It’s a given that social media can drive online awareness for your business, but with the various sites out there, you may be wondering how to efficiently get started when leveraging a social channel for your brand. We received a great user question on this very topic and will try our best to answer it in this edition of #AskBuffer.
Along with covering how exactly to start a new social media account for your business, we’ll provide tips that’ll help you make the most out of that channel as well.
What to consider when creating a new social channel
Setting up a new social channel for your business may feel a bit overwhelming at first, but with the proper preparation, you can have a successful account. Here are some things to consider before you create your new channel.
Figure out where your audience is
There are a ton of potential options when choosing which social media site to be active on. From Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok, it’s not always realistic for one business to be posting on five different channels. Instead, you want to be very deliberate when choosing the top-priority social network for your business.
To figure out what this main channel should be, you need to learn where your audience spends most of their time online. And in order to do that, you need to have a good idea of your target market. Here are some questions that can help you do so:
- How old are the people you are trying to reach?
- Where are they located?
- What are their pain points?
- What are their hobbies, interests, and passions?
Once you have a clear understanding of the demographic you’re interested in, it’s time to do some research and find their favorite social channels. While it’s true that most individuals are active on several platforms, the data suggests that certain demographics prefer specific sites.
For example, Gen Z users are super active on TikTok, YouTube, and even Snapchat, whereas 24 to 34-year-olds make up nearly 40 percent of both Twitter and Instagram users.
Picking a channel your audience already frequents ensures you’re being strategic and efficient with your social media posting, and reaching the people you’re most interested in. .
Pinpoint the type of content you want to share
Once you’ve selected which social platform you’ll be using, it’s time to brainstorm ideas for posts. Here are some suggestions for generating content.
Create content that fits the platform
The type of media you create will depend on the platform you choose. For example, if your community is on TikTok, you’ll need to create videos, whereas if your priority channel is Twitter, you'd come up with text ideas for tweets and Twitter threads. For Instagram, you’d likely be creating a mix of video and photo content.
A good way of gauging what will perform well on a certain channel is to spend time on it yourself! Check out what’s trending and follow some accounts that interest you. Browsing through other content creators’ work can inspire your own creativity.
Establish content pillars
Content pillars are topics or themes that can be used to generate posts. They should be relevant to your audience while also connecting back to your brand principles.
At Buffer, our content pillars include remote work, social media strategies, our culture, and highlighting sustainable and ethical brands. If you browse our blog and social media channels, you’ll see that most of our content revolves around these core themes.
Another way to look at this is to think about what you want to share as a content creator. It can include the following:
- Helpful advice
- Industry trends
- Behind-the-scenes insights
- Deep dives into your services or products
- Questions for your followers
- Long-form content
It’s not realistic to talk about everything on your account, and oftentimes individuals will follow you because of your specific niche. Therefore, it’s a good idea to come up with three to four content pillars and brainstorm ideas from there.
Call out: Have a content idea that you want to play around with? Use Buffer’s Ideas feature to tweak your work until you get it right.
Let your brand voice inform your content
Your brand voice is the way you come across to your audience as a content creator. This voice can help inform the type of content you want to share because it includes your company’s core values and principles.
For example, if your brand voice is educational, you may want to share content that is more explanatory and informative on social media. If your brand voice is fun and silly, you may post more humorous TikToks and Reels.
Don’t think of your brand voice as something that boxes you in, but rather a way to create content that really aligns with your goals as a creator.
Think about ways to repurpose your content
As you’re exploring ideas for social media, we recommend repurposing content. While tailoring content for each platform is a great way to really thrive on a given channel, you can always repurpose your content to fit any social media platform.
TikToks can easily turn into Instagram Reels. Static graphics can become video content. Tweets can even be repurposed into images – we recommend Remix for doing this in seconds!
Repurposing content is a great way to extend the life span of social media content on your channel.
Have a plan for creating and sharing your content
To really succeed on social media, you need to post consistently. You don’t want to promote a social channel only to use it sporadically. But to post frequently, you need to have a plan to generate and share your content.
Gathering the tools and services you’ll need to create and distribute your social media content will help you stay ahead of the game. Here are some of the main tools you’ll want to consider:
- Image creation: Much of social media consists of aesthetically pleasing images, and luckily there are tons of options when it comes to creating these graphics. Canva is a great service that generates professional-looking images. Pablo and Remix are also convenient options.
- Video editing: When it comes to video editing services, many social platforms, including TikTok and Instagram, have native video features that are easy to use. We recommend familiarizing yourself with these features until you get the hang of them. If you’re looking for other options, here’s a list of video editing softwares.
- Scheduling: Getting your posts out into the world is the most important part of this equation! Instead of taking time out of your busy day to upload your various media, write your captions, and publish your posts, we recommend using a tool to schedule these posts in advance. Buffer can do just that for you and more. Start for free today!
We also recommend content batching as a way to ensure you always have posts ready to go. With this strategy, you’re essentially working on multiple posts at a given time. By creating content in batches, you’ll be saving time and energy and will end up with weeks worth of content you can schedule in advance.
Understand how social media algorithms work
To improve the likelihood of your posts being seen in your followers’ feeds, it’s best to have a solid understanding of social media algorithms. The algorithm can be thought of as rules and guidelines specific to a certain platform that decides which content will be shown on a social media feed and in what order.
While every social media site has its own unique algorithm, some best practices are relevant for all social platforms, including:
- Being an active account that posts original content regularly
- Using trending hashtags and audio
- Engaging with others on the platforms
- This includes replying to comments you receive on your posts, but also interacting with content posted by others
- Keeping your videos short and to the point, specifically for Reels and TikToks
The algorithms are complex and depend on multiple factors – including a user’s individual behavior – but some factors are in your control and knowing how to effectively leverage them can improve the chances your content will be seen by your audience.
Call out: Finding out the best time to post on the various platforms — including TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter— can help your posts be seen by more of your audience
Have a measurable goal for success
Once you get your social media channel up and running, you should also track and measure its success. This will help you understand what kind of content is working with your followers and what isn’t. If you don’t do so, you’re essentially posting blindly – meaning you’re not analyzing whether your work is resonating with your followers.
There are a lot of ways you can approach this. At Buffer, we specifically use engagement rate and impressions as our base metrics when analyzing our posts’ performance.
Call out: Check out Buffer’s top social media posts of 2022 and our social media manager’s analysis of why they did so well.
Here are some other metrics that you can look at for a given post:
- How often it has been saved or bookmarked
- Retweets and shares
Examining all of this data manually can be a bit time-consuming, and that’s where Buffer comes in. With Analytics, Buffer can analyze your social media accounts, create reports that clearly lay out specific trends in your content, and provide a number of recommendations, including the best times to post, suggesting how often you should post, and laying out your best content.
Creating social media channels for your brand is a great way to get the word out about your business. We recommend starting small with one to two accounts, and then adding more channels as you grow.
Use this quick checklist before you start those new accounts:
- Figure out where your audience is
- Pinpoint what kind of content you want to share
- Have a plan for creating & sharing said content
- Understand social media algorithms
- Measure and track your social media performance
Have a social media question for us? Use the #AskBuffer and let us know on Twitter!