Social media marketing tips :
Create a specific strategy for each social media platform
The same way you prepare other aspects of your marketing plan, you need to have a specific and intentional plan for each platform you use. Each platform has nuances and best practices for generating engagement. Your brand may not need to have a presence on every platform, but for your posts to be targeted, you need to have a strategy that is specific to the platform you’re using.
Make sure you can answer questions like:
- Why am I using this platform?
- Who will reach on this platform?
- What post types work best on this platform?
- How are my posts unique to this platform?
If you have a hard time answering these questions, it might be time to dig deeper into why you’re investing time there. Answering these questions will also help you develop your strategy for that platform.
If you’re just getting started, prioritize the quality of your content over the number of your posts and sites that you use. For most businesses, particularly small businesses, trying to tackle a new strategy on five different social media networks often results in doing a mediocre job with little to no results.
How consistently you post should be specific to each social media site you’re utilizing. Some platforms like Twitter and Instagram Stories require you to be active multiple times per day to get the maximum potential from your audience. Other post types, like regular Instagram Posts and Facebook updates, don’t have as much urgency and can be used less sparingly. When determining your post strategy, look at factors such as how the algorithm works for each platform and whether content posts chronologically or is curated based on other factors.
This ties back in with your social media marketing plan. You should outline:
- How often you plan to publish on each social media platform based on best practices for that platform
- What type of content you plan to post on each platform
- Who is your target audience on each platform
Remember, your followers are likely following hundreds or even thousands of other people. If you’re not publishing new content as often as the other accounts out there, it’s easy to get lost and forgotten.
Focus your messaging
Each platform you use will have it’s own unique demographic. There will be overlap of the people you’re targeting on each platform, but it’s still essential to understand your demographics so you can tailor your message to have the most impact.
Having a focused message will help you create higher quality content that is on brand and resonates with your audience. When you have a solid message that you don’t stray from, you can count on your social media posts to always be relevant to your audience.
Sprout Social has a great social media targeting feature that gives you flexibility on who sees your social media posts. Depending on the network, you can target your posts by location, language, demographics and other criteria.
Let’s say you want to share a post on LinkedIn targeting the finance industry. Your followers who are in IT or the health industry might not find it relevant. Instead of filling their stream with irrelevant content, you can choose to only show that post to people within your network in the finance industry.
You can try out Sprout’s audience targeting feature with a free trial.
Keep an eye on what’s trending
Once you have your key messaging determined, keep an eye on popular trends emerging on each platform. If you notice a pattern or strategy rising in popularity and it aligns with your messaging, then it’s a great idea to capitalize on it to drive engagement.
Be wary of jumping on board every new internet trend you see. Creating posts that don’t align with your overall messaging to appear relevant is a quick way to alienate your target audience. You never need to create a particular type of content just because you see other brands doing it.
This is why it’s so essential to create a focused message that you can use as a baseline against which to measure all of your future social media posts.
One way to have a steady supply of popular content is to create a list of sites in your industry that publish high quality, current content. Add them to an RSS reader like Feedly. Then you’ll have a dashboard full of the latest posts from sites you trust. You’ll also know that you have relevant content you can confidently share with your followers. You can even integrate Feedly within the Sprout Social dashboard!
Use that content as inspiration for original posts you create for your brand that features a unique twist that the other brands in your niche aren’t doing.
Measure & analyze results
To make sure you’re getting the best results from your social media marketing, you need to be accurately tracking and measuring your efforts. Over 40% of businesses don’t accurately track their social media ROI at all, which means there’s no easy way of knowing whether or not your strategy is working.
To simplify your tracking process, identify key metrics that are important to your brand.
Some of the metrics that you want to look for include:
- Reach and engagement for Facebook
- Impressions, retweets and mentions on Twitter
- Clicks, impressions and interactions on LinkedIn
- Engagement and impressions on Pinterest
- Likes, comments and mentions on Instagram
- Views and engagements on Instagram Stories
You should track these metrics on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis so you know when and if you need to make changes to your social media strategy.
Invest in video content
The fact is that video content is booming right now. With the birth of IGTV and the rapid growth of YouTube, Facebook Live and more, social media users are consuming more video content than ever before.
