Tips on how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy

I recently attended a really interesting webinar about how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy.

Although some of the information in this post may not surprise you, you will definitely learn a thing or two!

So, let’s start with the Social Media Strategy agenda points. You can then decide to deep dive into what you feel you lack information about.

 

The first presentation was delivered by Tilo Kmieckowiack from @quintly who talked about:

Social Media Strategy

  • What excellent social posts have in common in terms of length, content type and hashtags
  • How to write the perfect Social Media post.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention who dived into Social Media Strategy:

  • How to and Why focus on engagement
  • Learn from your competitors
  • Monitor your campaigns.

1. Let me share with you a bit about Tilo’s background

Tilo is the Brand/Product and Communications Manager of Quintly for the German-speaking markets, i.e Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He works from Cologne, Germany.

His daily job is to create a Social Media Campaign analysis and case studies to optimise the company’s social media strategy. One of the perks of being part of this company is access to a big database. Indeed, the Quintly Marketing team analyses over 10 million posts from Facebook and Instagram per month. In this presentation, he shares his findings of how the perfect social media post looks like.

Social Media Strategy

2. So, let’s start with the Facebook Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 239,327 pages
  • 11,472,559 posts

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag Social Media Strategy
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Interactions
  • Reactions
  • Emojis Social Media Strategy
  • Hashtags #⃣

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users most commonly post links, however, videos and also photos receive much more interactions on average
  • The Post volume is highest during the week but posts on weekends get more interactions
  • Most posts contain either 0 or 30-150 characters. According to the findings, a text of 1-50 characters receives the most interactions
  • A large number of posts does not contain emojis. Nonetheless, moderate emoji usage of 1-8 shows higher interactions
  • Hashtags are seldom used on Facebook, besides posts without hashtags receive more interactions.

Consequently, what does the ‘perfect’ Facebook post looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Doesn’t use hashtags
  • Is posted at weekends
  • Uses videos and images wisely

⚠ Bear in mind that content quality is important, too! This analysis only covers objective technical factors. Analyse your own performance and compare it to the presented results, in order to optimise your own strategy.

3. Now let’s move on to Instagram Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 41,389 Instagram profiles
  • 1,019,978 posts.

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Interactions
  • Emojis
  • Hashtags

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users post images most often, yet videos get the most interactions
  • Most posts are published during weekdays. However, posts on weekends receive more interactions
  • Most posts contain between 0 and 150 characters, but posts with up to 50 characters get the most interactions
  • Many profiles don’t use emojis, yet posts with 1-3 emojis show most interactions
  • Most posts contain no or few hashtags. Posts with 1-3 hashtags receive most interactions. Note that with Instagram, you can up to 10 hashtags but you need to ensure that they are relevant to the post.

So, what does the ‘perfect’ post on Instagram looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Reduces hashtags to max 10
  • Is posted mostly at weekends
  • Uses videos and carousel wisely

Additionally, you can also check his presentation with graphs on Quintly’s Website.

All in all, Social Media Analytics can help you benchmark your content performance against our analysis.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention.

Social Media Strategy

1. Now let’s move on to Patrick’s background

Patrick is from New Zealand and works in Paris, France. He is the Digital Content Marketer of Mention. His presentation focuses on Social Media Strategy around the following topics:

  • Engagement
  • Social Listening 
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Data Tracking.

Patrick started off his talk with a fun quiz to make a point about engagement.

2. Do you know the answer to this quiz question?

Q: Who is the most re-tweeted musical artist of all time?

A: BT K-Pop Group with:

  • 252 000+ re-tweets
  • Winner Billboard for ‘Best Social Artist’ in 2017-2018
  • More than 10 million followers
  • Performed at 2017 American Music Awards.

3. EVEN SO, why should you care?

This data proves that social media success is closely linked to engagement.

Mention’s Twitter Report 2018 -Top 5 hashtags (for engagement):

  1. #Love_Yourself
  2. #Jimin
  3. #BTS
  4. #DNA
  5. #THELASTJEDI

Amongst these hashtags, the top 4 are coming from this K-Pop band.

4. YET, how do they do this?

It’s all about engagement. They engage with their fans by:

  • Holding contests. They ask their fans to draw, respond, and tell stories about their faves
  • Rewarding fans for their re-tweets. They send personal ‘Thank you’ messages
  • Creating their own emojis.

