Ten tips to optimise your social media

Whether you’re an individual maker and seller of artisan crafts, a business owner with a chain of local stores or a marketing director of a blue-chip multinational corporation, if you want to make your mark in the virtual world, optimising your social media presence can help you meet a whole range of your objectives

It’s now reported that 60% of the world’s population is on social media, with the average daily usage at a staggering 2 hours and 24 minutes.

What does social media optimisation mean?

Social media optimisation is the process of enhancing your presence on social media platforms to maximise engagement, visibility and, in general, your overall effectiveness. It involves strategically refining various elements – such as content, profiles, and audience interactions – to reach and resonate with your audience.

The ultimate goal is to boost your presence so that you, your brand or your business can enjoy increased awareness, engagement and results.

How can you optimise your presence on social media?

There are many ways to answer that question, but the answer will always depend on your objectives. What do you want to achieve? What are you optimising for?

In this following guide, we’ll explore ten effective ways to level up your social media strategy to help you drive engagement and achieve meaningful results.

Define your social media goals.

Start by asking yourself: What are you trying to do here? Are you looking to boost your brand? Are you trying to introduce your business or product to a new audience? Do you need to generate new sales leads or convert some before the end of the year?

Give yourself a north star to follow before you set sail: jot down and define your social media objectives, and use them as a compass for direction as you chart your course.

2. Outline your audience

So, who is it you’re trying to reach and attract? Take some time to explore your audience’s preferences, behaviours and interests. Research some popular social media accounts in similar areas to yours to see if your intended audience will likely be there. What type of content attracts the most likes and comments? Are there any adjacent topics or interests that connect with your audience?

Answering questions like these is fundamental to helping you create content that resonates and will help you optimise your content to meet the audience’s specific needs and expectations. Tailor your posts to your audience’s tastes.

3. Pick – and know – your platforms

You know your audience – so where are they spending their time online? Social media platforms are all different, and even if you have the time and resources to attack them equally, it’s not recommended. You only need to be on Snapchat if your audience is.

Focus on the platforms most relevant to your objectives and most popular with the audience you’re trying to reach. Keep an eye on platform demographic reports to determine who is spending what time and where.

Also, keep an eye on new and emerging platforms. Getting in early on the next BeReal can help you steal a march on the competition.

4. Perfect your profile

It’s the front door to your house. Your shop window. Your help desk. Your checkout.

A profile page can be all these and more – they’re that important.

Use all the real estate that’s offered, and make sure it’s always up-to-date with your most accurate information. If you’re not well known, make sure your profile name reflects what you do. Use an arresting profile picture that works well in a reduced canvas, and write a captivating bio. You should also sprinkle some keywords in there to ensure it’s SEO-optimised.

Be sure to use your ‘Link in Bio’ to direct your audience to the most relevant page. Use some of the copy in your bio as a call-to-action to direct to the link.

TikTok and others currently only allow one link from a profile page. You could use it to send the audience to your website homepage, but consider directing them to a Linktree or Campsite landing page, where you can embed multiple links to your different channels and content.

You should also take advantage of any native functionality on offer. For example, the Instagram Story Highlights feature (the circles that sit above the profile grid) allows you to direct your audience to key content while allowing you to add more visual sparkle and personalisation across the page.

5. Consistency, Consistency… Constantly

Whatever elements are customisable in your profile, make sure that they represent your brand identity with uniformity. Your logo, colours, messaging and tone of voice should conform across all your platforms so that users can easily recognise you wherever they see you.

Try not to let one platform languish with an older logo. For instance, if you’ve executed a brand refresh, make sure you run it across all of your social media accounts, as that dissonance can really stand out and look sloppy if it’s spotted.

All that being said, the consistency rule is a good rule to break. Once you’ve set an audience’s expectation of what they’re going to see, upsetting the rhythm with a brief and well-timed change of design can really stand out.

6. Pick your moments

Master the art of timing. It’s useful to understand your audience’s online habits and find out when they’re most active to identify peak engagement periods and when to post.

Most social media platforms have useful professional analytics tools, and it’s good to get familiar with them. Check out what time of day and days of the week your target audience is most active, and time your posts within those golden windows.

And don’t just settle there. Experiment with different times of the day, and keep an eye on the results and analytics to see how timing makes a difference. You may find that certain types of posts work better at certain times, so make a record of what works well and when.

7. Make your content valuable

The secret to creating quality content is value. Take a moment to consider how valuable a piece of content is before it goes live.

The definition of value can be broad, specific to the role of the account you’re running and the type of brand or business you are. Should your posts be informative? Entertaining? Funny? Or have some tangible benefit like a special offer or promotion? These are all forms of value and are tactics to keep your feed dynamic and engaging.

8. Harness the power of keywords

Keywords make your social media post findable and raise the likelihood of getting seen.

Research the relevant subjects that align with your brand or business that will resonate with your audience, and make sure you use them to enhance discoverability.

Hashtags can significantly increase the visibility of your content. Research and use relevant hashtags that align with your brand and resonate with your audience. However, be cautious not to overuse them; focus on quality over quantity.

But this isn’t just about hashtags anymore – you should contain 2-3 relevant keywords in your post copy, too (for example, if you’re a personal trainer, work the words “fitness tips”, “coaching”, and “gym” into your caption.

Useful hack: some platforms allow you to write alt text for photos for visually impaired users. This is not only a helpful feature for improved accessibility but also an additional opportunity to add more relevant keywords.

Also, tagging a location when you post is another powerful way to increase the chances of reaching an audience within a specific geographic target.

9. Be ready to engage

The clue is in the name: it’s social media, and the more readily and promptly you respond to comments, messages and mentions, the more you’ll grow a sense of connection with your audience. Social platform algorithms also reward their active users, so the more you lean into the conversation, the more likely your posts will find their way to the top of feeds and get seen by your audience.

Consistency is also important here – find your brand’s voice and use it at all your points of contact.

10. Test and learn and test again

Finally, it’s a good idea to freshen up your approach occasionally, so regularly check in on your analytics tools to refine and adapt your strategy. What’s getting the best engagement, reach and conversion? Find out what worked and do more of it. Don’t waste time on the things that don’t!

However, social media platforms can suddenly change their algorithm. Tried and tested tactics that have brought you success can suddenly stop working. It’s just their way of keeping you on your toes! If you discover a reversal of fortunes in your analytics, don’t panic. Find out if there have been any major algorithmic changes and optimise your tactics accordingly.

That’s our 10 tips for how to optimise your presence on social media!

As you’ve seen, social media optimisation involves applying a handful of skills, including planning, research and creativity, but the key ones are analysis and adaptation.

The more you practice, test and learn while implementing these tips, the more you’ll cultivate an engaging presence in social media and help your business flourish.

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