Many brands have finally realized the importance of having a social media presence. But unless you feel you have fully mastered and maximized your social media channels, you’re probably searching for ways to better optimize your outlets. Here are two ways you can ensure you’re making the most out of your social media investment.

1. DEFINE GOALS FOR EACH CHANNEL

Each social media channel should have its own clear and unique goals. Everyone is not on all social channels, and even those who are expect different types of content on each platform. That’s why it’s vital to have clearly defined goals for each social channel. It’s also important to reexamine these goals every year or so to make sure your strategy hasn’t changed.

AUDIENCE SEGMENTS

You should already have a pretty good idea of some personas of who you’re trying to target with your marketing. You should know who your ideal customers are, what types of content they like to consume and what influences them. Who they are is vital to helping define each channel’s goals. 

If you already have an active social media presence and you’re thinking about expanding to a new channel, you’ll want to make sure people within your ideal target audience are actually participating actively on each platform. Understanding the following demographics from Sprout Social will help you determine where best to focus your marketing efforts. 

Additionally, if you find you’re receiving resistance from those in your organization opposed to social media, having a well-thought-out plan in place will help allay their hesitations and should answer any lingering questions as to the validity of this budget spend.

OBJECTIVES

Next you need to set overall objectives for your social media strategy. Your social media objectives should complement your marketing plan’s objectives. Here are some examples of objectives you could set:

Keep your objectives list small and achievable: maybe two or three. Too many goals will cause your team to lose focus. Next, you’ll need to focus on how to achieve each of these.

TACTICS

Once you’ve set your objectives, you should identify tactics to support each one. Make sure you have at least one actionable tactic associated with every objective; otherwise you will be unable to achieve the goals you’ve set. While objectives are a little more arbitrary, tactics are more quantifiable — easier to point to and say “we did this!” 

If an objective is to support sales efforts, for instance, here are some examples of some tactics you could employ:

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIS)

How will you know if you accomplished your goals? How will you know if your efforts at growth succeeded? You need to establish which KPIs you’ll measure on your social media channels to know if your attempts at optimization are landing. Here are a few examples of KPIs you could measure to show social media growth:

Setting goals and defining your audience will do no good if you don’t have a clear way to measure your progress. Measure regularly and adjust your tactics as needed to ensure you are. 

2. DIVERSIFY YOUR CONTENT

Just as every platform has different user demographics, they also each have different capabilities, and not all types of content will resonate with your followers on every channel. You need a diverse stream of content in order to continue to keep your followers interested in what you have to say. We’ll discuss how to incorporate diversity, but first let’s examine what types of content perform best on each channel.

BEST CONTENT TYPES BY CHANNEL

Facebook – Videos 

Videos nearly always outperform other content types on Facebook. They frequently generate the highest average reach among all post types. 

Part of the reason videos perform so well on Facebook is how the platform autoplays if the video is uploaded directly into the platform — rather than a link to YouTube, for instance. Here are some ideas of video types you could employ on Facebook:

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company | Behind the Scenes from Farmore on Vimeo.

Blog posts and other content are vital for establishing a strong thought leadership presence. Facebook provides the perfect outlet for sharing these. Its platform is built to include a preview for links, and users can easily share these. 

If you don’t have your own blog posts to share or would like more content to share on Facebook, curated content is also a valid option. Even though the content isn’t coming from you directly, sharing a well-curated link demonstrates thought leadership.

Blog posts and other content are vital for establishing a strong thought leadership presence. Facebook provides the perfect outlet for sharing these. Its platform is built to include a preview for links, and users can easily share these. 

If you don’t have your own blog posts to share or would like more content to share on Facebook, curated content is also a valid option. Even though the content isn’t coming from you directly, sharing a well-curated link demonstrates thought leadership.

Twitter – News

Twitter is one of the best outlets for sharing company news or for commenting on current events. Its fast-paced, character-limited platform is perfect for a quick news dissemination. In fact, a survey from the American Press Institute found the most common reason people use Twitter is to keep up with news. 

Here are some types of news you could share:

Customer service

Many users will turn to Twitter for customer service type issues. One reason could be that the fast pace of the platform leads them to believe customer service reps are more likely to have a quick response rate — even if the response time is the same as other channels. 

Since users are inclined to use Twitter in this manner, brands should embrace it and make sure it’s clear that customers can Tweet customer service issues and that they’ll be addressed quickly.

Linkedin – Job and career information

Because LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform, job listings and career information have a natural home here. A LinkedIn company page is the perfect way for prospective employees to learn more about your company. Your posts could showcase the following, for example:

  • Company culture
  • Employee experiences/testimonials
  • Celebrating employee achievements
  • Open job positions

Professional content

Users typically aren’t on LinkedIn to see personal photos and posts. They are already in a professional mindset while on the platform, so use that to your advantage. Use LinkedIn to share content that’s relevant to industry professionals. Here are some examples of professional content you could share:

  • Training webinars
  • Whitepapers
  • Industry studies
  • Relevant ebooks

Instagram – High-quality photos

Instagram was created for visual content. Don’t try to hack the system and post a screenshot of a blog you wrote; no one will read it. Users on Instagram are quick-scrolling, so you need to share vibrant, compelling images to draw them in. Since this audience skews younger, brands need to blend in to stay relevant. Here are some company photos you could share, as long as they are artfully presented:

Although photos shouldn’t be overlooked, well-designed graphics are also fantastic for sharing. Whether this is a graphic about your product or service, a quote from a recent blog post or a simple holiday message, a graphic adds that visual element to your feed that will resonate with your followers.

Post Diversification

Although we’ve spent some time discussing the best types of content for each channel, your feed will be extremely boring if you stick to just one type of content over and over. Although there is something to be said for consistency, in the world of social media, becoming predictable is the kiss of death. 

You shouldn’t, for example, share only videos on Facebook. Mix it up with some news stories. Experiment with mixing different types of content and posts and see what resonates. If you’re sharing curated content, consider a mix that’s both educational and entertaining.

Look at your content stream and previous posts. If you can predict what’s coming next, you need to shake things up and add some diversity to your posts. 

MOVING FORWARD

Defining goals for each channel will help keep you on target and make sure you can easily prove social media’s value, and diversifying your content will help you achieve those goals and keep your social media presence relevant and engaging. As you take the steps to optimize your social media channels, remember this quote from Seth Godin: “’Build it, and they will come’ only works in the movies. Social media is a ‘build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.’”