Their success lies in the creation of online communities, mainly on Twitter, but also a bit on Instagram and a lot of forums, where fans do all the stuff for them.

5. then, why engagement matters?

It is important to emphasise engagement in your social media campaign because of:

a) The Snowball effect

Indeed, Social Media is all about connections: your followers, their followers…Your message reaches much further if shared with all these connections

b) Platforms reward engagement

Organic Reach is about winning in ‘the feed’. The more likes, shares and comments, the more likely Facebook, Twitter, etc will promote your post for you.

c) Respond early and often to foster a community. This is valid for viral campaigns or simple customer support

  • When a social media user gets in touch, you need to be there to help
  • Build momentum for key posts and campaigns
  • Catch issues before they get out of hand.

d) Social Listening comes in handy

Social Media Strategy

Here are the reasons:

  • You can’t respond to messages you don’t know to exist
  • You may not be able to stay glued to all your social media account at all times
  • Social Listening tools tell you when you (or your keywords) have been mentioned and let you respond directly.

A good Social Listening tool such as Mention saves you time and efforts. It also lets you focus on creating winning campaigns.

6. SINCE SOCIAL MEDIA IS CONSTAnTLY EVOLVING, WOULD YOU CONSIDER a Bot AS PART OF A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY?

In short, the answer is ‘No’ for Social Media and here is why. On Social Media, bots aren’t necessary or advisable. Unless you are a very big brand, you are not going to miss too many things. However, Social Listening will help you not miss all these little things and details.

Still, if you build or use a bot for your website, make sure you set it up with narrow parameters, it can be a good thing. Though, don’t show too obvious automated responses.

7. CONSECUTIVELY, The next step of YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY success is to work with influencers

Social-power users help build the brand by:

  • Expanding your reach (because their customer/fan base is engaged)
  • Increasing buying decisions for your products/services through their audiences thanks to their advice
  • Making you look good! When you hang out with the cool guys, it makes you look cool, too!

8. NOW, How to get started?

  • Find influential users relevant to your business (similar brands/topics within your network). They can be macro-influencers or micro-influencers. This article will help you find cost-free micro-influencers
  • Figure out what you can offer: free product, exposure, money
  • Reach out to influencers and kindly suggest to work together. Many will say ‘no’ but not everyone.

9. AFTER ALL, Why should you care about what your competitors do?

Social Media Strategy

Because a competitive analysis helps you solve your problems, understand and learn from your prospects and customers.

It will allow you to easily find out:

  • What your customers are interested in
  • What content or marketing strategies might be effective
  • Possibly even find new customers this way by interacting with them.

10. BESIDES, How can you track campaigns? And why would you bother?

Simply because you need to evaluate with tracking tools for the success of your campaign.

Indeed, the best campaigns are data-driven:

  • Learn from your last campaign to optimise the next
  • Influential people and outlets talk about you (eg on public holidays when your business may be closed)
  • Find out key events in the campaign that affected your performance
  • Assess the overall response to the campaign based on factual evidence to build engagement (eg top 10 content pieces per month or year).

11. Last but not least, Patrick shares his top tips

  • Use unique and branded hashtags for brand awareness and engagement. Why? Because non-popular branded hashtags are easier to track
  • Watch for sudden changes (spikes and dips) and understand why
  • Identify your most and least effective content
  • Measure key metrics such as volume, reach, countries, languages…

Finally, SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY presentations were wrapped up with Questions and Answers.

Social Media Strategy

Q: Can 15-30 hashtags work?

A: No. You need to concentrate on using relevant hashtags. Bear in mind as well that some hashtags are banned, temporarily or permanently. Let me give you one piece of advice: relevant hashtags in Instagram captions (descriptions). You may add some other hashtags after the description following blank spaces but they may not be as relevant.

Q: Do you think it’s good practice to post the same content on multiple platforms?

A: No. Every platform is different. Cross-posting isn’t recommended. Besides, consider that Twitter has recently changed its rules. They do not allow anymore the same content posted on different Twitter accounts or similar channels. Furthermore, hashtags aren’t been used on Facebook. As for the message length, Twitter restricts messages to 240 characters, which is lower than most other Social Media Networks.

Q: How to better utilise Instagram for stories?

