25 easy tips to instantly improve your social media presence
With nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) Australians on social media – 56 per cent of whom get online more than five times a day – there’s no longer any question about whether or not your business should have a presence on social networks.
Many questions remain, however, about the best way to build and amplify your brand across different platforms.
While every business should take the time to develop a thoughtful social media strategy – equipped with clear goals and objectives for every network they’re on – sometimes you just need a quick win. Little boosts in engagement, spikes in followers, easy fixes to increase your brand’s online presence.
Ready to take some action? Here are 25 ways to get an instant lift on social.
If you’re just getting started …
1. Repurpose old content and distribute it on social media
When curating new social accounts, many marketers wonder ‘‘how am I meant to fill these with interesting, engaging content?’
Well, hopefully, you already have plenty.
While you should also post original content on social media, you can complement profiles with the stuff you’ve already created. By repurposing existing content on social media, you get added ROI from work you’ve done.
It’s essential, however, to avoid the all too common mistake of simply reposting blog posts or other content on social accounts. Users don’t want to visit your website’s twin on Facebook. People come to social media for a more interactive, human experience, so make sure you give it to them. Here are ten ways to give your content a distinctly social spin.
2. Generate traffic through your blog
While many marketers use social accounts to get users to their website, you can also do the opposite – particularly when you’re just getting started.
There are many ways to get users from your website to your social accounts, including:
- Adding social share buttons to content,
- Mentioning social influencers so they’ll share it,
- Equipping your site with a ‘social hub’,
- Showing what you’re up to by adding social tickers or widgets to your homepage,
- Linking to social accounts directly with easy, branded buttons.
3. Link, link, link
In addition to linking from your website to your social accounts, you can also build followers easily by linking between various social profiles.
Post an Instagram photo and invite followers to find out more on Facebook, let your Facebook followers know when they have just one more hour to catch some amazing ephemeral content you’ve put on Snapchat, include your Twitter handle in your LinkedIn bio. Never miss an opportunity to weave the brand experience together for your audience.
Best practices across all platforms
4. Get your head around timing and use the right automation tool
Everyone seems to have an opinion on social timing – catch people on their morning commute, avoid posting during dinner time. There’s no end to the number of theories on when is the optimal time to get the most engagement.
Our advice? Play around and figure it out for yourself.
While there are certain ‘golden rules’ – such as say, don’t post when everyone who follows you is asleep – what works for your business might be different than what’s advisable for other brands. Observe when you see the biggest spikes in engagement and craft your strategy accordingly.
Once you know what works, find the best automation tool for you. There are several social media scheduling tools. Some are better at supporting multiple accounts, while others are rather minimalistic – though easy to use. Choose the service that helps you manage your time and resources most effectively.
5. Emphasise visuals
People like pictures. They like video even more! That’s why building your social accounts around these two elements is a surefire quick win.
According to 82 per cent of marketers, using visual media is the most important tactic for optimising social content. We’re not surprised either – visuals not only pique human interest, but they also drive engagement and make a message more memorable.
There is, however, a right and a wrong way to incorporate visual content into your social accounts.
Here are some dos and don’ts.
- Use photos of real people – including your team and customers,
- Show photos and videos of events,
- Go behind the scenes,
- Share custom graphics from your website in addition to photos.
- Use stock-photos unless they’re relevant,
- Over-design – if you’re adding a quote or branding to an image, keep it simple and clear,
- Ignore user-generated images worth sharing.
6. Use the right size images
While we’re on the subject, here’s another major no-no and a sure way to look unprofessional – using the wrong size images.
All social media platforms have image guidelines and if you aren’t aware, you risk posting blurry or awkwardly cropped photos. Here’s an ‘Always Up-to-Date Guide’ from Sprout Social to help avoid such blunders.
7. Ensure your profile pictures and handles are the same on every channel
Your social media accounts don’t need to be mirror images of one another, but you should have a clear, consistent brand across every platform.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by ensuring every account has the same profile picture and handle. If you think this sounds boring, hear us out.
Users flick through social media quickly, and if one of your Instagram followers finds you in their suggested Twitter contacts, they’ll be that much more likely to connect with you when they recognise your business right away.
You also want to reinforce brand recognition on social media. The more people see your name and profile picture, the more likely they are to think of you when they need your product or service.
8. Give your profiles an SEO boost with keywords
Keywords tend to be an integral part of our content marketing strategies, but are often overlooked on social media.
Help yourself get found on social by identifying the terms users are looking for most in your sector. The same keyword tools you’d use in search – such as Google Keyword Planner – will do the trick on social as well!
On social media, you need to be especially careful about ensuring these keywords are worked in naturally. Users don’t want to see traditional advertising on their social accounts and haphazard, jarring keywords will stand out like a sore thumb.
9. Adjust your photo tagging settings
If you don’t stay on top of your social accounts you risk inappropriate tags tarnishing your business reputation.
