Social media has become a way of life for connecting and communicating both professionally and personally. Knowing the difference and how to leverage your social media platforms is essential. In a recent poll, 86% of A/E/C firm respondents stated their clients use social media – particularly LinkedIn – yet a mere 18% of firms proactively connect with them! If you’re not engaging actively where your clients are, you’re missing opportunities to showcase your firm, your expertise, and your differentiators.
Here’s what you need to know to engage on social media effectively and with purpose:
Understand Your Goals. Time is a critical factor in how you use social media effectively. Determine how much time you can allocate and then stick with it! Consistent and regular posting is key.
Identify your Audience. Clients, teaming partners, recruits, and more.
Select Your Platform(s). LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Research. Identify clients, prospects, and partners and understand their challenges, needs, fears, and pain points. Follow and share client news, updates, and industry trends.
Build Brand Awareness. Bring awareness to your expertise by creating connections with clients, teaming partners, discussion groups, and colleagues. Present solutions and benefits to specific client challenges. Share industry trends, too!
Don’t forget to keep the SOCIAL in social media. Be conversational – it’s not always about business, it’s about connection. Be mindful that social media is a no-politics zone!
Getting Up to Speed. Terms You Need to Know
Engagement. An action taken by a social media user on your page including likes, reactions, shares, or comments.
Handle. The user’s unique account name. Example: @elevateaec
Hashtag. A word or phrase following the ‘#’ symbol used to find content on specific topics or to make content more discoverable to other users.
View. A view on social media means the content was viewed. For videos, the count happens after 3 seconds, so we can’t alwasy be sure it was a meaningful view.
Impressions. The number of times your posts are seen by users. For example, if five people have seen your post on LinkedIn, there are five impressions on that post. And, if someone in your network shares your post, you gain impressions from their connections too.
Share(s). Shares refer to the number of times a users’ content is re-posted on social media. The share feature is a clickable button that allows you to repost other users’ content to your own timeline (your own personal newsfeed).
Click-Through-Rate (CTR). The ratio showing how often viewers of your post click it. CTR is the number of clicks that your post receives divided by the number of times your post is shown (clicks ÷ impressions = CTR)
Posts. Posts are short (>1,300 characters) status updates including quotes, awards, and quick tips.
Articles. Articles are long-form pieces of writing (up to 100K characters) equivalent to blog posts. Link to your website to increase traffic and include a call to action!
Videos. Videos are movies/clips shared in posts. Video views are the equivalent to 3-5x a post view. Native video posts are shared directly on the platform while external video posts contain links to video sites such as YouTube. Keep videos under 1 minute in length.
And, Finally Make Sure You Look and Sound Good!
Creating an eye-catching and complete bio that presents your qualifications and crafts your image on social media is essential. Keep your bio professional and share your WHY while featuring your unique skills and offerings. Use the bio space to highlight client challenges and how you solved them, and use headlines to grab attention and showcase your signature projects.
Social Media Tools
These tools can help you schedule, organize, track, and design your social media program:
Content Calendar: Todoist.com
Elevate’s Free Social Media Calendar Template: request from firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media Management: Hootsuite, Loomly, Monday, Everypost, SocialFlow, Sprout
Analytics: Google Analytics, Google Trends, Native Analytics (profile views)
Design: Canva, Ripl, Animoto, Unsplash
URL Shortners: Bitly, Cuttly, Sniply, ClickMeter, Rebrandly, TinyUrl