Opinion | How to use social media effectively

How are you measuring success on social media networks?
How are you measuring success on social media networks?

This month is my 10th year on Twitter. As a marketer, social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are a crucial part of my, and my clients’, marketing mix.  In fact, the early days of Twitter were extremely valuable for me as I created some great contacts and won new business from this new network.

Yes, social media can be an important cog in your marketing mix, but it can be an absolute waste of time if you aren’t using it effectively. Posting for the sake of posting, because someone told you you should be on Facebook, is not effective. Do you think social media is for selling? Posting “salesy” content is not going to sell anything. It’s better to not do it at all.

Understanding the importance of adding value for your social media followers is essential to making it work for you. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself:

1.  Who is your real audience? If your offering appeals to a specific audience, you need to know what they care about and what tone and voice would resonate best with them.

2.  What value do you offer them? It's not about you, it’s about what will benefit your target audience. Think about why your offering is beneficial. Share content that speaks to those benefits and offers valuable insights and information.

3. What is the right strategy for each platform? It’s possible people will follow you on multiple platforms. Don’t post all your content at the same time on each. Make the content appropriate for the platform. Spread it out and mix it up to ensure you don’t bore your audiences. Don’t spam with lots of posts or you will lose more followers than you gain.

4.  How will you measure success? More followers and likes isn’t always the goal. Quality is the key. Measure engagement and see how much is driving back to your website. You need to know which campaigns are successful and which ones are failing to get the returns you expected.  

The main objective of using social media for business should be to build trust, authority and likeability. From there you will have a strong base for enquiries and sales.

Consistent, quality content that adds value to your target audience will help you gain a following that is more connected to your brand. People like to support organisations which they believe share their principles. If you communicate yours genuinely, you will have a much greater opportunity to profit from your social media activities.

Craig Wilson is the managing director of Sticky.Digital