We see it all too often, brands posting sporadically, without accurately analysing the most effective posting times, with a scattering of different designs and varied quality or style of imagery. It can give the impression of an equally sporadic, scattered, unreliable business, which may well be the furthest thing from the truth.
Whether you dedicate time in-house, or engage a social media agency, it is important to establish your brand identity. This will provide the basis of all ongoing media – in print and digital marketing.
A good place to start is by developing a voice board. As technical as this may sound, it is simply a list of words and phrases that fit with your company’s ethos. There are the obvious words that directly explain your brand – ‘car sales’, ‘cosmetics’, ‘apparel’ et cetera – but also those that evoke a more emotive sense of your business; ‘ethical’, ‘dynamic’, picturesque’, ‘bespoke’ - words you feel describe who you are as a business.
Consumers have a high expectation of the visual style of brands. Creating a style guide for content will help keep you ‘on brand’ and consistent. Pinpoint your specific brand colours, font styles and images you like and also that your customers will find visually appealing. This will form the parameters of your social media feed, providing not only the inspiration, but also the boundaries within which to work.
Now that you have the content, it’s time to think about scheduling. The easiest times to post are when you have events – sales, parties, new stock launches, bookings and so on. These are fixed to specific dates, so it is obvious when you will need to be posting and promoting.
Beyond that, posting recommendations range from three to 10 times a week for an average social media account. What is universally agreed upon is that consistency is key. Three posts on the same day then nothing for six days is almost as detrimental as not posting at all. You need to be persistently teasing your audience with content. And remember quality over quantity is always the best choice.
As well as allowing you the opportunity to ensure your posts are being delivered in a timely passion across the month, scheduling also means that you can curate your feed. You may well have an endless stream of superb content, but if it is posted haphazardly, it may become repetitive and dry, or clash with the images and messages either side
Viewing your planned images and assessing the best order in which to publish them will assist in creating a far more powerful and dynamic feed. Obviously, this applies to highly visual platforms such as Instagram, but the chronological flow of your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn feeds is equally as important.
Mostly, have fun with it! Allow your feed to be a reflection of what inspires you about your business, and even inject a little of your own personality into it. Portraits, staff images and so on convey the people behind the brand and can prove highly valuable where appropriate.
Social media has become a vital part of marketing. Empower it and make it work for you!