Succeeding in the entrepreneurial world and marketing a business in 2017 are almost impossible tasks without the use of social media platforms and sites. Indeed, social media has become the ultimate location where the majority of marketing strategies take place which is why acquiring a social media presence is of utmost importance.
However, mastering social media knowledge for businesses and entrepreneurs is not an easy feat since new platforms are constantly emerging and trends and features are changing all the time. Since the majority of entrepreneurs and business owners are not social media experts, it’s hard to stay up to date with every new change that occurs and each new trend that arises.
For this exact reason, we’ve rounded up the following social media marketing tips and tricks as well as some already established ones which will help you master the art of social media. Our tips will help you in refreshing your social media strategy and will fill you up with new ideas and social media management tools so you can stay ahead of the trends and market your product or service successfully.
Make a Commitment to Social Media
Building a strong online presence requires serious commitment to the social media platform (s) of your choice.
Although a naïve thought, many still think that growing an audience and creating quality content is as easy as creating the social media profile itself. After the realization that the audience is not growing even though content and photos have been posted consistently for a few weeks, many entrepreneurs and business owners get discouraged and either change the social media platform, or stop taking it seriously.
Well, it actually takes approximately one year for the likes to come rushing in due to a consistent stream of content that you can adjust based on the preferences of your audience. During this time you’ll communicate and engage with them, learn what posts they prefer, use analytics to gain more insight, and so on, so that you have a nicely-optimized social media site whose audience only grows.
But in order for this to happen, you’ll need to make a serious commitment to social media first. This means that you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I consistently post quality content?
- What’s my content plan?
- What’s the goal of my social media site (s)?
- Why should people follow me or my business on social media?
If the answer to the first question is affirmative, and you have clear answers to the following three questions, congratulations, you’ve just made the commitment and are ready to grow your business via social media marketing. In order to do this successfully, check out the rest of our super-important tips for businesses and entrepreneurs, so let’s dive in.
Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
Being present on literally all major social media platforms is an impossible feat. Actually, it is quite possible for you to create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr, and so on, but this won’t be efficient for your business since you cannot invest your time in all platforms, at least not effectively and with substance. What’s more, your target audience doesn’t use all these networks, so you’ll be spending much of your time in vain. Also, building an audience on social media platforms is the hardest part of social media marketing, so it makes sense that you focus your efforts only on select networks at first.
Since you cannot be everywhere at once, try being selective in the beginning by being active only on those platforms that make the most sense for your industry and your business. Your first choice should, of course, be Facebook. With over 1.3 billion active users each month, and yes, that’s billion with a B, Facebook is considered the ultimate platform that most businesses and entrepreneurs use as their first, and sometimes only choice. Facebook has an extremely diverse audience and is itself a versatile platform where different types of businesses can market their ideas and products and reach their perfect audience – and the network is constantly growing.
Besides Facebook, we recommend that you choose two more social media platforms that, as we already mentioned, make sense for your business and industry. These are the platforms that are mostly used by your target audience, so you need to know what your demographics are and which platforms they mostly spend their time on.
For example, if your audience is more tech-oriented and consisted of a mostly young crowd which prefers words over images, Twitter would be the right choice. If your business is geared toward the business game, then LinkedIn would be completely reasonable platform to use. If your audience is consisted of mostly women who prefer visuals over text and are interested in design, photography, food, travel, and so on, Pinterest and/or Instagram would be the obvious choices, and so on.
Moreover, choosing a niche social media platform can also acquire you a great deal of warm leads. For example, if your audience is mostly consisted of bloggers, try Tumblr, for knitters and crocheters try Ravelry, for dog lovers try Dogster, and so on, you get the gist. Simply use Google and you may find that perfect niche platform that will play the biggest role when it comes to expanding your business.
Listen to Your Audience
Listening to your followers, as well as interacting with them, is something that you can never overdo. This is one of the biggest perks of social media marketing as opposed to traditional marketing, since knowing what your audience wants, needs, and thinks about your business is crucial information for creating better content, finding new potential customers, and keeping your current customers happy and loyal.
