If someone had told us 15 years ago that 75% of the world’s population over 13 would be accessible through digital platforms at the push of a button, we would have cracked a rib from laughing so hard.

Yet here we are, with 4.62billion people across the world using social media, spending an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes per day consuming content on these platforms. Source: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/

Our clients are always asking us the best way they can harness this opportunity to improve their customer relations, gain insight into their customers' pain points and challenges, and, of course, increase sales.

So, in the spirit of National Social Media Day we thought we would pull together a short list of FAQs to answer those burning questions.

How often should our business post on social media?

It’s true that regular posts on social can improve followers, engagement levels and help with brand recall, however posting for the sake of posting can cause people who were in the early stages of the buyer journey to disengage with the company.

Businesses should focus on quality over quantity, approaching their social media strategy from the point of view of the customer and creating content that is interesting, informative, or memorable (preferably all three!).

Nevertheless, we cannot forget the importance of regular posts, so create a social media plan. Your business will have lots of interesting things to talk about, so make sure you are capturing them in your plan. This will ensure that you have consistent, interesting content that is well thought through and your audience will want to engage with.

When should we post on social media?

The dreaded question. There is so much conflicting evidence and advice on what time of the day or what day of the week you should be posting on your social channels, trying to make sense of all the information will drive you crazy. Plus, the guidance evolves and changes all the time.

From experience, we’ve found that it depends on the social platform, type of content, industry, and objectives, and only through trial and error can you get a good sense of what works for the individual client and their followers.

What it comes down to though, is that relevant and useful content should get good engagement levels whenever you post it. Maybe avoid posting in the middle of the night though (unless your business provides solutions for insomnia).

Which platforms should my business be using?

Before picking your platforms, make sure you understand who you want to talk to, how content is consumed, and what you want to achieve. By understanding who you are talking to, you can determine which platforms they are using.

This will help you to narrow down the platforms which are relevant and avoid spending time on the social media channels that you are unlikely to see a return from.

What format of content should our business be using? Video? Static Image? Carousel?

In short, it depends what you are trying to say and which platform you are saying it on. Again, understanding which platforms your audience use and how they consume content will help you.

Your audience is on LinkedIn? A relevant static image or carousel (avoid stock images) with a link to a thought leadership article or blog on your website often can work well.

Your audience is on Instagram or TikTok? This platform is used to consume bite-sized pieces of information quickly, so a short video with key points will capture the attention of your audience. You can still link back to your website if people want more information, but a video is more likely to spark their interest in the first instance.

The above is just a general rule of thumb, but through the use of a social media plan which incorporates regular, interesting posts, you will gain insights into what format works well with your audience and the platforms you are using.

How can we expand our followers? How long will it take?

By ensuring you have a social media plan with interesting, relevant, and regular content you should see your number of followers start to grow. But don’t expect your followers to shoot up overnight. They might, but it’s more likely that your number of followers will increase incrementally over time.

If you need a boost in your number of followers quickly, you can always supplement your organic social activity with paid ads.

How can we increase engagement?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, creating content that is relevant and interesting will encourage people to engage with it. But how do we know what information and content will inspire our audience to interact?

Remember, social media should be social. Your audience isn’t using social media to be bombarded with sales messaging. So be social. Create conversations, ask questions, reply to comments and the platform’s algorithm will reward you.

As you gain insights through regular posting, the type of content people are engaging with on each platform will become clear. Based on this information you can then create posts for each platform to increase the chances of engagement.

But WHY?

Creating a plan, creating content, and monitoring and reporting on the results is time consuming. So why should we bother?

A recent study showed that 76.1% of social media users say that they use the platforms to research about brands and products. It is clear that if you are a business that does not have a social media strategy then you are falling behind your competitors. Companies that have this in place are gaining insights into their customers which are difficult to get elsewhere. Encouraging customers to engage with your company regularly will lead to long-term, loyal relationships based on credibility and trust.

We’re just scratching the surface here of how social media can support your overarching marketing plan and objectives. But if it’s piqued your interest, get in touch to find out how we can help your business to grow.