When I first started my role here, I was always looking for tips and step by step guides that I could follow in order to build our social media presence. We're now 9 months down the line and I am starting to find my feet and build my confidence.
I bet you're thinking it's taken me a long time to 'find my feet' but it has been a case of trial and error since I started. Some posts work really well and then similar posts are not so good. I've spent time working out our specific target audience and then adapting our future posts to include the news they would want to see and follow. It's important when you are trialing these things that you give it a chance, sometimes when I posted a quote we got no engagement and other times we would increase our engagement rates tremendously.
You see when I started and I was looking for helpful blogs with the typical guides, it would frustrate me when it said 'it's trial and error' and 'it's just about finding what works best for you' because surely if I knew that I wouldn't be looking for the answers but I followed the advice and used trial and error to build up the best plan I could with what works best for us.
So 9 months later, have I figured out what works best for us?
Although I have a much better understanding of what the audience wants and what to post, I haven't figured it all out because 'what works for us' today won't necessarily work for us tomorrow. Things change constantly, the things that are popular now might not be so popular in a week, the buzz words/topics will change over time and it's our job to keep our marketing plans up to date and our content plans flexible.
If you're starting out with social media, remember it all depends on your audience and most importantly, how they respond. There are no set rules for you to follow to get the perfect results straight away however I would try to follow the 'work in thirds' rule:
1/3 - the personal news and showing the human element in the business
1/3 - should be sharing content curated by other sources
1/3 - promoting your services/products
I would also advise that you don't follow all the tips you read such as the 'best times to post' they are a guide they are not set in stone, I tried posting at those times as a starting point and I only got a fraction of the usual engagement.
The most important thing to do is figure out your target audience and what they want, when you have that you can start building your presence. As an example; if I had started a classic car garage, posting about the wildlife outside constantly wouldn't generate the right audience. I should be posting about the cars I have in the showroom, the restoration stories from start to finish, my favourite car cleaning/polishing products, my favourite classic car, asking the audience their favourites etc.
To begin with, it might be that you can't say exactly what your target audience would want which is where trial and error comes in, from this you can start analysing the audience you have compared to the audience you want and start adapting and tailoring your posts to your personas.
Some parting tips from what I have learned so far:
-Keep in touch with existing customers like you would family/friends by commenting and liking posts, generally engaging with them.
-Be sure to engage with (possible) clients, and industry influencers, put the social back in social media.
-Instead of posting a picture as and when, post consistently with engaging content to build trust with your audience.