It does not matter if you are running a multibillion dollar company or managing a small bookshop around the corner, what matters is your customers are virtually connected to you through social media. For the majority of your audience, if you’re not on Facebook, then you probably don’t exist or at least not interested in connecting with them.
Digital marketing has gone beyond maintaining a company website and paying other websites to post your digital ads. For the past decade or so, marketing influencers have known that social media is the way to go. About 90% of digital marketers have claimed that social media has generated immense exposure for their company. It is no wonder that companies hustle and spend a lot of money to ride the waves of different social media strategies. This includes following the trends, which is not an easy feat given the fast-paced nature of social media. But don’t forget that while being up-to-date with the goings-on in social media, marketing is important; you must also never lose sight of the practical social media tips that have been there all along. They have been tried, tested, and proven to deliver results. In the fickle world of social media, having something constant such as these go-to tricks are indeed lifesavers.
Here are some of the practical social media tips you should not be ignoring.
Post regularly and consistently
What’s it like for your marketing team? One tweet, one posts a day? That just wouldn’t cut it. The issue is not about how many times you post, but how consistent you do it. It depends on your audience and it depends on the platform. As far as your audience is concerned, you should know how often and at what times of the day they are online. In terms of platform, there are channels that doesn’t move as fast as Twitter or Facebook.
Go back to your social media strategy and figure out these three things: how often do you plan to publish, what type of content you’ll publish, and the routine or outreach posting schedule you can actually manage. Developing a publishing schedule requires commitment and if you’re not ready, better not do it or your plan will just fall apart. And oh, don’t waste your customers’ precious time with crappy content.
Images still got it
The most popular type of social media content is a still photo. According to a research, photos still trump all other forms of content on Facebook, having been shared 87% of the time. Links, albums, and videos come at a distant second to fourth place, respectively. A photo URL is also the most retweeted content on Twitter.
The power of images on social media gave birth to photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, which are seeing more success than a lot of social media networks that came before them. Photos are very shareable, easy to consume, and comes with a high “virality” potential. The good news is that there are many available tools now to make your images stand out. Don’t miss out.
Interact and engage
This is a real struggle for a lot of companies and startups. It is one thing to create a social media page and another thing to maintain it. If you put out a page out there, be ready to respond, interact, and engage. Don’t be that company that does nothing but share links all day.
Look at it as customer service. Big companies like Nike and Starbucks both know how to rock social media because they are quick to respond. They know when to humor their customers and they know when they have to be professional. Encourage interaction and communication in your social media channels, after all that’s the very reason you joined. Remember that social media thrives in a virtual world and it is your job to make it less and less impersonal.
Watch your competitors
How do you know you’re winning the game if you don’t even know who’s playing? You have to watch and observe your competitors. You’re not going to copy content, you’re about to make them better. This is a classic business technique that marketing influencers must religiously follow.
Get an idea of the types of content they post, when they post it, and how often. If their posts are successful, find out why and learn from them. Know what they’re doing right and remember that when making your own plan. But always remember that your customers want you to be unique, so forget about copying and focus on doing things better.
Don’t choose hashtags at random
Hashtags remain one of the easiest ways to expand your reach on social media. It’s not a lost art. Organic reach has dropped and hashtags, if you do them right, can expand your reach across social media platforms easily.
The most successful hashtag campaigns are relevant, unique, and fun. It does not matter if your brand isn’t sexy, it’s your job to make them that. Travel company Expedia didn’t have to look far as it capitalized on the Throwback Thursday phenomenon. Using #ThrowBack, Expedia asked its followers to post a nostalgic vacation photo with the hashtag and promised to give lucky winners the chance to revisit the place and recreate the shot. Submissions doubled weekly over a ten-week run, posting a 96% growth on Instagram during the said period. It tapped into the emotion of how traveling warms people’s hearts and it worked.
Don’t create hashtags on a whim (although there are indeed fleeting moments of brilliance). Have a goal in mind and work from there.
Sell if you need to
Most marketing influencers will warn you about being too promotional on social media. They’re right, but if you sell products and services, what are you gonna do? Don’t be afraid to sell stuff. Just be sure to balance it out with non-promotional posts. If you tweet 5 times a day, at least three should be dedicated to non-promotional tweets. People generally hate being offered a product, but if you have relevant and engaging content to share in between, they surely wouldn’t mind.
Measure success (or failure)
Don’t go to battle with eyes closed. A survey from Convince and Convert said that 41% of companies do not know if their social media efforts are paying off. Not knowing where you stand is a disaster. Imagine running for hours without really knowing if you’re nearing the finish line.
To be successful in social media marketing, you have to know what you’re doing right and what you’ve been doing wrong. Track metrics such as impressions, reach, mentions, views, and reactions on a regular basis. Only then will you know if you need to change or improve anything in your strategy. There are software and tools to help you track your ROI, so it shouldn’t be so hard.