By Amy Bull, Datify

Social media has taken the world by storm, and although a company’s website is the pivotal point of its online presence, being active on social media can be a complimentary component and a powerful one at that. Social media can make you available, transparent and appear genuine to your target audience, giving them control when reacting to your content and can go a long way to boosting your brand. As more than 55% of online readers spend less than 15 seconds on a page or post, it is imperative that you learn the tricks to get yourself noticed on social media.

Be Consistent

Often hailed as the number 1 ingredient in the recipe for social media success, being consistent across your social media presence can build trust and credibility with your audience. Being authentic across each of the platforms that you use creates loyal customers, and those that have the potential to assist you in growing your brand. Your social media presence should replicate your brand personality, and personality is the key word here. Having a strong and consistent brand personality will distinguish you from your competitors; this can come down to brand images, the language and tone of your posts, and the topic of content that you are posting.

When it comes to consistently posting, there are a number of tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite that allow you to schedule posts in the future.

Be Engaging

Pick the social media channel that is relative to the demographic of your customers and prospects, you don’t need to be on all of them. While it might be more suitable for those in a design field to use Pinterest or Instagram to showcase in a visual manner, others that work in a more corporate capacity may decide to use LinkedIn or Twitter. Wherever your target audience are, engage with them- It’s called SOCIAL media? Thank anyone for following, retweeting or liking and make it a rule to respond to comments; people honour appreciation. Social media is a place for you to be publicly seen to be attentive to your audience’s needs….or ignoring them – a recent study showed that 20% of consumers expect a response on social media within 15 minutes and 42% expect a response within the hour – proving that social media is the go to channel now for customer service.

If you are planning on running a specific campaign, make a list of key influencers and target them with personal messages, or invite your supporters and customers to share some opinions and stories; user generated content is the reason behind some of the biggest campaigns recently, the #LoveMustWin one in particular.

Be Relevant

It’s important to be 3 things, informative, educational and valuable; the most significant thing that someone could walk away from reading a post or reading the content that you have linked too is, “I didn’t know that”. Too often nowadays people use social media for shameless self-promotion when providing your audience with a piece of content that is going to educate the way that they view your industry or business is so much more respected.

Social media gives you access to real time trends and hot topics, giving you a critical insight to the content that you should be posting at the time – going further to prove that your brand is adaptable and responsive. Social media analytics give you an insight to the content and topics that are attracting the most attention

Be Aware

Setting yourself goals before beginning your journey into the world of social media will enable you to monitor if your social media is successful for your business. Social media is a great tool for increasing brand visibility and increasing trust and ultimately, inbound enquires resulting in sales. But what does visibility mean in terms of setting goals? It could mean that your goal is to see an increase in fans or followers, it could mean an increase in inbound enquiries.

As a whole, your social media visibility can be more difficult to track than say, an increase in sales, but buy monitoring how often your brand and its products are being discussed online can be an indicative reflection of how well known you are becoming and who is talking about you.

To track inbound enquiries coming from social media channels, it may be worth setting up individual email addresses and telephone numbers to monitor the response, thus enabling you to measure the success of the campaign and return on investment.

“Social media is such a valuable, time saving tool to both small and large businesses alike; finding new ways to disrupt and influence people can be the backbone of a company’s success, but if you aren’t going to measure the success of the hard work involved, then a lot of time and resources have been wasted. By understanding what it is that makes your phones ring, your website get visits and your inbox receive mail will streamline the way that you deploy any future campaigns” Explains Ali White, Marketing Director at Call Tracks

If you are using a giveaway or competition as part of a campaign, capture the relevant data! Name and email address is predominantly more than enough to use in future campaigns, asking for too much data can turn people off.

To conclude, social media isn’t rocket science, but it is a culture that is far removed from those who are only used to using traditional marketing and PR methods. Your brands social media personality must be pioneered from the top down, and it’s a long to success so why not start by sharing the journey on social media.