Reaching customers and boosting revenue using social media marketing is an essential part of any business strategy. However, with every organization out there looking to stand out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, cultivating a unique, attention-grabbing presence is more important (and more challenging) than ever before.
Discover our Top 25 social media marketing tips for all three major networks:
Snapchat’s recent floundering has redirected the focus of marketing teams around the world back on the industry’s “Big 3:” Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They continue to dominate global advertising culture to the point where, if you don’t have an effective plan in place for all of them, you’ll be at an immediate disadvantage in your respective industry.
How do you crack the social media marketing code and turn your online presence from pedestrian to scroll-worthy? Check out our list of both general and platform-specific tips below, starting with guidelines you can use to boost engagement anywhere:
Tips for All Social Media Platforms
Before you start getting into finite audience details, copywriting questions and/or budget concerns, you need to establish some measurable and meaningful goals – ideally for both the short and long-term.
These can be general or more platform-specific targets, but they need to be relevant, realistic and respect some sort of timeframe. To solidify this roadmap, you’ll also need to iron out your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which you’ll use to monitor progress and adjust your strategy accordingly.
For more information on goal-setting, check out this SMART goal writing guide!
Buyer personas are at the heart of any good marketing strategy; however, if you’re not updating and refining them on a regular basis, that game plan will not coalesce properly with the evolving buying habits and needs of your target audience.
Before implementing a new social marketing strategy or improving an existing one, make sure that your buyer personas are richly detailed and, more importantly, contain only the most up-to-date data you have. That way, you’ll be able to build content and an overall online presence that appeals to their unique pain points.
With social media content scheduling software like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social and more now ubiquitous as marketing tools, the tendency for many professionals out there is simply to take the exact same posts and use them, verbatim, across every platform that your organization is active on.
This is a big mistake.
Assuming the content for a Facebook post, for example, will automatically translate well to another social network and elicit the exact same level of engagement will lead to you falling short of the goals that are driving your team’s marketing process. Make sure you have an intimate understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) on different platforms and tweak your content accordingly.
All the copywriting and posting in the world won’t matter if none of it adheres to your brand’s voice and overall identity. The world’s most prolific businesses get to the point of dominance in part because they develop distinctive personalities that separate them from other generic-seeming organizations.
To avoid fading into the background, your social media success hinges on the proper use of voice and tone. If you can’t convey your message with uniqueness and personality, your marketing material will have a tough time carving out a distinct persona in your local marketplace.
Speaking of writing, the mechanics of all your social media posts – vocabulary choices, clarity of the prose, etc. – should be continually refined over time. If you’re not proofreading, editing and injecting added creativity in your social content prior to publication, you’re only scratching the surface of your brand’s full potential.
As former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said: “There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” Take this one to heart; the more you embrace the process of writing and refuse to settle for average prose, the stronger your social media game will be.
Recent studies indicate that over 90 percent of consumers consult online reviews and 84 percent trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. Why is this important for social media marketers? In short, you need to fill a “trusted advisor” role in their lives instead of a sales-oriented one.
With increased exposure to online marketing, the average person is bombarded by so much branding material that they can spot a sales pitch from a mile away. Position your social media content to highlight the benefits or lifestyle upgrades that the customer will enjoy, not just a list of cool features or act-now discounts.
If you’re not already using streaming video to generate leads online, you need to start now. The statistics don’t lie – over 80 percent of all consumer traffic will be from video content by 2021. If you’re looking to reach your client base and pique their collective interest in your brand, engaging videos are the way to go.
The good news is that there are many ways you can go about using video content. Facebook Live videos, YouTube pre-roll advertisements, exclusive clips in your Instagram Stories – everything is on the table. The only question is how quickly you’ll use videos to take your organization’s online presence to the next level.
For your organization’s content to be seen, heard and digested in a way that keeps everyone interacting with your brand, you need to make sure you’re taking all SEO best practices into account. We’re not just talking about inserting the right keywords in a body of text either – these days, proper SEO strategy means doing so much more than that.
For starters, your social posts must be optimized for consumption on a smartphone or tablet. The more responsive your web presence is on different devices, the higher you’ll rank in search results on Google and other platforms. Also, cater to what your buyer personas are searching for by creating authoritative content that positions your organization as a thought leader in your industry.
If you’re using targeted Facebook posts or ads, you need to be sure those audiences are accurate and in line with your buyer personas and overall marketing goals. Whether it’s an age range, specific geographic region, interests or another qualitative factor, inaccurate audiences on Facebook may mean the difference between high or low engagement.
