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Energize Social media plan
After you’ve been on social media for awhile, you may be wondering what’s next. You’ve been posting about your business deals and you gained some new followers. But the daily grind of having to come up with new things to post is wearing you down. So what’s next? Where do you go from here? The following are some tips to help breathe new life into your social media plan.

Set Realistic Goals for Your Social Media Plan

A lot of articles with tips about social media suggest that you should post several times a day. Truthfully, that is probably not realistic if you are managing multiple social accounts and your business at the same time. While it is very important to keep your accounts current and up to date, you do not need to post more than once a day. For some channels, you will want to post less.

Set concrete and attainable goals. Setting huge goals that you can’t keep could end up hurting your business more in the long run as your followers start expecting to see a certain amount of content from you. Start with a goal you know you can meet. Once a day on Facebook and Twitter is sufficient, you can post less on other platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn. The most important thing to keep in mind is that when potential customers seek out your social channels for information they see you are active and OPEN. When a social media account hasn’t updated for awhile a customer may come to think the business is closed or not doing well. So keep updated, just don’t feel you need to update once an hour. Social media traffic tends to decrease over the weekend, but depending on your business this might be the best time to reach customers. If you own an ice cream shop, for example, you might want to tweet out a picture of your newest flavor beautifully displayed early Saturday afternoon in order to entice your customers to visit.
Social Media Visuals

Add Visuals

Social media users love to see pictures and videos. With so much content coming at them all the time, visuals increase the chance they will notice your posts. Pictures will be the easiest thing for you to add on a regular basis. Learn the correct sizes for sharing to different social platforms and make an effort to start including more photos into your posts. Once again, make goals that are realistic to meet. Start with adding photos to one or two posts a week. As your impressions and engagement levels improve, you’ll feel more motivated to continue taking pictures and adding them to your posts. You can also play around with making your own designs on sites like Canva and PicMonkey. They both have free options so you can test them out to see if you like them or would like to upgrade for more tools and options. Sites like IM Free or Picjumbo offer images free for commercial use.

Get Personal

No, we don’t mean share your deepest darkest secrets! Rather, don’t be afraid to add a personal touch to your social media presence. People connect with people more than they connect with businesses. Share photos of your employee of the month. Post a picture of your personal favorite item on the menu and explain why. Make a short video where you demonstrate a fun or goofy use for a new product. Celebrate milestones in the lives of your employees. Adding personal touches to your social media presence will humanize your business and it will be more fun for you, too! Added bonus: it’s an easy way to start adding more photos and visuals to your posts.

Be Helpful

When people follow you, they do want to know about new products and special deals. But if all you post about are these things, you are unlikely to continue to expand your follower base. It’s important to consider before you tweet what value your tweet has to your followers. You are an expert in your business. If you sell pies, you know a lot more about them than your customers. While you don’t want to give away your secret recipe, you can offer tips on how to pair a pie to an occasion, the best season for the best pies, or what might be a good beverage to go with a certain pie. This is likely information you are offering your customers everyday in your store–all you have to do now is transfer that information to social. In doing this, you are helping them out by giving them information they would want to know and you are also giving them ideas and keeping your products in the forefront of their minds.

Engage More

Social Media is meant to be social. If you haven’t been intentionally engaging with customers or other users on the site, set a goal to start doing so. It can be as simple as liking the tweets or posts others make. Engagement has multiple benefits for you. First of all it helps to humanize your accounts. When you respond to or like posts, other users know that your social media profile isn’t simply running on autopilot. Additionally, it increases your exposure. When you reply to posts, others will see your responses. This will often cause them to check out your profile and see who you are. They may have already known about your store or business but not realized you were on social media. Or they may discover you for the very first time. Plus, people like it when others engage with their posts and share them. They will be more likely to return the favor in the future.

Social Media Engagement
Encourage Your Followers to Engage with You

In addition to engaging more with your followers, you also want to encourage them to engage with you. Design some of your posts around the idea of getting your followers to interact with you. This can be accomplished in a few different ways. Ask questions of your followers, post polls and ask them to vote, or give a direct call to action (i.e. like this post or retweet). All of these methods clue your followers into the fact that you want to interact with them. Each method will help to increase the interaction your page receives. You can test out different kinds of posts and see what your followers respond to the most. Then you can continue to use those kinds of posts in the future. As you engage more with customers and potential customers on social, you will also gain insights into how they are thinking, what their needs are, and how they perceive your product. A lot of people feel comfortable being truly honest on social media and the internet in a way they don’t in face to face interactions so this is a valuable opportunity for you to gain new insights into your business and make changes as needed. The more your customers engage with you, the more you’ll find you genuinely enjoy social media, so make it a goal of your social media plan sooner rather than later.

Use Hashtags

If you haven’t been using hashtags, now is the time to start. Hashtags are an excellent way to be found by more users on various social sites and are a key part of any social media plan. Tap into some of the popular conversations by checking to see what’s trending. Always make sure you understand what a hashtag is for before using it, otherwise you might inadvertently do more harm than good. But there are a lot of hashtags that people use to find specific information or that simply become part of the social conversation. Adding them to your posts will help you be found especially on sites like Instagram and Twitter.

branded hashtag
Branded Hashtags

Once you’ve been using hashtags for a little while, you might want to consider a branded hashtag. A branded hashtag will give you the chance to encourage others to create content around your store, business, or product.

For example, you are getting ready to launch a new product. You want to generate some excitement around it. Instead of simply posting about it on Twitter and Facebook with several exclamation points, try developing a hashtag. You can use it on any posts you use to countdown to launch, and you can also encourage customers to snap photos of themselves and use the hashtag as well. You can then share these photos on your own social media accounts. This accomplishes multiple goals for you. It gives you fresh content, it gives you visual content, it personalizes your accounts, and it promotes your product best of all.

Just check to be sure that your desired hashtag is not already in use and don’t forget to use it a lot yourself and promote it where you can. Put it on your website and on signs inside your store. It won’t work if your customers don’t know about it, so make sure they do. Consider offering a contest or giveaway for the best customer post to encourage participation as well.

For some help on how to choose the best hashtags for your business, consult this graphic by Twitter.

Need Help?

If you’re overwhelmed by social strategy, you’re not alone. Think Creative has multiple solutions to help you manage your social media plan across multiple platforms and we’d love to help you out. Contact us today and discover an easier way of doing social media!

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