8 Helpful Social Media Marketing Tactics
Social media has become a massive part of our lives. For many, our day only begins or ends when we’ve scrolled through our social media feeds and shared our thoughts with the world.
According to eMarketer, the number of social media users has grown to over three billion users. About 7 in 10 Americans today use one social media platform or another, compared to only 5% of the population in 2005.
Due to the meteoric rise and impact of social media, it’s no surprise that businesses have recognized the opportunities presented and are taking advantage of it to boost their marketing efforts.
Social media can help you improve your brand’s visibility, reach new audiences, generate more leads, increase sales, drive website traffic, and build more reliable connections with your audience.
However, you can only reap these benefits and more when you have a killer social media strategy in place.
If you want to compete effectively in today’s marketplace, it’s in your best interest to leverage the power of social media to grow your brand and make your business more profitable.
Your business must evolve along with the times. It means updating your social media strategies so that you remain ahead of the curve.
To help you make the most of your social media efforts, I’ve put together a list of highly useful and helpful social media marketing tactics that you can follow to get better results.
- Create a detailed social media marketing plan
- Choose the networks that are best suited to your business.
- Incorporate video content into your strategy
- Actively engage with your audience.
- Leverage the power of user-generated content
- Use data to inform your social strategy.
- Collaborate with influencers in your industry
- Use the right tools to simplify and enhance your social media efforts.
Marketing on social media can be a challenging task, but with the right tactics, you can turn your social media channels into useful conversion tools for your business.
1. Create a detailed social media marketing plan
If you have been operating without a social media marketing plan up till now, it’s time for you to change that.
When you don’t know what you’re working towards or how you can accomplish it, you’re more likely to get derailed and fail.
Having a concrete plan in place helps to guide the actions you take on social media and ensure that everything you do aligns with your overall business goals and marketing efforts.
To create a winning social media marketing plan that’ll get you great results, you need to take specific steps:
Identify your audience
Who are you trying to reach? What are their needs, wants, and pain points, and how can you solve them? Which social networks do they often use? Which method of communication do they prefer? Who do they interact with the most? What kind of content do they respond to or share?
You can’t successfully execute your social media strategy unless you know and understand your audience.
To learn more about your audience, you can survey current and prospective customers, collect feedback, engage in conversations with your target audience, and research to gather valuable information about them.
Set goals and objectives
Figure out what your business objectives are and how you can use social media to achieve them. Your goals could be to grow your brand by creating more awareness on social media, generate more leads and sales, turn your customers into brand advocates, deliver better customer service, or improve customer retention.
Determine how you’ll measure success
What will success look like to you? What metrics will you track and use to measure progress? Knowing this will help you tell how your social media tactics are performing and where you need to make changes.
For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you can measure success by the number of followers you gain or how often your content gets shared by your audience. For conversions and lead generation, you can track the number of email signups and website clicks that come from your social media channels.
If your goal is to increase engagement, you’ll want to measure the number of comments, likes, mentions, retweets, etc. that your posts generate.
2. Choose the networks that are best suited to your business
All social media channels are not created equal. Some networks perform exceedingly well with specific demographics and businesses, and each one has its unique features and benefits.
It’s tempting to want to belong to as many social networks as possible, but the truth is that not every network will serve your business. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, it’s better to concentrate your efforts on the social media channels that are most likely to help you accomplish your goals.
Take a look at the social networks your competitors and target audience are using, then research to learn about them before you decide which ones to keep using or adopt and which ones are better left alone.
- Facebook — Has over 2.13 billion monthly active users and 1.4 daily active users. It has the most diverse demographic concentration because it’s used by people of all ages, genders, and status. It works great for entertainment/news-type content and offers extensive advertising options.
- LinkedIn – The most extensive professional network in the world, with nearly 600 million users and 260 million monthly active users. It’s ideal for B2B companies and their audiences.
- Instagram — The perfect platform for businesses that have a strong visual component. High-quality videos and images drive engagement and sales. It boasts of over 500 million daily active users and works best for reaching audiences between the ages of 18 and 35.
- Twitter — The platform has more than 330 million active monthly users. About 63% of Twitter users are between the ages of 35 and 65. The platform is excellent for news/entertainment-related content, and for providing excellent customer service.
There are several other social media networks out there. Make sure you study your best options and learn how each one can fit into your marketing strategy.
The type of content you create and how you spread your message will depend on the social network you’re using.
3. Incorporate video content into your strategy
Right now, video is the most powerful content format you can use to engage your audience. Research shows that social media posts that contain a video get 48% more views than those that don’t.
If you’re not among the businesses that are already sharing visually appealing video content on their social media profiles, you need to add this tactic to your strategy.
There are different ways you can use videos to boost your social media marketing efforts. You could create instructional videos showing people how to use your products or services, behind-the-scenes footage, or even use videos to make announcements or entertain your audience.
The opportunities are endless. You just have to be creative and come up with smart ways to deliver your message through video content to capture the attention of your audience and continuously keep them engaged.
Although it’s possible to share video content on practically all social media networks, some sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have gone as far as offering live videos. This way, businesses can connect with their audience in a more transparent, authentic, and relatable way.
According to Facebook, live videos generate six times more engagement and interactions. Host live streams where you share important information with your audience or give them a behind-the-scenes look into your company culture and processes.
Interact with them during and after your live sessions. Let them ask you questions, then try to answer as best as you can.
Make sure you promote your live streams ahead of time so people can make time or prepare to tune in and see what you have to say.
By delivering video content that resonates with your audience, you can strengthen customer engagement, generate more qualified leads, boost sales, and increase customer retention. Combine recorded video content with live streams to make your brand stand out.
4. Actively engage with your audience
Social media is, first and foremost, a place for you to connect with people and interact with them.
