Want to win at social media? Newsflash: it’s not a contest* 😉 But then again, there’s nothing wrong with having competitive drive. In fact, setting goals for yourself and then consistently meeting or exceeding those goals can boost both your motivation and your long-term growth. Follow this formula if you want to stay in it to win it in the social media marketing arena.
Tell your brand’s story through compelling words and images.
The word communication ultimately traces back to the Latin verb communicare ‘to share’ – and sharing is built into the DNA of social media. The heart of communication is storytelling. That means taking your audience on a journey that unfolds one post at a time and has a narrative arc that keeps them hooked and looking forward to the next instalment. When preparing social media content, always ask yourself: is there more to this content than meets the eye? In other words, is it a piece of the puzzle that your brand’s current strategy is solving?
Do this and your audience will always come back for more.
Define your niche and find your audience
One of the most rewarding aspects of social media is the immediacy of direct feedback that you receive. You’ll often know within minutes or even seconds whether a post will resonate with your audience, because the content will catch fire before your eyes. Once you’ve established your brand voice on social media, why not use your audience to test new ideas and approaches? If the experiment fails, you simply stop pursuing it, so there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Incorporating fresh twists on your brand will enable you to broaden your audience and expand into new markets.
The key to successful experimentation in your social media accounts: pace yourself! Don’t change your brand voice overnight. Just take small leaps in new directions and see what gets traction. If audiences respond, you’ll know that your idea has potential. And your followers will love you for not boring them. Variety is truly the spice of life (after chocolate, that is 🍫).
Interact and give back to forge lasting ties and grow your following
Remember that comment someone named “Believe_2_Success” left on your last Instagram post – how did it go … “wow luv ur content. follow me!” Not only did it NOT spark a lifetime friendship, but you also blocked the account. Needless to say, this is not effective communication. The hype surrounding marketing automation and bots leaves out the fact that social media works best when it’s social – and that means engaging with your followers and other social media accounts authentically.
When someone interacts with your content, they are inviting you to enter into a conversation with them. And even the most trivial of interactions can lead to a long-term relationship if taken seriously.
Run targeted campaigns to boost awareness, drive website traffic and generate sales
Organic reach ain’t what it used to be. To reach more people with your content, invest in paid social. On Facebook, you can use the “Boost post” function, or for more control of your targeting options, create your campaigns in Ads Manager. You can boost Instagram content right from your business account, or create Instagram ads on Facebook (check that last link if you want to learn precisely how to do this).
But Facebook and Instagram are not the only social networks that offer businesses the option to sponsor content to increase reach. You can also advertise on Twitter and Pinterest. LinkedIn ads are highly effective tools when utilized properly, and they are no longer only relevant for B2B businesses.
Of course, promotion can mean more than just running ads. Promotion in the broader sense also encompasses, but is not limited to, shameless self-promotion such as adding sentences to your blog article like FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR WEEKLY MARKETING TOOL TIPS AND AWESOME ADVICE ON HOW TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS 😅
Team up with other accounts and leaders in your niche for explosive growth
Remember that saying “it takes a village?” It certainly rings true in the social media arena, where going it alone, by definition, will get you nowhere (otherwise Facebook and its ilk would be called asocial networks). Here as everywhere else aside from your tiny office cubicle, there is strength in numbers.
That’s why it helps to team up with others who can help you spread your message to the people you want to reach. Some call this influencer marketing, others dub it “harnessing relationships.” Who cares? What matters is that you tap into people power.
One way to do this is through influencer campaigns. A more affordable, and often more effective method is to utilize micro-influencers, whose reach is smaller, but who have higher engagement and enjoy greater credibility and trust within their respective audiences.
If you are new to influencer marketing or do not have the time or resources to handle every aspect of your campaigns yourself, never fear! There are many useful influencer relationship management tools out there to help you, including tools such as Traackr and Inbassador that offer effective micro-influencer targeting options.
Measure and optimize to build on your successes.
If you don’t measure your social media performance, you won’t know what is working and what needs improvement.
Here are some of the most important ways you can track your social media activities:
Buffer offers a ton of free marketing templates, including for keeping track of your social media performance. Here’s a handy overview of their awesome freebies.
Craft your social media marketing strategy around these 6 fundamental principles and you’ll be well on your way to success!