Today’s savvy marketer understands that social media is a crucial part of any digital strategy. These platforms can reinforce brand awareness and facilitate engagement with key demographics in ways we could only imagine a decade earlier. But the social media world is a complex ecosystem where everyone is vying for a few seconds of user attention; just throwing money at your social posts won’t always cut through the noise.
Before you start allocating more resources at audience building or influencer targeting, there’s a lot of social optimization you can do you to push engagement. Here are five simple things to consider when building a social media strategy.
The power of recommendations
There is nothing more powerful than word of mouth. Think about it – if you need a mechanic to look at your car, you ask friends and family for recommendations, right? Social Media has the power to not only fuel those recommendations, but it can potentially create actual brand advocates from your client base.
Research from Hootsuite suggests that more than 50% of social media users turn to these channels for customer service, and since consumers who experience positive customer care are more likely to recommend a brand, this interaction needs to be on point. Beyond that, look for ways of adding some value-adds to your interaction that’ll have users boasting about you.
Use that engagement to tailor easily sharable content and foster bragging rights, if you give your followers the tools to show off a ‘win’, that brand loyalty becomes much more palpable.
Post at the right times
It’s not just about “what” to post, but “when” to post it – If you want to reach the biggest potential audience, you need to factor in optimal posting times. Here’s a hint, it may not be 9 to 5 during week days.
Raise your hand if you start and finish the day with a scroll through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? The stats prove it, too: 60% of Instagram users visit the platform every day and 38% say they use it more than once a day. Luckily you don’t need to spam your audience at all hours. Use your available reporting/listening tools to determine the times of day that people are much more engaged (is it commutes, mid-afternoon slumps, or late night retail therapy?) and catalog the times that seem to encourage different types of activity (likes vs views vs shares etc).
A solid social media marketing strategy is about much more than just posting regularly, it’s about engaging with your audience at times when it’s likely to generate the best results. Check out your stats!
Video is killing it
We already know that visual content sells. But rather than just adding an image to your social content, you should be working some eye-catching video into your social media marketing communications.
There are over 8 billion video views every day on Facebook alone, and while quality video content can be expensive and time consuming to produce, throwing your own video content on Social doesn’t have to cost a fortune with the help of tools like Vimeo. You can create a decent Instagram Story in a matter of minutes with nothing more than a GIF or a boomerang. Even if budget isn’t an issue, regularly updating your Stories will keep your followers hooked in between the meatier videos.
So if you are in a position to spend a little more energy on your video content to grab that extra attention (and keep users from scrolling past), you’ll reach a bigger proportion of your audience.
Get Savvy about the right platforms
More and more businesses are focusing on LinkedIn, and with good reason. There’s a dedicated audience of over 500 million professionals looking to network and share their work successes. It’s like Facebook for the career-minded, right? Well while 40% of LinkedIn users visit the site daily, in 2017 the average user only spent 17 minutes on the platform every month. I don’t have to tell you that is remarkably low! And while your target audience might be lurking there, are they likely to engage with you in ways that justify the marketing resources? Would finding a similar audience on Twitter be more conducive to pulling them into a purchase funnel?
When planning your social strategy, it’s important to focus on those channels most appropriate for your business. Get to know the platforms and their demographics. Just dumping time and money on Social Media Marketing that doesn’t convert won’t help your bottom line. Take the time to test the audience, and refine your message. What works on Twitter or Facebook won’t necessarily convert as well on LinkedIn if you don’t adapt your strategy.
Don’t dismiss Pinterest
Finally, let’s throw a little love at Pinterest. When it comes to conversion, Pinterest might be a useful weapon to keep in your arsenal. Before you scoff and question how an online mood board can help you make sales, here’s a stat for you: more than 90% of Pinners use the platform to plan purchases. That’s right, and 93% of 200 million monthly users is not an insignificant number.
Not only that, the platform reaches audiences during every stage of their buyer’s journey. From awareness to consideration, through to decision making, Pinterest allows people to find products and buy them. So if your business ties into any of Pinterest’s most popular topics, you might want to up your game and get it into your strategy.
There’s no foolproof or one-size-fits-all approach for creating airtight social media marketing strategies, but if you factor in these points, you’ll definitely be onto a winner.
For more actionable SMM advice, you’re going to want to be at UnGagged Las Vegas, this November.