Are you in charge of getting your company’s social media marketing up and running? Using social media to grow your business, generate leads and build a brand may seem like a huge task, and in some ways it is. But there are steps you can follow to improve your chances of success, which will help you take advantage of everything social media has to offer.
Whether you’re just getting started or have been active on sites like Facebook and Twitter, but haven’t had much success, follow these social media marketing tips to propel you to the next level:
1. Create a Plan for Each Social Media Channel
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So many businesses make the mistake of blindly jumping into social media marketing without a strategy or plan. If you can’t answer questions like “why are you on social media?” or “what social media platform features your target audience?” then it’s time to hit the reset button. Start putting together a plan in writing that you and your team can refer to when you need it.
Your social media plan should consist of mini-plans for each social media channel you expect to be active on. You’ll have a plan for your Twitter, Facebook and so forth.
If you’re just getting started, keep your number of active social networking sites to three or less. For most businesses, particularly small businesses, trying to tackle five different social media accounts often results in doing a mediocre job with little to no results.
2. Post Consistently
Sending out one Tweet per day just isn’t going to cut it. Certain platforms like Instagram and Snapchat don’t necessarily move as fast as Twitter or Facebook. This means you don’t have to publish as often. But you should still develop a routine posting schedule and be consistent.
3. Be Picky About What You Share
When it comes to figuring out what to share on social media, quality beats quantity. You want to publish content consistently, but it also has to be valuable.
4. Post More Images
The results are in and photos have shown to be the most popular type of social media content for engagement. The most evident example of the power of images for social media are sites like Instagram and Pinterest, which are primarily driven by images. In fact, Instagram has the most engagement of any social media channel. It’s not a coincidence that both Instagram and Pinterest were able to gain a lot of traction and see more success than other failed social networks.
5. Measure & Analyze
To go along with the previous social media marketing tip, you need to measure your efforts and analyze the results. Over 40% of businesses don’t track their social media ROI at all, so they have no idea whether or not anything they’re doing is working. If you don’t want to fall under that umbrella, start tracking your social media activity right now.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Pay-to-Play
Facebook and other social media networks continue to significantly reduce the amount of organic visibility on your posts, which has more businesses resorting to paid social media advertising to get their message out there. Whether it’s boosting a post or promoting a Tweet, social media advertising is a lot more common as these platforms start to grow.
If you want to accelerate your social media marketing efforts and have a budget for it, exploring paid advertising might be worth a try. The costs are generally lower than other platforms like Google AdWords or even media buying, which makes social media advertising appealing for small businesses and startups.
This social media marketing tip can be a game changer. Don’t be the company that only shares links all day. The purpose of social media is to be social and engage with other users. That means interacting on a regular basis.
Essentially you want to switch from one-way social media posts to two-way posts. The difference is two-way posts encourage conversation and communication. On the other hand, one-way posts leave little to no room for anyone to reply back with anything other than “good post” or another generic response.
8. Build Strategic Alliances or Partnerships
The toughest part of building a social media presence is getting those first initial followers. Let’s face it, people are a lot less likely to follow a company with only 13 followers and no engagement than the company with 40,000 followers and hundreds of replies and likes on each post.
But how do you get people to notice you when you don’t have brand recognition and people don’t know your company at all? You partner up with an established company or influencer that already has an active following. Several companies have seen huge success with this technique on Instagram to go from zero followers to thousands within a matter of days or weeks.
9. Use Keywords in Your Posts
Don’t underestimate the power and effectiveness of social search. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks have search features that operate just like search engines.
When people search for a specific keyword or phrase like #SMM, the site’s bots crawl through all of the content on the site including your posts and profile to display the most relevant information. Including keywords and phrases in your social media posts and profile makes your company more searchable.
10. Capitalize on Hashtags
Hashtags are easily one of the best ways to organically expand your reach on social media. As we mentioned earlier, organic reach has dropped dramatically on Facebook and Twitter over the years, and Instagram is likely next in line. In order to expand your reach and get more impressions for your posts and Tweets, start incorporating hashtags.
Inserting random hashtags isn’t going to be as effective as taking a strategic approach. Research popular hashtags in your industry, as well as more generic and widely used ones.