Social media consumption represents most of the time that people spend online, whether engaging with their friends, sharing news links, or checking on the pages of their favorite brands, bands, and businesses. The impact of social media on business has been significant - indicating that social media marketing is not a waste of time, but essential to the success of 21st-century businesses.
Managing social media outlets can certainly be a full-time job, but if you're a solopreneur or sole proprietor of a business, there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything. But social media management can be condensed to a few basic and best practices - and still make an impact on business.
As with business, consistency is the top best practice of social media management. Posting consistently will help to draw your audience - and encourage them to share what you're posting. Daily posts to your channels - multiple daily posts if it can be managed - will help your audience get and stay engaged.
Consistency in theme is another social media best practice. Make sure your audience is receiving immediately relevant information about what you're doing or what's going on at your company, from sales and new imports to asset liquidation and contests. Social media helps drive both current and potential customers to your website or web shop, which in the long run will result in higher revenue intake.
2. Quality Content
Right after consistency, posting quality content is of critical importance. Keep the tone of your channels positive and interesting; share engaging, amusing, and thought-provoking content; pay attention to what your customer base responds most to and tailor your future posts accordingly.
Each social media outlet is best tailored to different types of content. For example, Facebook and Tumblr work best with photos and videos; Twitter does best with text and hashtags. Whatever you choose to post, keeping your content high-quality and substantial will keep your audiences readily engaged.
3. Multiple Channels
While Facebook and Twitter are the largest social media platforms and just about every brand utilizes them, don't overlook other channels, either. Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr are also ideal outlets for reaching younger audiences, while Google+ and Ello are best utilized for reaching professional audiences. Pinterest, along with Tumblr and deviantART, are excellent channels for creators.
The more channels you post to, the more you'll be seen and heard - and in a crowded marketplace, cutting across the chatter is as much a science as it is an art. Learn the mechanics of each channel and, over time, how you can best adapt each to the direction and strengths of your business. Multiple channels help to deepen the impact of social media on business, and will help your brand or business to grow.
4. Management Platforms
Social media management platforms can be fantastic investments - purely because they can save large amounts of time by being able to post to multiple platforms via one single outlet. Platforms like Edgar, Hootsuite, BuzzSumo, Buffer, and SproutSocial - among others - have gained tremendous popularity due to ease of access and customization in posting. While every social media management platform is different - and offers different levels of customization dependent on your budget - starting out with a basic social media management tool can cut down significantly on the stress and work of adroitly handling all your social media outlets.
So, too, can a social media calendar. Creating and using a social media calendar takes the guesswork out of which channels to post to and on which days - and you can customize it to include any sort of information you need for each channel, including the best times to post based on either individual outlet analytics or on the data indicated by your individual channels.
Social media takes time to master, but beginning simply and using best practices in managing social media outlets will help to sustain and grow your business for many years to come.