The upside of a solid and successful social media strategy is unparalleled. But how many brands use social media effectively and optimize their presence for positive growth? For the majority of brands, this ends up being a rude reality check once they set up their social media channels. In this competitive global marketplace, thriving on social media requires planning and structure. By simply sharing a few links and @mentioning a few personalities, brands cannot expect much from social media.
In recent years, brands have exploded online and continue to garner huge amounts of likes and engagement. The Twitter feed of Wendy’s and Instagram feed of GoPro amass massive traffic with every post through a slowly curated niche following that still comprises massive volume. Some of these brands might have massive marketing budgets but the basic salient principles used by them to traverse the waters of social media can be replicated by businesses of any size.
Looking for smart tips to create a sensible social media engagement strategy? We’ve got you covered with our blog: Social Media Marketing: Your Ultimate Guide To Growth
The desperation to generate meaningful content and acquire followers is a global battle. However, with the right guidelines and procedures in place, brands can increase their social media presence in a fairly simple and systematic way. Here are 10 effective ways:
1. SMART Goals
It is important to introspect and find out why you’ve taken the bold step of registering yourself on social media. Is it because everyone else has? Wrong. To throw some light on this, let’s go back to an age-old business principle that should provide some clarity. SMART goals have been around for a while, but in contemporary terms they work wonders to establish a brand’s social media game. They enable brands to set goals that are Specific, Memorable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. These make it easy to stay on top of the dynamic world of social media. Let’s go through each of these 5 parameters with examples to break them down.
Assuming the overall SMART goal is “increase our Instagram engagement rate by 30% in 3 months.” Now breaking this down further:
- Specific: The social media channel (Instagram) and metric (engagement rate) have been identified.
- Measurable: The engagement rate metric can be easily measured.
- Achievable: A 30% increase is fairly doable and not outlandish at all.
- Relevant: The engagement rate has a direct correlation with the brand’s social media presence, making it extremely relevant.
- Time-bound: By establishing this as a 3-month exercise, we have set an end date for our goal.
Your social media strategy thereby moves away from posting aimlessly and establishes a concrete way forward for the social media team.
2. Targeting The Right Audience
The greatest pro-tip that can be given to any brand marketing team is that not everyone is part of your audience. Targeting is one of those exercises where it is essential to work smart rather than work hard. There is no point of spreading your word far and wide only for it to fall on deaf ears. It is way more effective and efficient to communicate with 10 people if 8 are relevant users, rather than 100 people where just 1 or 2 are relevant users. Another important learning is that not all relevant audiences are the same. Be it fellow industry peers, influencers or prospective customers, each of these are most likely to engage with content that best represents them, even with the brand.
This makes it imperative to break down your user base into relevant sub groups. By breaking the audience down, you can focus on identifying the social media channels to post on as well as a watertight posting schedule, based on the user’s activity. It also helps you curate your content based on the tone of your prospective followers, thereby establishing a solid brand voice and persona online. By spending time to define your target audience, it is possible to identify their pain points, and thereby offer a solution. This also helps your social media stand out from the crowd.
3. Establishing Your Voice And Building A Relationship With Followers
It is of massive importance for any brand on social media to sound human. Communicating like a faceless corporation while trying to establish brand loyalty is counterproductive. Today’s world of social media is all about transparency and users strive to establish a more personal connection with brands that resonate with them. By cracking jokes and showing a human side to the language on social media, brands show users their vulnerable side, prompting further page visits and engagement from users. This might also include the actual faces behind the page – pictures of the team and the office – creating a much-needed connection in this increasingly impersonal landscape.
While having followers used to be considered a purely vanity metric, it is getting increasingly debatable. As a brand, would you prefer 100 loyal followers who keep coming back to you or 10,000 followers who refuse to engage? There’s a reason for including the word “social” in social media. With modern connectivity, brands can instantly connect with users from anywhere in the world. The #ShareACoke campaign by Coca Cola, for example, broke barriers across social media with a direct ‘call to action’ that also includes the brand’s name. In short, Coca Cola successfully used personalization to encourage excited users to take to social media and engage.
A few thumb rules to establish a relationship with users:
- Personalize responses and interactions with @mention
- Never ignore a question
- Reply to messages instead of just liking or retweeting
4. Attention To Scheduling Content And Cracking Automation
Sticking to a strict content schedule is essential for a brand that has a social media presence of any size. One of the key aspects of any popular brand on social media is consistency. It is understandable that it is a lot on someone’s plate to juggle multiple social channels and tweak the communication for each. This is where an editorial calendar is a game-changer. These allow you to tweak and adjust your content without having to switch sites and time them for peak engagement, avoiding the hassle of needing to post in real time. It also keeps tabs on your content, preventing repetition and maximizing engagement. A little scheduling and organization goes a long way while attempting to maximize a brand’s reach.
This brings us to the rage in marketing today – automation. A common misconception, automation doesn’t allow you to put your content on autopilot and wait for the software to do the rest. Mass auto replies and bulk forwards are archaic and impersonal. Customer care especially demands personalization. Try sticking to automation for the brand’s universally general and hygiene content. By employing such tools, communication is made clearer and social media employees become de facto advocates of the brand.
5. Solving Pain-points Through Engagement
While establishing a bond with users on social media, it is important for brands to focus on helping rather than selling. Going for the “hard sell” throws personalization out the window. One should look to maintain a healthy balance between pushing offers and deals to customers and also answering their questions. Responding to a follower’s query in an untimely manner could attract their ire and force them to bounce to another brand. If more than one user seems to be talking about a uniform problem, craft relevant content to address the concerns. Solving problems of customers can establish your brand as an authority on the subject with unmatched loyalty.
