Help Your Company Escape Social Media Groundhog Day
If your social media strategy is lacking and you feel like you’re stuck doing the same thing over and over (and over) again, it’s never too late to make changes. If you’re not seeing the results you want, take a leaf from weatherman Phil Connors’ book (played by Bill Murray in the 1993 film Groundhog Day) and start making changes to press forward in your social media endeavors — because February 2 or not, it’s never too late to improve our businesses and our brands.
Phil Connors: “Come on, all the long distance lines are down? What about the satellite? Is it snowing in space? Don’t you have some kind of a line that you keep open for emergencies or for celebrities? I’m both. I’m a celebrity in an emergency.”
Luckily, we’re here for you during any social media emergencies — celebrity or up-and-coming celebrity.
Not All Platforms are Created Equal
The first step to improving your social media presence is understanding that not all platforms are created equal. Different audiences want different content. It wouldn’t make sense for you to post a casual Q&A for your customers on LinkedIn, afterall. That would be much better suited for Snapchat or your Instagram Story. But what should you post and where should you post it?
I had the opportunity of talking to Sterling Snow, the Director of Marketing Communications at Jive Communications about the best practices (and posts) for various social media platforms, and how to diversify and target the proper audiences. Here is what I took away from our conversation that can help companies transform their cold, gray platforms into something worth viewing.
Instagram is the most visually engaging platform, so it makes sense that it is one of the best platforms for engagement. Images posted to Instagram should be beautiful and compelling to incite conversation. In addition, utilizing Instagram Stories is a great way to improve visibility and traffic to your page. Despite your industry, it’s worth experimenting and posting to Instagram.
What you should post: Great quality photographs (consider hiring a photographer) of your brand and your company, including behind-the-scenes peeks, employees having a good time, event highlights, and scenarios that show off your corporate social responsibility. Instagram Stories and Instagram Live are also great tools to open up and get candid. Have Q&As, post video of live events, take polls, and show people what things look like “backstage”.
Facebook is a lot like Instagram in the sense that it can be very visual, but it’s a lot less focused on beautiful grids and romanticized brands. Of course, you can still post many of the same pictures on Facebook as you posted to Instagram, but shake things up and pick and choose. On Facebook, your content can be much broader.
What you should post: Blogs, how-to videos, quote templates, interviews and interview clips, funny memes and gifs, and other engaging brand videos. Remember that the key word is “engaging”. With Facebook’s recent changes, prioritizing posts from users’ friends and family over viral content and posts from businesses, your content needs to generate conversation more than ever. Otherwise, no one will see it. One great tip Zuckerberg gave to stay relevant on Facebook is to utilize Facebook live. So go live during events or just to show off your brand behind-the scenes.
LinkedIn is your professional platform, meaning that a lot of the fun, light-hearted content will probably not be posted here. Instead, use this to establish your brand credibility.
What you should post: News, business tips and tricks, thought leadership, best practices and quick takeaways, and articles — LinkedIn articles are a great way to get your company seen.
Twitter is a great tool to reach audiences looking for news and a laugh. It shares your business’s short story and can be used to get valuable insight.
What you should post: Humorous short statuses, gifs, and video clips, as well as brand or industry news, polls, and event highlights. You can also live stream events happening right in front of you like news, celebrations, and historical moments. You’ll also want to retweet thought leaders tweets that relate to your company.
Snapchat is an outlet for your business’s very short story. Many brands forego using Snapchat, but depending on the audience you’re targeting (millennials and Gen Z), it can be a useful platform. Afterall, there are over 173 million daily active users watching billions of videos every day.
What you should post: Behind-the-scenes glimpses, clips focused on a day in the life of your company and brand, Q&As, quick tips and tricks, and fun facts. You may even consider creating a geofilter or sponsoring a Snapchat Lens.
Don’t Fixate on Your Own Shadow
Phil Connors: “I’m a god — I’m not the God, I don’t think.”
You may think your company is the bee’s knees, but not everyone sees you like that, and most of your customers on snapchat don’t want to hear all about you, you, you. So to get out of the Groundhog Day rut, become a little less brand-centric and a little more customer-centric. Find out what your customers want, and give it to them. Evolve with them. Solve their problems by listening to them. This is where social media comes in. It’s easier than ever to get feedback from customers today, and it can be almost instantaneous. So get on social media, get to know your audiences across different platforms, and feed them the content that will best help them. Only then will you escape social media Groundhog Day.
Originally written by Casmin Wisner on February 2, 2018.