Most business owners understand that they need to have a presence on social media, however it’s important to understand that just setting up an account and updating it every once in a while isn’t enough. To get any real benefit out of social media, you need to be genuinely engaging with your audience; not just posting at them. Here is an evaluation framework that will help you determine whether or not you are actually reaching your customers through social media.
Anyone who is active on social media needs to be paying attention to their analytics. Your analytics are statistics on how many hits, views, friends, shares, replies, etc. that your posts receive, and they can give you a snapshot of your reach, engagement, and popularity. Analytics show you what’s working and what isn’t, and they also let you know whether or not your social media presence is improving. While analytics doesn’t provide you with a complete picture, it is an excellent place to start.
USE OF IMAGES
Pictures receive more interaction than any other type of content on social media. Do a quick audit to determine how often you are posting pictures; the more, the better (of course within reason). If you’re using stock images or digital images from an online or free resource, be sure to give credit and follow user guidelines where images are concerned!
Are your posts clearly written by a real, live human? Do you interact, mention people in your posts, listen to what people are saying, and actually respond? Don’t get too comfortable being an invisible presence on social media; your audience will be a lot more invested in your social media presence if they see evidence of the person behind the computer.
Do you capture people’s attention with your posts or are you just part of the noise? How many reposts and replies do you generate? Do people contact you through your Facebook pages or your Instagram links? If you’re not engaging your audience, it may be time to think about a new strategy.
When it comes right down to it, all that matters is whether or not your social media presence is contributing to your business goals. Many companies use social media in a way that looks impressive, but doesn’t actually do anything for their business. The key with social media is to engage with your customers – if you are able to create a genuine connection, then you have struck social media gold.
Written by Karen Bivand
Photo courtesy of ‘Sira Anamwong’ via freedigitalphotos.net