So you’ve stepped into the social media world. Great!
It can do wonders for your brand – when you know what you’re doing.
Below I’ve outlined a series of tips to get you started and make sure you’re making the most of your social media channels.
Have a Plan – For Each Channel
If your “plan” consists of pushing out a post whenever inspiration strikes, you’re setting yourself up for a social media fail.
Instead, plan a real strategy focused on who your customers and which channels they use. Beyond that, inside of your overall strategy, there should be separate, smaller plans created for each channel.
For a little help getting started, read my guide to starting a social media strategy.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Consistency is Key
This should be covered in your strategy.
Write out how often you plan to post to each site, what content you will post, and when you’ll post it.
Social media moves fast. To keep up, you need a clear plan and consistency.
Focus on One or Two Channels
If you’re just starting out or don’t have a full team dedicated to social media, it’s best to focus on just one or two channels.
You’ll be able to uncover which channels through a social media audit (if you have existing channels), or by thoroughly analyzing your target audience.
Conduct a Social Media Audit
Periodically running a social media audit is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your channels and strategy.
Through it, you will:
- Determine your main social platforms – this covers all channels; find every social channel you’ve created, and determine which will be your main focus
- Determine how big the communities – Which sites have the biggest audience?
- Determine if the fans are real – are your fans organic, or were they bought using third-party tools and matches?
As you perform your audit, you’ll learn more about your audience demographics, where they’re active, and which content connects best with so you’ll know what to produce in the future.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Perform a Competitor Analysis
Sometimes, successful social media requires a little spy work.
Because if something’s working for your close competitor, it will likely work for you as well.
To run a competitor analysis, you’ll first need to find them through Google searches or tools like SpyFu. Then, you’ll find out which channels they use, what content produces the most shares and engagements, and how often they post.
Establish Thought Leadership
Before you publish content, make sure it passes the thought leadership test: It should be relevant and valuable to your audience and offer your personal expertise on a given subject.
That’s how you gain the trust of your followers – by offering them consistent, well thought-out, informative content.
It’s not enough to push products and services anymore. Now, customers need valuable insights and information in exchange for their attention.
Invest in Advertising
Relying solely on organic posts for discovery on social media won’t get you very far.
If you really want to stand out, you have to be willing to in a little advertisement.
Luckily, there are many effective ways to advertise.
Remarketing ads are a personal favorite of mine. They’re designed to target people who have already visited your website and are therefore ideal for lead generation and sales.
Lead generation ads are another great option. Through the ads, you collect user information so you can keep them in your sales funnel.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Host Webinars and Twitter Chats
To further establish your thought leadership and customer trust, try hosting a webinar.
In a nutshell, they’re classes or seminars you design around your area of expertise, and invite your followers to attend virtually.
They’re a way to generate leads while passing on valuable information. In fact, between 20% and 40% of those who attend a webinar become qualified leads.
Likewise, Twitter Chats serve a similar purpose (minus the video aspect). They’re live Q&A’s you hold with your followers and offer a great way to interact with potential customers.
Use a Scheduling Tool
I can’t say enough about automation when it comes to social media.
As we covered before, social media moves fast, but using a scheduling tool will ensure you don’t fall behind.
Through it and other tools, you can:
- Publish content to multiple platforms
- Schedule your posts in advance
- Measure your results
- See all of your channels in one dashboard
Reach out to Influencers
The power of an influencer is undeniable.
In fact, “influencer marketing content delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing,” (TapInfluence).
By tapping into the power of influencer marketing, you can expose your brand to an entirely new, generally very big, audience.
Because if you win the influencer over, you’ll likely win their fans over as well.
Not sure who to target or what to say? Read my guide on influencer marketing to get started.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Host Influencer Takeovers (Especially Useful for Instagram)
Take your influencer marketing a step further by hosting a takeover.
You’ll see them a lot on Instagram. A takeover is when is when an influencer takes over a brand’s account and shares their own content (or content they like).
They’re a fun way to reach new audiences and provide your following with fresh content.
Join and Participate in Groups
Social media is a big place. Make it a little smaller by joining Facebook groups, Twitter Chats or Linkedin groups.
Participating in groups will help solidify your authority in your niche and expose your brand to influencers and like-minded followers. Join groups related to your industry, and look for opportunities to share relevant information.
Only Publish Quality Content
This goes back to your thought leadership test.
Every piece of content you publish should be relevant, high quality and entertaining.
Because it’s social media, it’s okay to take a lighthearted, fun tone. Just make sure that what you say relates to your goals and your expertise.
This is also where a content calendar and scheduling tool will help you stay on track. Plan out your content well in advance to make sure you aren’t rushing and publishing poor content.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Post Lots of Images
Using an image is one of the surest ways to get your post noticed.
That’s nothing new, and 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%).
The popularity is evidenced by sites like Instagram and Pinterest, which rely solely on images (and aren’t going anywhere.)
Adding them to posts is easier than ever, thanks to tools like Canva that make it easy to create custom images for all the different platforms.
Specifically, Post Infographics
When in doubt about what kind of image to use, try an infographic.
Studies have shown that Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content.
Keep an Eye on Your Metrics
Think of your metrics as your report card.
Periodically, it pays to check on your grade. It’s how you measure what content’s working and track your ROI.
