As pc/nametag’s digital marketing guru, Brooke is passionate about creating content that connects and converts. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and ghost hunting in haunted locations around Wisconsin.
According to Statista, the average internet user spends 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every day. That’s 16 hours per week and 848 hours (35 days!) per year. 😱 Browsing sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram have quickly become a go-to activity for millions of people throughout the world, especially when we’re feeling bored or have some downtime to spare.
Social media has become one of the most powerful facets of a marketing strategy for generating sales, building brand awareness and forming meaningful connections with your audience. If slaying the social media dragon sounds like an intimidating feat for your organization, have no fear! Anyone can leverage the power of social media marketing as long as you have the “secret weapons” needed to create posts that get seen, connect and convert.
This week, I’m revealing my favorite social media marketing tactics that I think will dominate in the new year. Enjoy!
1) Discover ways to develop your brand’s voice.
The most successful brands and influencers on social media are not who you think. Brands like Wendy’s and MoonPie probably don’t sound like they’d have loyal followings on social media, but in reality, they have developed a unique voice on Twitter that keep followers returning to their pages to see what kinds of funny posts they’ll make next.
While a meme-heavy approach may not work for every brand, it’s still important to develop a voice. Most people have been on social media for 10 years of their life or more, and they won’t give the time of day to a brand who posts the same self-promotions but in different words day after day.
Due in large part to the rise of influencer culture, brands are now expected to be more “human-like” in their social media strategy. While some brands, like the ones mentioned above, do this by posting memes and jokes, others develop their “voice” by having honest interactions with followers and mixing up their content from time to time. The key is to sound relatable and approachable, not like a robot where every post is on a strict, planned schedule.
Tip #2: Learn which platforms your audience uses (and which ones they don’t).
There are a lot of social media platforms out there. Most people think of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube as the primary channels to promote their brand, but then you also have Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok and more.
Many marketers and social media managers make the mistake of thinking they have to be on every new social media platform in order to stay relevant and grow their audience, but that’s just not manageable. The key is to learn your target audience, identify which platforms they use most, and focus on nailing those first.
For instance, TikTok is a newer social platform and one of the better platforms in terms of growing organic reach. It can be a great tool for a lot of businesses, especially those aimed at a younger audience. However, if your target is primarily people in their 40s and 50s, it’s probably worth your time to invest in other platforms before you start creating music videos on TikTok.
Put time into researching your target audience to find out where they spend their time online. A great tool for this is SparkToro, which you can use to identify which social platforms your audience use most as well as which podcasts they listen to, which hashtags they use and even what political affiliation they lean towards.
Tip #3: Share more than just your own content.
If your business’s social media profile is filled with nothing but self-promotion, most people probably won’t bother following you. You run the risk of coming across as too “sales-y” and self-serving, and their social feeds are probably filled with enough of that already.
A great way to make your page more appealing is to share content from other brands and influencers alongside your own original posts. If you see something you think would be helpful or interesting to your audience, share it! Add a comment about why you think it would be useful for your followers.
Next, be sure to tag the influencer or brand that you’re sharing from so they see that you liked their content. Not only can this be a great way to build relationships within your industry, it can also bring the potential for cross-promotions or guest blogging in the future, which can improve your content strategy and grow your audience massively.
Tip #4: Start an educational Facebook group.
The Facebook algorithm has gone through a pretty massive overhaul in the past few years, and the changes have made it incredibly unlikely that organic posts from your business page will be seen by your followers. Facebook instead prioritizes family and friend content, paid advertisements and group content in users’ newsfeeds.
Facebook groups have never been more popular than they are now, so take the time to create one and take advantage of organic growth opportunities. My advice would be to not make the group topic directly related to your business. For example, it’s best not to title your group “Fans of [your brand]”, unless your brand is already incredibly well known and adored.
Instead, think of a fun topic or a problem that pertains to your industry. For instance, if you work for a wedding planning company, try creating a group that encourages people to share photos from their wedding and planning advice with each other. Then, as a group admin, you can include information about your products when it’s appropriate.
Tip #5: Promote your content through paid advertising.
Now that you are creating awesome, relatable social media content on the right channels for your audience, it’s time to make sure that people can actually see what you’re posting. Like I mentioned above, algorithm changes are making it increasingly difficult for your content to be seen organically. This means finding promotional opportunities is more key than ever before to increase your reach and, by proxy, your web traffic and revenue.
Leveraging paid social is key here, as all social media platforms prioritize ads over organic posts. Most platforms have the option to create advertisements once you have a business profile. I would recommend starting with creating a Facebook and/or Instagram ad since they have the most user-friendly interface. Being familiar with the process will make the rest of the platforms feel like a breeze.
Paid social ads aren’t the only promotional opportunity out there, though. Influencer marketing is all the rage right now, so why not try it out? Identify key influencers in your space and find out how you can work with them in a mutually beneficial relationship. Try sending them a few free products that they could review in a YouTube video or on an Instagram story with a specific offer code. In return, they’ll get a portion of the revenue generated using that offer code.
No Right or Wrong Way to Approach Social 📲
The Internet contains a goldmine of useful tips, tricks and tools to help you take full advantage of the crazy world of social media marketing.
While there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to handle your organization’s social accounts, my greatest advice is this: Don’t be afraid to do something different. Your social profiles don’t have to look like all your competitors. In fact, it’s probably best if they don’t! While there is no magical “go viral quick” formula, as long as you’re trying new things and helping your audience feel more connected to your brand, you’re on the right path! Building a successful social media strategy takes time.
Tell Us: What's your favorite social media hack?What social media hints do you have to share? If it's useful to you, chances are it'll be useful to someone else. Let us know by leaving a comment below. 💕
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