Social media has become an integral part of marketing in today’s day and age. It can be an especially effective for consulting companies because it allows them to position their employees as thought leaders in their industry and connect with their audiences on a more personal level. Establishing this authority and making these connections is an important step toward strengthening your brand and increasing sales and revenue. The catch? You’ve got to do it right. Luckily, we’ve put together five essential social media tactics for consulting companies just like yours.
Nail Post Frequency
First, let’s talk about your posts. So you know the right content to share - articles, videos, infographics – but how do you know how often to post it? It’s important to strike a balance between offering plenty of helpful content that your audience is hungry for, while not posting so much that you come across as spammy. In order to strike that perfect balance, we recommend posting to Twitter four to eight times per day and posting to Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram one to four times per week.
The reason for this stark difference is that Twitter has a much healthier appetite for frequent posts. Post consumption on Twitter is quick and simple, without too much text to slow readers down. Many brands post frequently, which makes it easy for your content to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t keep up. Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, on the other hand, tend to have a slower flow of content. Eager posting on these networks can inundate a user’s newsfeed in no time, making them less likely to want to follow you. Although our frequency recommendations are a good rule of thumb, don’t be afraid to post more or less depending on what achieves the best results for your business.
Get Your Hashtag On
Including trending hashtags in your social posts is a great way to boost traffic and brand awareness; just make sure that the tags you use are highly relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re a marketing consulting firm, simply adding #consulting to the end of your post won’t help you to hit the right audience. Anyone could be perusing that hashtag – people looking for financial consultants, people applying for consulting jobs, people who are making fun of consultants – the list goes on and on.
Instead, only take advantage of the hashtags that speak to your brand. A better hashtag for a marketing consulting firm would be #ChatBotMarketing at the end of a post discussing the pervasiveness of chat bots in online marketing. This hashtag is specific, relevant and helps them reach their niche audience – people who are interested in marketing trends and improving their users’ experiences.
(Still not sure how or when to use a hashtag? Check out our recent blog post, The Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtags, for more info!)
Know Your Followers
Let’s say you’re doing all the right things on social media – posting the right content, at the right time, for the right audience; taking advantage of key industry hashtags; positioning your employees as thought leaders – now how do you know it’s all working? Using a social media platform such as HubSpot or Hootsuite can help you to easily track all of your social data in one place. Depending on the platform, you can see insights such as clicks, likes, shares, popular posting times, popular content and more. These insights are important because they allow you to keep your thumb on the pulse of your audience. You’ll be able to see what’s resonating with them and what’s not, tweaking your strategy along the way. Before you know it, your social channels will be fine-tuned for success!
Align with Your Brand
Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon once said, “Your brand is what people say about you after you leave the room.” In today’s digital age, brand perception is heavily reliant upon the way a company conducts itself online. This means that before you post on social media, there’s a lot you need to account for in order to maintain your company’s brand image.
For example, if you’re a consulting company that prides itself on friendly service, your social media should be reflective of that. When a client asks a question, or even gives negative feedback, the responses need to embody the friendliness of the brand through and through. Offering a canned or bland response, even if it fully addresses the user’s needs, can weaken the brand by not providing that friendly experience. The best way to avoid this brand misalignment is to hold regular meetings between your social media team and marketing strategists to ensure that the tone, voice, and content matches that of the company’s brand vision.
Flaunt That Culture
Put a face to your name! Your prospects want to see you and feel connected with who it is they might be working with. Social channels such as Instagram and Snapchat are a great place to show off what’s going on around your office. Highlighting team building activities or achievements in an Instagram post or Snapchat story can instantly make your team seem more relatable and approachable. This spotlight on your team can also help prospects to feel more comfortable approaching your employees at networking events. It’ll feel like less of a cold intro on their end when they can strike up a conversation about your office pup!
Keeping Up in the Long Haul
The world of social media is changing every second – new users join, new posts are published and new connections are made at the speed of light. It’s imperative for consulting companies to keep up with this ever-changing marketing channel in order to foster trust, confidence and a sense of connection among potential clients. By paying mind to post frequency, trending hashtags, follower preferences, brand alignment a, d culture, you can effectively leverage social media to drive new business and strengthen your brand.