To avoid this, take a proactive approach and adjust your photo tagging settings rather than waiting for a negative mention to crop up. Facebook and Instagram both give users the option of reviewing and approving photo tags before they appear on your profile, and Twitter lets you restrict who can tag you. All platforms will allow you to remove any tags you don’t like.
While you may be tempted, don’t completely restrict tagging. More often than not (well, hopefully), mentions will be positive for your business and help your social impact.
On Instagram, for example, tagged photos are added to the ‘Photos of you’ section of your profile, which followers will use to get a better picture of your brand – literally. Also, tagged images could end up being user-generated content worth reposting.
10. Be strategic about who you ‘like’ and ‘follow’
Likes, follows, mentions and other social media associations are public to your followers. That’s why it’s so important every like or interest is in line with the message your business wants to send.
For example, YOU, the marketing professional, may happen to enjoy frequenting a certain bar on the weekends. That doesn’t mean that YOU, the childcare centre you work for, want to advertise this by following the bar’s Facebook Page.
Ensure every page you’re linked to on social media is in some way relevant to what you do. This will not only build positive brand associations, but also help you get found by those interested in your niche.
11. Leave no stone unturned – or any field blank
One of the easiest ways to optimise your social profiles is to simply ensure you’ve completed every field.
Blank fields look lazy and unprofessional, so take your time and make sure your profile explains – at a glance – who you are and what your business does. If you haven’t updated your profiles in awhile, go back in and ensure you haven’t missed anything, as platforms will often update what’s required now and again.
While you’re at it, edit content to make it a bit more fun and engaging.
12 Take advantage of new updates
No one complains Facebook is secretive about their constant updates. The social media giant typically offers full transparency around not only what they’re up to, but why. Many marketers, however, don’t make it a priority to stay informed and, consequently, miss out on new features that could affect their social media strategy.
Don’t let this happen to you. Take advantage of updates and get in on them early.
For example, with Facebook limiting the organic reach of business pages in 2018, it’s time for marketers to start seeking out influencers to pick up the slack – now, not later. What about Facebook Messenger Bots, released last year? Is your business taking advantage of them yet, or waiting for it to become the norm?
Facebook is always evolving, so make sure your social media marketing efforts are too.
13. Test out different CTAs
In 2014, Facebook launched call-to-action buttons to help pages drive business objectives. How many times have you changed your’s since then?
Facebook has many call-to-action buttons – but most businesses stick with the same one year after year.
Instead of making your CTA a set and forget, experiment with a few and see what gets the best results. Here are some of your options:
- Book now,
- Contact us,
- Call now,
- Use app,
- Play game,
- Shop now,
- Sign up,
- Watch video,
- Email us,
- Learn more.
Your CTA will appear next to a similar button linking to your business on Messenger.
14. Use emojis in your Facebook marketing
There’s no rocket science behind this – people on the Internet love emojis, just like they love puppies and videos of babies acting like adults.
In 2015, Wordstream published a report about how ads with emojis have a significantly higher click-through-rate than those without. So much higher, in fact, that Ads called an unfair advantage and banned emojis.
Well, no one stopped using them (or stopped loving them). According to Adweek, 92 per cent of online users use emojis and heaps of them (84 per cent of women and 75 per cent of men) feel emojis express their feelings more accurately than words. You can see certain emojis appearing in Ads, although there isn’t much rhyme or reason to which are allowed and which are flagged as punctuation errors.
One place your emojis won’t get blocked? Facebook, so go ahead – add them to your paid promotion and watch that CTR climb.
15. Save time with saved replies
Responding to your Page’s messages probably isn’t the most exciting part of your day, but it’s an important step in keeping your customers satisfied.
Thankfully, there’s saved replies – a feature from Facebook that allows you to respond quickly with standard – yet personalised – messages.
Create the right saved replies for your business. You can use the feature for:
- Contact information,
- Accepting a client’s request,
- Price lists,
- Service offerings,
- Cancellations and unavailabilities.
16. Use the right #hashtags (and the right amount of them)
Hashtags are hugely helpful at exposing your image – and your profile – to a high volume of Instagrammers.
On Facebook and Twitter, hashtags tend to be more associated with trends, whereas Instagram hashtags are less prone to fatigue, which is great news for marketers.
While Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, a TrackMaven study has found that the optimal number is 11 in terms of generating engagement.
To find the best hashtags for your business, explore a few. Think of some you’ll definitely include and then search for those. Then, see which others are on the most popular posts and add those to your strategy as well.
You should also look up hashtags your target influencers use most often, making a meaningful connection between his or her followers and your brand.
17. Ask users to ‘tag a friend’
The whole point of social media is to connect. Use this to your advantage and ask followers to share your brand with their pals on Instagram.
By asking your followers to ‘tag a friend’ you’re spreading the word for free. Sharing a photo of food at your restaurant? Tell users to ‘tag their lunch buddy’. Advertising an event? Prompt followers to ‘tag the person they’d bring along’.
