Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

How to Optimize Your Social Media Reach

Posted by Liz Schulte on 7/26/18 5:30 AM
Topics: social media, Bookstore marketing, social media marketing

The intricacies of social media can make even the most stalwart of fans sigh. There is an art to figuring out how to craft a social media post that will sound genuine, yet still perform well in the algorithms that determine a post’s reach. Today, we’re going to discuss how to maximize your social media reach and engagement to drive more students into your store and build trust.

How to Optimize Your Social Media ReachStuffy posts filled with jargon don’t tend to do well, but neither do posts that try too hard to be casual. As a business you have to find a balance where your college store can sound professional and human. When crafting a social media post there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. The platform the post will go on and how that will change what your audience’s focus
  2. The tone you want to convey
  3. How the post will be encountered (will it be through a search function or a person following your college store?)
  4. How the site’s algorithm will react to your post
  5. How your audience speaks

One size doesn’t fit all in social media

When your business has a presence on multiple social media platforms it is tempting to craft one post and use it on every platform. The problem with this method is that one platform might perform really well with the post, but it might not click with your audience on the others. People who gravitate toward one social platform over the other do so for a reason: they are looking for a particular type of engagement.

  • Snapchat posts need to be small, easily consumed and fun. With a ten-second limit on Snaps, people aren’t going to come back to your post to finish reading it. Stories can be accessed for a full 24 hours, but information still needs to be bite-sized and entertaining. Mix short videos with static pictures in your story for optimal engagement.
  • Instagram is like a visual blog. The image or video you post needs to catch the student’s eye. You can write as much or as little as you want about the picture, but ultimately the visual image leads to engagement. Including hashtags will increase your reach and discoverability. Keep in mind, you cannot put a link in an Instagram post, but you can put a link in your page description and change it as often as you want. Also, don’t forget to utilize Instagram stories for top of the page placement.
  • Facebook gives a lot of posting options: videos, photos, links, shares and statuses. Posts can be long or short. However, did you know that the optimal length of a Facebook post for engagement is 40 characters? These short posts receive 86% higher fan engagement. Positive posts have a better reach than negative posts. Keep the tone upbeat and don’t shy away from exclamation points.
  • Twitter gives you a 140 character limit (though that is increasing) to share your message. You can include images, links and hashtags as well, but they count against your character limit. Using the full 140 characters isn’t optimal. Instead, just using 100 characters will help your post get better engagement and increase the likelihood for reTweets.
  • Pinterest is a “visual-discovery tool” for shoppers. Pinterest users spend 29% more than people on other social platforms and are almost universally willing to try new things they see there. To maximize your reach make sure you are using alt-text on the images you pin from your website. Establish and use keywords in your titles and meta data that your customers might search on Pinterest for better visibility.

The power of emojis

Emojis used wisely can help increase your social media reach and speak to your audience in a visual way. Search engines on many social media platforms are starting to recognize them, and they are increasingly being included in hashtags.  

Tips for including emojis in your social media posts.

  • Use emojis only when they make sense. Each emoji conveys a feeling or sentiment. Only use the emojis that make sense with what you are trying to convey to your audience.
  • Use appropriate emojis. Always keep in mind your store’s and school’s brand when posting. Avoid the emojis that might be interpreted in the wrong way and avoid using them if discussing serious topics.
  • Learn the language of emojis. If you are going to include them into your marketing then make sure you aren’t accidently implying something that you didn’t intend to.
  • Avoid emojis on LinkedIn or other professional platforms.

What social media platforms works best for your college store?

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