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Christie McDougall

Christie McDougall

Keeping social media social

So we’ve actually put together a few articles for you already on why using social media for business is important, how to use it and even how to write good content and posts. The one thing we haven’t done yet is remind you of the importance of keeping social media SOCIAL.

This is sadly an all too common mistake that businesses make. They create post after post of hard-hitting, business filled information, whether it be sales advertisements, deals or sales, information, product showcases and the list goes on (and on). However, whilst an increasing number of people are turning to social media for shopping or information (side note: did you know most people now get information about news and current events from social media!), this is not actually the true purpose or nature of social media.

Surprise surprise, it’s to be SOCIAL.

Social media is about connecting with friends, finding things of interest, finding funny things that make us laugh and finding out about what’s going on in the lives of others. It’s also to share about the person them self, their families, their ideas or even to voice their opinions. It’s to form groups around common interests and find other people who ‘get them’.

If businesses don’t make a proportion of their posts social, they may never get seen.

Do you know how social media algorithms work? I won’t go into the boring technical details, but for Facebook as an example, what you see in your feed is dependent on a number of factors including, the type of post (photo, video, live video, or external site), how often you interact with that brand or page, how many comments or likes its received so far and what it’s about, to name a few. Facebook wants to put information in your feed that is important to you. Have you ever noticed that the friends or pages who’s posts you ‘like’ the most often are usually the ones that come up first in your feed? Likewise, you could probably find a page you have followed in the past but never actually seen a post from. This isn’t because they haven’t been posting, but simply because you haven’t been interacting with them much so their posts get pushed further and further down the list (or off it).

This is the trap that most businesses fall into

If you are constantly posting information about your business that is a little dry (i.e. sales posts and information about your business), people don’t tend to interact with your posts. This then indicates to the social media algorithm that this business is not that important to you and subsequently shows your posts less and less.

To put things into perspective here are some stats for you…

  • The average Facebook user now has about 338 friends, though the median number is quite a bit lower: 200. This means that while half of all Facebook users have 200 or fewer friends, many of the billion-plus Facebookers have quite a few more. In fact, 15 percent of users have friend lists topping 500. *
  • Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. The Implication: Again, there are a lot of engaged and active users, but also a huge amount of information competing for their attention, so quality and strategy on your part matter. *
  • There are 50 million active small business Pages. But only 2.5 million of those businesses pay to be ‘active advertisers’.
  • Brand presence on social media is a serious business – global search and social ad expenditure are projected to increase by 12.4 percent between 2016 and 2021, with Facebook accounting for the majority of social network advertising revenues worldwide.
  • According to a survey of global social media users in July 2016, the main reasons why consumers follow brands on social media was their interest in the product and service, followed by the chance for promotions and third, entertainment.

What this means for businesses, is that there is a lot of competition out there so you can’t just approach social media for your business in an ad-hoc fashion. You need to have a plan and a purpose for your posts.

So how do you stay social and relevant?

You mix it up! One of our most successful social media pages that we manage for a client is a small local restaurant. The posts that go up include nutritional information about the food as well as photos of the food displayed every week. These posts do get a little bit of engagement but the posts that get the most engagement by far are the fun ones and the weekly competition for a meal voucher. Every Monday there is a draw random draw for a meal voucher (just for 2 noodle boxes, so not any great loss to the restaurant), but there are consistently 200-300 comments every-single-week. Often it’s the same people entering week after week as well, indicating to Facebook that this page is important to the user, so when photos of the food are posted up you can be guaranteed they will be shown high in that person’s feed, forever keeping that restaurant in the front of that person’s mind. Mission accomplished!

Going viral

Creating posts that go viral is not easy and if it was then everyone would do it all the time. It takes the right message, to the right audience, in the right context, with the right media. This is near impossible to duplicate on a continual basis. It’s a lot easier, however, is to FIND a great post that appeals to your audience and will get good engagement. For example, we recently did a post for a client that increased their page engagement by over 130,000% by simply finding a post that would appeal to them and ask them to tag thier friends. It wasn’t even remotely related to the product of the company, but fully embodied the concept of social media. Want to see the post?


keeping social media social


The bottom line

To sum up it up, there are a few things you should remember about using social media for business:

  1. If you aren’t using social media for your business your competitors probably are, so you’re missing out
  2. Don’t just post whatever, whenever you feel like it. Have a plan to keep things consistent and have a purpose behind each post
  3. Mix it up, it is SOCIAL media after all and is meant to be fun as well as informative


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Christie McDougall
Christie McDougall

Christie is our Digital Strategy manager and looks after our playbook process. Although she is most skilled in Social Media and PPC and helped TheOnlineCo. achieved Facebook Marketing Partner status, she has a comprehensive and thorough knowledge of marketing in a digital world. She uses her talents in strategy and planning to help clients understand exactly how to grow their business online and have all their marketing efforts pulling together in a collaborative effort, thereby achieving scale and cost efficiencies.

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