Social listening is extremely important for business success on social media which is why you should invest some time in it in order to receive fast results in return. Browse through your posts on each social media platform that you use, and see which posts receive the most likes, which the least, which have the most comments, and most importantly, what the content of those comments is.
You can stumble upon some valuable discussions and conversations about your brand, product, or service, a relevant and important information that can be implemented in your marketing strategy. What are the keywords your followers mostly use? What are the industry-specific phrases you’ve encountered that are most commonly used? These keywords and phrases that your audience mainly utilizes can be used for optimizing your content hence making it easier for potential followers to discover it alongside your social media profiles, and give your existing followers what they want at the same time.
Another way in which you can listen to your audience is to firstly discover what other platforms they spend most of their time on, and track their engagement. Once again you can look for the most commonly used keywords and phrases, but also see what kind of posts they share, what other places they comment on, what other social networks they are mostly present on, and so on. Next time you create content using those keywords and phrases, you can share them on those specific channels and acquire new followers interested in that specific topic.
Create your content intelligently
When it comes to social media marketing, optimizing your content is essential if you want your posts to get the most likes, shares, and clicks. Therefore, we’ve developed three strategies that you can use if you want to get the most out of your social media content including: search engine optimization, creating share-friendly posts, offering some value to your audience, and utilizing the power of hashtags. So, let’s start with the first one.
Optimize Your Social Media Content
SEO is crucial if you want to rank high in search engines since social media profiles DO rank in search engines. We all know that SEO is important for blogs and ads, but social content is no exception.
Firstly, you need to identify the keywords your audience mostly uses and implement them in the titles, summaries, bios, and hashtags of your social media profiles and posts. For this you can use various SEO tools, the social media platforms you’re on, or simply by following what your competitors are sharing.
Using the right keywords at the right time can significantly increase the visibility of your posts, so don’t forget this important step when creating your social media content.
Make Your Posts Clickable and Share-Friendly
Creating clickable and shareable content while actively engaging your followers to click, comment, like, re-tweet, pin, heart, or share it is the new content marketing strategy that comes a long way from the traditional marketing mindset.
When a follower clicks on your post, let’s say on Facebook, the platform receives a signal that that particular follower is interested in that particular post. Since Facebook’s purpose is to give its users more of what they want, the platform will do just that and other similar posts that you create will frequently appear on that follower’s homepage. This is exactly why your posts should peak your audience’s interest so they are drawn to click on them and share them with their friends.
We all know that the modern internet user has a short attention span and is easily distracted, which is why you should encourage your audience to share your content by using sharing triggers.
An example of this would be a simple call to action incorporated on the image of your post or in the description. You should tell your followers what to do by using active words like: buy, subscribe, follow, download, like, share, and other words that will encourage your followers to take that particular action.
Offering free stuff and creating a time limit is also a good motivator for taking a quick action before something more interesting comes along the way, so, offer samples of your product, a free trial of your service, or some other gift that will encourage more clicks. You can use phrases like: “order today and receive a free gift”, “free trial available for a limited amount of time”, “once-in-a-lifetime offer which expires this Sunday”, and so on. Just make sure that you create a sense of urgency while using active words and offering something extra, and you have a winning formula.
Another advice would be to create posts that are popular and at the same time resonate with your audience. Incorporate the individual in your posts by using personal pronouns and use conversational tone which connects with them. Engage your followers by asking questions like: “which product do you like best?”, or “ready for the upcoming weekend?”, or anything else that can encourage discussion in the comment section.
Making your visuals eye-catching and using lots of images increases engagement. Indeed, we are more likely to click on a text with visuals than on a plain text, since after all, we are visual beings. This is why it’s very important that you use high-quality images that either catch the eye or entertain, which is of particular importance for platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest.
In order for your content to be more readable and shareable, it needs to bring some kind of value to your audience.
