There are thousands of articles online about improving your business and personal social media presence. I’m not writing this article to position myself as a social media expert – I’m not. Like many people in business, I’m travelling on a constant social media journey – both personally and for Haines Watts – trying to stay on top of constant changes and adapt our strategy accordingly.
This article is simply meant to share that journey and some of things we’ve been doing in Haines Watts to increase engagement across our social media channels.
I guess to begin with, we should look at what our objectives are for our social channels. At national level they are to:
- Increase active engagement.
- Increase website traffic.
- Widen our online distribution
- Show the human side of our brand – our people.
Although we also want to engage in more conversations online, our local businesses are encouraged through their own local channels to connect and communicate with clients and other individuals on social.
We don’t have a dedicated team or even one dedicated individual managing our social channels, so our time on social is limited. So, this isn’t about working harder on social it’s about working smarter.
In the past 6 months we’ve been looking at putting in place several small improvements that we hope will help us achieve our objectives.
Here’s just a summary of the changes we’ve made:
- Less pre-scheduled content and more day to day retweeting of our other business content and 3rd party topical content. We use Hootsuite for scheduling, but it can make you lazy on a day to day basis, so we rely less on this now.
- More people images and content – whether it’s clients or Haines Watts team members. We have so much activity happening around the group, so we use #HWOurPeople to showcase our teams and #HWGiving to showcase the charity work and fundraising happening in our business. In this day of technology, we feel its vitally important to show the human side of our brand.
- More customised images and less off the shelf stock imagery. A picture says a thousand words – pictures can increase engagement. We are working hard at creating a library of Haines Watts images or use more engaging stock imagery.
- Sharing more video content. We’re using both client case studies, Haines Watts people and more recently animated videos to increase engagement. Stats show that social video can generate up to 12 times more shares than text and images combined. We’re also introducing short gifs/MP4s that are a few seconds long, rather than just static images to increase engagement, especially around recruitment.
- Using more relevant hashtags. We chose our hashtags carefully on twitter to ensure we use the most popular ones that our target audience will be using or searching. We normally use around two hashtags on our tweets.
- Creating a calendar of relevant awareness days and creating content that’s relevant to those days e.g. mental health awareness day.
- Social advertising – We’re just trialing LinkedIn advertising with small budgets but targeted at the roles / titles of people we want to reach. Early indicators show that this is working well – especially for video content we are producing.
- Creating social toolkits for our businesses – we’re now improving the co-ordination and release of content across our regional businesses – giving them ready made content / images / videos wherever possible, with a clear calendar of release. This ensures consistency of brand voice and look and feel.
- Writing for specific channels – rather than simply copying and pasting a tweet on LinkedIn or vice versa, we’re writing much of our content specifically for the channel we are using.
- Updating social headers – we’re in the process of putting new social headers on our corporate accounts – but we still believe that individuals should chose their own social header images to reflect their own personalities.
None of these changes are new or ground breaking, many of you may already be doing these things. But for Haines Watts it’s a way of us upping our social media game, one step at a time. We’re taking our businesses on the journey with us in a planned and co-ordinated way to achieve the same goals. As Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together.”
What else have you been doing to improve your social media channels & engagement?
Read more like this:
Creating a sustainable social media strategy by Samantha Davies
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