A business can accrue innumerable advantages from social media campaigns, right from positioning to conversion. However, how to conduct social media marketing is the million-dollar question that many businesses face. Some of the other questions that hover in the mind are: What about the negative comments on social media? How to manage online reputation? How to attain brand visibility and position a company? Which social media channel to concentrate on?
While the list of such questions can be infinite, these are the primary issues that need to be addressed along with plans to turbo charge your social media strategy, which are discussed in the tips below.
1. A social media plan is mandatory
Quite often, many brands are noticed to create content and circulate it in all the social media channels. The strange part is, few are observed to post the same content in all available social networks. Instead of going in an unorganized way, first of all, the objectives should be determined along with the target audience. This is a crucial factor in social media communication as different channels entice different kinds of audience. While some may be used for branding, others are used for conversion.
Thus, a plan is absolutely necessary to cull out effective strategies that would follow. It’s most likely that your objectives for different social media platforms would be different. If so, the content that you develop for the audience should also be different, as it would serve different purposes. The best practice is to break the goals into different components for each platform and device a plan for each of them. The different components to consider would include:
- Selecting social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
- Persona of audiences
- Objectives for each platform
- Type of content and structure
- Tone of communication
This channel plan has to be executed with the right kind of content in due consultation with the analytics and considering the persona of the audience. After a careful judgment of the tastes and preferences of the audiences, a strategy should be developed and experimented in consultation with the results of the analytics.
2. Stay focused on a specific social channel
It’s quite unlikely that your prospective customers are scattered across all social media channels unless your company is a big brand. Therefore, it is imperative to know which of the social media channels is populated with the most number of your customers and prospects at the planning stage itself. Delving deep into their preferences and tastes through a vivid analysis of their persona is more important than focusing on too many channels. The focus should be on the audience of a particular channel and the analytics reviewed on a periodic basis to weigh the differences in the response. The online presence in this channel should be carried on in a way which ensures that you are bringing value to the prospects.
It is important to avoid posting direct sales pitch and be a bit creative instead. Once you identify the social media channel that is most populated with your prospects, building trust, credibility, and reliability is the first step. The trust should be built in such a way that you are regarded as the thought leader and the audience asks for advice and counsel that would be helpful for them. Once the trust is built, the posts of the products can be pitched in slowly, with constant interaction. This kind of attention can only accentuate brand visibility and help the metrics to reach the targeted goals.
3. Constant supply of valuable content
A constant presence on social media with a regular supply of valuable content is the key to increased engagement of prospects that brings success. Once trust and credibility are built, posting useful content according to the preferences of the audience is something that would act as a fuel to the fire. Posting the same kind of content, again and again, should not be bored the audience. Use a calendar for posting content on all social channels.
The constant interaction with the customers and listening to them would help you decide on the type of content that they prefer. Listening to customers’ conversations would give you enough hints about what kind of content they are looking for. As the content library goes on building, the schedule for posting it should be regularly updated with the type of content assets that you want to release.
4. Become a useful resource hub
Blogs, videos, e-books, whitepapers, and infographics should be posted in a way that you are considered as the resource hub, by the audience. This can help your brand to establish itself as the credible source. If the content is crafted smartly and positioned properly then the chances of circulation on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat would be more. It will also help for lead generation as the prospects can be redirected to the newsletter or demo sign up page.
Thus, social media can be used as a channel for converting visitors and increasing traffic to your website as well. This would also enable you to gather useful data. The delivered content should be designed carefully so that it educates, inspires, and entertains the audience and they refer to your page for resources. This is a novel way of getting the links forwarded to friends and colleagues. This can also help in increasing the subscriber list of your newsletters and content as well. Although this seems to be a viable proposition with promising results, this kind of credibility can only be built with time, perseverance, and patience coupled with constant vigil and monitoring.
5. Change the content formats
After a considerable period of time, when there are enough resources in the library, it’s wise to reuse the social content with innovation. For instance, the written content that had a considerable number of viewers and readers can be converted into a video or an infographic. These types of videos can be posted on the official YouTube channel with links to other social media networks. This can increase the engagement and grow traffic to your website as well.