A: Keep an eye on trends and news and be aware of the new features and tools. As discussed previously, stay engaged with informative or funny content. Another important news recently surfaced on Later, the exclusively Instagram scheduling app. They said that the algorithm prioritises people’s different content. Indeed, Instagram can tell and promote brands and people who use all of its features and have varied content (not only the same format or type of content over and over). Thus, they will bring further up your content into the feed. An interesting feature that has been rolled out is Instagram ‘highlights’ on your profile page. You can highlight a particular story to be viewed over and over again without any time limitations.

Q:  What channels do you advise to focus on?

A: That depends on the market(s) you are working for. You need to adjust your strategy to the country/market specifics. For eg, in Germany, there are very few people using Twitter, while there are 30 million users on Facebook.  Twitter is quasi-exclusively used by journalists and politicians. However, journalists can pick up topics to write about, which will be brought to the mass media. So, Twitter shouldn’t be completely written off.

Personalised customer experience through Artificial Intelligence

LET’S START WITH THE FIRST Presentation by Paul Sweeny from Webio, An ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE VOICE BOT APP company

Artificial Intelligence

1. Conversational Interfaces have started to shift

  • First of all, people live inside their Messaging Apps. Can you prove it? I surely can!
    • 2 billion messages a month are exchanged between customers and businesses
    • 60 billion businesses are on Facebook Messenger
    • Children are on: Snapchat, Kik, Telegram, Instagram
    • And Apple Business Chat just launched!

Yet, why is the Artificial Intelligence getting so popular?

That’s because Artificial Intelligence picks up customers/users’ moods. Some places like Melbourne, Australia have already developed a strong Chatbot community.

However, can you provide me with a relevant example of Artificial Intelligence use and success?

Moreover, Artifical Intelligence tools (AI) such as Alexa, the smart speaker, enable companies to increase their sales.

Indeed, in the USA alone, 57% of the population has ordered an item through their Smart Speaker.

Additionally, 37% say that they spend more money on Amazon and Google since getting their Smart Speaker.

On top of that, it also creates opportunities for technology-driven services such as Alexa programmes designed for children costing $2 a month that can be embedded into the TV.

2. SO, WHAT ARE The top 3 categories of items ordered most through Alexa?

They are:

  • Smart Home
  • Games, Trivia and Accessories
  • Music and Audio.

3. THEN, The REcepTionist/Triage Bot will determine if the issue can be processed by the bot or BY HUMAN BEING

The bot will follow these 3 stages:

  1. HLP (Help) = What is the intent of the sentence?
  2. Triage = Who/what division is it for?
  3. Rules = Best Route… Human, Bot or both.

Besides Alexa, are there any other current applications of bots?

Of course! Some other examples of Bot usage are:

  • the ‘Uber’ taxi app linking drivers directly with customers
  • hotel booking sites allowing smarter offers for customers searching for accommodation on the sites…

4. CONSEQUENTLY, WHAT MUST A Today’s Check-out DO?

It must:

  • understand and manage customer intents
  • hold context
  • reinvent a new dynamic when it comes to SEO, Words, Sentences’ choices
  • create continuous conversations without interruptions
  • enable direct digital conversations. Why not have platforms for these?
  • Finally, it must cater for markets and conversations. Indeed, markets are conversations and conversations are about markets.

NOW, LET’S MOVE ON TO THE SECOND Presentation by Niamh Parkless (on the right) from Shopless.ie, AN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SHOPPING AND DELIVERY APP company

Artificial Intelligence

1. FIRST OF ALL, WHAT IS Shopless.ie? IT is A new commitment personal shopping and delivery app DESIGNED for:

  • Fashion
  • Health and Beauty
  • Groceries

Secondly, what is the aim of this app?

Its goal is to attract local brands to deliver within 2-3 hours to your home. If you are a non-local brand, the aim is to reduce the shopping and delivery times. In other terms, it is a one-stop personalised application working with Artificial Intelligence to assist you with your shopping needs.

But, why do you think it will help my brand/business?

2. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and Personalisation

  • According to a recent report from Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that:
    • recognises them by name
    • recommends options based on past purchases
    • or knows their preferences.
  • Research suggests that brands with strong omnichannel engagement have an average retention rate of 89% versus 33% for brands with weak engagement.

