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Social Media: It’s Not Just About Taking Pretty Pictures

YoPro Event 180426

By Chelsea McKinney, Powerhouse Communications

Many people (especially Clients) don’t understand what goes into developing an effective social media strategy… or that there’s even a strategy at all! Sure, most social media content should be visually pleasing, but there’s so much more to it than that! The content brainstorms, scheduling, drafting copy, choosing hashtags, engaging; the list goes on and on. Anyone who thinks social media is just about taking pretty pictures is very, very mistaken. The fact is, any impactful social media program requires a lot of thought and even more time.

So, the OCPRSA YoPro Committee brought in three of Orange County’s top social media professionals for the very first YoPro event of the year at SOCIAL Costa Mesa. Moderated by Kristin Daher (President of Powerhouse Communications), panelists Matt Prince (Sr. Manager, Public Relations, Taco Bell Corp.), Mona Shah (Owner, moxxē PR) and Kyle Johnston (President, Gigasavvy) shared their insight and best social media practices to a sold out crowd.

While the discussion touched on many different aspects of social media strategy, a recurring focus for each speaker was the importance of social media engagement, planning and paying close attention to what’s working and what’s not.

Top takeaways from the esteemed panel of social media professionals:

• Planning Content: Content calendars are vital to the success of your social media strategy. It’s important to keep a few posts open for of-the-moment opportunities, but overall you should be planning the majority of your posts in advance while building a content library that you can pull from as needed. This will ensure that you don’t miss any important dates and it takes the pressure off of having to come up with something clever on the fly. Additionally, your content should be reflective of each platform, so make sure when you’re drafting copy for your calendar, it makes sense for the platform you’re posting on.

• Engagement: No matter how big or small your client is, always try to spend at least 30 minutes a day engaging with your followers and the people/influencers you want to be following you! Especially with Instagram, organic growth and followers come from engagement… and not just engagement on those negative posts! Make time to engage with those who love and praise your brand because they’re the ones who will return and are the best brand ambassadors! Contests/giveaways are also a HUGE engagement builder!

• Advertising Budget: The consensus from the panel was that if you want your Facebook content to be seen, you must put money behind it. This means convincing your boss/client that they need to invest more dollars into their social media. If your client doesn’t agree, ask them when’s the last time they saw their business on their own timeline? Most likely, they don’t see their content organically, so it can be a big eye opener! It needs to be a discussion you have with your client often, because amazing content can get lost without an advertising budget placed behind it. A good approach is to suggest a month-long test where you can compare the budget month to the non-budget month. After doing this, there is NO way a client/boss can argue that it’s not worth it once they see the difference in visibility and engagement.

• Boosting Content: So, you’ve convinced your client to invest in an advertising … now what? Make sure you boost content that’s doing well! It’s totally okay to go back and boost an old post that’s raking in the likes. If it’s organically successful, just imagine what a few dollars of boosting will do!

• Measurement and Analytics: Is your social media strategy working? Are those advertising dollars being put to good use? Looking at your client’s analytics can be eye-opening and super informative…. but don’t let those reports scare your client! If you’re having a bad month, there could be tons of variables as to why that month wasn’t successful. Also, make sure you’re not just measuring your followers, but also the engagement behind your page! You could have hundreds of thousands of followers, but the engagement on your photos and posts will determine if your social media strategy is working.

• Changing Algorithms: Whether or not your content is seen is based on many factors, including level of engagement and content quality. Yes, Facebook and Instagram have an algorithm to determine the quality and value of the content brands post. The idea is that quality content should elicit engagement. A boosting budget will give you an engagement edge as well. Comments and shares are also more valuable than “Likes.” Keep this in mind when developing your content. Ask questions, hold giveaways, include a call to action. This is how you stay ahead of the dreaded algorithms!

• Social Copywriting: It’s imperative that your copy the image and vice versa. A distinct voice is key to your brand’s success because you must be reflective of not just your brand, but your brand’s audience on that specific platform, which is likely different for Facebook vs. Instagram. Instagram has a younger audience that communicate in hashtags and emojis, Facebook users are more likely to click on links to gather more information. Keep your audience in mind when choosing the copy that speaks to them.

Make sure you stay updated on the many fantastic programs to come by OCPRSA www.ocprsa.org/events/.

 

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