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A social media presence is important in order to reach your target audience, even if you only have a small budget to maintain and sustain your brand. There are numerous platforms in social media, so you can easily collect followers no matter where they are. This is why it’s critical to learn about social media channels and speak the language of your audience. Do you post your social media content at the right time and use photos and videos in your content on a regular and strategic basis? Then there should be nothing standing in your way to success. In this post, we’ll explain step-by-step how to use creative social media marketing to establish your brand and increase the visibility of your products.

The benefits of social media are clear. Everyone now knows what social media is. Indeed, social media communication and marketing have been inextricably linked for a long time as social media and PR have grown together. This means that target audiences can be effectively reached thanks to organic contributions and social media advertising. Whether social media is used for B2B or B2C, with the right social media strategy and relevant content, every business owner will find their niche.

Start with the social media concept


For some companies, the concept of a social media presence seems tempting as there are no costs involved in making organic contributions. But when it comes to social media advertising, many companies will need to allocate a budget for their strategy. It’s easy to forget that maintaining a social media presence requires a lot of resources – at least if you want to do it right. That’s why it’s important to base your commitment to social media on a well-thought-out approach. First of all, it is important to precisely define the goals and target audiences. The next step is to assess how and where to reach the target audiences.

In social networks, you must always keep your eye on the ball!


Even the most thorough analysis and highest quality concepts require regular review. Therefore, keep your eyes on the latest social media trends and repeatedly question the choice of your social media channels. Is a social media platform losing much of its reach, or is the reach changing due to its users’ demographics? Then it’s time to see if it’s still the right platform for your social media marketing. You should also put new channels or new functions of existing platforms to the test again and again. Here, you should assess and compare the advantages of marketing to an early adopter to the disadvantages of encountering technical “teething problems”. These decisions are always based on your goals in social media marketing and on your target audience. In any case, a well-thought-out action plan that covers at least the next three months will help you create your social media posts.

Choose the right social media tools to regularly review the success of your posts and think carefully about which KPIs are the most relevant. Quality should always come before quantity.

Which are the most popular social media networks?


Social media can be about sharing opinions and information, or just for entertainment. The figures on social media usage in the UK show that some networks have sustainably established themselves. Without these networks, many companies would be unable to reach their target groups through social media marketing.

The following are the most popular social networking sites in the UK:
 


  • Facebook,

  • YouTube,

  • Instagram,

  • Twitter,

  • Pinterest,

  • Snapchat

  • and the business networking platform, LinkedIn

 
Messenger services are also becoming increasingly popular. These are:
 


  • WhatsApp,

  • Facebook Messenger oder

  • and WeChat in Asia

 
There are also other messenger services, such as Telegram and Threema, but they have a specific niche market of their own.

At the time of its founding in 2004, Facebook had a young following since it was created by students for students. Today, Facebook appeals to several generations, which is why the younger members are leaving this social network. After all, no-one wants their grandmother or father to see their embarrassing party photos. Nevertheless, the platform’s popularity is still huge and offers a highly effective marketing opportunity. With the right targeting strategy, Facebook ads can effectively reach target groups..

If the potential customers of your business are youngsters, you should turn to Snapchat and Instagram to reach them. You should firstly consider how many platforms your budget allows you to reach your target group. It is better to be regularly active in only one or a few platforms rather than appear everywhere half-heartedly.

 
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YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat

YouTube is the world’s largest video platform and the second largest search engine after Google. With its like and comment on posts features, YouTube is also a social media platform. But with the introduction of a new video feature from Instagram (Instagram TV, IGTV) serious competition for the video giant has emerged.

Instagram started in 2010 as a picture platform and has since become an important social network. While users were still very young at the beginning, the 30-and-over age group has now also conquered the platform. Since Instagram launched Insta-Stories in 2016, the network has attracted even more members, including from Snapchat.

On Snapchat, there are still mainly very young age groups who enjoy posting only short-term visible content. Even if many older Internet users do not understand this platform, there are already companies that successfully recruit on Snapchat.
 

YouTube, Instagram und Snapchat
 

Find your own target group on smaller platforms

Twitter is a social media channel with a comparatively small-growing number of users over the last few years. Nevertheless, the network continues to enjoy popularity and is used by many companies and the media.

LinkedIn is a business network in which companies, employees and freelancers present themselves and exchange ideas within groups. LinkedIn is clearly the number 1 business platform worldwide.
Pinterest is an image platform or a virtual pinboard where members show their interests and preferences. Most of its members still consist of women.

Messenger services mainly focus on one-to-one communication, but they also allow sharing in groups, thus making them a social network.

Finding your target group on smaller platforms

Which formats does Facebook marketing offer and how can I reach my followers?


