile for a brand would be a piece-o-cake. I grew up with this stuff, so I thought I’d know how to do it. Just sign up, start posting stuff that looks cool (AKA puppies, brunch, photos of SF, more puppies…). Duh.
As I’ve quickly learned, this non-strategy doesn’t really work for brands on social media.
Working with several clients on their social media channels, and even on our own internal team, I’ve learned there are a few key topics to think about before and throughout the process of building and maintaining a social presence for your brand:
#1: What on earth is going on here?
Or, put more simply – why am I doing this? Yes, just like everything else in your work life, social media needs to start with an objective. Are you trying to build general awareness of your brand? Is there a specific initiative you’re trying to pull through? Maybe you want to expand to a new audience? Whatever it is, identifying your objective(s) will help inform EVERYTHING else.
#2: Where my girls (or guys) at?
You probably already know your target audience – if not, TURN AROUND! GO BACK! FIND THAT OUT FIRST!
OK, now that you know who you’d like to interact with, it’s time to find out more about them. If you’re targeting a certain demographic, you can use that information to determine what social media channels you should focus on. Or maybe it’s less about age for your brand, and more about people that are really interested in a certain topic – like food! In that case, go find some of the major influencers in the food space, follow them, and follow the people who engage with them. Social media gives you numerous ways to seek out and engage with your target audience.
#3: What about the numbers?
It’s great to have realistic, but aspirational follower numbers to work toward. Think about (and write down) what your successful follower numbers would should be in 3 months, 6 months and one year. Remember it’s about quality, not quantity (heard that before?). Focusing on higher quality followers, AKA people who are actually interested in your brand, makes you more likely to gain followers that are going to engage with and adopt your brand.
#4: Avoid an identity crisis
For multiple reasons, it’s important for your brand to have a distinct voice on social media. You probably already have some sort of brand voice that you use in marketing materials (even if you don’t realize it), so stick with that – and then go deeper. Figure out what your brand is an expert on, and what your brand is not an expert on; what you will comment on, and what you won’t. Not only will this help you build a strong follower group that resonates with your brand voice, but it will help keep things consistent when you have multiple people handling social media posting.
#5: Keep the beat
When it comes to posting cadence, it’s OK to start out slow. It’s much better to tweet one solid, insightful post once per day than to flood your followers’ newsfeeds with content that misses the mark all day long. Stick to a cadence that you can commit to. You can always increase the frequency of your posts as your begin to feel more comfortable with your content.
Keep in mind – if you’re going to start out slow, it’s important to understand the best times of the day to post on various channels so you can make the post of your posts.
#6: A Very Long Engagement
Last but definitely not least – engage! Think about every like, comment and repost as a customer starting a conversation with your brand. You wouldn’t stay silent if someone complimented your brand to your face, so why lock it up on social media? Additionally, engagement can’t just be reactive. Take the time to scroll through your newsfeed and be sure to follow new accounts and start conversations. Engagement goes a long way in keeping followers and gaining new ones.
If you have any of your own tips for brands on social media, let us know in the comments below!
1. What would you do in life if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
I would open a bakery. One of my favorite things to do is go out and explore new places to eat in San Francisco, and I think it would be a BLAST to contribute to the already amazing food culture of this city. Although I’m pretty sure I’ve heard running a bakery includes some very early mornings – but since I can’t fail, I guess I’d make it work! (right?) Ideally, I’m picturing a life very similar to that of Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated. Without the weird Alec Baldwin-Steve Martin love triangle. Really just the adorable bakery beautiful ranch house part.
2. If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three items you would want with you?
First, a variety of cheeses. Let’s not even get into my cheese obsession right now – that would be an entirely new blog post. Second, my dog(s) to keep me company. And third, a really good, really long book. Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald would do the trick! I love to read, but rarely find the time to do it as much as I’d like. But since I’m stranded on a desert island…
3. Tell us a little about your volunteer work at SF Animal Care and Control.
In all honesty, I started volunteering at SFACC for selfish reasons rather than generous ones. I can’t have dogs in my apartment, and I needed some time with my furry friends. So, I started volunteering at SFACC about two years ago – I walk dogs, play with them in their cages, and basically just give them attention and socialization. It’s a LOT of fun, very rewarding and therapeutic at the end of a long day, and I highly recommend it for any and all dog lovers.