Social media has become an integral part of our lives, bringing both our personal and professional lives together.
The potential of social media is tremendous, and something you can't ignore any longer. But how do you get started with social media for your MSP? Keep reading for some useful best practices on creating your social media strategy from scratch.
Why social media?
Social media is constantly growing in importance for a multitude of reasons—it's the strongest reflection of your brand in the eyes of your prospects, it's a powerful source to generate leads who are genuinely interested in what you offer, and helps build client advocacy for your MSP. On top of this, Google has started to include social media signals as part of its algorithm that determines SEO rankings. That means that on equal footing, a strong social media presence can be the edge to ranking higher and driving more traffic to your website.
Before you get your socials going, take some time to think about a few key factors: What outcomes do you want from your social media strategy? What does your target audience look like? Where are they from? What appeals to them? What will get you noticed by them? These questions are a big step towards identifying the people you want to engage and the means you can use to engage them.
Once you have a target market in mind, start ideating on messaging that will appeal to them. What topics would be of interest? What best practices would they find useful? As you think through these questions, you can narrow down on the content types you can use to create real value for your audience.
Which platforms to use
LinkedIn seems to have a corner on the B2B social media market. That's probably where most of your potential clients are talking. LinkedIn also greatly helps with corporate branding which in turn attracts talent to your company. So, it makes sense if your strategy is LinkedIn-centric. The MSP group in Reddit and the MSP owners group in Facebook are great places to start if you want to be a part of MSP-related conversations. Oh, and you don't want to miss out on being a part of the Tech Tribe community!
Maintain a content calendar
Once you have an idea of what your messaging will be and who you’re talking to, the content creation begins. Consistency is key to keep your brand alive and your social media engagement high, so it's important to have a content calendar that streamlines your content pipeline.
Maintaining cadence for your social media posts can get exhausting, so I recommend creating multiple posts in a single sitting and lining things up on a calendar. This way you can have topics in a series that build upon each other, and can open up opportunities to delve into deeper, complicated topics. A content calendar also comes in handy when you want to repurpose older, well-performing posts when you're running low on ideas.
It's always good to have a buffer and prepare a month's worth of content ahead of time to give yourself some breathing room and time to work on your next content plan.
Use social media management tools
There are some great automation tools for social media that simplify the process of distributing content. Besides, having a clear outlook on the numbers surrounding your social activity will greatly help identify what works and what doesn't. Hootsuite is a great example—it allows you to aggregate your social media feeds in one place and has a calendar where you can schedule posts for the future. This makes managing social media much more doable for a busy business owner. Once you've scheduled content for the next week or month, you can sit back and let the tool take care of the execution for you.
Being yourself online is one of the best things you can do to build your brand. Instead of sounding robotic, take the freedom to be creative, give your audience the feeling that there's a human behind the social media handle. Contribute to conversations that interest you. Not just on IT, but on business in general. Comment, respond, like, and follow conversations that are of interest.
All of these things give your brand its very own personality, so take care to ensure that it's a personality that your audience will like and most importantly relate with.
The type of content matters
The type of content you deliver has a huge impact on the success of your social media strategy. Creating content with valuable takeaways, and adapting it to a content type that appeals to your target audience is a recipe for success and virality.
As for a content type that works consistently, I'd say you can't go wrong with video. Posts with a video have much higher click rates and engagement than text only. Talk about your experience helping businesses with their technology in a conversational way that's easy to consume and shows the value you provide.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a post with an image is better than plain text. Try to pick a picture that draws the reader in or states an unanswered question. Then have the post fill in the blanks below the fold. Keep the visuals vibrant and appealing. This will bring more eyeballs to your content and drive better engagement. As a rule of thumb, look at it as, video > images > text. This isn't to say text-based social media posts don't perform well; crisp text posts with a compelling premise and a crisp message perform consistently well.
A good way of getting engagement on social media is to ask questions that engage your audience and solicit their opinions and input. A genuine question to understand the audience's perspective or a poll to get their opinion or preferences on a topic can build authenticity and a solid connection with your audience. When they respond, like, or comment on the post, your post goes beyond their feed and reaches their circle of connections. That’s why engagement is such an important part of social media success.
It's okay to make opinionated social media posts that you believe in: at the end of all the online discourse, your message will resonate with a larger target audience than that of people who don't agree with your opinion. Just remember to play nice and be kind.
In a nutshell...
Know your "who" and "where" they are, "what" your social media goals are, what you want to say, and "how" to say it. Once you've found the answer to these questions, it's a matter of staying consistent and authentic. From there, you'll have your social media content engine up and running with ease.
We hope that these tips will help you get started on your journey to be a social media MSP superstar. Good luck!