Specifically, pay attention to the following:
- Facebook: engagement and reach
- LinkedIn: clicks, impressions, and interactions
- Twitter: mentions, impressions, and visits
- Instagram: likes, mentions, comments
Social Media Marketing Tip – Respond to Comments, Etc.
The key to success on social media? Engagement.
If you’re simply shooting out posts, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to interact with your community.
Make sure you reply to all comments and questions from followers. Retweet or share relevant posts and include @mentions.
Include Popular Hashtags
Hashtags are keywords you include after a #, and they’re great for improving engagement with your posts.
Using them will increase your audience by exposing your post to anyone that follows that hashtag, not just your particular following.
On Twitter alone, Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without, but engagement declines on tweets with more than two hashtags.
So do keep in mind that numbers matter, and including too many hashtags can actually do more harm than good.
This is a common one on social media.
While contests can be a great way to expose your brand, it needs to be executed correctly.
To do so, you need a prize valuable enough to sign up for and a way to promote it to your target audience.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Send Traffic to Your Website
Another way to make the most of social media? Use it to send traffic back to your site.
This can be accomplished through tactics like gated content. Essentially, it’s content locked behind a “gate” that can be accessed by providing necessary contact information.
Sharing a link on your social media channels is a valuable way to divert traffic to your site and generate leads in the process.
Create a Content Calendar
This should be established early, as you begin to develop your strategy.
A content calendar will help you stay on top of important dates or updated in your industry, and keep you from falling behind in your consistent updates.
Think about it. Twitter alone requires multiple updates a day, at particular times when traffic is highest. Now imagine the weight a pre-planned content calendar could take off your shoulders.
See where I’m going? A calendar will save you time, energy, and serious stress.
Switch up Your Content Formats
Not all updates should be equal.
If you’re go-to post is sharing the daily blog topic, try switching it up by including an infographic or video you produced.
Keep your followers on their toes, and find ways to deliver information in ways they won’t expect.
23. Social Media Marketing Tip – Repurpose Content into Posts
Struggling with post ideas? Turn to what’s worked in the past.
Try turning a thought from a video into a Facebook post, or pull a fact or stat from a blog post and send it out as a tweet.
This one works in reverse as well. If you have a post that received a high-level of engagement, try expanding and repurposing it into a full blog post or article.
Publish Blog Posts and Other Long-From Content on LinkedIn
Most channels keep updates short and sweet; with posts serving as small teasers leading to the real content.
Not so with LinkedIn. There, you have to opportunity to publish full articles and other long-from content (with links to your website, of course).
Because LinkedIn is business-oriented, it’s a great place to show off your in-depth knowledge of your industry. Publish your post as an update or in a related industry group to increase engagement and authority.
Use “Tag-a-Friend” Posts
If you’re familiar with memes, you’ve probably seen the “tag a friend and don’t say anything” captions floating around.
Their increasing popularity is due to the opportunity for increased exposure; if someone tags their friend, not only will the friend see it, but the friend’s friends as well.
See the pattern? Soon, your post will popping up on feeds all over.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Use CTAs
Technically, the tag-a-friend post is a call-to-action (CTA).
You’re telling the audience what you want them to do, and therefore increasing the likelihood that they’ll actually do it.
Need proof? Adding CTAs to your Facebook page can increase click-through rate by 285%.
That’s a number you don’t want to miss out on.
Use Tools Like BuzzSumo to Find Relevant Content to Share
If your strategy includes sharing related industry content, you’ll need a trusted source to find it.
Enter BuzzSumo. The site allows you to search by keyword or domain to find trusted articles and sources in our niche.
There, you can see what content is most popular, filter relevant content and see what has performed best across social media channels.
Share User-Generated Content
User-generated is a goldmine for social media. When surveyed, 85% of users found When surveyed, 85% of users find visual user-generated content more persuasive than brand photos or videos.
Don’t ignore that number; instead, encourage your followers to share their own content through contests, giveaways or hashtag campaigns.
Social Media Marketing Tip – Use Facebook Live Video
Livestreaming has been around for some time now. But is it a best practice for brands?
That depends. If you have the time, resources, and engaging topic, absolutely.
The popularity is undeniable – Facebook users spend 3X more time watching live videos than traditional videos.
Use it for any breaking industry news or new product releases. It’s a cost-effective way to create excitement around your brand and industry.
Run A/B Tests
As always, test for success.
While you may think more of ads and emails when it comes to A/B or split testing, it can be used effectively for social media as well.
To test, schedule a post to be shared throughout the week containing different headlines or CTA’s. Keep track and measure each post to see which has the best engagement.
Then, incorporate what you’ve learned into future posts.
31. Use video
Especially with Facebook, video can have a drastic affect on your engagement, and they’re easy to put together right on Facebook.
32. Social Media Marketing Tip – Focus on Relationships
This is what social media is all about: relationships – with followers, customers, and influencers.
Interactions and engagement are critical on social channels, so make sure you’re brand is accessible to followers and quick to respond and comment.
33. Understand Who You’re Trying to Target
Whatever you do, don’t skip this step.
By taking the time to identify and understand your target audience, you’ll have a better of idea of what content to publish, what tone of voice to use, and which channels to focus on.
34. Add a Human Element
Social media is an ideal platform for humanizing your brand.
Show your audience the human behind the brand, and you’ll be more likely to build a stronger, longer-lasting relationship.
So add humor or throw in some slang; social media isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being real.
Start Social Media Marketing Today
There you have it – quick tips that can do wonders for your social media presence.