Creating a page on Facebook is not rocket science. Before starting with Facebook marketing, we recommend that you undertake social media analysis. Find out whether your customers are active on Facebook and check on your competitors. Facebook lets you work with a wide range of different content: It is advisable to alternate the content formats of your posts. Too much text should be avoided, regardless of whether it’s your organic content or your ads. Use original photos, include videos and use the features of Facebook stories and „Facebook Live“ to announce an event at the right time. Viewers of live video tend to be very responsive to the content, allowing you to achieve the desired interaction. Viewers especially like the authenticity of live videos since there are no edits done to such formats. Nevertheless, bad-quality sound or a dark picture causes users to quickly switch off. Also, videos or live broadcasts should not be too long, as users usually start getting bored after a while.

Photos and videos usually provoke more reactions in an audience than pure texts or links. That’s why we recommend that you upload videos directly to Facebook, not just post a link to YouTube.

Since the recent changes to the algorithm in Facebook were introduced, Facebook ads have become unavoidable. Therefore, develop a concept by occasionally adding ads to your organic posts.

Is the algorithm of Facebook a black box?

 
Facebook algorithm
 
In general, Facebook’s algorithm prefers its own content and does not like it when reference to external posts is overdone. Not all your content needs to be original and you can share matching content from your network and link to external links. Facebook wants an active community in which the members feel comfortable so, ideally, your content should encourage meaningful interactions. Harassing followers to like something is undesirable and is condemned as “engagement baiting”. If you include current topics and the latest developments, it is more likely that your followers will react and discuss it intensively. Otherwise, you should always keep your target audience in mind and take into account the Buyer Personas. The right content for a specific person with a defined age and interests can be created more easily than for an unknown group of people. With social media tools for social listening , it’s easier to see which topics your audience is talking about and what interests them the most. Check which tool best suits your purpose to regularly create social media reporting.

As soon as you get started with content posting on Facebook, we recommend regular social media monitoring. Facebook provides you with a lot of insights to see exactly when your target audience is online and which posts were particularly well received. It is also important to regularly check your ads to see whether you can reach the desired audience. In order to invest your budget in a targeted manner, use the A / B or split tests to compare and test the different versions of your ads.

What type of content can I use to reach my followers on Instagram?


Posts on Instagram should be relevant, entertaining and informative. In comparison to Facebook, Instagram is naturally more focused on photos and videos. Use high-quality and attractive photos that followers notice right away. If there are several photos that fit well together in terms of content, you can use the “Gallery” function which is better than posting individual photos at short intervals. Always place the text underneath the photo and choose the hashtags carefully. By using suitable hashtags, other Instagram users who haven’t yet subscribed to your channel will also find your social media content. Of course, the hashtags should be relevant to your content and you should not use them to just attract people. A total of 30 hashtags can be used for Instagram, but it is advisable to use only a few of the keywords and to select them very carefully. Ideally, you should create new hashtags based on your brand and products. If your fans or followers pick up these hashtags, your content will automatically generate a higher reach. Since Instagram is a social network, communication with fans and potential followers is very important. You should, therefore, like and comment on other users’ posts.

On Instagram, the stories that are visible for 24 hours are particularly popular and successful. Use this format to draw attention to your business through original content.Live streaming is also possible with Instagram and you can bring your products and brand to life through this format. Since mid-2018, even 60-minute long videos can be uploaded to the platform. This shows that Instagram is putting the video giant YouTube to the challenge.

 
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What type of content is suitable for Twitter and LinkedIn?


The maximum tweet length allowed on Twitter is still short, even though up to 280 characters are allowed. That’s why short phrases are best and you need to get to the point with your content quickly. Photos and short videos have long since found their way to Twitter as a post with a picture attracts more attention. With Twitter Live, the platform also offers a live streaming option.
Twitter is still an important and popular platform, but has never reached the same user growth numbers as Facebook or Instagram. Nevertheless, it is on this platform that you will get to meet journalists, and interested people of all ages.

LinkedIn has established itself as a platform for employer branding. Here, you have the opportunity to position your company as an attractive employer. Tell exciting and informative stories about your products or the social commitment of the company. Try to vary the content and occasionally use videos to show your everyday life behind the scenes of your business. Make sure that your employees write the company name correctly so that the platform also displays all the employees as members of the company.

LinkedIn has also established itself as a content marketing channel for the B2B sector. Similar to its rivals, companies are placed on special pages, and there is the LinkedIn Pulse for publishing articles and technical group discussions. LinkedIn’s algorithm is quite strict about published posts. Therefore, always pay attention to the quality of your content, headings and photos. Remember that it should always be career-related.

How do I address my fans and customers on social media?


