Creating and implementing a successful marketing strategy for your business is no easy feat. There are a seemingly endless amount of factors to consider and decisions to be made. Especially in this day and age, advertising is in every corner of our lives. Whether you’re walking down the street, scrolling through your Facebook feed, or simply opening your mailbox; someone is trying to sell you something. It can be overwhelming at times, right? So how do you break through the noise and get your customers engaged and paying attention to your brand? How do you decide where and how you want to advertise? One of the best and easiest places to start is social media marketing.
Social media is an invaluable tool for small and large companies alike. Apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and even Pinterest have changed the marketing landscape significantly in the last ten years. These channels not only connect us and allow us to share our experiences with each other, they allow businesses an avenue to be seen by potential customers. Increasing your brand awareness is one of the best ways to attract and convert leads. After all, if your customers don’t even know about you, none of your other marketing strategies will be successful.
You may be able to create an Instagram page in less time than it takes to snap a selfie, but it’s best practice to have a clear plan of action to really maximize the power of social media marketing.
Here’s our top 10 best tricks to slay social media marketing:
1. Utilize Instagram Hashtag Campaigns
Have you noticed companies creating their own hashtags on Instagram? For example, Amazon created an entirely separate account to document the fun and unique items available from their site. Creating the hashtag #AmazonFinds encourages customers to share and document their purchases with other people on Instagram. In turn, Amazon’s customers themselves are the ones doing the marketing! Pretty genius.
2. Track Insights Across All Channels
Facebook and Instagram both have pretty decent insight trackers built into their sites. Facebook’s Insights feature contains a wealth of invaluable information about your page and how it’s performing. You can view which posts earned you the most likes, what times of day are best, and some basic demographic information about who you’re engaging. Having this information at your fingertips allows you to increase the effectiveness of your posts.
3. Tell A Unique Story
I can’t stress this one enough! Storytelling is one of the most basic but overlooked marketing strategies. Instagram is a very story friendly application. It’s important that your feed follows a consistent theme and narrative of some kind. FedEx’s Instagram page is a great example of this. Their feed is full of beautiful images of their mail trucks or planes all over the world. They also include photos of their team participating in non-profit events and customers wearing their branded gear. Their feed is human, heartwarming, and engaging. If a mail company can pull this off than the sky’s the limit!
4. Create a Content Calendar
Consistency is key to effective social media marketing. It’s important to maintain the same brand identity and voice across channels. A good way to streamline this process and get a birds eye view of all your posts, is to create a content calendar. There are lots of different programs and apps that help you do this, our personal favorite is HootSuite. Using a program like this is also a great way to ensure you don’t miss social media holidays that typically see more traffic. Don’t miss an opportunity for a fun or cheeky post on #National DonutDay or #NationalMargarita day.
5. Engage, Engage, Engage
It’s easy to forget that the person who comments on your photos or Tweets is an actual person. But remember, they took time out of their day to interact with you. You should ALWAYS respond to new follows, likes, and comments. This also helps to make your company more human and relatable. People want to know theres an actual person behind their interactions with companies.
“We all have personal brands and most of us have already left a digital footprint, whether we like it or not. Proper social media use highlights your strengths that may not shine through in an interview or application and gives the world a broader view of who you are. Use it wisely. ” Amy Jo Martin
6. Influencer Marketing
This is a newer term in the world of marketing that you may have noticed but didn’t know the name for. Influencers are individuals who are very active on social media and may have hundreds of thousands of followers. They promote brands or products they believe in and sometimes have their content “sponsored.” Influencer marketing can be a powerful strategy to increase your brand awareness and build trust with your audience. Consumers are more willing to trust someone they view as a peer rather than a company. A great example of a powerful influencer on Instagram is Katie Stauffer. Her hilarious photos of her kids and family have earned her a staggering 3.2 million followers. She occasionally does sponsored posts like the one below:
7. Twitter’s Lists Feature
The list feature on Twitter is an often overlooked but pretty helpful marketing tool. Lists allow you to organize your followers based on a specific topic or theme. This is super helpful because it allows you to sift through the sometimes noisy space that Twitter feeds can often be. If you follow a thousand people or more, it can be hard to get to the tweets that are actually relevant to you or your company.
8. Create a Community Around Your Brand
One of the biggest mistakes companies make on social media is that they use it as just another tool to broadcast their product or brand. People will tire of this quickly and you will loose followers and see your engagement drop. To make your presence on social media sustainable and effective, it’s crucial that you create a community around your brand. We all want to feel a part of something, not just “talked at”. A great way to do this is by sharing customers photos or stories of their experience with your company.
9. Choose The Right Channel
There are so many different social media channels that you could spend all your time trying to post on all of them. Instead, choose the top 3 that make sense for your industry and focus on posting quality content on those. For example, a Facebook page is great for a small or local business but Pinterest might not be the best use of your time. Pay attention to where your audience seems to be the most present and focus your efforts there.
10. Post Original Content
If you want to truly leverage your content, it’s not enough to just recycle posts from other major brands. If you want to be a rock star on Instagram or Facebook, it’s important that you’re adding something new to the conversation. You want your content to inspire your audience to share and repost!