In recent years, social media marketing has quickly become one of the most powerful strategies to attract traffic, engage audiences, and drive sales. According to Social Media Examiner, 92% of marketers say they have increased exposure through social media, and 80% see positive results for traffic.

That said, an effective social media marketing strategy needs to have some key elements if you really want to scale and make the most of it. Here are seven important hacks to keep in mind.

1. Curate content

Social media marketing isn’t all about promoting your own content. In order to really grow your audience and become an authority in your niche, you’ll need to share a wide variety of content that interests your followers.

Finding and sharing this content can be a huge time-suck, unless you use content curation tools. Feedly, for example, is a feed aggregator you can use to do this. It helps you find relevant content feeds based on keywords, and keeps them all in one place. Then you can easily view and share to your social profiles right in the app.

2. Tag influencers

You’re never going to achieve viral growth with your social media marketing strategy unless you enlist the help of influencers. Influencers are other individuals in your niche (not your competitors) who have a big social following of their own.

Target influencers with your marketing strategy to encourage them to share your content with their social audience. The easiest way to do this is by tagging them in your posts. Here’s an example tweet: “@influencer Thought your audience would be interested in this new post [LINK]”

You can also reach out to influencers via direct message or email asking them to share your content.

3. Schedule your posts

Use a social media marketing tool to schedule your posts to go out at optimum times. Buffer is my personal favorite but Hootsuite is another great alternative to try. Social media automation tools will create unique, trackable links for your social posts and monitor engagement of your shares and posts. Then you can use this data to identify your best traffic sources and improve your strategy.

4. Leverage current events

People turn to social media to interact with businesses, but they also use it to get the latest news and information. You can really grow your following if you integrate the two.

Keep track of trending hashtags that you see on Twitter. Take the opportunity to use them in your own social posts. This helps you join bigger conversations on the social platform outside of your own following.

You can also use Facebook Trending Topics or Google Trends for a similar purpose. Trending topics on Google Trends can help you brainstorm content that’s relevant to current events and can garner more buzz on social media. ComiConverse for instance jumps on trending hashtags related to movies and games to boost engagement.

5. Use IFTTT

Sharing your content across social platforms and keeping your profiles up-to-date can be a huge time-suck. But a tool like IFTTT (If This, Then That) can save you a ton of time in that area.

IFTTT helps you create a series of conditional tasks to speed up your social media marketing. For example, you can create an IFTTT recipe so that when you share a post on Instagram, it will automatically share it to Twitter as well, or when you update your Facebook profile photo, it will automatically change your Twitter photo too.

6. Create contests

Contests are a great way to encourage engagement and grow your following on social media. Here are a few examples of social contests you can put on:

  • Vote contest – Ask your followers their opinion on an image, video, or other set of media. Recovery Guidance did this and took it a step further, asking users to like their page to enter the contest and vote.
  • Sweepstakes – Set up a landing page on your site where visitors can enter to win a giveaway. Make social sharing and following a requirement for entry. See some great examples here for inspiration.
  • Photo contest – Ask followers to submit their photo doing something related to your niche. Ask them to use a branded hashtag to enter to win. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a page out of the playbook of Joshua W. Glotzer and Credit Glory, two brands in eccentric niches, who use this tactics to grow their Facebook following.

7. Follow strategically

Part of your strategy is attracting a large group of interested followers, but you don’t have to wait around for them to follow you. Be proactive about building the quality audience you want by following strategically. Look for people who are interested in or talk about topics related to your niche all the time.

This is easy to do on Twitter with a tool like ManageFlitter. It helps you search for twitter users who are using specific hashtags or keywords in their tweets to show their interests. Follow them in bulk on a regular basis to encourage them to join your audience as well.

These seven hacks are just a few of the many ways you can supercharge your social media marketing strategy. Use each and you’ll be well on your way to building a strategy that drives engagement, broadens reach, and brings ROI

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