It’s an inarguable fact of 2019: All modern businesses need some form of social media presence.
Don't be fooled though, simply having a social media page doesn’t guarantee automatic success.
It’s easy to assume anyone can be a social media manager because of our familiarity and personal use of these platforms.
The reality is, social media is just another marketing channel.
Leveraging these channels to build brand awareness and drive sales requires just as much careful strategizing and planning as any other traditional business objective.
With that in mind, this article will give you a high-level overview of what it takes to execute a strong social media presence.
Establishing A Team Responsible For Social Media Management
Assign social media tasks
Accountability is essential to goal attainment.
In other words, if you want to take the management of your social media seriously, you need to assign a team or specific employees to take on these specialized tasks.
For example, it could be the job of a marketing specialist to outline a high-level plan and the role of the community management team to take care of daily digital community management. Of course, this will differ depending on the size of your space and your budget for staffing.
The next crucial step: determine exactly what’s on the daily ‘to do’ list of social media management. The ‘to do’ list should serve as a function of your long term social media goals.
Some common objectives for social media channel are: drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and generate leads.
The beauty of technology is that the progress towards these goals can be quantified and measured with engagement, that is, clicks, likes, comments, re-posts, etc.
That said, once you decide what your long term social media goals are, you can develop KPIs to track and measure progress towards those goals.
Decide What Your Content Will Look Like
Create high quality content that alligns with your brand
Now that you have assigned or hired a specialist to cover these tasks, you must decide what type of content you will share on social media.
Ultimately, the difference between a poorly executed social media business page and a superior one is the quality of the content.
So what does “quality” encompass in terms of social media content?
First off, quality posts look professional.
This is especially important when it comes to content related to interiors and design. High-quality photos are a must.
Commissioning a freelance photographer to take photos of your space may be a highly valuable investment.
Second, content that is considered high quality is aligned with your brand.
This means that the design, copy, and overall aesthetic of your social media content is consistent in style and aligns neatly with your high-level brand vision.
You might find it helpful to develop a few keywords such as “innovative,” “playful,” or “minimalistic” that articulate your brand values. These words will serve as a guiding light; ultimately directing your social media and marketing efforts.
Create emotionally engaging content
Think about the pages on Instagram that you browse religiously, what do you they offer to you that other pages don’t?
They probably make you laugh and entertain you, give you a feeling of community or belonging, motivate you, or teach you something new.
The common thread running through all this is that they resonate with users on an emotional level.
A Coworking space that exemplifies this is The Riveter.
This U.S. based business calls itself a coworking community and space "built by women, for everyone."
The proof of their social media success is in the numbers.
This multi-location coworking business has been in business for just two years and already amassed over 50K Instagram followers. Their social media page is a prime example of how to build an engaging online community.
The Riveter keeps its posts diversified. Not only posting about their actual spaces, but about people and ideas that inspire them.
For example, posting about inspirational women in history.
A post like this hits all of the goals mentioned above: It gives a sense of community, it's motivating, and it teaches you something new.
The Riveter's social media brand doesn't take itself too seriously, though.
The inspirational posts are peppered with posts of funny memes, relatable quotes, and lifestyle imagery.
It's easy to see how they have managed to gain such a strong following.
The key takeaway: Content should be diversified.
In other words, don’t just post still photos about your space and services. Share photos, videos, memes, graphics, illustrations, quotes, which serve to capture and communicate an authentic lifestyle and brand that resonates with a target audience.
Attracting Users to Your Page
Now that you’ve decided on a high-level content strategy and you have a specialist taking care of the day-to-day responsibilities of social media management, it’s time to create a publishing schedule.
Having the most stunning photos and high-quality content means nothing if you don’t have traffic coming to your social media pages. And as many social media specialist will tell you: Posting haphazardly is not a strategy.
This is where technology comes in to save the day. Several social media marketing tools help with automating this process.
If you’re not ready to invest in technology quite yet, you can plan a social media calendar manually with Google Sheets or Excel and the guidance of these helpful blog posts on “how to create a social media content calendar” from Hootsuite, for example.
Engage with other accounts
Engaging with other accounts is the common strategy for driving organic traffic to your page.
Engaging means everything from clicking ‘follow’, to liking, commenting, and sending DMs to all types of pages and hashtags that are directly and indirectly related to your business.
Although it might sound counterintuitive, don’t be shy to engage with competitors as well.
That said, while it’s important to engage with other pages, you also want to optimize your social media page so that like-minded users are more likely to find - and hopefully follow - your page. The two most effective ways to facilitate people finding your page is with hashtags and geolocation.
You can also check out this helpful article on strategies for gaining organic followers on Instagram.
Explore paid advertising
You may notice it’s difficult to get momentum when trying to gain an organic following on social media. That’s why some businesses may initially dedicate a slice of their budget to paid social media advertising to drive traffic to their pages.
A paid ad campaign will offer instant visibility for your brand and page. It’s simple to execute an ad campaign with Instagram business, or on Facebook with Facebook Business.
Respond promptly to comments & messages
If people are sending direct messages and commenting on your posts this means you have gained some followers and visibility, so congrats!
That said, once people start engaging with your online community, it’s important to you engage back, and promptly.
For example, if people start commenting on photos, you can reply to their comments or like them. Make sure to check out their page and follow them as well. Building an online community is a slow organic process, and these are all necessary steps towards building a blossoming online community.
Using Social Media to Drive Sales
Track & monitor engagement
This will become important once you have amassed a certain number of followers and traffic on your social media pages.
You want to determine which social media pages are performing best. Is it your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You will want to use the analytics tools native to the social media platforms or other marketing tools like the popular Hootsuite, to determine which platforms are generating the most traffic to your website and if those leads are converting into tours, for example.
Learn to use each platform for different goals
With so many different social media platforms it can feel overwhelming to have to apply the above steps to every single one. You don’t need to have a presence on all platforms right away. Better to pick one or two platforms to focus on and then scale your social media strategy as you grow.
That said, it's important to remember the user demographics of Facebook looks different from that of Instagram, and Twitter so is sure to invest in building a presence on a platform which is used by your ideal customer.