Tune-Up Tip Series: Social Media EditionJanuary 28, 2019
(Editor’s note: This is part of a monthly series about tuning up different aspects of marketing activities.)
The average person will spend 5 years and 4 months of his/her life on social media. By comparison, the average person spends 1 year and 3 months socializing.
86% use social media at least once per day and over 7 in 10 use social media multiple times per day.
We could keep rattling off statistics about how prevalent social media is, but we think we’ve made our point. How effectively is your business using social media? We provide 5 tips to help you tune up your social media marketing in this article. We also provide a mini-dive that overviews the top social media platforms.
Tune-Up Tip #1: Shutter Your Google+ Account
Google will be “sunsetting consumer Google+“ in April. It won’t be shutting down corporate accounts, but it’s still a good idea for businesses to close down their Google+ accounts for two reasons.
First, Google experienced two data breeches recently. Google kept the first data breech that leaked user data for an estimated 52.5 million users a secret for 7 months. This bug was why Google said it would shutter its failed Google+ social media platform. Why keep a Google+ account for a company that shows such flagrant disregard for protecting users’ data?
Secondly, your customers are using other social media platforms, so using Google+ is a waste of effort. Use the platforms that your customers do.
Before you take the necessary steps to close your account, be sure to collect any data you want. Once you delete your account, you won’t be able to retrieve it. You can use the Google Takeout tool to easily export your Google+ data.
How to close your account in 8 steps:
1. Log into plus.google.com
2. Go to menu
3. Select Settings
4. Select Account (at the bottom)
5. Select “delete your Google+ password”
6. Verify password
7. Check box to indicate you want to delete your account and that it can’t be undone
8. Click Delete
After you have deleted your account, remove any Google+ social sharing buttons from your website, email and any other marketing materials you have that include links to your social media accounts.
Tune-Up Tip #2: Evaluate Your Platforms
One of the most common social media marketing mistakes is to establish a presence on a social media platform just because it’s trendy or new.
For example, Instagram is the third most popular social media platform. Brands get engagement rates that are 10 times higher on Instagram than they do on Facebook. So why not jump on Instagram right now?
Instagram supports photos and video content. Does your company have the resources to make and share this type of content?
Users in the 18-34 age range are the dominant Instagrammers. If your primary customer base is of an older generation, than Instagram isn’t right for your business.
Instead of relying on the trendy platforms, use the platforms that are most effectively reaching your customers. If you can answer “yes” to all the items on our social media platform evaluation checklist, keep it. If you answer “no” to most items, then it’s time to ditch the deadweight. Here’s our checklist:
1. Are your current/target customers using the platform?
2. Are your engagement and reach rates meeting your goals?
Don’t have any set goals? Then consider how many people view your content and engage with it. Do those results justify the time and effort you are putting into it?
1. Do you have enough resources to post regular content and respond to customers on that platform?
Tune-Up Tip #3: Give Your Content a Check-Up
Are you sharing content that is relevant to your audience? Low reach and engagement rates are primary indicators that your audience isn’t interested in what you’re sharing on social media.
There is quite a gap between what marketers post vs. what consumer want on social media, according to findings in the Sprout Social Index 2018.
What marketers post vs. consumer-preferred content:
• 61% of marketers post content that teaches
vs. 59% of consumers look for content that teaches
• 58% of marketers post content that tells a story
vs. 37% of consumers look for content that tells a story
• 52% of marketers share posts that inspire
vs. 49% of consumers look for inspirational content
• 51% of marketers share company news
vs. 41% of consumers look for company news
• 47% of marketers share posts that entertain
vs. 56% of consumers look for entertainment
• 46% of marketers share new product/services
vs. 60% of consumers look for new product/services
• 44% of marketers showcase company personality
vs. 23% of consumers look for company personality
• 24% of marketers showcase employees
vs. 13% of consumers look for posts about company’s employees
• 18% of marketers share discounts/sales
vs. 72% of consumers look for discounts/sales
• 16% of marketers share influencer partnership posts
vs. 12% of consumers of consumers look for influencer partnership posts
The top three types of content consumers look for are: discount/sales, new products/services, followed by educational posts. However, marketers ranked discount/sales posts as priority #9; educational posts as their #1 and new product posts as their #6.
One in 3 customers wants content that falls into the consideration category, sproutsocial found.
• 30% want links to more information
• 18% want graphics/images
• 17% want video content
• 11% want text/conversation
• 7% want produced/edited photos
These findings provide an excellent starter guide to giving your content a check-up. If your engagement and/or reach is low, examine what type of content you are sharing on your company’s account. Experiment with variety using the above data to see if your reach/engagement improves.
Tune-Up Tip #4: Use Your Channels to Foster Trust
Speaking of optimizing your social media content, do consumers find your content trustworthy?
• 65% Quality of the writing or visuals
• 63% Author’s credentials or expertise
• 59% Consumer has opted in to receive communication
• 58% Content is well-designed and looks formal
• 57% Easy to determine who paid for the content
• 56% Placed on the platform by a brand you buy
• 55% Logo of the organization that produced the content is displayed next to the post
• 53% Who liked, shared or sent you the content
How can you establish trust on your social media platforms?
1. Leverage credible experts and peer voices for credibility
2. Be authentic—users can tell the fake from the real
3. Be transparent and honest
4. Don’t delete negative comments (unless they are hateful/threatening/blatant trolls)
5. Respond to criticism in your reviews and comments
Tune-Up Tip #5: Respond to Customers
Don’t forget to put the social in social media. It’s not enough to share content—it’s important to respond when users comment and leave reviews on your channels.
The best practice for responding to negative reviews is to acknowledge the customer’s grievance, apologize and move the conversation offline (by providing an email, phone number or other channel for the customer to reach you). Ideally, responses are made within 24 hours of the review.
When customers take the time to leave a positive review/comment, it’s best practice to thank them. You can also re-purpose reviews as testimonials. Feature one per month in your monthly newsletter (Customer Comment of the Month) or use them in your advertising materials (“What our customers are saying about us” campaign).
Prepare responses to common complaints or questions. Don’t always use the exact same language, but be ready with an idea of how to respond so you can be timely and personable with your review and comment responses. The top 5 reasons people reach out to brands on social media include:
• Ask a question
• Raise an issue with a product/service
• Praise a product/service
• Comment about online experience
• Comment about offline experience
Mini Dive: Social Media Platform Overview
Social media platforms come and go and which ones are popular changes over time. We talked about sharing content that is relevant to your audience in Tune-Up Tip #3. Now we will overview who is using which platform so you can select the most relevant platforms to share your content.
• 68% of adult Americans use it
• 85% of U.S. users earn $30,000 or less annually
• 53% female users; 47% male users
• 35% of adult Americans use it
• 72% of teens use Instagram
• 59% of U.S. Internet users ages 18-29 use it; 33% of U.S. Internet users 30-49 use it
• 60% of U.S. users earn $100,000 or more annually
• 68% female users; 32% male users
• 29% of adult Americans use it
• Most active Pinners are under 40
• 50% of Pinners earn $50,000 or more annually
• 81% female users; 19% male users
• 47% of Pinners use it to help plan for major life events, like getting married, having a child or buying a car or house
• 27% of adult Americans use it
• Users spend an average of 34.5 minutes on it daily and send 34.1 messages daily
• 24% of adult Americans use it
• 36% of Americans age 18-29 use it
• 53% earn $100,000 or more annually
Editor’s note: This is the first entry in our new monthly Tune-Up Tips series. Look for our next Tune-Up Tips: Email Marketing Edition on February 25, 2019.