Whether you’re heading up the digital marketing team for a global brand, or setting up a small business and doing everything yourself, optimising your social media presence is bound to be a top priority.
To help you do just that, we’ve picked six of our favourite social media marketing tips. They’re easy to digest, tried-and-tested by the most successful brands on social media, and most importantly, they’re easy for you to try out today!
6 Social Media Marketing Tips you can implement today
For most companies, the first step in conducting online marketing is to _________. Any guesses?
1. Develop a strategy
Ok, so we’re going back to basics here. But the core principles of marketing are particularly relevant to social media — yet many social media marketers forget them.
Strategy is everything. Have you ever found yourself flinging out any old content on social media, without really thinking about what you’re trying to achieve?
Don’t worry, we’ve all done it. Social media can often feel like an insatiable beast that needs to be fed — but trying to feed your audience of potential customers without a specific strategy in place is a massive wasted opportunity.
In order to develop your social media marketing strategy, it’s essential to have a firm grasp on what you want to gain from it. Are you hoping to cultivate brand awareness, or generate sales? Maybe you want a thousand users to sign up to your email newsletter? Who are your ideal customers? Which social media platform is their favourite? Which of your products and services are they most interested in?
Set some time aside to answer these questions (and more) in order to hone in on a short list of prioritised objectives — ideally ones that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based). It can also be helpful to familiarise yourself with the social media planning cycle.
List your objectives and ask yourself “Which of the following is not part of the social media marketing planning cycle?” If you can’t see how it fits into the model, it may not be an appropriate goal.
Of course, there’s much more to identifying effective social strategies, but you’re after quick tips right now. Trust us — even a single hour spent getting to know your objectives can have a huge impact on the efficacy of your social media marketing efforts!
2. Experiment with Remarketing
So you’ve taken the plunge and put some budget into promoted posts and/or Facebook advertising. If you haven’t done that already, here’s a bonus tip: paid social campaigns can work wonders, but you shouldn’t default to spending a load of money before you’ve done all you can to maximise your organic reach. Tips three through six are going to help you do that.
For those who are already paying for online advertising and want to maximise click-throughs, it’s all about remarketing.
In an ideal world, every internet user who sees your ad would click on it the very first time it appears on their screen. Sadly, that’s not how humans work. We have to see something multiple times before we feel compelled to take action — it’s one of the basic principles of advertising.
Luckily, Facebook makes it really easy to show your ads to users who are already aware of your brand. Maybe they’ve visited your website, or they’re already signed up to your newsletter. This prior awareness makes them far more likely to respond to your CTA when it pops up on their social media feed.
You can also use retargeting to create funnels. By only showing the second advert to those who took an interest in/took action because of the first, you can move your audience through the stages of awareness. It’s all about guiding those who have the potential to become customers along the path to doing so.
You’ll run your remarketing campaign by creating a ‘custom audience’ based on a customer list (data you’ve collected from potential customers, for example a mailing list), website traffic (to target people who’ve visited your site recently), or app activity (people who’ve done something specific in your app). These audiences are already primed to be more receptive to your social media advertising efforts.
In other words, if you’re looking to increase conversions and ROI, shift your focus away from advertising to a new audience on social media — concentrate on sealing the deal with your existing audience.
3. Run contests
Running a competition is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to boost brand awareness on social media.
Firstly, you’ll need to offer a prize that your target audience can’t resist. You’ll know exactly what this is, because you spent some time getting inside their heads when you were developing your strategy. Whatever the prize is, make sure it lends itself to creating alluring visual content that’s going to grab your ideal customer’s eye as they scroll through their feed.
Next, you’ll need to work out the practicalities. What are the rules of entry, and which of your social platforms are you going to run the contest on? We suggest choosing a platform that facilitates easy social sharing, like Facebook, and making that the condition of entry. For example, users must like and share your post to be in with a chance of winning.
Now sit back and watch the shares grow exponentially! You’ll likely find that the monetary value of the prize you’re giving away is a fraction of what you would have spent on paid post promotion to achieve the same reach. The moral of the story? People love free stuff.