With attention spans now bottoming out at under 8 seconds, the importance of standing out from other vendors online has never been higher. One way to accomplish this is to ensure that all your non-video visuals are eye-catching and clearly communicating whatever information you’re trying to get across to the public.
These days, online influencers who can create and grow a loyal audience are extremely valuable marketing assets for any organization. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money to partner with these individuals either – try offering them your product or services for free in exchange for feedback. That positive influencer word-of-mouth can help you connect with consumers in a trustworthy fashion.
There are lots of community-based groups on Facebook, both for common interests and geographic regions, that can yield great insight into specific niche audiences. You can also use them to develop contacts and generate leads. Most groups don’t allow spammy, sales pitch-type posts to be submitted in those different groups, so be careful you don’t go overboard.
This is a relatively new tactic that has rapidly grown in popularity on high-traffic webpages and social media platforms. Again, the stats on this one prove it’s a viable marketing option, with organizations using chatbots to up their open rates between 75-85 percent. It’s a more personable approach that clearly works well with consumers.
We mentioned this briefly earlier on, but targeted paid advertising on Facebook now demands a large part of marketing budgets around the world – and for good reason. With over 2 billion active monthly users, the social network continues to dwarf YouTube and Instagram as the platform of choice if you’re looking to reach the largest potential audience. Accurate and up-to-date buyer personas are crucial to your success in this area.
If your brand’s engagement numbers on Twitter need a proverbial shot in the arm, the best solution is to start posting more. Sites like CoSchedule recommend that your organization posts anywhere between 5 and 20 times per day. This may sound like a lot of work for nothing but keep this in mind: Google indexes every single tweet as its own entity, which means more tweets is great for SEO too.
Vanity URLs, those shortened custom links that contain keywords that are relevant to your brand, are now a very big part of most business social media strategies. Where Twitter is concerned, it can help readers identify the purpose or the message of your post right away and help drive more traffic by making links look cleaner and more attractive to the eye.
If you’re looking for instant feedback or customer opinions that are measurable and timely, Twitter polls could be your new secret weapon in marketing. Not only will it make impressions, retweets and likes soar, but it will also provide you with some valuable insight that can strengthen your buyer personas.
Utilizing hashtags and tagging different accounts in your tweets will also open your brand up to a wider audience and increase the views and potential for web traffic, both on Twitter and directly on your website. Don’t get overzealous with hashtags though – limiting yourself to one or two is recommended.
Twitter allows you to shine the spotlight on your strongest content by pinning tweets to the top of your profile. Especially if your organization is upping your posting frequency on the platform, cutting through the clutter and delivering your best material to consumers right away, at the top of your profile, is crucial to improved engagement rates.
Going from a personal to a business Instagram account is not a new concept, yet not enough businesses are taking advantage of all it has to offer. If you’re not among the many organizations who’ve already converted, put this at the top of your to-do list – you’ll have access to advanced analytics, be able to create ads that link back to your profile and, best of all, will have a better SEO reach as a result.
Great marketing, on Instagram or otherwise, is all about telling a unique and engaging story that hooks consumers from the get-go. Your Instagram posts should be about giving those people an experience or presenting benefits that they cannot get anywhere else. That’s where using the Stories functionality, with its built-in timeliness, can be a hugely advantageous approach.
Instagram not only demands that you post pictures and videos that meet a certain quality standard but also that you share material that is engaging from a creative angle. In short, the best way to stand out on such a crowded platform is to think outside the box and craft visuals that position your organization as a true original instead of a copycat entity.
GIFs are sometimes frowned upon in professional settings but, when it comes to online engagement and marketing performance, few online tools help foster a playful, more human vibe for brands than those aminated snippets. Memes are in the same ballpark too, just be careful not to overload your feed with just one kind of image – diversity is just as impressive to audiences as consistency.
To a degree, using the right emoji at the right time in a social media post could mean the difference between multiple shares or none at all. They’re ubiquitous in our personal lives, so why not play on those strengths and use those special characters to express emotion when words sometimes fail you. For examples of emoji marketing at a high level, check out HubSpot’s blog post on the subject.
Finally, we come back to the idea of exclusivity with Instagram-only contests or promotions. Many brands around the world use specific social media platforms to advertise flash sales or provide extra incentive for the masses to engage with them online. When done properly, it could help galvanize both engagement and revenues in one deft online maneuver.
When it comes to social media marketing, our partners at Comm2po are a valuable resource for businesses and non-profits alike looking to optimize their web presence and navigate the ins and outs of reaching their customers and growing their brand in the digital world. Discover how they can help your organization today by clicking below!