A good idea would be to create content that solves your followers’ everyday problems. Listen to your customers or followers and see what they struggle with the most. You can do this by reading the comments of your followers on a particular post, reading the FAQ’s on your website, or by simply asking them directly on the social media platform in question. Providing solutions on how to overcome a particular problem that most of your audience struggles with is a readable and shareable content that will be valuable not only to you and your business, but to your followers as well. Moreover, this kind of content will have even more value if you support it with personal experience, yours or someone else’s since people will relate to it more this way. It can be in the form of a guide, Q& A video, infographic, or a simple blog post – the choice is completely yours.
Hashtags have become a major part of the internet culture of today and are now an essential part of social media marketing, especially on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, even Facebook. Hashtags can make your content more discoverable since their purpose is to label and categorize, and when done right they can increase your posts’ visibility and engage your audience based on a common interest or a topic. This effectively contributes in growing your audience and expanding the reach of your content, so here are some tips on how to effectively use hashtags as a part of your social media marketing strategy.
Keep it Simple, Relevant, and Easy to Remember
There are countless hashtags in the social media universe, however, the ones that actually work are usually short, relevant to the post in question, and easy to spell therefore easy to remember. These rules are important if you are looking for a way to use hashtags effectively, since their purpose is to tell your audience what your post is about in a simple way.
While using generic hashtags like #travel, #design, #marketing is a good idea since it categorizes your post, using more unique hashtags will not make your post lost in the vast ocean of content available on the internet. Looking for the right hashtag is like looking for the right keyword. It needs to resonate with your brand, but still be a commonly used word that people know and understand.
Use Trending Hashtags
Hashtags become trending when a large amount of users use them on their social media profiles, therefore popularize these specific words otherwise known as hashtags. When one hashtag trends today it doesn’t mean that the same will trend the day after, so it’s important to follow what’s popular in the media and online at all times. Some hashtags trend for days and weeks, while others for mere minutes, so keep your eyes open and do your research well.
Therefore, when you stumble upon a hashtag that relates to your business or brand, make sure to utilize it in your next post. This way your post can be seen by a large audience interested in the topic of the hashtag, which makes them more likely to like it or even share it. So, make sure that the post in question is interesting and engaging so that you have a bigger chance of increasing your brand’s visibility.
You can find these trending hashtags directly on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Facebook, but you can also use sites like hashtags.org, trendsmap.com, hashtagify.me, and many others that will make this job easier for you.
Schedule Your Posts in Advance
The internet never sleeps. It’s up and running all the time with countless posts being uploaded each second. However, most businesses and entrepreneurs who use social media do not utilize this advantage by posting only once or twice per day, when in fact they should post way more often in order to see better marketing results.
Did you know that the average lifespan of one tweet is around 8 minutes? But even if it’s alive for longer, let’s say 2 hours, your social media profile will still be invisible for the remaining 22 hours of the day. So what should you do in order to reach the best impact, post one tweet every 10 minutes? What about Pinterest, where the best impact is reached by posting around 30 pins a day? Should you hire someone to constantly post on all your social media accounts since you obviously wouldn’t have the time to do it yourself? Fortunately, there’s no need for any of those things since the social media of today allows us to schedule as much posts as we want in advance.
Facebook, for example, has its own scheduling feature that is simple and easy to use. Nevertheless, if you have 5 different social media accounts this again can be a strenuous task, especially since not all platforms offer this feature. This is why the best and most efficient choice for you to deal with this would be to use a social media management tool like Amplifr.
Amplifr is designed to simplify and automate your content posting, and it offers the feature of quick and easy scheduling that anyone can do. The beauty of Amplifr is that it tells you the best time slots for when your posts should be published based on your audience’s activity. This way, your posts can drive more traffic and you’ll get better results. Amplifr saves you a valuable time in such a way that it allows you to schedule and reschedule multiple accounts at the same time in a simple and easy manner. It covers all major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, even Viber and Telegram channels, with more to come in the future. Using a management tool like Amplifr will not only give you more time for other important things, but it will also make your social media posting efficient, on time, and consistent.
