Marketing your business on social media is often overwhelming and can be a minefield if you haven’t done your research. As a Christmas present from us to you, we’ve put together a checklist of tips & tricks to most effectively advertise on social media & make sure your products are in front of your customers when they’re scrolling through their timelines.
- Create A Plan For Each Social Media Channel
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! It’s a common pitfall of businesses to blindly throw themselves into social media marketing without having a clearly defined strategy and set of goals from the outset. Your social media strategy should be segmented by social media platform, with a mini-strategy in place for each. If you’re just starting out, we recommend restricting your social media presence to no more than 3 platforms. Trying to manage more than 3 social accounts, especially if you’re a small business, can often lead to doing a mediocre job with minimal results.
- Post Consistently
This bit sounds a bit daunting – but if you’ve planned effectively, you’ll be fine. Gone are the days where sending out one tweet a day made you a social media rockstar. Platforms like Instagram & Snapchat don’t move as quickly as Twitter & Facebook, so you may not need to post as often to ensure that users are seeing your content. Referring back to your social media plan, you should figure out how often you plan to publish on each social media platform and what kind of content you’ll be posting. Remember: your followers likely follow hundreds or even thousands of accounts – so if you’re not posting as often as the other accounts they follow, it’s easy to get lost and be forgotten about.
- Be Picky About What You Share
Okay, so you should plan and be consistent – but don’t just populate your feed with the first almost-sensible thing you can get your hands on. Your social media account should be populated with content that’s relevant, helpful or entertaining to your audience (or a combination of all three!).
- Visuals Work Best
Both Twitter and Facebook have released blogs in the past year which have explicitly stated that posts which are image-driven gain the highest levels of engagement – they gain the most retweets on Twitter & the most shares on Facebook. The best example of the power of images on social media is on primarily image-focused platforms like Instagram & Pinterest. Instagram actually has the highest levels of engagement when compared to all other major social media platforms in existence. It’s no surprise that platforms which focus on images are standing the test of time when compared to other failed social media platforms.
- A/B Test
This is a tip that a lot of social media marketing professionals take advantage of, but not many small businesses on social media are even aware of. 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 a lot for landing pages and sales pages, but you can also incorporate split testing into your social media posts.
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.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Spend
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.
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. These are the hashtags people are actively searching for on Twitter and Instagram. Adding them to your Tweets and Instagram posts will give your content a better chance of showing up in the search results.
- Keywords Are Your New Best Friend
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 #socialmedia, 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.
Social media optimization is becoming more advanced and accurate because these sites and apps have a lot of content needing to be categorized. Get into the habit of using common hashtags, even on Facebook, and relevant keywords within your social media posts so that you have a better chance of being found by people searching for topics related to your industry.
- Targeting, Targeting, Targeting
Your followers are not all alike. Even though your business may attract a certain demographic, your audience consists of individuals who may like your brand for different reasons. 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.
- Measure & Analyse
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.
Some of the metrics that you want to look for include:
– Reach and engagement for Facebook
– Impressions, visits and mentions on Twitter
– Views and actions on Google+
– Impressions, clicks and interactions on LinkedIn
– Impressions and engagement on Pinterest
– Likes, comments and mentions on Instagram
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.