Most people feel they have the basics of social media down. They have a solid page with eye-catching graphics, their logo displayed and good content. Their page is struggling to succeed, though. Why? Often, it’s the lack of consistency in social media letting you down.
And whilst we don’t want to sound like your mum, she’s totally right – consistency in life is key. Posting to social media at random times, not consistently throughout the week and not engaging your followers with your posts are all limiting, and many times, hindering your brand. Never fear though, it’s not too late to turn around and start being a constant presence for your followers. Our mini guide explains why consistency in social media matters and how you can easily achieve it.
Imagine you’re dating someone. You get three texts from them in one day and then nothing for five days and then two texts at totally random times. Even worse, when you respond, it takes them days to answer you. It’s not a great relationship, right? That’s the relationship you’re building with your audience. No one likes to feel like they’re being ghosted.
It’s the System
Most social media platforms now run off an algorithm. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all base user’s timelines off of accounts they engage with and content that will most likely resonate with them. Ever wondered why ads for products you’ve been searching for creepily pop up on your social feeds? Engagement = Clicks = Cash; for the social platforms that is. Facebook and Instagram decrease your views on people’s timelines if your posting decreases and Twitter shows tweets from accounts people are interacting with. The theory being, the more social you are, the more air time you get, providing you are not spammy – and believe me guys, that line is very thin.
The good news is, once you hop on board the hamster wheel of social media and start posting regularly, you will likely see an increase to your engagement level which will help boost your posts for future engagement. It’s a cycle you can work in your favour, especially when engagement = brand awareness.
Perception is Everything
According to eMarketer, almost half of millennials can’t go more than 5 hours without checking social media. Oh, those millennials – they like new content constantly and quickly. But it’s not just them that like insights and instant satisfaction – as a whole, we spend over 2 hours a day on social media. What’s the reason to follow you and your business if you have nothing new to contribute?
If you’re only posting sporadically, for instance, once a week, the perception is you don’t have the content to offer the rest of the time and there’s no real benefit from following you on social media. However, be careful with this, as much as people love content, they don’t love the BUY ME, BUY ME, screamy, screamy content that’s all about you and your business. In fact, you’ll probably be penalised for this too. Yup, it’s a minefield.
The issue is, people’s perception of your business is their reality. With social media, you have the power to change the narrative. If you’re only trying to push sales on social media, it’s all about you instead of your customer and your audience will tune you out. But if you provide helpful content, like tips and tricks, insights or industry explanations, you’ll engage your audience and create a connection. In the words of the Goo Goo Dolls, give a little bit.
Data for the Win
If you’re not responding to their enquiries and monitoring the platforms, you’re probably not taking the time to learn more about your audience. Your content should be tailored to your users. Your social media channels will only grow if you take the time to invest in them and your users. Analyse what is working and what is not, the types of posts they like, the content they find helpful. You can even survey your following to discover exactly what they go to you for. By utilising the data and feedback, you can only go up!
Data is truly king, and according to this book by Jr Little, data is rewriting the rules of branding, we agree! And highly recommend this book if you are sitting on the fence about what data can do for your business.
How To Build Consistency
So in theory, reading about consistency makes sense, right? Let’s put that into practice.
Create a Content Calendar
Decide on what kind of content you’re posting and when. You don’t want to bombard people with me, me, me posts; so, mix your posts up with industry news, team insights or helpful facts. Social media isn’t all about you (hard to swallow, we know), it’s about your followers. Test the content they like and add those types of posts to your calendar. To easily get started, download our content calendar template.
Tip: The content that works on Facebook will probably not be the same content your followers on Twitter want to see and will be different from your Instagram posts. Each social media platform has its own purpose.
Set Realistic Goals
When deciding on your posting schedule, don’t set unrealistic goals. You need to keep the schedule you develop. If posting six tweets a day is too much for you, research, test and see what times are best for your followers, and set a realistic goal. Three times consistently is better than six times in a row and then nothing for weeks.
Employ Posting Tools
A big mistake is deciding you’ll post when you have the time or something interesting happens. You have to schedule the time to make it happen. There are a ton of free posting tools. Facebook Scheduler is a great way to schedule Facebook posts and then there are management tools like Hootsuite, who has a free version for up to three social media platforms. Over here at Forty8Creates we utilise Hootsuite for our social media management, however, other big players include Sprout Social, Buffer, etc. Research what works for the channels you’re on and provides you with the easiest user experience for the way you like to work.
Videos should be included in your content calendar but don’t forget your live videos as well. – 82% of audiences prefer live video from a brand to social posts. If you have regular content scheduled when something interesting happens, you can post in the moment or utilise your stories/live video to involve your followers.
Now that you’ve scheduled the time to post, you need to schedule the time to interact with your followers. It’s called social media for a reason – let’s be social. Quickly responding to messages and comments on your posts puts a “face” to the business and tells your followers you’re invested. Decide what works for your day. We recommend setting a time in the morning, afternoon and evening to check the page, ensure the posts went out correctly, answer comments/questions and repost and comment on other people’s posts. It doesn’t need to take up your whole day – and it really shouldn’t. Having notifications turned on for any major issues and fifteen minutes throughout the day ensures you’re staying on top of your pages and are actively invested.
Posting consistently and frequently to social media will only strengthen your brand. Social media is its own world – but it’s a world you can be a part of and use to push your business objectives. By being consistent with your followers, you’ll build loyal advocates; ultimately, affecting your bottom line.
Go get em social media kweeeeen!