Social media optimization isn’t as scary and technical as SEO. However, your brand’s profile can be optimized with the use of specific keywords, imagery and key information on your profile. The “profile bio” section on Instagram and Twitter can be linked to specific promotions and hashtags to further amplify their brand voice.
To sum up, add relevant keywords to your profile, use appropriate hashtags and connect with additional accounts from your industry for additional exposure.
6. Going Visual And Establishing A Presence
2020 is the dawn of the visual era. No matter how engaging your content, nothing draws the user’s attention like a well-curated picture or video content. The fact that the largest growing platform is the image-based Instagram, the knowledge should be an indication of how social media is to be traversed. Studies show that video content garners 6 times the engagement on Facebook, while graphics and videos get shared way more than text on Twitter. Having visual posts, however, do not require large production budgets and state-of-the-art technology. Viewers are more concerned with the messaging of the visual rather than the production quality. Some examples of visuals that can be used are photos of team members, customers, events, quotes, infographics and behind-the-scenes pictures.
Once your social media presence has a distinct identity, it’s necessary to let the world know. Whatever the content, it should be crafted to lead the viewer in the direction of being a loyal, long-term customer. Social media channels can easily be integrated into a brand website. Brands like Cupshe also do a stellar job with user generated content for their social media by going above and beyond to empower their loyal customers. Hence, with a little bit of cross-promotion, brands can stay proactive and truly establish a presence online.
7. Focus On Consistency And Trending Topics
Inactive social media feeds are the biggest no-no for a brand looking to establish itself online. Once users start noticing the cobwebs, they tend to assume that the brand is getting as much attention as the social feeds are. Show up and make an impact everyday with curated content that is scheduled and automated to save time and energy. Your audiences’ demographic and location could alter your priority of social media channels. The constant need to churn out new content could be exhausting and finding a creative to repurpose old content could help ease the load a bit. Customers don’t care about the time you spend working on your channel as long as you’re smart enough to post content and respond to customer queries in a timely manner. Pro tip: different times of the day lead to varied engagement depending on the best times to post.
Whether it’s breaking news, trending hashtags or viral memes, save some space to give the audience the buzz they seek and piggyback off these to show off your brand’s vibe. Trending topics bring the world together online through hashtags and are a great way to build a sense of community. Tread carefully when it comes to overtly controversial topics.
8. The Right Way To Pay And Promote
As democratic as the Internet may be, we need to wrap our minds around the fact that social media at large isn’t completely “free”. While organic growth still exists, the constantly changing Facebook and Instagram algorithms make it imperative for brands to experiment with ads. A boom in influencer marketing also suggests that paying to build a social relationship with these content experts is more commonplace. The positive news from this is that social media ads and influencer campaigns have a great ROI. By using money to target your niche audience or the perennially engaged followers of an influencer, paid strategies are a definitive option depending on your social media goals and timelines.
Ever wondered about the role of an influencer marketing agency in creating and executing an effective campaign? Learn from our blog: How Do Influencer Marketing Agencies Work?
9. Using Appropriate Tools To Analyze
A large number of brands who are dissatisfied with their social media ROI, probably aren’t giving it the attention it deserves. Growth marketing agencies pour as much attention into social media as brands do into Google Analytics data. There are many tools that help analyze social media performance such as Hootsuite, Socialbaker, Keyhole, Awario and Sprinklr, to name a few. Once a brand sets their sights on the right target market and begins marketing to them on social media, it is imperative to analyze and extrapolate the performance of the brand to craft future marketing strategies. These tools help you identify your best performing content, performance trends and also enable you to systematically break down all content pieces by numbers. Social media is no longer a guessing game but an actual science with proven formulas and empirical evidence.
The native metrics that you obtain from Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can only take you so far. Paid tools help you achieve a broader perspective and compare trends across channels. Machine-driven tools also identify extremely specific negative chatter about your brand on social media, helping you save crucial time to address the burning issue.
10. Create Content That People Want To See
To stand out in a crowded marketplace, one needs to innovate. That is exactly the case even when it comes to social media marketing. Brands need to constantly innovate and create. Be it as a thought leader or an astute competitor, originality always attracts users. Some users might find your blogs wittier than the rest, some might love your visual language or some might trust the credibility of your research -, whatever helps you resonate with users is the way forward for your brand. The social media feed uses scrolling as its default action to refresh, making it similar to the slot machines found in casinos. The thrill of seeing something new gets users hooked. Whatever your content creation strategy, users must feel forced to stop in their tracks and take notice, helping you break through the clutter of excessive noise on social media. If you can create content that your users enjoy seeing, chances are they will go ahead and share it, thereby making themselves de facto evangelists for your brand. With content that is curated, customers connect on a more personal level and gradually get converted from mere admirers to loyal consumers.
Social media marketing offers many advantages for brands in terms of reach, awareness, traffic, and leads, especially when it’s done right. Done poorly, it can have a negative effect on your business – damaging your brand image and chasing away potential customers. But worry not, we’ve got your back! Read our blog: 8 Social Media Mistakes Your Company May Still Be Making, to discuss common social media marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Looking for a growth hacking cheat sheet? We’ve got you covered with our blog: 10 Tips To Help You Increase Social Media Engagement
There is no secret or one-size-fits-all solution to conquering social media as a brand. Instead, there are many small measures and formulas that can steer you in the right direction of prime engagement with the target audience. The 10 steps explained in this blog bring together the best practices that successful brands have adopted for overwhelming success on social media. By following these and not treating social media as a guessing game, you’re already ahead of the game with more time saved and more sales generated.
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, AtisfyReach has the tools you need to succeed in the influencer economy. With Atisfyreach, you can reach your target audience, build authentic relationships with influencers, and achieve your marketing goals.