Setting up a business profile on social media isn’t difficult, but maintaining it consistently to receive the desired attention from target customers and build community takes significantly more effort.
Several businesses end up letting their social pages lapse into a state of dormancy because they get discouraged due to low engagement and struggle to create valuable, unique content that resonates with their followers and potential community members.
If you leave your accounts like this, chances are prospects who look for your brand on social media will automatically assume that you have shut shop because your social presence is dead. The inactivity can also impact your credibility and signal that you don’t take an active interest in your customers. Not only will you end up losing your existing customers by failing to maintain a community on social media, but you will also find it difficult to get the attention of new prospects. Even though it may feel tempting to delete all social media accounts and get a fresh start, it is not ideal. You will lose your existing username (which can be hard to get because they are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis), follower list, and even the posts you have created. Luckily, there are ways to resuscitate your accounts without having to start over completely. Read on for tips to keep in mind while revamping your social strategy.
1. Evaluate your existing content and community strategies
The first step is to be brutally honest with yourself and find out why the social media presence of your business becomes inactive. Was it lack of time, absence of a solid strategy, or frustration because you never got any results that led you to abandon all activity? Having clarity about the reason will help you stay on track when you start afresh. Take note of which existing pieces of content generated engagement from your followers, and whether or not you’ve maintained a consistent brand voice throughout your posting history. Continue any tactics that have worked in the past while implementing new strategies like asking your followers questions, employing diverse content types, familiarizing yourself with new features like social video on your platforms, and responding to comments from your fans.
Reply to any comments you receive on the new posts and harness the momentum. Also, use social listening to monitor brand mentions and stay engaged with your followers. Tracking the performance of your posts consistently can help you make improvements.
As you reshape your approach to social content, remember to keep the community at the forefront of your marketing efforts. Nobody wants to follow an account that posts robotically about making sales — they want to be a part of a community.
2. Market community-first with user-generated content (UGC)
Building a brand community on social media starts with humanizing the content you share online. One of the best ways to avoid appearing overly sales-y with your social content is by sharing UGC from your existing customers. This media created by fans brings an element of social proof to your marketing and contextualizes your product by showing it in action.
Farrow & Ball inspires its followers by sharing photos from its community featuring the brand’s paint. A post like this requires minimal effort on the brand side, as the team sources content from its own followers.
Use your social profiles to encourage followers to share posts related to your products or brand — you can even create a brand hashtag to keep track of this content as it’s posted. Incentivize fans by featuring UGC on your brand’s profile, or hold a social media contest to reward submissions. It’s also worth it to look into a CRM platform like Pixlee [now Emplifi] to automatically collect and publish UGC across your most impactful marketing channels like email and website displays in addition to social media.
3. Delete duplicate or inactive accounts
If you are serious about bouncing back from the dead, you’ll need to perform an audit to locate all the social media accounts linked to your brand. While this may seem like the easiest task in the world, you’ll be surprised how many inactive accounts you may have created on a whim to keep up with the trends.
You may also spot several unofficial accounts set up either by employees who were in charge of social media activity previously, or by spammers. So make sure to perform a thorough search for your brand on all the major social networks and weed out all fake accounts. This process is another form of social listening. It is also advisable to take stock of the number of social media platforms where you are located. Ask yourself why you are using this platform, what goals you wish to achieve, and whether your target customers are active. If you don’t find a compelling reason to maintain the account because the platform is not aligned to your goals and the target market is elsewhere, delete it and spend your efforts elsewhere.
4. Use influencers to create buzz around your social revival
Most marketers know influencer marketing is hugely beneficial in boosting brand awareness on social media. Begin by finding the right one — whether that’s investing in an ambassador program (a longer-term partnership, often with more than one individual), micro-influencers, or a larger creator — and building a relationship with them. Pixlee’s Influencer Marketing platform also allows brands to discover influencers whose audience and values align with your brand’s.
Once you’ve found the right influencer, work with them to create a campaign surrounding your brand’s return to social media. You may choose to contract them for a one-off post about a product, or design a more involved campaign like a social media contest to spread awareness about your brand account. However you choose to spark engagement and impressions for your brand account, make sure you give the influencer creative freedom — after all, they know their audience best.
Everlane uses influencers like @kc_doubletake, giving them unique affiliate discount codes to incentivize their own followers to shop with the brand and check out its social profiles.
5. Hire a social media manager
Building a social media presence is no walk in the park. Juggling it with your existing responsibilities as a business owner can become overwhelming. That’s why the most successful brands delegate social media tasks to one individual — a social media manager. This individual (ideally working with a team, but that’s not always possible for smaller brands) has the opportunity to harness a voice and style for your brand while regularly engaging with prospects on the channels your target audience is most active on. Having that one person show up consistently through your brand’s profiles shows your team’s appreciation for its online community. Moreover, the social media landscape is continuously changing, and having a manager on board can help you keep track of any algorithm changes and new trends on various platforms. Your social media strategy can be tweaked according to new features, opportunities, and activity on your channels of choice to receive the desired engagement.
Ready to up your social media game again?
Even if your once-active social media presence has gone flat, it is not too late to return with a spark. Make sure to implement these tips and start building up a genuine community with new tools to support you.
Gladys Labsan is a writer with over 10 years of professional experience on various topics under the sun. She is also a self-taught visual artist who specializes in portraits and murals. Gladys loves to make mini Clipchamp videos, share her thoughts through writing, singing her heart out (alone), and eat cake. All while handling four silly little girls who make her heart full.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.