Written by Harriet Eastgate
So, you’ve just graduated uni, and you want to work in media, marketing or PR? In these positions there will be a lot of different tasks that you’ll undertake. Copy writing, strategy development, collateral, design concepts, making lists (LOTS of lists), creative direction, market research, advertising, media releases… just to name a few (*takes deep breath*).
But what a lot of millennials and gen z’s are most eager to get into is social media. If this is the direction you want to take, you’ve studied the right thing. Social media (as I’m sure you know) is a huge element of media and communications disciplines. Most likely, you’ll be working for a small, large or medium-sized business where you either run or contribute to running the company’s social media channels.
But what does it take to have a good business social media account? More specifically, a good social media account in 2019? To save you from having to figure it out on your first day, I’ve got you covered with four hacks to running a GREAT business social media account.
1. Have a plan
Running a business social media account can be full on. Depending on the business, you may be posting up to 10 pieces of content per day across the many platforms and who’s got time for that?! (*sorry, we need to get back to making our list). So that you have more time to create and develop the content rather than spending all day posting it, scheduling is super important.
You will need to use social media management tools like hootsuite, sproutsocial or buffer that will automatically upload your content when you’ve scheduled it (PSA: there are so many more scheduling tools than this so make sure you look around for the best quality and best price). But to do this you need to make sure you’re well planned. I’m talking having next month’s entire content plan ready to go at least two weeks prior to the start of that month, and it needs to be based on insights.
You can use a fancy planning tool like the one in the above image or just use an excel table (I would suggest this option).
But, you need to make sure:
- You’re posting the right type of content (visuals – close ups or long shots, quotes, video etc.)
- You have the most engaging captions (will this post get you likes, comments, shares, website visits?)
- You’re posting the content on the right channel, on the best day at the best time for your audience
2. Develop a style guide and keep it consistent
A style guide is super important – particularly when multiple people are running social media across multiple platforms. Everything needs to be consistent and on brand (ugh, not another buzzword…). But it’s true. This way your audience will be able to recognise your brand instantly and there will be no mixed messaging coming from the various content produced.
This includes the kinds of visuals you use, video lengths, fonts, colour palettes, tone, formatting, what hashtags to use, comment responses and even what emojis should be used (*insert exploding head emoji face).
Canva has some great tips on how to develop a style guide. It’s also a great platform for you to develop a style guide on as well as develop social media content (aka, a one stop social media help shop).
3. Use visuals and video (SUPER important for 2019 trends)
We all love Instagram and YouTube, and because both of these platforms are heavily based on visuals and video, this is where your focus needs to be for a business account… particularly on video in 2019. No matter what platform your business account is on, the stats are all aligned – video works! In fact, Renferforest (an online video marketing tool) conducted some research into this and found some pretty interesting info, including that 70% of businesses generate more leads using video content.
Their YouTube video below, provides a great example of an informative style video that a business can share on their social media accounts. But be careful, they should be short and snappy if you’re sharing on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Keep longer content for YouTube or the business website. No one is scrolling through Instagram with the patience to sit through a 10-minute video… 30 seconds MAX for Insta, Facebook and Twitter (unless you’re live streaming through Instagram, which is definitely something you should look into).
4. Make sure you have a Call-to-Action
There’s no point in having a business social media account if it’s not going to benefit the business in some way. Here’s where a call to action comes in. If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically where you tell your customer to take some form of action (e.g. buy X here, visit X website here, go to X event). Some of your content can omit this, but only if it’s really engaging. This means it needs to benefit the business in some way (e.g. drives following, commenting, likes) or benefit the audience in some way (e.g. educational or informative content).
Sprout social has some great ideas for powerful call to action phrases that work for different kinds of social media content. Some of these include, “Only X Days Left” or “Last Chance”. You will need to tailor the call to action to the type of business and the type of content you are uploading. Don’t forget that your business (or the business you are working for) has its social media accounts there to promote the business. So, the accounts can be pretty, get lots of likes and comments etc. (PSA: comments are really great for Instagram algorithms) but ultimately, they are there for one reason, to generate more sales or traffic for the business.
If you want some more information on how to create a great business social media account, I recommend checking out these articles / YouTube channels: