via Forbes: How can I do social media marketing? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Frits Habermann, PicMonkey CEO and lifelong photographer, on Quora:
Social media helps grow your business because it’s a super efficient way to bring potential customers in at the top of your marketing funnel, and it’s also a great way to keep them engaged, and keep your brand top of mind.
Start by doing the basics well. Build a strong foundation by showing up and really engaging with your followers. In the early days of PicMonkey, when we were building our brand and product, we developed one-on-one relationships with our users. Many of those users are still with us—some have also grown and become major brand influencers who continue to promote and share our product with their own dedicated fans.
You don’t need to maintain a social presence on every platform. Choose the ones that speak to and represent your brand the best. If you make beautiful handcrafted jewelry for example, Instagram is a great place to engage and interact with your followers and customers. If you’re a law firm, your brand will probably play best on Linkedin. Take the time to understand who you’ll find on each platform and what kinds of topics play well.
Post early, post often, and keep posting. The algorithms of most social media platforms really favor accounts that are posting regularly, and your content is most likely to be seen in followers’ feeds when you do so. At PicMonkey, we maintain our editorial calendar with Asana, which also helps organize all the tasks leading up to posting something—creating images, creating articles, videos, etc. Then we use Buffer to schedule the posts that can be automatically posted.
We’ve found we get the best engagement when we do more than what we call “dead end” posts—say, a static image or a quote pin that doesn’t take people anywhere. So we expend a significant effort creating thoughtful, useful content to link to, from the social post. We want to telegraph the message “hey, we’re here to help you in every way that’s relevant to this topic.” For your graphic design and brand development company, you could create and post content about what it takes to build a brand, or talk about how graphic design intersects with psychology. You ultimately want your followers to hire you to build branding materials and graphics, and the content you create for social is a way of proving that you’re an authority and building trust.
Do research and spend the time to really get the nuances of how to play on each social media network. For example, the image is primary on Instagram; you just can’t post a mediocre image and hope that what you’re talking about in the caption will grab people. On Instagram, it’s important that all your images share a similar aesthetic, possibly even a consistent color scheme. By contrast, on Twitter, your words have the most impact, so be more verbal on this network; develop an editorial voice and hew to it. LinkedIn is very business/career-oriented, so you’ve got to make sure that what you post there is highly highly relevant to that type of audience. Finally, Facebook is the megalith: so many ways to play here, with business pages, Facebook Live events, native video, and more, but like Instagram, it’s gotta be visual first.
Finally, don’t view social media as a free way to blab to people about your business. As I mentioned before, you need to bring people useful information, delight, and stunning visuals. Even if you’re killing it in those respects, you’re probably not going to get where you want to without spending some money boosting your posts. You’ve got to pay to play, as they say, and that’s just a reality these days.