However, what are your recommendations for a successful implementation of Artificial Intelligence?

3. THERE ARE TO FOLLOW THESE Five Easy Steps for Better Personalisation via Artificial intelligence:

  1. Don’t involve third-party software, just start small. Just amend a small part of your site to show customers’ location
  2. Personalise your shoppers’ mass marketing campaigns as your customers’ questions. You can ask simple questions like age, gender and brand interest
  3. Use on-site development to automate personalisation
  4. Real-Time marketing personalisation. This involves customising ad content based on individual users
  5. Last but not least, focus on achieving a seamless personalisation across web and marketing channels. That is to say that your Marketing messages must be created for your clients based on what you already know about the person’s integrations with your company.

4. Finally, how is it going to meet my business goals?

  • Well, when it comes down to it, personalisation comes back to improving the customer journey and their experience
  • In conclusion, it’s a way for stores to:
    • differentiate their service,
    • reward loyal customers
    • build a more sustainable business.

FINALLY, LET’S FINISH UP WITH THE THIRD Presentation BY Emma Boylan from outside the box

At last, Emma talked about branding and personal branding to market yourself effectively. For this purpose, I will refer you to this previous article for more information.

 

How to use videos and hashtags to market your business on Instagram

As you may know, Instagram has become a strong social media network player with up to today the highest reach and engagement rate. Video marketing is also getting bigger and bigger and also shows a  high level of engagement.

So, let’s start with the different video formats and features within the application.

Instagram story

An Instagram story is an ephemeral video you share with your followers live or for a 24 hours period. Although it’s temporary, you can save your video in the app or in your mobile phone photo library to share it as a post later.

Why do Instagram stories work?

Your followers crave for new content and most importantly want to get them right away, live! So, want to give it a try and publish your live recording into your story?

To do so, let’s start setting up your story settings so that you can keep or delete them once published.

How can you set up your Instagram story, in order to save your video(s)?
  1. You need to log into Instagram and go to your profile page.
  2. Then click on the 3 little dots () at the top right-hand corner of your profile.

3. In the ‘Options’ menu, click on ‘Story settings‘ under ‘Account’.

4. You will get these options as per below screenshot. To activate an option, swipe the button next to it to right. It will create a blue button indicating you activated that option.

You will have to decide whether you want people to comment on your video(s) or disable comments. For that, you will need to tap into your chosen option to activate it. This will create a rounded-framed tick as the example below.

You may share your story on your personal Facebook account timeline as well. If you select that option, it will redirect you to log into your Facebook account app to authorise this.

Wondering where the Instagram posts are archived?

It will be archived on the app. To access these, you will need to click on the anti-clockwise quadrant at the top right-hand corner of your Instagram profile next to your profile account name.

Instagram video marketing

Are there any of your archived pictures or videos you would like to save as (semi-) permanent posts in your ‘Highlights’ section of your Instagram profile?

If so, all you need to do is:

  • click on the 3 little dots () at the top right-hand corner
  • tap the image or video you want to highlight. It will create a tick at the bottom of it.
  • Then click on ‘Next‘ at the top right-hand corner of the page.

  • After that, click on ‘Create Highlight‘.

  • Create a name for your highlight (not mandatory. Then, click on ‘Add‘ at the top right-hand corner to have it added to your profile.

Don’t like anymore your highlight?

Don’t worry, you can remove it. Just go to your profile, tap on the highlight you want to remove, click on ‘More‘ at the bottom of the screen.

Then you will have these options pop up. Click on ‘Remove Highlight‘. Et voilà!

Now that we reviewed the Story settings, let me explain to you how to create stories.
  1. Click on your profile picture to open the story option to film or take pictures.

2. You will be then presented with these options.

  • Live: if you click on this option, it will create a live video that will disappear once you end the ‘live’, unless otherwise set. Live videos can be as long as you want them to be!
  • Normal: it will create a story post which will be available to view for 24 hours. These posts will not last more than 30 seconds
  • Type: you will create a textual post viewable for 24 hours
  • Boomerang is a fast-forwarded video but will require you to download an additional application
Now, what are symbols related to?
  • The picture on the far left is representing whatever picture or video you have saved in your mobile phone photo library. If you select a video, it will only show 15 seconds of it.
  • The left-hand side flash symbol next to the rounded button is to switch on the flash
  • The arrows in a circle shape right next to the rounded button are here to decide where your camera will be pointed towards, ie either yourself or something/someone else.
  • The far-right picture of a face is to set up any embellishments, add masks, emojis or the likes
  • The big rounded button is the one you will click on to take a picture and hold onto to record a video when you select a ‘Normal’ story.
once you have recorded your picture or video in ‘NORMAL Story’, you will get these options.

