Listen to Your Audience
Without your audience you’re nothing so it’s imperative that you listen to your audience. To be completely honest, there are two meanings to listening to your audience. There’s the typical meaning and social listening and I’ll give you a quick rundown of why they’re both important for your social media efforts.
Listening to Your Audience (Conventional Sense) – Your audience gives you feedback everyday, even if you don’t know it. Every time they like a post, reply/comment on a post or (@) mention you in a post, they’re giving you some kind of feedback. It’s important to listen to what they have to say because your audience makes you and your brand what it is. Without your audience you are just writing to a blank page and possibly one or two people who happen to stumble upon your blog. If your audience gives you any kind of feedback, it’s important to take it into consideration. Are they making a suggestion? Are they giving you some sort of constructive criticism? Write it down and review it the next time you’re working on your brand.
Social Listening – Social Listening is slightly different than conventionally listening. You’re still taking your audience’s feedback but in a different way. When you practice social listening you’re monitoring your social networks for mentions of your brand, you’re tracking your metrics to see what is performing better than others, you’re keeping your eye out for anything that could be relevant to your brand. (i.e. new competitors, new strategy, etc…) This will help you to:
- I know what content to continue to use in the future
- What types of social media posts help your brand to be seen
- See if there are any new social media strategies you can implement into your marketing plan
- Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and seeing if you can utilize their strategies towards your efforts
Engage With Your Audience
Once again I will say it: Without your audience you’re nothing and this is why it’s very important that you engage with your audience. Your followers already know that there is a real person behind your brand from reading your blog, reading your content and getting to know you through your posts, but they want to get to know the real you. You can show your followers the real you by replying back to their comments or shooting them a quick “thank you” if they promote and tag your content. Any small step towards engaging with your audience is a step that you should definitely take. Aside from replying to those who comment to you, you should also comment on things that you might find on your feed or timeline. If you see an interesting post, comment to it. If you see an interesting blog post or article, retweet it. This can potentially help you to get more followers, viewers and make sure that your current followers know that you care about them as individuals and not just metrics.
Brand Across Platforms
Your brand is what makes your business unique. Your brand consists of:
- Your logo
- Your color scheme
- Your brand voice
You should keep the same branding throughout your entire social media presence. Tweak your blog header to fit your Twitter or Facebook banner, make sure it’s resized properly so your audience can clearly see your brand information. Use the main avatar you use on your blog as your avatar on your social media platforms so your followers can see that it’s you before they even see your banners. Make sure your color scheme is the same throughout your social networks, know your hex codes and utilize them to get everything perfectly matching.
What is your brand voice? Your brand voice is the tone of which your posts are written. It’s the way you write your posts, the way you get your idea across and the certain things that you believe in and convey through your platforms. For example: This Organized Chaos’s brand voice is this:
This Organized Chaos has a friendly, informative and slightly professional tone while still being fun and down to earth. We want to convey our brand as the friendly “girl next door” type through our posts and engagement with our audience. We believe in bringing value through informative posts about blogging, branding, social media and parenting while sharing our lives with our readers.
What’s your brand voice?
Don’t Over Advertise
Over advertising is one of the most popular mistakes that I see on social networks. I do understand that your social media is there to help you promote your content and your blog but you have to know the difference between promotion and over promotion. I, and many other business owners, follow the 80/20 method. 80% of your posts should be either retweeting other follower’s content or general, non promotional posts and 20% should be promotion or shameless plugs. The 80/20 method is the happy medium for self promotion.
Personally, if I go on a social media platform and I see someone plugging their own blog or brand post after post in a row, I won’t follow them. I’ll know that I will get spammed with links and I don’t necessarily want that. I want to read social media posts that can entertain or bring value to my life. I want to read posts that let me get to know the person behind the handle. Point being, over advertising will definitely get you unfollowers or will get you less followers than if you followed the 80/20 method.
Select Certain Networks
Another mistake I see is utilizing EVERY. SINGLE. PLATFORM. AT. ONCE. You should know your ideal audience/reader and from research you’ve done, you should know where they hang out. (If you don’t know your ideal audience you can click here to download a worksheet to help you find yours!) For most bloggers (mom, lifestyle, fashion, etc…) the majority of your audience would probably be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and possibly Pinterest. If you’re a business or business blogger that has a younger demographic your audience will probably be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you’re a professional business or blogger your audience will probably be on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You should do your own research to find out where your ideal audience hangs out, but those are the general rules of thumb.
If you concentrate your efforts on every social network at once you’ll waste valuable time that you could spend marketing yourself on a platform that will get you seen by interested individuals. You don’t just want to be seen, you want the right people to see you so they will either follow your blog, follow your platforms or buy your product/service. This will get you much more success than trying to juggle every social network and stressing yourself out.