Social media has become a vital component of business plans for companies of all sizes. No longer is managing feeds and engaging with customers something added to the intern’s never-ending to-do list. Instead, larger companies have entire teams dedicated to keeping their followers up-to-date, and there’s absolutely no shortage of specialist freelancers to get the word out about you and your products.
Most of these dedicated social media workers know what they’re doing. However, a surprising number of them overlook one crucial tool that can help them reach their goals. It’s none other than a VPN. More commonly associated with accessing geo-filtered content and general data privacy, it can prove pivotal in taking your social media strategy to the next level. Here’s how:
Any business that regularly posts on social media can struggle to come up with new ideas. Fortunately, there’s nothing wrong with sharing or repurposing content from others. Pictures, articles, and videos all fit the bill, but you don’t want to be subject to arbitrary restrictions when finding things that would be great for your social feeds.
This might involve the dreaded YouTube message that the uploader hasn’t made the content available in your country. A great article could reside on a website that doesn’t comply with GDRP for European users, and a VPN provides a way around these restrictions.
It’s important to consider that if you face any of these issues, your followers in the same region might experience them too. In this case, rehost the content where possible, or contact whoever produced it to ask them to place it somewhere that can attract wider reach. Most people that put things online do so to reach as many people as possible, so they’re more likely to agree to something when they know you’ll be showcasing it to a brand new audience.
Local SEO remains something of a buzzword in the marketing industry, but that’s because it can be hugely influential. Focusing on local markets means a smaller audience but less competition. If your business has physical stores, it’s a great way to engage with the local population. Even if it doesn’t, you want to try to interact with everyone in the areas you serve.
Social media makes it easy to target people in specific locations, but what you see is usually determined by your own. People love to hear a hometown shoutout, and a VPN enables you to browse social media and the internet in general like you’re where they’re from. You can see what local events are coming up, keep up with local news and potentially share anything that proves relevant to your business efforts.
Social media security could be an article all of its own, but it all boils down to the fact that most accounts rely on usernames and passwords. The last thing anybody wants is for their social media account to be accessed by mischievous or even malicious parties. Unfortunately, however, that’s precisely what can happen when managing social accounts over an unsecured connection.
A VPN ensures any data you send and receive from a device is protected when it leaves you and only unscrambles when it arrives at its intended destination. As a result, from your internet provider to others on the same network, other parties have absolutely no opportunity to intercept or interact with that data.
VPNs don’t only help you take a realistic view of what’s happening in different areas you serve. They’re also a great way to keep you anonymous when looking at the competition.
It’s not quite corporate espionage. But, even if you have reservations about looking at what others are doing, it’s always worth keeping yourself in the loop with competitor analysis. Every social media manager should have a good idea of who the competition is, and they should know their websites and social accounts like the back of their hand.
More important than what they’re doing is what they’re doing well. If a social post performs well and gets a surprisingly large amount of engagement, figure out why it became so popular. Then, draw inspiration and put something similar in the content calendar.
While not explicitly associated with social media, it makes sense to do the same on their website. Is there information on their site that you don’t have on yours? Have some articles been shared across different social channels because people found them helpful? They’re the kinds of pieces that should also form part of your content strategy. By not having them, you’re potentially missing out on social signals and SEO keywords. That leaves you reliant on potential customers finding your competition first and deciding to keep looking. Your impulsive audience effectively reduces massively because they’re doing something better than you.
A VPN helps with this by masking your location and changing it regularly. You’d be surprised by how many businesses actively monitor who’s watching them, but they rely heavily on IP addresses. So if that keeps changing, you can guarantee that one of your best information sources won’t suddenly disappear.
At a time when cybersecurity risks are at an all-time high, there are plenty of reasons to use a VPN, as a matter of course. However, if you’re still on the fence or wondering whether a few dollars each month for optimal protection are worth it, and you work in social media, we’ve hopefully managed to convince you that it’s money well spent.
Social media management is all about getting things out there, but that’s no reason to discount the importance of privacy and encryption, especially when you need to take on the role of someone other than who you really are. That could be keeping up with the competition or putting yourself somewhere other than your physical location. Give it a try, as it could make for the biggest revolution in your social media management tasks since scheduled posts became a thing!
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