Today, there’s no doubt that social media is an indispensable marketing tool. A few years ago, television was great for marketing, especially for companies that had the budget for it. Social media entered the space and caused a disruption.
And marketing via social platforms is the way to go, considering that the average internet user in North America spends approximately 2 hours and 6 minutes on social media.
But marketing on social networks isn’t as easy as it sounds. I mean, everyone can create a business account and start posting, right? But how come it’s only a small number of businesses that gain any significant results for all their efforts on these platforms?
We have put together 5 social media hacks for your business. Let’s get started.
1. Use Trending Topics to Your Advantage
At any given time, there are millions of people using social networks. The beauty (or is it the curse?) of social media platforms is that there’s so much content. It doesn’t matter if you open your social app at 8 am in the morning or at midnight. There’s always something to read or watch.
It’s no wonder we spend most of our times glued to our mobile devices, completely oblivious of what’s going on around us.
At times, you find a large number of people talking about the same thing. Those are trends. You can use them to promote your brand. Here are some ways to do it right:
- Your posts need to be relevant
Facebook and Twitter are popular for showing trends. You can always check to see what people are talking about. Now, you need to ensure that the trends you’re jumping into are relevant to your business.
Sometimes, it may be tempting to join the hottest topic. But if it’s the wrong fit, you’ll only be hurting your brand. Before posting anything, assess the trend and see if it’s relevant to what you do as a business.
- It’s not all about selling
Imagine you’re a social media user. You’re scrolling through people’s tweets on a trend and then you stumble upon a business blatantly advertising their products. You’ll feel like they’re trying to force it down your throat, right?
Well, many marketers make this mistake. They later complain that there’s nothing to be gained from popular trends. Why not just focus on being social?
Just by engaging the potential customers, they’ll notice that you just want to be part of the conversation. Most will check out your products or even press that ‘follow’ button on your profile.
- Stay away from controversy
You don’t have to get into all conversations. Especially when it’s on a controversial topic and people have different views. In most cases, you will irk a section of your target audience if you take a stance. And that may mean losing out on a number of customers.
Always be on the lookout for trends that you can use to get your name out there. Remember, you can also find trending topics in your industry. Platforms suc h as Twitter and tools like BuzzSumo help you with that.
2. Pick The Right Platform for Your Business
The type of social media platform you choose to promote your business matters a lot. Before you create an account, you need to first determine where your target audience hangs out. This can be done by creating a buyer persona, which is basically a profile of your ideal customer.
If, let’s say you’re targeting young people, pick a platform like Instagram or Pinterest because that’s mostly where they spend their time.
Choosing the right social network isn’t enough. Knowing how to create content for each platform is also vital. That being said, let’s have a look at some content creation tricks for various platforms.
Instagram – High quality images and short videos do well on Instagram. And the images have to be high quality. Get a professional to take photos for your business if possible. Instagram has a tool that enables you to enhance the photos. Note that third party apps can also be used for this purpose. Be creative in writing your captions and include industry specific hashtags (you can write up to 25) to reach out to more people.
Facebook – with more than 2.5 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the most popular social networking platform. Strive to provide value in your posts and use more images/visuals. The best times to post are: midmorning, afternoon and between 8-9pm.
Twitter – the 280 character limit makes this platform unique. And it doesn’t mean that you have to use all the characters. Be as brief as possible while ensuring that your grammar is perfect. Engage with customers by mentioning them, retweeting and commenting on their tweets. Hashtags are also important on Twitter so don’t leave them out.
YouTube – make sure that videos are posted in the right format. Write captivating headlines that will prompt potential customers to click on your content. Also, write great descriptions and create good thumbnail images.
Pinterest – Pinterest is great if you’re in an industry where visually-appealing images will help you generate leads or make more sales. For instance you’re an interior designer and you want to show prospective clients your work.Focus on taking the best photos, and edit them to make them even better (use tools like Adobe Photoshop).
Use attention grabbing colours such as red and yellow and ensure the background compliments the products. Also, pick the right boards for your business.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is full of professionals. You’d want you content to be informative and authoritative. Let people know that you’re an expert in what you do. Use a conversational tone to get people to engage you in the comments section.
When you use the above tactics, you won’ have problems attracting more customers on your preferred platforms. Remember, consistency is key, so keep the content flowing.
3. Use Analytics to Improve Your Strategy
How would you know if a strategy is working? If you find a marketer constantly whining that social media isn’t working for them, they’re probably not paying attention to social media analytics.