There’s no end to the number of posts you can get extra eyes on using this strategy. Even asking people to ‘tag a friend who can relate’ to a funny quote can help boost your engagement through the roof.
18. Choose the best filters
Filtered photos are 21 per cent more likely to be viewed and 45 per cent more likely to be liked or commented on than photos without.
While there’s a great deal of debate around which specific filters work best, it’s important to choose a filter that brings out the right qualities in your photos. Here are the characteristics that drive engagement, according to Curalate:
- High lightness – 24 per cent more likes,
- High amount of background space – 29 per cent more likes,
- Blue as a dominant colour – 24 per cent more likes,
- Single dominant colour – 17 per cent more likes,
- Low saturation – 18 per cent more likes,
- High levels of texture – 79 per cent more likes.
Depending on what you’re posting, a different filter may bring out a certain attribute, so try a few and see which looks best – and which drives the most likes and comments.
19. Create a photo theme
Another great way to give your Instagram an edge is to curate posts with a certain theme. Consider using just one filter. According to Contently, 50 per cent of the top brands on Instagram use just one, consistent filter.
Or, give your page a colour theme based around your brand or the vibe you want your business to give off.
Another option is to spread one image or video across multiple posts, like Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has done here:
Be creative and find fresh, genuine ways to catch users’ interest and give them a reason to follow you.
20. Get in on what’s trending
As we mentioned earlier, hashtags tend to come and go on Twitter.
Typically based around a news event or trending idea, hashtags see a huge spike in engagement and then disappear. While brands may not get much lasting ROI by using a trending tag, they can still get a huge audience with the right tweet at the right time.
When there was a power blackout during the Superbowl XLVII, for example, Oreo decided to get in on the trend with this gem, which ended up being one of the most re-tweeted posts of 2013:
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Don’t miss out on the action – follow what’s trending to find opportunities for Twitter gold.
21. Learn the anatomy of the perfect tweet
Optimise your tweets to make them stand out in ultra busy feeds.
- Choose a good profile picture – Users will see this with every tweet, so make sure it represents what you’re all about.
- Include rich media – Videos not only take up more space (Twitter real estate), but they also drive more replies (2.5 x), retweets (2.8 x) and favourites (1.9 x).
- Use a call-to-action – Even a simple ‘click here’ or ‘find out more’ can significantly help to promote your content.
- Choose a hashtag – On Twitter, don’t over-do it. Just pick one and ensure it’s commonly used.
It goes without saying that an optimised tweet is also one that’s well written, engaging and free of any errors.
22. Track your mentions and react to them
Build relationships and monitor what’s being said about your business on Twitter by tracking your mentions. You can do this easily by setting up an advanced search and looking for any tweets that mention your company name and your handle.
It’s important to track direct mentions to you as well as mentions of you for a few reasons. For one, you want to ensure you respond to all social media feedback, negative and positive.
According to Sprout Social, 46 per cent of consumers use social media to call out a brand and 55 per cent expect a resolution. Therefore, by not responding to online feedback, you risk looking ingenuine and unprofessional.
It’s equally important to thank people for positive mentions. Flick them a retweet or respond directly, as simply ‘liking’ their tweet won’t be as meaningful.
You also want to know who’s talking about you – but not to you – so you can develop the relationship. See someone regularly tweeting about your product or service but not mentioning your brand? Connect with them and start building that association.
23. Be selective about the skills and endorsements you list
When you’re building your presence on LinkedIn, be sure to request recommendations from your connections. Endorsements like this tend to be much more powerful than other sections of your LinkedIn profile because they’re a true testament that you do, in fact, have the skills and attributes you claim.
That said, you don’t need to list it all. While it’s great your connections think you’re amazing at, well, just about anything, it’s better to have some skills – with several endorsements – than a slew of things listed that aren’t really that valuable.
Have a look at this section and see what you can get rid of. Think about your industry, as well as the skills that are truly unique to you. Microsoft Office, for example, or super vague soft-skills like ‘communication’ shouldn’t make the cut.
24. Mix up your headline
While your current job doesn’t need to be your LinkedIn headline, many users never bother to come up with anything to replace this blah default setting.
Don’t make this mistake. Your headline is the first text users read when they visit your LinkedIn page, so make it engaging and fun. This doesn’t mean you need to err away from professionalism or the industry you work in. There are heaps of ways to be unique while also ‘LinkedIn appropriate’.
Use your headline to explain what you do, show off big results, tell people what you’re good at or just get users curious about you. Whatever you do, just don’t miss this great opportunity to stand out.
25. Avoid using buzzwords in your profile
Every year LinkedIn releases a list of the most overused buzzwords on CVs and profiles.
Here’s what ranked in 2018:
Why should you steer clear? Not only does using these words make you sound like a walking, talking cliche, but you’ll also have a harder time being found in LinkedIn search.
Instead, pad your profile with more industry-specific keywords that will actually stand out to like-minded professionals.