Know Your Numbers
One of the most important things when it comes to social media success is assessing the performance of your posts and social media accounts. Without doing this, you are basically guessing what kind of posts preform the best, how often certain posts are shared when compared to others, what kind of content mostly affects your target audience, and many other detailed insights that can help you promote your business to the best of your abilities.
If you truly want to know the feedback on the content you share on your social media accounts, being aware of the statistics or analytics is of utmost importance. Without this data you wouldn’t know what actually works for your target audience, hence what to improve or change when it comes to your business. Also, by getting to know your followers better you’ll be able to have a better understanding of what they truly want. This way, you’ll know what kind of information to give them, what kind of questions to answer, and what kind of product or service to offer. You can target your posts better, optimize your content even more, offer even better customer service, and save money on advertising. So, what is the most important information that can help you improve your social media marketing strategy?
Analyzing your audience is number one when it comes to acquiring important social media data. Knowing who your followers are following will give you a better understanding of who your audience is and what interests they share. With this information you can improve your marketing strategy by posting exactly what your audience wants and needs. Analyzing the impact of your posts is another crucial data analytics can provide. Which posts do your followers share the most, which receive the most likes, what time of day does this most frequently happen, and other relevant questions regarding the reach and results of your posts can significantly increase audience engagement. Implementing this information into your marketing strategy will make your posts more clickable and shareable, so pay attention to this data if you want to boost your shares and conversions.
This is where social media analytics tools come into play. Even though many social media platforms offer this insight themselves, when you have more than three social media accounts it makes more sense that you use one analytics tool for all. Amplifr is such a tool which besides helping you with the task of scheduling your posts, it also provides you with valuable data and insight.
Amplifr provides you with information regarding the likes, clicks, shares, impressions, and the conversions of your posts. You can see how much revenue each post attracted through single post stats and daily stats, as well as receive weekly reports neatly organized in an Excel sheet and monthly reports that will enable you to see the bigger picture of how your posts are performing.
Using a social media management tool like Amplifr will help you stay on track with social engagement while helping you to manage multiple social media accounts. Therefore, if you are a serious entrepreneur or a business owner that wants to have social media success, using a management tool like Amplifr is a must.
Get More Personal
In order for your audience to connect with your business, getting more personal is always a good idea which is why showing your audience a sneak peak from behind the scenes of your business strengthens and improves this connection.
Whether you’re offering a product or a service, showing your customers how that particular product is made or how that particular service comes into being gives you the opportunity to share an intimate detail from your business with your customers and humanize it in that way.
Let’s say that you sell a product. You can make a short video on Facebook or create an Instagram story where you will present how your product is created. You can add a beautiful storytelling and describe the benefits your product brings in detail. You can get even more personal and show your followers how your team works behind-the-scenes, even when relaxing with a cup of coffee while on their break. You can give them a tour of your offices or factory so that they see the physical place where the product they like is created.
There are many things you can do in order to establish that connection between your company and your audience, since people are actually looking to connect with other people as opposed to brands, so utilize this opportunity to the best of your abilities.
Feedback from people who have used your product or service always works. In this digital era customers’ reviews can be the deciding factor whether or not a potential customer buys the product or uses the service in question. In fact, up to 92% of potential customers make this decision based only on online reviews.
This mostly occurs due to the time-saving aspect. Since most of your audience doesn’t want to waste time by researching your product or service in depth, simply watching or reading reviews will give them the necessary information they are looking for. Also, most people see customers’ testimonials as an equivalent to a recommendation from a friend, which is why they are very effective when it comes to marketing your product or service. Moreover, in today’s day and age less and less people believe the actual advertisements and product descriptions that companies create which is why reviews in a written or a spoken form have a bigger worth.
Now that we concluded that testimonials are more worthy than the product or the service description itself, let’s see how you can implement this incredibly effective marketing tool into your social media marketing strategy.