Essentially, social media analytics involves collecting data on your business pages and assessing them to see your performance. The insights gained helps you better your social media marketing game.
A mistake many marketers make is to pay attention to data that doesn’t really matter. Many companies are on social media and the competition is cut-throat. Entrepreneurs can no longer rely on the number of likes, followers or views to gauge their performance. One has to do much better than that.
Luckily, there are a couple of tools you can use to check your analytics. In fact, some of them come with the platform and are completely free. For example, Pinterest has Pinterest analysis, Twitter has Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights and Advert Reports are for Facebook.
The benefits of taking your analytics seriously are numerous. Here are some.
- Helps you understand the impact of your posts
Are you just cranking out posts and forgetting about them? If yes, you’re making a big blunder. You need to know the reach of your posts. Look at metrics such as the number of likes, comments, favourites, retweets or engagement on specific posts. Analytics informs you about all this. Hence, you get to know what your audience wants.
- You avoid wasting time
This is quite self-explanatory. Some marketers see that a certain tactic isn’t working but they keep using it with the hope that one day it will work. When you have the data, you know what works and what doesn’t. You only focus on the effective tactics.
- You can easily pick the right platform
Let’s say you are using four platforms to promote your products and services. But on checking the data, you discover that only two are doing well. The engagement and conversion rates are high on those platforms. It means that’s where you target audience is. The best thing to do would be to drop the under performing two and focus on the two which bring in results.
- It enables marketers to create better content
The best marketers are those that can consistently create content that customers will love. With analytics, it’s now easy to see which posts have more engagement. On twitter, for example, you can tell by the high number of retweets or video views.
Sharp marketers can see a pattern and take note of what posts create a buzz. And then they focus on improving that type of content to reach out to more people.
4. Share Content Across Platforms
Managing your business accounts can be exhausting and boring, especially when you got a ton of other things to do. Because of this, a significant number of companies prefer getting a local social media management team to help out.
Now, imagine you are running campaigns across multiple platforms. Let’s say Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You’ll need to regularly post on all these platforms. Let’s admit it, after a week or two of manually posting on each of the platforms, you will feel overwhelmed. There are tools to help you ease the burden. Buffer is one such example.
Buffer makes it possible to share content across multiple platforms, eliminating the need to login to your social accounts to post. It has a browser extension and application to make the whole process effortless. And not only that, it has a feature where you can collaborate with your team to create the best content for each platform.
The content scheduling feature saves you from having to create content on a daily basis. In addition to that, you can customise the posts for each platform. Remember we discussed earlier in the post that each platform has its own specific content format.
Publishing content across multiple platforms from a dashboard increases efficiency and that means you’ll have enough time to focus on other things.
5. Work With Influencers
It’s common knowledge that you’re not the only one your target audience is listening to. There are experts and thought leaders in your industry who mostly talk about your products, services or anything related to your business.
Businesses are just realizing the importance of these individuals. And as a smart businessperson, you should have influencer outreach as one of your social media marketing strategies.
The name ‘influencer’ implies that the person has the power to alter consumers’ decisions. They usually have a large following on social media and there are people who hang on to their every word. And this is because they have established themselves as experts in their respective industries.
Influencers shouldn’t necessarily have HUGE followings, for instance in the millions. An influencer can be someone with just 10,000 followers (micro-influencer).
Look for individuals who speak to the same audience you’re targeting. Here’s how you stand to benefit once you start working with a couple of influencers:
Increase your sales – Influencers are trusted by their followers. In order to achieve a large following, one has to post quality content consistently. Influencers are usually keen on providing value to their audiences.
People that follow them feel a connection to them. A review about your products and services will be seen as genuine. As such, an endorsement from an influencer is a sure-fire way to make more sales.
Build brand awareness – every marketer’s goal is to improve brand awareness. This enables businesses to generate more leads. Influencers have a way with words. They will bring out your brand values clearly, and convince potential customers of the superiority of your products or services. Thus, your brand will look more reputable.
Studies show that 93% of marketers reported that influencer marketing has helped them get results in improving their visibility. That’s one more reason to invest in influencer marketing.
More companies are using social networks to promote their products and services. The number of users is steadily increasing so we can safely say that social networks are a goldmine for businesses.
The tips discussed above can help you get more out of social media and stay ahead of your competitors. Always be on the lookout for new trends and strategies. Alternatively, you can let a social media agency handle everything for you as you focus on other things that are equally important.
Brenda is digital savvy dog mom. She works at a social media company in Vancouver, Canada and loves the outdoors.