Whether you address your target audience with a formal or informal language depends on your topics and products. Firstly, if you have a B2B or B2C business, the age and background of your customers should be taken into account. Informal language will be better understood by children, adolescents and young adults than people over the age of 25 or even 30. Secondly, you should also take the environment into consideration, i.e. the rules of the respective social media platform. On Twitter and Instagram, an informal language is mostly used, with Facebook using both variants. The business network, LinkedIn, is predominantly formal.

The third step is to take a look at your own company. A typically reputable and conservative company may not come across as very authentic if it chooses a direct and informal tone to address its audience. Especially with issues of trust, such as in the banking and insurance industry, the formal approach would be more appropriate. When communicating directly, whether responding to comments or answering direct messages, it is best to reflect the language of the customers. If the customer talks to you in a formal language, you will need to do the same out of politeness even if you usually address your audience informally.

In conclusion, the informal way of addressing people in social media marketing is more personal and intimate than traditional business language. Having said that, a formal style can seem more professional and express more courtesy and respect, especially to a slightly older target group.

When is the best time to post on social media?

The ideal time to post on social media
 
Determining the best time for posting on social media will help marketers plan their social media activities. Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer and certainly depends on each case. There are a few basic rules, but beyond that it’s „trial and error“. The social media statistics and analysis functions of the individual platforms will help you here. They indicate exactly when the social media posts enjoy a particularly high level of response and when the target group is online. Specifically, if the fans and followers are in different time zones, this should go into the editorial plan.

Generally, in the middle of the week and in the afternoon the traffic for social media content tends to be higher. The interaction is also livelier during these times than in the morning. Here, too, it is important to differentiate between the platforms. The business network LinkedIn is mainly used during business hours and less frequently on weekends. In contrast, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are rather frowned upon in the workplace as they contain personal topics. As a result, these platforms are actively used seven days a week. The more you know about your target audience and their habits, the better you can plan the timing of your posts.

By posting on a daily or weekly basis, your fans and followers can expect to read the content at a certain time on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Hand holding bulb

How do I link my different social media platforms?

Plan a social media campaign not just for one platform, but to connect across multiple channels. Ideally, you should associate the campaign and channels with the company’s website or blog. Social media and blogs can go hand in hand. In the blog, the company has the freedom to write what they want and claim ownership of the content. The blog posts can have different formats and no algorithm needs to be considered. It’s only the requirements of the search engines that you should keep in mind. If such a blog is now at the centre of marketing activities as a content hub, the blog posts can be individually teased on social media. In a tweet or a Facebook post, you can then link to the new blog article and announce this with a few appealing and intriguing words.

Should I post on several platforms at the same time?


In this context, the question is whether you will save time and resources by transfering posts from one platform to another. An example: If you publish a post on Instagram, you can publish it on Facebook and Twitter at the same time automatically. That sounds tempting at first, but is not actually recommended. Every social media platform has its own l features and differs in these details. Multiple hashtags are perceived as normal on Instagram, but will irritate the fans on Facebook. If you automatically publish your Instagram post as a tweet, it’s likely that some of the text will be deleted. As a result, the tweet will be incomplete and will not appeal to most followers on Twitter. Attentive users will also register the company’s lack of diligence. You should be willing to invest time to tailor the new post individually on the respective social media platform.

In a social media newsroom, the contents of all channels should converge and visitors must be able to see all the latest posts at a glance.

Recruiting through social media


It has long been recognised that social media is perfect for attracting new employees. In LinkedIn, it is obvious that companies use the platform for employer branding and publish the latest job advertisements. But Facebook and Twitter also allow the recruitment of potential employees. Unlike a classic job advertisement in print, social media companies have far more opportunities to promote their business. With photos, stories and videos they can introduce their topics, and employees can get a behind-the-scenes look into the company. In times of skilled worker shortages, the topic of recruitment becomes more and more important. But it is also here that authenticity is in demand: A somewhat conservative company should not present itself as overly hip as it may attract the wrong candidates who will leave the company after a just a few months. If the company wants to revitalise its image, it should first work on the corporate culture and reflect it in the social media content. Where the commitment to social media is most worthwhile depends also on the target group. If you are looking for apprentices, you should get involved with Snapchat or Instagram. For specialists and executives, LinkedIn is the best option, but Facebook and Twitter can also be useful.

If you would like to strategically involve your employees as brand ambassadors in recruiting, social media guidelines are recommended. Such a guideline formulates actionable instructions and sets clear limits. By reading these guidelines, every employee will know when and how they are allowed to comment on the company’s social media pages.

What is the next step with social media?


Now you know how to reach your customers and prospects on different social media platforms, to create relevant and entertaining social media content you need well-researched, informative and appealing texts posted regularly. As a content agency, Textbroker is an online platform where you can easily contact qualified writers and place orders. Depending on how often and to what extent content is needed, placing direct orders individually with trusted writers is an option. Alternatively, you can put together a powerful team of copywriters for your social media content.

 
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