Changing the formats of the content does not mean converting into videos alone. It can be anything. For instance, if you have written on a particular subject for a long time and there are a considerable number of articles and resources, it can be converted into an e-book and used for marketing purposes on social media as well. Fragments of the articles published earlier can also be used and converting them into questionnaires or infographics can prove to be a great idea. This type of variation engages the audience more and allows you to increase the interaction with them surging the reach and maximizing the full potential of your content.
6. Use visual content to attract the audience
Visual content is shared more as it’s entertaining and takes lesser time to comprehend the underlying message. Efforts should be put in, to plan how the visual content would drive traffic to your website. Instead of promoting your brand, the video should address the pain points and depict any problem in a humorous way. This would increase the sharing of the video with other people increasing brand visibility and reach. Linking such videos of short duration to your website from your Instagram or YouTube account to a page where there are more resources is a great idea to drive traffic to your site. This would create a gateway to the valuable content you produce and optimize its potential.
Sharing visual content, videos, and infographics are imperative for social media marketing. Research has found out that content that is visual in nature has a higher impact on social media ROI. For example, a research done by Twitter revealed that photographs and pictures are retweeted more than texts. Social media posts with videos are retweeted 28% more as per the same research conducted by them. Another study by ‘Chute and Digiday’ also revealed the same inference who found that content which is visual in nature perform 4.4 times better than the textual content. According to the study, graphic designs, original illustrations, and user-generated visual content are the ones that perform the best on social media.
7. Analysis is the key
Posting rich content and not measuring the impact of it is a mistake that hinders in deriving the full potential of the content and can have an impact on the social media ROI. Curating content is important as few types of content can perform better on some social networks compared to others. Curation of content by the social network is important which helps you understand the impact of the content. This data can be highly helpful in increasing the effectiveness of your content curation as it can be published on other networks based on the kind of audiences you have. This would improve the chances of success and increase reach and engagement surging the ROI higher up.
Filtering the content by type can also be of great help in recirculating the materials for higher reach. Filtering can also be done by the time period which would help you to find the most popular ones in the last 24 hours or three days. It can again be reused to optimize the reach and engagement. Such efforts help in rapid branding and reaching a large number of people in the shortest possible time.
8. Host events periodically
You can form a group or a community dealing with the problems and issues that your business addresses on the social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn. This would help you in hosting private events to educate the users along with the brand awareness. Many businesses have been immensely benefitted and increased engagement levels with hangouts with experts from the field. On initiating your events within a private group, the members of the group receive an invitation or a notification for participation. This can be a great way to increase reach to the right audience.
9. Post comments and increase interaction
Read the blogs, posts, and comments of other people that are relevant to your business and comment on them regularly. This would help in getting ideas about the blog posts that you would write providing you a fair idea about people’s preferences. Practices such as sharing opinions, likes, and posting comments on the blogs and videos are an invaluable way of being visible. The proper comments and expert advice on social channels can make your visible. Also, there are chances that users would start recognizing your name and it cab be helpful from the point of positioning yourself and the business.
Another benefit of frequent interaction is, by this, the social media audience can be converted into qualified leads. A special care has to be taken in commenting, as the timeline is important. If you happen to receive any negative comments or feedback, address or reply it in a humble and professional way. This would help you gain trust among your followers.
10. Encourage content sharing with free resources
When someone likes your content, they can be encouraged to share the post with a free e-book or any other useful content assets in a tactful way. Give the audience freebies if they share the content. In this way, you can increase the reach quite a few times more than you would usually reach. The catch here is your potential customers or the prospects may not perceive the marketing techniques you deploy or see all of your communication but a strategic marketing plan backed with intelligent and witty communication can boost the chances of brand visibility.
A bonus tip
Time management is a great challenge that the entrepreneurs and small business owners face. That’s precisely the reason why analytics are important so that you can prioritize the tasks and allot specific time for each task and complete it within schedule. You may be spending a lot of time on Facebook and LinkedIn whereas the results that you get may not be satisfactory. The time spent has to be matched with the analytics and evaluated so that the time and effort on the social media channels can be optimized. Remember, social media is just one of the pillars of digital marketing and few other key areas like SEO, email or blog marketing require your attention as well. So, tracking the time in terms of the results would take you a long way in optimizing the returns and reaching your goals in the shortest possible time.