Social media continues to be an important tool for businesses, including trade publications. It allows companies to connect with customers in a more organic way while sharing relevant and timely information immediately on an accessible platform. That is why ASBPE is launching a Social Media Account of the Year award in 2021.
This award will recognize publications that have put together a well-thought-out and executed plan to promote their magazines on a particular social media channel. The deadline to apply for Azbee awards is Jan. 11 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
If your team is looking for ways to improve your publication’s social media presence, here are some helpful tips.
- Know Your Audience: It’s important to have a good understanding of which social media platforms your readers use. One way to find out is to check their websites to check which social media accounts they have. Another way is to think about who their customers are and which social media platforms they’re likely to frequent. Are the majority of your readers high-level company executives? If that’s the case, they’re likely on LinkedIn. Are your readers small business owners? Then there’s a good chance they use either Facebook or Instagram to connect with customers in their area. Emphasize the social media accounts that your readers are more likely to use regularly.
- Post Frequently: Many social media sites, especially Facebook and Instagram, use algorithms to determine which content gets prioritized and shown higher in a person’s feed. Part of taking advantage of the algorithm involves ensuring that your readers have a chance to engage with your content. You can determine the frequency that works best for your publication, but you might want to aim for at least once a day. You can share news, evergreen articles, blog posts, event updates, etc. There are websites such as Hootsuite that allow you to schedule posts in advance. Hootsuite even suggests times when your posts are more likely to be seen.
- Interact: There’s only so much you can do on your own. One way to expand your reach is to engage with other people or brands. Make sure to tag companies in relevant news updates to increase the likelihood that they will share your posts. Ask for input from readers to encourage engagement. Respond to messages, comments or tweets where appropriate and like comments.
- Remember Your Website: As a trade publication, your main goal is to keep people in your respective industry informed. However, you should also keep these two goals in mind when posting on social media: increasing your reach/engagement and pushing people to your website. To increase your click-through rate, craft the post so that not all of the important information is available in the blurb or article preview. If people want to know more, they’re more likely to click the link and read the article on your website. If you give them the full story, they likely won’t click through. It doesn’t make sense to do this with every post, but keep this tactic in mind as a way to increase your website traffic.
- Don’t Forget the Art: Most people are likely to scroll past a post that is just text. Use a photo, video or gif to catch readers’ attention. However, it’s important to think about the site you’re on when choosing photos. For example, on Instagram where photos are the main form of content, stock photos alone likely won’t cut it.
- Measure: Most social media sites these days provide at least basic analytical insights. Take advantage of these to track how much engagement your posts are receiving and to track which kinds of posts lead to the most new followers. Make sure you create a business account on Instagram to take advantage of its data.
- Think Outside of the Box: While posting quality content frequently can do a lot for your social media presence, you should consider pushing your publication outside that comfort zone. Facebook Live and Instagram Reels are just some of the ways you can reach your readers. Go live on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram Stories during a trade show, conference or in-house event to give readers who aren’t there a glimpse of what’s going on. Just make sure you have a plan and prepare the types of things you’ll say during the stream. You should market these events ahead of time so people know when to tune in. Just remember to look at incoming comments so you can answer questions and engage with your audience.
Instagram Reels are great for more playful content or educational content packaged in a fun way. Depending on your audience and your comfort level, you can create relevant memes, which are more likely to be shared. This type of content shouldn’t make up the majority of your posts but, when used widely, these methods can expand your reach.