At the top:

  • Sticker: you can add funny stickers to your video
  • Loudspeaker: you can adjust the volume of your video
  • Highlighting pen: you can highlight a text you added in the picture or video
  • ‘Aa’ letters: you can add text to your video or picture.

At the bottom:

  • Save: if you want to save the picture or video in your mobile phone photo library (also called camera roll) to re-post it later on Instagram or another social media site
  • Your Story: you can send your picture or video to your story to be viewed for 24 hours
  • Send to>: you can send your recording individually to any of your followers you will select

If you select ‘Live‘ story, you will get this next screen. To start your ‘live’ story, click on ‘Start Live Video’. For embellishments, you may click on the face symbol before you start your video. You also have again this setting for where to point your camera.

Once your ‘live’ story has started, you may invite someone to be part of the video by clicking on the ‘two faces’ symbol.

You can also invite one or several specific followers to watch your ‘live’ by clicking on the ‘paper plane’ symbol. Once you have finished, click on ‘End‘ at the top right-hand corner.

When your video has ended, you will be prompted to select one of these options:
  • Save: to save in your mobile phone photo library
  • Share: you can share your live video for the next 24 hours. For this, please activate the sharing option by swiping the button towards the right until it gets blue. Then click on the ‘Share‘ button.

Not happy with your live video? don’t want to share or keep it?

No problem, you can discard it! You only need to disable the sharing option by swiping the button onto the left until it is greyed out. Then click on the ‘Discard‘ button.

That’s it for the ‘live’ stories!

Instagram posts

Now, let’s move on to sharing videos and pictures as ordinary posts.
  1. To create a post, go again to your profile page and click on the rectangular framed ‘+’ button at the very bottom of your screen (centre button).

2. Then, select the photo(s) or video(s) from your camera roll (mobile phone library). Click on the relevant option. You will see other options below the preview image.

What are these optional symbols for?
  • The far left symbol representing ‘two opposite arrows’ is to select how you want the video(s) or photo(s) to appear, ie in square/portrait mode or in a landscape mode. To activate the landscape option, click on that symbol.

Normal square/portrait mode:

Landscape mode:

  • The far right symbol ‘Select Multiples’  can be used if you want to share several videos or photos in one post.
  • The other two symbols require you to download other applications. You will then tap on the videos or photos you want to share.
When you share normal posts, you need to:
  1. add a description 
  2. add hashtags in ‘caption‘ for your videos or pictures to be found by other users.

Note: you can add stickers and a hashtag to a ‘normal story’ as well.

To add a description, you just have to type your text in the ‘caption‘ area of the post. It should describe what is in the picture(s) or video(s). Keep the most important part of your description in the two first rows. The rest of the text will only appear if your reader clicks on ‘more‘.

To mention someone in the video(s) or picture(s) and this person is on Instagram, you simply type their account name in your ‘caption‘ and add a ‘@‘ sign before it.

Instagram hashtags

  1. Then in that ‘caption‘ area, type hash ‘#‘ and whatever hashtags you want your post to be found and ranked for.
  2. Unlike on Twitter, with Instagram, you can have up to 30 hashtags. The more hashtags you select, the more your posts will be viewed. However, you must ensure that you select relevant hashtags for your post. Otherwise, you will get the wrong kind of followers
  3. Keep in mind that some hashtags are banned by Instagram community guidelines, so don’t select these ones. It is often because they violate Instagram policies. Selecting them will result in your posts getting removed or worse your account suspended.
  4. When you start typing your hashtag, you will get a list of tags and the number of time the hashtags have been used. I recommend you to choose both relevant highly popular and moderately popular tags for your posts to get found. You may also create branded hashtags.

Both your description and hashtags will appear under the video(s) or image(s) you have shared. You will also see the number of views on your videos right below your video/picture.

I hope all these tips will be useful for you. Would you like to share further tips on this topic?