In the past three years, video views have increased by over 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook. A Tweet containing a video is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a Tweet with a photo or just text.
Here’s an example of how Warby Parker used a fun and engaging video Tweet to announce to followers that they were hiring
A/B test whenever possible
One social media marketing tip that a lot of professionals take advantage of is A/B testing. A/B testing, or split testing, involves using multiple headlines for the same piece of content to see which generates a better response.
Marketers use A/B testing for landing pages and sales pages, but you can incorporate split testing into your social media posts as well. Instead of publishing a Tweet or Facebook post once and then forgetting about it, schedule the link to be shared multiple times and change the headline out with each post.
A/B testing is important because people will react differently to a post depending on the copy and CTA phrases used.
The reason why a piece of content is unsuccessful on social media could be because it’s low-quality content. It could also be that your headline in the Tweet, Pin or Facebook post didn’t capture your followers’ attention. But you can’t know for sure the reason that a post isn’t doing well if you’re not testing it against other factors.
Use Sprout Social’s post planning feature to schedule your posts to be shared throughout the week and test different headlines. Then see which one has the best engagement.
Join in on communities
Within large social networks, smaller communities are increasingly important. Whether it’s Facebook Groups, Twitter Chats or LinkedIn Groups, there are plenty of opportunities for you to connect with like-minded people and companies within your niche.
As we found in the Sprout Social Index: Empower & Elevate, 40% of social marketers believe private community groups will become more important. Participating in these communities will help you establish yourself or your company as an authority and let you connect with your most passionate audiences.
Look for communities related to your industry on the social media platforms you’re active on, then start joining and actively participating. You can also start your own groups around your brand to cultivate an audience with shared interests who are motivated to become your brand advocates.
Interact with your audience
Social media users crave authentic interaction with the brands they follow. So on top of posting high-quality and relevant content, make sure you’re keeping an eye on each platform you use and engaging with your audience. Answer questions that come up on your posts, handles or hashtags.
If you notice other users having a conversation about your brand or product, don’t be afraid to chime in and add additional value. Users want to know that there is a real person on the other side of the computer and not just a robot that sends out links all day.
Make sure your social media strategy includes answering questions posted on each platform. You should promptly respond to people who mention you, thank people who share your content and add value where you see people mentioning your brand.
You want your social media presence to represent a two-way line of communication. Engage WITH people rather than just talking at them.
Don’t be discouraged by algorithm shifts
Social media sites are notorious for randomly changing their algorithms without notice, leaving a lot of users frustrated at their lack of exposure. It can be tempting to fall into the trap of trying to “beat” the algorithm with various content hacks. Instead of looking for a quick fix, aim to understand what’s changed in the algorithm and adjust your content strategy — in many cases, maintaining high quality content will help you avoid significant consequences from algorithm changes.
When algorithms change, it becomes crucial to be omnipresent and to follow your users where they find the most value. A great example is on Instagram. Instagram regularly changes its newsfeed algorithm and many users have noticed a significant drop in engagement in their posts. But Instagram Stories have remained consistent and still post chronologically. Instagram Stories also have over 500 million daily active users.
So if your posts aren’t getting as much interaction as you’d like, shift your focus to reaching people via Instagram Stories. You can post a Story when you have a new post on your feed to encourage people to click through to your profile and like your photo. This will let the algorithm know that people want to see your posts and do a better job of showing your posts to people who engage with them.
Partner with influencers and micro-influencers
One of the toughest things about maintaining a social media presence is gaining the trust of your audience on platforms that are so saturated with content. A great way to target your audience on a more personal level is to partner with influencers in your niche to help you promote your products more organically.
When you partner up with an established influencer that has an active following in your niche, you expose your brand to a new audience that might not be aware of your company.
Involve your entire team
Your social media team doesn’t have to be the only people contributing to your social media posts.
Encourage employees from your company’s other departments to help your social media marketing efforts. Whether it’s contributing content to the blog, sharing their photos, or taking followers behind the scenes, the more involved your team is the better.
Showing your followers that there is a team of people behind the brand they follow will build transparency and grow their trust in you as a brand.
One example of a brand that regularly does this is Into The Gloss. They frequently involve members of their team and let them take over their Instagram Stories to show followers a day in their lives, or take them behind the scenes.