- Use the knowledge you have about your target audience. As we previously-mentioned, getting to know your target audience is of crucial importance for your marketing strategy, and you’ll need that info in this case. In order to display the most relevant reviews that will turn prospects into buyers, you need to know what your followers are looking for, what their wants and needs are, what their problems and challenges are, what goals they aspire to achieve, and so on. According to this information, you can choose the most relevant reviews that will connect to your buyer persona the most.
- Use a photo of your customer alongside the written review. This gives the reviewer more credibility and makes the review way more believable. It would be even better if you incorporate a link from the customer’s social media profile in order for potential customers to see that this is indeed a real person with whom they share many similarities and interests. This will make it much easier for them to imagine that the product or service in question will work for them as well, not to mention that the level of trustworthiness will drastically increase.
- Written testimonials may be a huge factor in deciding whether or not someone will buy your product or use your service, however, spoken testimonials in the form of a video have an even greater impact. YouTube and Facebook are the best platforms for video testimonials alongside Instagram, even Twitter is a good choice. Ask your loyal customers to send you short videos where they review your product or service, you can even send them some specific questions like: “why do you use our product”, “what do you like most about our product”, “does our product help you with insert the problem that your product solves”, and so on. Tell them to be natural and speak from the heart since you don’t want the testimonials to come across as forced and scripted. If you gather a couple of video testimonials, you can edit and incorporate them in one video to share on all social media accounts.
- Encourage your audience to post their reviews in the comment section of your social media accounts. In order to engage more people into doing this, thank each positive review, and be professional if you encounter a negative one. If the latter happens, apologize to the customer and ask them how you can make your product or service better for them, or offer them another free product. The more meaningful conversations you have with your prospects and customers, the more feedback and engagement your business will receive.
- Never offer rewards in exchange for positive reviews. If you do this, once the word is out your business will lose all credibility and all your efforts can be in vain.
- Upload new testimonials regularly. When posting a written review, highlight the most important parts so that they’re the first thing a potential customer sees. If the information relates to them, it can encourage them to read more reviews and eventually purchase the product.
Make Your Social Media Interactive and Fun
Your audience sees a lot of content on their social media profiles each day. Coming up with original, interesting, and engaging content becomes more and more difficult as the competition grows while our attention span shortens. In order to get your creative juices flowing and get the necessary inspiration, here are some content ideas for engaging social media posts that you can use.
- Use emoticons. When using emojis you make your posts more personal which in turn increases the likes, shares, and comments they receive.
- Post memes. Since memes rely on humor, see if you can implement this concept into your business in order to drive your social media presence. By creating a unique, viral meme, you can significantly increase your audience and with that promote your business, so if you have an idea you think will work – try it and see how your audience responds.
- Share motivational images and videos. Motivational images and videos are the types of posts that are most likely to be shared on all major social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram being the best for utilizing this kind of content. Inspirational and motivational quotes may seem like clichés, but the facts tell us that most people enjoy being inspired and motivated through this kind of images and want to share them with their peers. Motivational videos are also very successful when it comes to liking and sharing, just think of how many times you’ve seen Charlie Chaplin’s speech from “The Great Dictator” and you’ll get it.
- Post Infographics. Finding infographics online is an extremely easy job, simply visit dailyinfographic.com and you are sure to find something relevant to your business which you can share on your social media accounts. However, creating one is not as easy. You’ll need to gather information, think of an interesting design, and make that design a reality by using a photo editing tool like Canva for example. You can share an already existing infographic that resonates with your target audience, or create one from scratch to educate and inform your followers. Who knows, your original infographic may get lots of shares and become viral, so try this content idea and see if it will work for your business.
- Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos. As we already said, getting personal with your audience makes your business more trustworthy and makes your prospects and customers establish a strong connection with your company. Post photos from your workplace, from your team having fun at work, some interesting detail from your product while in production, even photos from you as the entrepreneur or the business owner. People love to get close and personal to public personas, so give them what they want and you’ll get what you want in return.
