It’s difficult to think of a time without social media, and the popularity and saturation of digital technologies is easy to take for granted. More than half the world’s population has internet access, and more than two billion people have active social media accounts.
Originally conceived as ways to network socially rather than as business essentials, the most popular social media platforms have now become giants of technology and marketing, offering businesses valuable data about their audiences and a convenient, often zero-cost, way to reach them. Social media for business is no longer optional and nearly 80% of business have their own dedicated social media teams.
Twitter: the go-to platform for immediacy – news, announcements, urgent messages.
Facebook: less news, more stories. Sharing the human side of business builds ongoing relationships and loyalty.
LinkedIn: for business-to-business engagement. Editorial content builds trust and brand authority.
How Praxity’s been getting more sociable
Praxity Executive Office’s new webmaster has been helping us hone our approach across all our digital activity and there’s already been some improvements to our website this year. But she’s also been ensuring we use our own social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn effectively – helping reach the right audiences so we can start the right kind of conversations with them.
Our handle on all three platforms is @PraxityAlliance, which we’ve been using to share news and insights, publicise conferences, update members on Praxity’s services and benefits and promote member firms’ activity. We’ve also been watching and listening, and have learned a great deal about genuinely engaging with our audiences, tailoring our messages to their interest and needs.
Although we’ve relatively few followers, our engagement rates – where people are interacting with our posts rather than just seeing them – suggest we’re gently building a reputation. Our engagement rate with our 642 Twitter followers, at 1.87%, is greater than industry averages for professional services and exponentially higher than for those with millions of fans. Music industry celebrities can have tens of millions of followers, with engagement rates below 0.1%. The objectives are different.
That’s enough about us
We thought it would be good to share what we’ve learned ourselves, in case it’s of use. So, if you’re new to the game, are unsure what might work best for your firm, or are just keen to refresh your thinking, here’s our webmaster’s pick of the tips that are helping us make the most of our own social media presence and activity.
1. Create a content plan – what do you want to achieve and how does what you publish online help? Think about what your audience wants to hear from you and why they might want to follow your social media platforms. It doesn’t have to be all your own content, it’s about sharing other appropriate material too. Tie this in with your overall content strategy – getting the right material to the right people in the right channel, at the right time – to help deliver your overall business aims.
2. Understand your audience – who do you what to engage and turn into followers? What do you want from them? Focusing on quality not quantity will increase your engagement rate and build loyalty.
3. Post consistently – there are plenty of analytical tools available that can help you find the best times to reach your target audience. Once you’ve found these days and times, keep to them each week.
4. Post images – photos get 39% more interaction than posts with just text.
5. Hashtags – Tweets with one or two of the right kind of hashtags get on average 21% more engagement – but it’s not any old hashtag that works. Make sure your hashtags are recognisable to your audience and relevant to the content.
6. Interact – as social media is all about engagement, monitor and join in on those conversations your followers are engaging in themselves. If it’s valuable to them, they won’t mind!
7. Finally, analyse – keep track of posts that receive the most likes, shares and comments and post more like those.
Let us know what you’re doing and what you’ve learned and feel free to share our postings – especially those that help promote your own work. Using our handle @PraxityAlliance and #Praxity tag will also mean we can easily pick up coverage, join in with conversations, help spread your news and ideas and promote your achievements.
A version of this article first appeared in HUB Magazine 2018 #1