To know more about a brand, what they offer and their authenticity, many people go through their social media pages. It, however, seems companies are beginning to forget that social media is a search engine that must be paid attention to. This is because while your website can be perfect, it doesn’t give insight into your brand’s culture and your customer relationship like your social media pages do. So yes, getting it right on social media is a big deal. The bigger deal is knowing the right way to get it right. This is where social media optimization comes in.
Social media optimization is strategically using social media to increase your brand’s online presence. It is a complete process of creating a social media plan and implementing it in a bid to achieve measurable results – which could be to drive traffic to your page, get qualified leads or even increase sales.
Why Social Media Optimization is Important
When you create targeted content that your audience can use – content that centers around issues they are facing in real-time, content that speaks their language, you would be able to prove to them that they can rely on you for valuable up-to-date information. Combine this with consistency, you can build trust.
Trust is a vital currency in business. With it, you can get customer loyalty, recommendations and referrals, more mentions, sales, and brand awareness. By just optimizing your social media, you would be able to get your customers and followers to do your marketing for you.
Social media optimization puts you in front of the right people. If you use keywords that are similar to what your audience search for on social media and hashtags that are relatable to your industry, you don’t have to worry if the traffic your content drives to your social media pages is the right fit for you. Every lead is targeted and on point.
Your family and friends don’t have to be the only ones who know about your brand and the awesome service you offer. With an optimized social media plan, 4.1 billion active social media users get to see it too.
If optimizing your social media account is so important, how then do you get started?
First tip: In opening a social media account for your brand, choose the professional/business page option over a personal page. In some social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, a business/professional page lets you access some analytical insights on your post like your post reach, the geographical and age demography of people engaging with you. This serves as an added advantage when drafting your social media plan.
While setting up your account, pay attention to the category and subcategory you choose. Make sure it’s the closest relative to your brand’s service. You don’t have to categorize your brand under ‘fashion’ if you run a jewelry store and your target market is most likely to be searching with the keyword ‘jewelry’.
Ensure that your profile picture across all social media is similar so your customers don’t have a hard time locating you. In filling your bio/about section, use keywords which should be words your target market is likely to search with. It would help your profile stay on the list.
I’m not suggesting that you stuff up your bio with too many or unrelated keywords and end up sounding like a robot. Whatever keyword you use should sound natural and blend in with the sentence. If it’s not, find a way to make it so or scrape it out. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Don’t leave out any detail no matter how trivial. Having a complete profile passes you off as professional, reliable, and trustworthy.
There are two kinds of content your brand should be leveraging.
- Created contents, which are contents created by you.
- Curated contents, which are contents created by someone else but shared by you. It could be in the form of your retweets, list, post, or book recommendations.
A healthy social media page needs a combination of both kinds of content. When posting, ensure that you imbibe keywords to them so they can appear on search results.
Getting your posting schedule right is as important as creating the right content. According to a study by Buzzstream and Fracti, over 15% of users said they would unfollow a brand on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter if it posted more than six times a day.
Posting too frequently can bore your audience as you would be filling them with too much information at a go, and posting less frequently can make your audience forget you – there are 4.1 billion active users on social with almost everyone trying to create content. The most important thing is to know your audience and strike a balance.
Hashtags and keyword research
Hashtags are helpful tools in grouping related posts. If you are in the fashion industry, for instance, use hashtags your target market would likely search with or one related to your industry. The hashtag you use is to be related to the content you are adding it to.
Also, avoid using too many hashtags. You don’t want to turn your audience’s focus from the content itself to your elaborate hashtags. When posting on Facebook or Twitter, use 1-2 hashtags, and when on Instagram, keep it less than 10. Keyword research can also be done on social media.
Learning to handle social media the right way can lead to not just more follows or engagement but also more sales.