By Aubrey Myrick, Assistant Manager of Digital Communications & Marketing
Does my business need social media? Or is it just a bunch of hoopla?
My hope is that you already know the answer to that question. OF COURSE, your business needs social media! Social media is free advertising, available to anyone who cares to put the time and resources into managing it. Gone are the days of spending thousands on TV commercials and billboards to get your business’s name in the public eye. Anyone with a smartphone can see your brand’s content. You just have to put it out there (and make it interesting enough for your audience(s) to consume).
If you are using traditional advertising and PR to boost your brand, social media is the perfect complement to your marketing strategy. Using social media can amplify your current strategies to increase brand awareness, build and maintain engaged communities and relationships, further business development efforts, bolster customer service, and can even help your business track/gauge marketing performance and public sentiment. There’s more, but we’ll leave it there for now.
Now, you might be asking: “Tell me Gen Z correspondent—how do I get my business’s social media to do those things?”
First, you need to understand that social media platforms are oversaturated with people, brands, and content. If you want your social pages to work for you, you need to find a way to capture audiences’ attention. A great way to do so is find a niche community. In other words—pick a lane and stay there.
Ask yourself: What audiences am I trying to connect with? What content do they want to consume? What resonates with them? And then meet them there. And try not to stray too far. In our experience, social pages that perform the best have content catered to a niche group. Content should always emulate a general theme (or themes). If you’ve been following Wood & Co on LinkedIn (and if you haven’t you are missing out!), you might be able to guess a few of our themes. I’ll give you a hint… Forestry, environmental stewardship, conservation… Your brand’s voice will be better heard if it’s mirrored through that theme.
Once you’ve found your niche community, communicated with your brand voice in their language, you need to do that again. And again. And again. Aim for 5-7 days a week. Not only are you competing for your audience’s attention, but you are also competing for a computer algorithm’s attention. Social platforms reward users who post on a regular and consistent basis.
Be creative! Try new things—video, short captions, long captions, polls, photos, infographics, the list goes on. Basically, throw things at the wall and see what sticks. You can’t make any mistakes here! Unless of course, you offend someone. If this Gen Zer can tell you anything, it’s to NEVER put something on the internet you wouldn’t want your grandma to see. This rule applies to business social media too! We’ve seen enough scandals, please!
In this day and age, anything can go viral (as long as it’s interesting enough). Unfortunately, when it comes to virality, social media algorithms hold all the power. Social platforms like it when users interact with content. So, think- play/ pause/ like/ comment/ share/ swipe. These actions will let social algorithms know people like your content. Subsequently, the algorithm will put it in front of more eyeballs.
We are now in the era of TikTok, Instagram stories, Reels, YouTube Shorts, etc. Where video is king. That all sounds amazing, but creating videos requires more time and resources. Start out with one short-form, entertaining video a week. If you can’t manage that, share one that already exists on the internet that relates to the rest of your content and brand voice. (Don’t forget to give the creator credit!)
You don’t have to make unique content for each platform! Who has the time? Your audience will likely be unbothered coming across a repeat post on a different platform.
If your content does super well on one platform but not the other, it is perfectly fine to allocate more time and resources tailoring content to your best-performing platform. Figure out where your audience is and cater to them where they are. Don’t wear yourself out making unique content for each platform, unless you have the time and resources. It helps to repurpose content across different platforms to increase brand visibility.
No. More. Boring. Captions.
We want quotes! We want one-liners. Most importantly, captions need to sound like something you would say aloud—almost like a text message. This is not APA-MLA report format. Your audience is more than likely scrolling their phone or *cough cough* work-computers for a mental reprieve. You have about 1 second to captivate your audience, and you are not accomplishing that with confusion, long sentences, and big words.
If you want to share something confusing with long sentences and big words, do that after your catchy one-liner or quote. Better yet, share your thoughts on your blog or website and post a link to said content on your social platforms after you’ve captivated an audience. Your audience wants to hear from you!