Seventy percent of North Americans use social media every single day. That’s more than those watching TV daily, which used to be the ultimate marketing platform.
If you aren’t making great use of social media marketing, you could be missing out on a huge potential audience.
For your business tip of the day, we’ve got a quick run-through guide on how to make your social media marketing more effective!
We’ve got social media marketing tips that you can use whether you are just getting started, or want to make sure your current strategy is effective. So, read on to find out how you can improve your social media marketing and reach an active, engaged audience.
Audit Your Platform Use
Not all social media platforms are equally useful for every type of business. If you take one thing away from this business tip of the day, it is that you should think carefully about what social media platforms you are using.
If you aren’t going to be able to use a platform effectively, it is often best to avoid using it at all. Nothing looks worse to a potential customer than an infrequently updated profile or one with virtually no engagement.
Carefully consider your target demographic. Who are your main customers? Build demographic profiles for your major types of customers, taking into consideration their age, gender, income level, and more.
Different demographic groups tend to use different platforms more or less. For example, it is a great idea to consider using Pinterest for your blog if one of your major targets is women ages 40 and under.
Once you’ve determined your target demographic and what platforms they use, you also need to determine which of those platforms best aligns with your marketing goals. We’ll talk about this more in the next section.
Build Platform-Specific Social Media Marketing Plans
Different social media platforms lend themselves to different marketing styles. You need to choose platforms that align both with your demographic target groups and with the types of marketing you want to do.
Twitter and Facebook are both great platforms for sharing a variety of content types, from visual to text-based. Instagram, on the other hand, is highly visual without much ability to link to specific pages.
For example, you can use Instagram for product shots and pictures that build your brand identity, while you can share articles and blog posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Because these platforms and the demographic groups using them are so different, you need to create different strategies for how to use them for marketing.
Check out this article for more social media marketing tips on how to build a strategy.
Too many companies simply post the same content across all their channels, which is called “cross-posting.” They do it because it makes things easier and saves time.
The time saved isn’t worth the damage to your brand caused by cross-posting. Why?
First, it bores your followers. Why should they follow you on more than one platform if they are just going to see the same posts over and over?
Second, it means your content won’t be optimized to perform well on each platform. If you cross post from Instagram to Twitter, for example, the image will not appear and the caption may be cut off by Twitter’s strict character limits.
Third, you’ve likely got slightly different demographic groups of followers on each platform. You’ve got the opportunity to build content to appeal directly to each group, so use it!
Find out more about cross-posting do’s and don’ts in this article from Hootsuite.
Post Your Content Wisely
The major social media platforms–such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter–no longer have strictly chronological feeds. Instead of just showing posts in the order that they were posted, they now use complicated algorithms to determine which posts appear before which users.
They prioritize posts from accounts that users tend to engage with. The algorithm looks at engagement levels and earned reach for each of your posts. Even if some posts did really well, if you’ve got a lot of duds that underperformed, the platforms will show fewer of your posts to your followers.
It is difficult to bring your platforms back from low engagement because the algorithms will be working against you, in a way. The content will be seen by fewer users, which means fewer chances for engagement and appearing to more users.
This means you need to be a lot more cautious about what you post. Don’t post constantly throughout the day. If you do, you’ll overwhelm your followers with content. You will probably sacrifice the quality of your posts just to get content pushed out.
Instead, set a number of posts you would like to achieve on each platform you manage. The number can be every day or every week, depending on your marketing capabilities.
After two weeks, audit your performance. Were you able to keep up with the schedule, putting out quality posts? Can you do more, or should you do a bit less? Use this to guide your future posting strategy.
Focus on Visuals
Images and videos are becoming more and more important across all platforms. Posts that feature a visual are more likely to be engaged with, no matter which platform.
If you really want to boost engagement, focus on adding eye-catching images to your posts.
Put the “network” back into social network! Small business owners and individuals often overlook a valuable feature of being on social media: the opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals.
This is especially useful on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
On Twitter, seek out hashtags related to your industry. Join in on conversations, and get involved in the community. This has the double benefit of helping you build your network and learn best practices, while also demonstrating to your followers that you are engaged in the industry. It is a great opportunity to show off your expertise!
Just make sure to always keep it appropriate! Whatever you tweet will be associated with your company, so keep it friendly and on-brand.
On LinkedIn and Facebook, you can join actual industry groups. These are great places to meet people and share best practices. Some groups are public and some are private. Depending on your goals, you can find groups that suit you.
Keep an Eye on the Competition
One of the best places to learn best practices and what (not) to do is by keeping an eye on your competitors. Check out which of their posts perform well and which bombed.
Since you’ve likely got similar groups of followers, this will give you a good idea of what you can try out and what to avoid in your own posts.
Watch out for the sort of content they post, whether it tends to be photos, videos, or blog posts. How do they write their captions, and what hashtags and headlines do they use? Who do they follow and share content from?
A word of warning, however! Don’t start trying to copy your competitors. This should only be used as a way to gather more information to inform your own marketing, but you still need to post according to your unique brand identity.
Your unique voice is valuable! It is why your followers chose you and not your competitor. Don’t lose that!
Use Hashtags Effectively
One of the best ways to get your content in front of new potential followers is to use hashtags. There are two main ways you should be using them.
First, and most importantly, research hashtags related to your industry and niche. If you use hashtags that are very broad, your content will be put in front of a larger audience. But at the same time, you’ll risk being lost in a sea of similar posts.
Finding more specific hashtags can help you find a more engaged niche audience. For example, the hashtag “#Dog” is very broad and will bring up results for things from Chihuahuas to Dobermans.
But if you’re really just posting about “#corgis” you’ll have access to an audience who is deliberately seeking out that breed. You won’t be lost in that larger mix, so it will be more likely that users will see your post.
Since you’re providing them with exactly what they are looking for, they will be more likely to engage. Niche hashtags are incredibly powerful.
To a lesser degree, you can also make use of broader hashtags like “#FridayFeeling.” These are less likely to bring in new followers since they aren’t niche-specific, but they are a great way to engage your current followers. Plus, they are an easy source of content!
Business Tip of the Day: Wrapping Up
In this article, we’ve looked at some essential tips on how to improve your social media marketing. With such large, engaged audiences up for grabs, it is essential that your business uses social media effectively.
With this business tip of the day, you can bring in more followers, and keep engaging with the ones you already have. Looking for more ways to make your business shine online? Check out our resources section for more useful tools.
I know I have made mistakes in my social media strategy. There are many things I would do differently if I was to start over.
Let us know if you have made mistakes and how you improved your social media marketing
Or if you have any other tips on how to improve your social media marketing let us know in the comments section below.