4. Share Video Content
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With the algorithms of most social platforms favouring native video (that’s video posted directly to the site, not embedded from YouTube, Vimeo or elsewhere) above all other types of social media content, you’d be remiss to ignore it.
While we’re on the topic, the majority of brands should forget about text-only posts completely — even your Tweets should at least have an image attached, if you want anyone to see them! If you’re already using plenty of video across social media, experiment with posting it directly to your Facebook page, rather than linking from YouTube — research suggests it’ll get more views.
Not every video you post needs to be a shiny, scripted brand film produced by an advertising agency, either. In an age when nearly everyone has access to great cameras and editing software via our phones, it’s easier than ever to create quality content — from product introductions to thought-leader vlogs, or even comedy sketches that deliver laughs along with your brand message. Video for social media is a diverse medium. It’s time to get creative!
5. Post ‘Behind the Scenes’ Stories
Facebook and Instagram ‘stories’ have risen to prominence in the last couple of years. If you’re not currently incorporating them into your marketing plan, you’re missing out.
While your traditional social media posts are fighting for attention in your followers’ oversaturated news feeds, stories inhabit their own blissfully uncrowded corner of screen space. The users that view your stories are doing so because they’ve actively sought them out. Apparently, around 800 million users engage with stories across those two social networks each day.
And what do they want to see? ‘Behind the scenes’ content. The social media story is a peek behind the curtain. This is a great place to let your brand’s personality shine, introduce the people behind the business, and make your most invested followers feel like part of an exclusive club. Furthermore, because this type of post is, by design, fleeting (post it now and in twenty-four hours it’ll be gone), your audience will forgive rough-and-ready phone-shot images and video. It’s all about the moment, dude.
Of course, another way to reward that loyalty and ensure your fans keep coming back for more is to entertain them. Our next tip will help you achieve just that.
6. Make it Funny
Time for a quick quiz! Which of the following is not considered a social media marketing goal? Is it…
a) lose followers
b) make potential customers feel like you’re only after their money
c) gain a reputation as a boring, uninspired brand
d) all of the above?
So many brands treat their social media channels as just another place to make a sales pitch, thereby achieving items A, B and C on the above list. These brands do not succeed. If you find yourself posting dull, pushy posts that essentially scream “Please buy things!”, then this is the ultimate tip for you.
Social media marketing is content marketing. Brands succeed or fail on social media due to the strength of the content they post. You need to produce content that audiences want to see. Ideally, you’ll produce content they actively seek out, engage with, and share. This is how you’ll boost and cultivate your social media audience on an algorithmic level — and a human one.
So how can you make your content not only irresistible, but also stand out from the barrage of content that social media users are faced with every time they open the app?
You entertain. Whether you’re sharing images, videos, blog posts or behind-the-scenes stories, it’s the entertainment value that keeps your audience coming back for more. Comedy is the ideal route to take.
By incorporating comedy into your brand tone of voice on social media, you can craft content that entertains audiences and simultaneously conveys your brand message. Comedy doesn’t just make your content more appealing, distinctive and shareable — it also helps you make sales, without your audience ever feeling like they’re being sold to.
This is because when we laugh, we’re caught off-guard. Our defences are momentarily lowered, and we become more susceptible to accepting the message in front of us. We’ll also begin to associate the joy of laughter with whatever brand or product provided that experience. TV advertisers have known this for decades. It’s even more relevant to social media and the digital age as a whole, when audiences increasingly hold the power over what they do and don’t see.
So that’s our sixth tip, and it’s one that you can apply to everything else you’ve learned in this article. You’ve identified a strategy, started remarketing, running contests, making videos and posting behind-the-scenes stories. Now, if you can infuse all that content with a sense of humour that aligns perfectly with your brand tone of voice, we promise you’ll see an even bigger impact.
True, comedy takes practice — branded comedy, even more so. But it can be learned, and it will pay off. You don’t need to make your audience laugh out loud with every post. A dash of light-touch humour that raises an unexpected smile can often do the trick. And you can definitely produce content that does that — we believe in you!
(Of course, if you need a little help, you can always hire the hive-mind.)