Social Media is continuing to play a crucial role in a brand’s development and the level of expectation placed upon these channels is also intensifying. Avoid falling into the usual pitfalls when developing your brand’s social media channels by following the tips below, and remember that the key words are engagement and interaction – Likes will follow in due course if your posts are relevant for your target audience and not pushing your brand too heavily onto your followers.

1. Know your audience Take advantage of Facebook and Google Analytics to ensure you’re speaking to the audience that’s interacting with you. Adapt your tone of voice to suit this target demographic – i.e. if you’re an expensive, exclusive brand then avoid speaking as though you’re an 18 year old hipster from Hackney. Think about what kind of lifestyle your audience enjoys and consider how you can incorporate this into your posts.

2. Be human Social media is all about giving your brand a voice that customers can relate to. Your tone of voice should be personable and consistently in line with your brand message. You should also be adapting your posts based on the channels you’re using – tweets, for example, should be informal and chatty, Facebook is all about visual and topical engagement, while LinkedIn posts should be more formal, think of it as the difference between talking to your friends and talking to your boss.

3. Make your posts relevant Don’t use social media to sell your products. People visit your page to learn about your brand, not to buy from you, so think about communicating stories that are relevant to your audience, including lifestyle tips and news from other areas of your industry. Keep in mind that social media is about sharing and interacting – what are you offering your audience that is of value to them and their friends?

4. Build rapport Listen, comment, reply and share posts as much as possible! Remember to be consistent by posting and commenting on your page every day, even if it’s only for 20 minutes at a time – if someone has taken time to post or tweet at you, make sure you repay the favour by answering them. Asking questions, creating fill-in-the-blank or caption contests all encourage interaction so think about using these in your posts.

5. Be willing to learn Test your audience by posting at different times of the day – as an example 18-24 year olds usually interact most from 8-10pm, however if your target demographic is, say, working mums, then weekends and lunchtimes could be best. Remember that photos receive 120% and videos 100% more engagement than text updates, so try to illustrate your posts as often as possible.

6. Plan a strategy Create a content calendar which ensures you don’t miss any key events or opportunities. Think about where you would like to be in a year’s time, which events and brands you would like to be aligned with and use this to plan partnerships and promotions on your channels. Always remember that social media is about your customers not about your brand, so ensure that when planning your strategy you take this into account by creating engagements that are genuine and interesting to your customers. Good luck!!