Best Practices for Driving Engagement + Growth on Social Media

Best Practices for Driving Engagement + Growth on Social Media - PSM Marketing

A strong social media presence is integral in the contemporary digital landscape. Using social media effectively is vital for varied businesses, including contractors, nonprofits, law firms, recruiting firms, green energy firms, and small businesses. This comprehensive guide offers valuable insights into creating impactful social media posts, engaging your audience, and tracking your progress to optimize your business’s online presence.

The Purpose of Being Social: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Each social media platform offers unique opportunities for businesses to connect with their audience, spread brand awareness, and drive business growth:

LinkedIn: The Professional Network

LinkedIn has a distinct professional focus, making it a valuable platform for building and strengthening business connections. You can utilize it to share company updates, thought-leadership articles, job openings, and industry-specific insights. Given the professional nature of the platform, the content you post here should reflect your business’s expertise and industry knowledge.

LinkedIn provides a generous 1,300-character limit for personal updates and a 700-character limit for company updates. While you can write longer posts, the first 1-2 sentences are crucial as the rest is hidden behind the ‘see more’ prompt. Ideally, LinkedIn posts should be informative, insightful, and professional, using enough words to convey the core message but not so long as to lose reader interest.

Facebook: The Community Builder

Facebook is ideal for nurturing a community around your business. Use this platform to share company updates, upcoming events, customer testimonials, and even to provide customer service. Additionally, Facebook’s comprehensive advertising tools can help increase your reach and visibility.

For Facebook, it’s been shown that posts with fewer than 80 characters get more engagement. If you’re sharing a detailed story or complex information, it’s better to prioritize clarity and completeness over brevity. However, longer posts should be balanced with visual content to keep users engaged.

Twitter: The Conversation Starter

Twitter’s real-time, dynamic nature makes it an effective platform for instant updates, engaging in industry conversations, and providing customer service. Use Twitter to share timely content, respond to industry trends, and interact with customers and industry leaders. Twitter enforces a 280-character limit, but research suggests that even shorter tweets, around 70-100 characters get more engagement. Twitter is all about quick, snappy interactions, so it’s best to keep your message concise.

Twitter has always been a controversial platform, but it has become even more so in recent years. This is due in part to the increasing polarization of politics and the prevalence of misinformation online. Twitter’s algorithms have also been criticized for amplifying extreme content, which can lead to further polarization and radicalization. Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has only added to the controversy. Musk had promised to make Twitter a more open platform for free speech, but many people are concerned that this has lead to an increase in hate speech and misinformation.

Instagram: The Visual Storyteller

Instagram is all about visuals. This platform is perfect for sharing images of your products and services, offering sneak peeks into behind-the-scenes operations, or telling your brand’s story through visuals. Remember to utilize Instagram Stories and IGTV for increased engagement.

Instagram allows up to 2,200 characters in the caption, but only the first two lines of a caption will be displayed in the feed without tapping ‘more’. Therefore, it’s crucial to make those first few words count. While Instagram users appreciate storytelling, lengthy captions should be broken into digestible paragraphs for readability.

Content is King: Crafting Engaging Social Media Posts

Creating compelling social media posts that resonate with your audience is an art. Here’s how to perfect it:

  • Show, Don’t Just Tell: Use high-quality visuals – images, videos, infographics – to increase engagement. Visual content is more likely to catch your audience’s attention, receive likes, and be shared, improving your overall reach.
  • Be Concise and Compelling: Avoid long, complex sentences. Social media thrives on brevity and punchy content. Aim for short, engaging posts that quickly convey your message. Use actionable language and compelling storytelling to keep your audience hooked.
  • Incorporate a Call to Action: Prompt your audience to engage with your posts. Whether it’s visiting your website, leaving a comment, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing your post, a clear call to action encourages user interaction and can drive increased traffic to your website.
  • Engagement and Beyond: Driving Website Traffic: Social media engagement is vital, but the ultimate goal is to turn this engagement into tangible results – site visits, leads, and conversions.
  • Share Valuable Content: Content that educates, informs, or entertains is likely to attract a wider audience. Share relevant blog posts, industry news, and practical tips from your website on your social media platforms. This offers value to your audience while driving traffic to your website.
  • Use Social Media Advertising: Most social media platforms offer advertising options, enabling you to reach a wider audience. Utilize these features to boost your top-performing posts and direct users to your website.
  • Measure, Adjust, Succeed: Leveraging Social Media Analytics: Social media analytics offer valuable insights into your audience’s behavior, allowing you to fine-tune your strategy for optimal results.
  • Track Engagement Metrics: Monitor likes, shares, comments, and other forms of engagement to understand which posts resonate most with your audience. Use this information to shape future content and strategy.
  • Monitor Website Traffic: Use tools like Google Analytics to track how much of your website traffic originates from your social media platforms. This data can help you identify which platforms are driving the most traffic and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Maintaining a positive and professional online presence requires avoiding certain common social media mistakes:

  • Avoid Controversial Topics: Steer clear of divisive topics unless they directly relate to your business. It’s easy to inadvertently alienate potential customers by commenting on sensitive issues.
  • Don’t Neglect Your Accounts: An inactive social media account can create a negative impression. Make sure you’re posting regularly and engaging with your audience across all your social media platforms.
  • Don’t Ignore Negative Feedback: It might be tempting to ignore or delete negative comments, but this often only escalates the situation. Instead, respond professionally and address any issues directly, moving the conversation offline if necessary.
  • Don’t Oversell: Remember that your social media platforms are not just for promoting your products or services. Too many promotional posts can deter your audience. Aim for a balance between promotional content and posts that engage, entertain, educate, or provide value to your audience.

Effective social media usage goes beyond simply having a presence on all platforms. It’s about creating engaging content, fostering community, and leveraging analytics for continuous improvement. By applying these best practices, you can ensure that your business reaps the full benefits of social media marketing.

Putting the Social Back into Social Networking

PSM Marketing