Social media has quickly morphed into one of the most important marketing channels. Within a few short years, it has moved from being a mere fad into the most powerful marketing tool on the planet. Facebook, for example, is just over a decade old but no business can afford not to have a Facebook marketing strategy.
But, social media marketing has now moved beyond being simply about likes and followers.To succeed, there is a lot to learn.
The following are nine social media tips guaranteed to deliver better results.
1. Focus on Specific Social Media Networks
A few years ago, conventional wisdom dictated that you should be on as many social media networks as possible. Now, we know better. The wisdom this time around is quite to the contrary. Experience has shown that various demographics are active in different social media sites. With the exception of Facebook, that seems to transcend all demographics, other social networks have shown affinity to particular demographics. For example, teenagers hang out on Snapchat and millenials under 30 love Instagram. So, the strategy should be to identify the favorite social networks of your target audience and only focus on those. This is critical for success because social media marketing has become expensive. Focusing only on the social sites frequented by your audience ensures you use marketing resources in the most effective way.
2. Tailor Your Content for Each Platform
If you are posting to more than one platform, do not make the mistake of posting the same content on all platforms. Posts that are good for Facebook don’t always deliver results on Twitter. Users on social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are into visual content. You must tailor your content appropriately.
3. Don’t Sell Stuff
This is the biggest mistake you can make. The fact is that you want to turn your audience into a lead eventually but you can’t turn a social profile into an online store. Instead, you should post content that increases engagement to the point that your audience feels compelled to check out your product offering. Before you start pushing products, remember that people go to social media to find interesting content, catch up with friends and socialize.
4. Get Visual
Everyone loves eye candy. When print media was dominant, magazines went out of their way to design striking cover images to whet the appetite’s of their readers. Visual content is the way to go. If you want success, have a strong visual content strategy. In particular, live video is doing very well on social media and this is a trend that will continue into the future.
5. Run Contests and Promotions
Contests and promotions are a great way to increase engagement on social media. Contests and promotions have a high likelihood of being shared. Be creative, see what other companies have done and create contests that go viral.
6. Lead with Educational Content
According to a HubSpot study, 100 of the top non-celebrity Twitter accounts have built large audiences by posting educational content. Educational content is much more effective at building audiences than social media conversations. Providing readers with content that they find useful is a great way to build trust.
7. Give Away Free Stuff
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Reel in audiences by giving away something of value. It doesn’t have to be your main product. It could be stuff like free videos, ebooks, webinars, non-premium content or anything else of value that you could reasonably give away.
8. Respond Promptly and Helpfully to Audience Communication
We live in an era when anyone can screenshot a conversation and share it on social media. This is a customer service nightmare for companies. Even a small company must invest thousands of dollars on training it’s frontline staff to avoid gaffes that can end up as PR disasters. You must respond in a timely, respectful and helpful manner to all social media comments, inquiries, complaints and suggestions.
9. Invest in Social Listening Tools
To drive the narrative and avoid other people writing the narrative for you, you must practice social listening. You must keep a close watch over your brand’s mentions, competitor mentions and other keywords that are relevant to your industry. There are a number of nifty tools that you can use for social listening. Data gathered from social listening will provide you with valuable insights that will inform your social media strategy.
We started off by stating that social media has quickly evolved to become one of the most important marketing channels. In conclusion, we also need to add that social media marketing is also changing rapidly. What is true today is old stuff tomorrow. So, while these nine tips are relevant today, to continuously deliver better results, you must keep a close watch on developments in the social media industry.