- Post before and after photos. Whether you are offering a product or a service, they have some kind of an impact to those who use them. Even if the result is not that visual, you can still make a good before and after photo. Let’s say that the service you offer is tour guides in major cities. The before photo can be of a crowd standing with their hands tucked in being all serious, while the after photo can be of the same crowd smiling and jumping in the air. Once people see this, they will automatically have the feeling that the tour guide you offer will make them happier.
- Share your content on other social media profiles. Let’s say that you have three social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Regularly share your tweets and Instagram photos on your Facebook page so that your Facebook followers can more easily become your Instagram and Twitter followers and vice versa.
- Post instructional videos. Instructional videos, especially DIY and how-to ones have become extremely popular in recent years. If you are aware of what your target audience struggles with, creating or finding a video which can help them in any way will guarantee likes and shares. If you are selling a product, creating a short video of how the product can be used can be a great way of promoting it and keeping your viewers engaged.
- Challenge your followers. Challenging your followers is a good way of interacting with them and keeping them engaged on your social media profile. You can challenge them to better themselves by describing the results they’ll get by the end of the challenge. You can challenge your followers to do something every day for a certain amount of time, like drink one cup of tea per day or running for 10 minutes every day. You can challenge them to aim to a certain goal and report their progress on your account. No matter what kind of challenge you create, make sure it makes sense for your industry and give your followers something to look forward to, like the end result. You can even reward the most successful ones by giving them a free trial of your service or sending them a free sample of your product. This can generate even more audience that will find these challenges interesting, especially if an award is involved, so think of an interesting challenge and try it out since you have nothing to lose, only something to gain.
- Start a contest. Engage your audience even more by creating interesting and challenging contests which they can enter in order to win a reward which should, of course, be of value to your target market. Spread the reach even more by letting your followers know they have a bigger chance of winning if they like and share or tweet the contest in question. If you create a photo contest for example, use the power of hashtags by creating a unique hashtag specific for your contest so that the photos are organized and easily found. Let your followers know that the photo which receives the prize will be the one that acquires the most likes. This will motivate the contestants to share their photos on their social media profiles in this manner spreading the word about the contest itself.
Boost Your Top Performing Posts
Even though this advice applies only to Facebook, it’s nevertheless an important part of your social media marketing strategy if you want to efficiently increase your followers’ engagement with a certain post.
Firstly, you’ll need to find your top-performing post. You can use either Facebook insights in order to acquire this information, or a social media management tool like Amplifr. The reason why it’s important for this post to be a top-performer is simple – proven content more easily sparks engagement, but it’s of crucial importance to target the audience you want to reach. Fortunately, Facebook makes this task extremely easy for us to do.
Simply choose the demographic information and select the interests of your target audience and the task of targeting is over. Now all you need to do is to select how many days you want the boost to last and how much you are willing to pay for it. Remember that your post already did well even before targeting it, so you don’t need to spend much money in order to receive the desired results.
Since you’ve carefully targeted your audience, your post will only show to those who are genuinely interested in seeing it, so engagement here is the ultimate goal. The more high-quality content, the bigger the engagement, so the best kind of posts would be those who can help your followers in some way, offer solution to a problem, answer a question, and so on.
Another way to boost your posts but this time without paying is to recycle them. When a certain amount of time has passed by, simply re-post your top-performing posts and they are likely to receive even more likes and shares than the original one. This will increase the value of your content and your best-performing posts will not be forgotten in the plethora of posts on our profile.
If you thought the world of social media marketing was a simple one, you’ve been badly mistaken. However, if you apply the above-mentioned tips in your social media strategy and utilize the help of social media management tools like Amplifr, you can unlock the power of social media and promote your product or service to your target audience efficiently.
Since social media is changing every day, make sure that you stay on track with all the changes and new trends and tools that emerge in order to get the best results and have an effective marketing strategy for your business.