Social media marketing is here to stay.
10 years ago, it was merely a tool to keep your friends apprised of the type of sandwich you ate for lunch or an outlet for teenagers to post cryptic song lyrics. Now, it’s a marketing channel used by businesses of every size.
If you’re one of the companies actively using social media to grow your business, you know that it can be a tough code to crack. We’re here to provide 12 tips that will help send you into hyper-growth mode.
tip #1: write down clear, concise goals
This might seem like a no-brainer, but having your social media goals written somewhere you’ll see them every time you sit at your desk will help you achieve them. Write them on a sticky note, stick them on the fridge, tattoo them on your arm (kidding, kind of) – just make sure you can see them.
We find setting goals that contain numbers are easier to stick to. For example, instead of creating a goal that states, “drive more website traffic from social media” say, “25% of our website traffic this month will come from social media.”
tip #2: consistently post valuable content
Sometimes the toughest part about social media marketing is ensuring that you’re delivering a steady stream of content your audience actually wants to read. Posting consistently is the key to keeping social media algorithms happy. This means it’ll keep your posts at the top of your audience’s newsfeed.
Keep a repository of evergreen content that you can use to fill the days where you might not have anything current to share. This should be a mix of original and sourced content that gives your audience not just information about your business, but educational information about the industry as a whole.
tip #3: use visuals frequently (pictures, image carousels, videos)
Pictures, image carousels, SlideShares, videos, gifs, memes, etc. People love visual content, so give it to them. When people scroll through social media, they do it fast. Grab their attention with imagery that draws them in and makes them want to stick around.
If you have the ability to consistently generate video content for social media, you’re in great shape. According to MarTech Advisor, video content on social media performs 1200% better than text and images combined.
tip #4: run contests on social media
Putting together a successful social media contest is one of the strongest tactics out there. Regardless of the way you structure it, you’re guaranteed to generate tons of user content, create new leads and see social engagement rates skyrocket.
Whether it’s a product giveaway, a free consultation or limited time access to something special, people love winning stuff. Keep the lifeblood of the contest on social media to generate the most action. Have people use a specific hashtag, post a specific photo, tag a friend, retweet or share one of your posts. This ensures that your brand’s page will be seen by the masses – even those who don’t already follow you.
tip #5: harness the power of influencer marketing
We’re not talking Instagram models and celebrities. We’re talking experts or thought leaders in your industry that you can partner up with to boost your brand’s reach. Here’s a few commonly used tactics:
- affiliate marketing/brand ambassadors: you provide them products, they provide the social shoutouts.
- lead generation: “Swipe up to learn more” or the notorious, “link in bio!”
- discount codes: they post about your brand with a special discount code for their followers to use during purchase.
- influencer takeover: give ‘em the keys to your social media castle for the day and let them take over your channel.
- sponsored giveaways: let them run the contest for you.
By employing an influencer marketing strategy to complement your social media marketing, you’ll be raking in more new business than you’ll know what to do with.
tip #6: reassess your audience frequently
The best thing about social media is that it reaches tons of people. In fact, it reaches about 3.6 billion people. You might think you know your target audience six ways to Sunday, but there just might be a new demographic you’re unknowingly gaining traction with. Be sure to frequently assess the demographic insights on the analytics dashboards of the social media networks you’re leveraging.
tip #7: test different messaging styles
Closely related to tip #3, we’re here to tell you that it’s in your best interest to test out different styles of posts. For example, keep the text on the post super short so that the reader will want to click into the link you shared. Or, synthesize the piece you’re linking to the social post to keep people interacting with you on the social media network. Pair posts with images, gifs, video, etc. and just keep playing around with your options. The second you stop testing is the second your posts get stale. People don’t stick around and engage with stale content.
tip #8: emojis can make or break your social media content
Emojis. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, they have their place in social media content. As the social media marketer, you need to understand how to use emojis the right way. There’s nothing worse than the overzealous emoji user. You know the type – sentences are broken up with tons of little characters emphasizing words that don’t warrant an extra punch. It’s exhausting to read and distracts from what you’re trying to say.
However, there are ways to make emojis complement your message rather than detract from it. Using them at the end of sentences to reinforce tone, or replacing boring old bullet points with something a little more creative can bring life to your post.
Basically, proceed with caution.
tip #9: nobody likes a sales pitch
Social media is a place where people come to connect, learn and share. Not to be sold to. Even though you’re using social media as a marketing channel, your job is to build awareness and trust with your audience, not to shove your product or service down their throat.
Keep the content valuable. Every time you schedule a post, ask yourself, “If I didn’t know this brand, would I read this post? Click the link? Am I genuinely interested in this content, or would I keep scrolling?” If the answer is “no,” don’t post.
tip #10: use social media as a customer support channel
When your customers need help, they need it fast and they don’t want to go out of their way. More times than not, they are already hanging out on social media, so keeping a customer support channel open in your social inboxes is a surefire way to delight. Plus, if you insist the best way to find quick support is through social media, you’ll probably end up with a new follower or two.
The trick is to respond to inquiries fast. Facebook business pages even state how long it typically takes for the page owner to respond, so the faster the better.
tip #11: use social media to build a community
Humans want to talk to other humans – especially those with similar interests. Chances are, your target audience has a lot in common with each other. Take that opportunity to build a community and center it on social media. Facebook and LinkedIn groups are ideal for this.
Starting a social media community can be tough at first, but the slow and steady growth will turn into frequent chatter and customer engagement. Promote the group on your social media profiles, in email newsletters and directly with customers following a purchase.
If you want to see a great example of a social community done right, head over to Facebook and find HubSpot’s “Marketer to Marketer” group.
tip #12: stay on top of the latest social media trends
Last but certainly not least, it’s crucial to stay in the know about the latest social media trends. Every challenge, new hashtag or current event that takes over the social media radiowaves is a chance to connect with your audience and humanize your brand. The easiest way to stay apprised of what the cool kids are doing on social media is by visiting the “trending” or “discover” section of the social media network you’re in. Chances are, you’ll catch right on to the latest trend.