Creating effective social media strategies is often a difficult task and there are many factors to be considered, including the identity of the brand, the preferences of the target audience and the idiosyncrasies of each social networking site. This is why we’ve compiled this list of 10 great tips for social media success, from experts who work with social campaigns day in day out.
10 – Tap into your existing networks and maximise the value of communication channels that are already open
Jonha Revesencio, freelance online community manager, worked on the strategy that won the Diageo #PlanWBoost Twitter contest. She says that “Each member of the team reached out to key social media influencers and Twitter Powerhouses (top influencers) whom [they] were already connected with”.
This approach enabled them to get a peak total of 600 tweets per day. The hashtag #PlanWAthena, which they used for the competition, appeared on 4.18 million people’s timelines. And to sweeten their success, they won!
9 – Supplement your social strategy with traditional marketing
John Leo Weber, of Geek Powered Studios, believes that using press releases and other traditional advertising methods can boost the message of your social campaigns. Weber states that “People view social media as an independent marketing tool – it’s own magical universe. Social media should instead be looked at as a small piece of the large marketing puzzle. “
He also provides this example scenario: Let’s pretend your company is about to launch a new product, and you want to hop on Facebook to announce it:
- Option one is that you write up a brief message with a link to your website’s new product page and post it. Your “fans” may follow the link to your website and check out the product.
- Now for option two let’s add some “traditional” media into the mix and see what happens. Write up a standard press release or hire a publicist to write one for you. In the press release talk about the new product, get quotes from some experts or users of your product and send it out using a service like PR Web. The press release will go out to various blogs and news outlets that will post it on their own websites. Now, choose the best website that posted your press release and write up a Facebook message that links to that story. Now, your fans see other websites talking about your product, adding huge value to your product.
Simply by adding a press release to your social campaign you’ve made your product launch much more expansive. You should see new fans coming to your social media page, and increased sales coming into your website.
8 – Use social media to create exposure
Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at PrintRunner, Carol Abedania, also believes that offline efforts should be used in tandem with social media. Abedania states that “Social media campaigns are very important for getting exposure online. To create a strong campaign, we always tie-up our projects with social campaigns in Facebook and Twitter.”
7 – Build the brand and communicate the right messages
According to Christopher Sardone, a Marketing Analyst at the the TeliApp Corporation, “A successful social media marketing campaign is one that yields increased revenue and a loyal client base. A business would be wise to cultivate an image through social media platforms and provide a detailed background and explanation about what the business does in its profile.”
A key consideration for brands should be the information customers would expect to be able to obtain from your social profiles and whether you can incentivise visiting them, through offers or exclusive content.
6 – Self-promotion levels should depend on the brand
Keeping brand building in mind, Julianne Coyne of Fahrenheit Marketing states that it is important to “find the right balance between self-promotion and creating a lifestyle community” and this should depend entirely on the brand and the goals it has.
Coyne adds that “This balance is different for every company: Some companies, like Virgin America can make almost every post about themselves and their services because they offer an engaging enough service. A small carpet cleaning company might need to focus more on lifestyle posts with an occasional self-promotional post.”
Knowing your audience can help you find this balance.
5 – Make use of social media automation tools
How can you build your brand if the optimum time to engage with your target audience is outside of office hours?
The answer is to use scheduling and post automation tools, such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck. Kristen Pagán, Co-Founder & CMO of SeamBliss, says, “these tools allow you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, etc. ahead of time. While it’s not a good idea to automate ALL of your social media interactions, scheduling some of your posts in advance will save you time and stress”
4 – Follow the 1/3 rule
Bonnie Joy Dewkett, of The Joyful Organizer, recommends using the 1/3 rule. She creates “original content 1/3 of the time. This content is NOT advertising, it is original to the topic associated with the brand [they] are developing. Another 1/3 is advertising, promotions and engaging the customers. Ask questions of them – you WANT to know what they want to hear about”, which helps you to develop valuable content.
The other third of this rule is to share enriching content from other sources, related to the brand and adding value to the user experience.
3 – Engage your users visually
Julianne Coyne also advises that “for networks such as Facebook and Pinterest, focus on visuals first and let the accompanying copy flow from the visual.” The reason for this is that people share engaging visuals at a much higher rate than they do text-only social media posts.
2 – Respond to social media engagement from your fans and followers
“I often see fans comment on Facebook and the brand doesn’t reply. A simple response keeps the conversation going and encourages others to post too. This will help your brand reach more people and show that your brand actually cares about its fans, followers, and customers.” This tip comes from Mike Wolfe, President of WAM Enterprises.
1 – Create an editorial calendar
This will help you to structure your content, which is key in building relevancy and breeding familiarity.
Kristen Pagán of SeamBliss uses a content calendar for all social media platforms and encourages others to do so. Structuring your content enables you to “keep track of social media marketing efforts and will make it easier to come up with ideas of what to post. For example, you might decide that your company’s Facebook posts will relate to current industry trends on Mondays, and to customer tips on Tuesdays.”
That concludes our list of the top 10 social media marketing tips, straight from experts in the industry. Follow these and you will be well on the way for social success!