I know… I get it… as a business owner, you’ve been sold, told, and pitched on social media strategies for years now.
Restaurant owners have watched patrons snap photos of their meals; gym owners have seen more mirror selfies than they care to admit; and carpet care companies have seen more of their beautifully clean rugs on social media than ever before.
But what does this all have to do with you spending time and dollars with these platforms?
I promise I’ll get there soon, but bear with me as I cover some quick social media statistics that will serve as the foundation for the rest of this post about social media strategies.
How Many People Use Social Media
We all know that a lot of people use social media, but what does that number really look like? Stats from 2019 have shown that there are over 3 billion people using social media worldwide.
That means 42% of the entire population of the planet uses it (Emarsys, 2019). This total is growing every day as more people have access to smartphones, networks improve, and the overall population continues to grow.
Who Uses It & For How Long
Social media is no longer just a thing for the hip kids.
In fact, almost half of all Baby Boomers are active social media users now.
So what is the breakdown of usage among the prevalent generations?
- 90% of Millennials
- 77% of Gen Xers
- 48% of Baby Boomers
This is the percentage of those in each category who are daily, active social media users (Emarketer, 2019).
And just how long are all those people using social media?
Each person uses it for an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day.
When you factor in that 72% of all 255 million US adults use it, that equals 587 million hours of social media usage every single day in the United States.
Where to Start
Now that you have an idea of the opportunity available to every single business, both large and small, where do you begin with your social media strategies?
First, make sure you have profiles set up on all the major social platforms. This includes:
You should also consider creating accounts on…
Think of these as the old TV networks like Fox, CBS, and ABC. You don’t need to be an expert on all these platforms, but you do need to understand the basics of posting, responding to comments and messages, and completing simple profile updates.
Remember: You can always learn more later, but there is no better time than now to start. YouTube is an amazing resource for learning the fundamentals of any of these.
Social Media Strategies
The most challenging part of social media marketing strategies is not that it is overly difficult to manage, but the amount of time it takes to execute a proper sustained strategy.
So having a proper plan in place, and sometimes the right tools, can streamline the process and make you much more efficient.
What You Should Post
If you remember nothing else from my entire post, make it this: Do not try to sell your followers with every single post.
If all you are doing is asking, asking, asking, your followers will give less and less and less.
The point of social media is to connect with people.
So what can you do instead? A ton! Like…
- Provide valuable information about your industry
- Humanize your business by posting about you and your employees
- Show behind the scenes
- Give tips and tricks about your products (without selling them)
- Help your community solve the problems they face in your niche
- And so much more
Then, when you have given them all this value without asking for a single thing in return, when you do ask for something, they will be that much more inclined to give back.
You have to give to get. People have become increasingly savvy to marketing and they have no problem calling a spade a spade and moving on from your brand. So don’t be “that business.”
Plan Your Posts
Taking the time at the beginning of the week or month to plan your posts out will not only save you time, but also help provide a cohesive plan of posts across your accounts.
There are several tools you can use to help plan and schedule those posts, like HubSpot and Sprout Social. But you don’t need to be fancy. Even old school pen and paper works great.
No Matter Your Business, You’re a Media Company
What I mean by this is that whether it’s you or your employees, you all have the ability to generate pictures, videos, blog posts, podcasts, and other pieces of content. All these pieces can be used across each of your social media accounts.
So having a little organization behind all these pieces makes it easy for those who are posting for you to find new content and create posts around them.
Using cloud storage tools (like Google Drive and DropBox) gives you a centralized place where multiple people can access and upload. The best part is that both of these tools offer free versions to get you started!
How Often You Should Post
We see this question pop up rather frequently. The general answer is “as often as you can,” but I understand there needs to be some clarification around that.
We often suggest a business post once a day to the major channels, like Facebook and Instagram. If that can be extended to one or more of the others, even better. The goal here is consistency, not perfection.
Knowing this will be a challenge to many businesses. We suggest a minimum of twice a week. If you can do more, great! But at this point, you can probably see that the biggest social media hurdle for businesses is time.
When You Should Post
That’s right! Besides collecting content for posts, writing and scheduling posts, you also need to think about when you post.
Gone are the days of getting easy social reach (i.e. the number of people who see your posts). When are your fans and followers most active? This is something you need to pay close attention to in your own stats and analytics.
Fortunately, there is a general guide to help you with that. Sprout Social put together an amazing set of statistics on the best days and times to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Use these as a guide at first, then make tweaks to your posting schedule based on your actual results.
- Best times to post to Facebook: Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Best day: Wednesday is the best day to post on Facebook.
- Most consistent engagement: Weekdays from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
- Worst day: Sunday has the least amount of engagement for Facebook during the week.
- Lowest engagement: Early mornings and evenings, before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. have the least amount of engagement per day.
- Best times to post on Instagram: Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday at 10 a.m.–11 a.m.
- Best day: Wednesday is the overall best day to post to Instagram.
- Most consistent engagement: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m–3 p.m.
- Worst day: Sunday receives the least amount of engagement on Instagram.
- Lowest engagement: Late night and early morning, from 11 p.m.–3 a.m.
- Best times to post on Twitter: Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Friday at 9 a.m.
- Best days: Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to post on Twitter.
- Most consistent engagement: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
- Worst day: Saturday gets the least engagement.
- Lowest engagement: Every day from 10 p.m–4 a.m.
- The best times to post to LinkedIn: Wednesday at 9–10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
- Best day: Wednesday.
- Most consistent engagement: Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Lowest engagement: Sunday, and the least popular times to post are every day from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
My 2020 Social Media Strategies Conclusion
So there you have it! Your business’s social media strategy moving into the new decade. You need to…
If you don’t have social media accounts, get signed up!
Plan your social media posts in advance (and don’t forget to give value).
Create a space to save content so you can use it later.
By planning and curating, you’ll be able to post more frequently (ideally, once a day).
Know when to post.
Don’t just post at 10 p.m. because you have a minute to do so (unless you already posted at a better time earlier and you’re going for extra credit).
A lot of work goes into a successful social media campaign for businesses. Social media strategies are all about building your brand, which has become increasingly important these days, but that’s for another post.
People are becoming ad blind and resistant to being forcefully sold. You can still sell to people. You just have to tell the right story.
If you tell the right story, those potential customers will begin to identify with your brand, engage with your posts, and then they’re 77% more likely to make a purchase. When you nail your messaging, you’ll create a legion of fans who will help you grow.
In the end, if you’re still feeling lost and need some guidance or help in creating and maintaining your social media strategies, Design Extensions has 20 years of successful experience helping businesses just like yours.