You can’t just post promotional content all night and day, or you’ll end up annoying your audience and causing them to disassociate from your brand. You need to build a relationship with your followers by starting conversations and creating opportunities for them to engage with your brand.
Building relationships is how you get to know your audience better and make your business appear more personable.
In a study conducted by Sprout Social, 57.5% of consumers found it off-putting when businesses post too many promotions or sales content.
People don’t want to be sold to anymore; they want to connect with the companies that they patronize. They want to know to whom they’re giving their business. They want to see that they can trust you.
Remember that communication is a two-way street. Don’t just keep talking about your products and services, share content that would interest your audience.
Guide them towards your products and services without using aggressive sales techniques. Listen to what they’re saying and encourage them to interact with you.
You can engage your audience by:
- Retweeting or liking comments they leave on your page, as well as on their page.
- Promptly responding to their comments and messages.
- Sharing your opinions on a topic and asking your followers what their thoughts are.
- Interacting with their posts.
- Asking them questions.
- Inviting them to participate in polls.
- Running a contest.
Keep in mind that many people use social media for customer service, so make sure that the service you deliver doesn’t leave anything to be desired. You want your customers to be able to visit your social media pages and have their issues resolved quickly.
Research shows that 66% of consumers will stop doing business with a company if they aren’t happy with the level of customer service that they’re getting on social media. Screwing up customer service can have terrible consequences for your business.
5. Leverage the power of user-generated content
I know firsthand how tough creating content consistently can be, but the good news is that you don’t have to share original content all the time.
Chances are, some of your customers are already flaunting content related to your brand on their pages; you just have to find and showcase them on your page.
For example, if you’re selling fashion items, there may be customers who have bought your products and posted pictures of them on their social media account, tagging you. You can re-share that post on your page.
This tactic not only helps fill in content gaps; it also allows you to show your customers that you appreciate them, and it serves as a testimonial to other people that your products/services are worth trying out.
Actively promoting user-generated content on your page will help spread awareness about your brand, boost credibility, attract more prospects, and encourage more people to buy from you. Consumers trust products that have been endorsed by other people, so let your customers be your brand ambassadors.
There are several ways you can gather user-generated content to share on social media. You can share posts that mention your brand/products/services, use online reviews, or hold contests asking your audience to post content related to your products/service along with a specific hashtag to stand a chance to win something.
Don’t just expect that your customers will share images, videos, reviews, or their experiences with your brand, actively encourage them to by engaging with their posts, and offering incentives.
Once your user-generated content starts flowing in, repost them to expand your reach and showcase how customers use your products or service, or how they feel about them.
6. Use data to inform your social strategy
If you’re consistently monitoring your social media analytics, it’ll be easier for you to continually create posts that have a wider reach, drive a lot of engagement, and generate fantastic results.
For instance, if a particular post advertising one of your products has been getting an impressive amount of engagement and generating sales on Instagram, it would be a great idea to boost that post even further by running a paid ad on it.
Research shows that there are optimum times to post on various social media networks to get the most engagement. Sharing your content at the wrong time means that it might not get the traction it deserves.
However, by studying your audience and paying attention to your analytics, you can figure out when your followers are most active on a particular social media channel so you can properly time your posts to grab their attention.
Carry out experiments to see what your audience prefers. You can test different content formats, copy styles, brand tones, visual elements, calls-to-action, and ads to see how your audience responds to each one and determine what works best for them.
Gathering and analyzing data from your social media accounts and campaigns can help you track performance and make improvements where necessary.
Pretty much every social media network has an in-built analytics system that helps users measure things like reach, engagement, website clicks, profile visits, impressions, and gain insight. That can help you understand your audience better, so you can make the most of your social media marketing efforts.
7. Collaborate with influencers in your industry
Influencers are all the rave right now, so take advantage of them to bolster your marketing efforts.
Put together a list of social media influencers in your industry, reach out to them for collaborations so you can use their platform to reach a more targeted audience.
By joining forces with influencers, you can easily connect with new audiences, get more engagement, establish authority, generate more leads, boost sales, and increase your brand exposure.
The beauty of influencers is they already have an engaged audience who pretty much hang on to their every word. So they can get your message in front of these people in a meaningful and natural way.
Make sure the influencers you partner with have the right audience that aligns with your businesses’ idea of an ideal customer, and as such, will likely be interested in what you have to offer.
8. Use the right tools to simplify and enhance your social media efforts
Thanks to technology, marketing on social media doesn’t have to be a difficult chore. There are tons of tools that you can use to automate various social media activities, as well as create and share fantastic posts that your audience will love.
Having the right tool in place is essential for pulling off your social media strategies seamlessly. Some of the crucial social media tools you need to have in your arsenal include:
Social media management tools
There are software programs you can use to schedule your social media content, curate posts ahead of time, manage multiple social media profiles and networks, and improve team collaboration.
Tools like Hootsuite, Sendible, Buffer, Planoly, Sprout Social, AgoraPulse, MavSocial, Tailwind, and Tweetdeck can help you automate and streamline most of your social media activities.
Social media monitoring tools
Social listening or monitoring is integral to effective social media marketing. You need to know what people are saying about your business, products, and industry so you can respond appropriately.
You can also keep track of mentions about your competitors so you can use that information to get ahead of them.
For instance, people might talk about features that don’t work as it should in your product or that of your competition. If you aren’t listening, you’ll miss out on opportunities to make improvements or win over your competitor’s customers by resolving their pain points.
Monitoring conversations that are relevant to your business and listening on social media can help you learn important details or information, which can influence future strategies.
Some of the best social media monitoring and listening tools out there are BuzzSumo, Awario, Brand24, Sendible, Social Insider, Mention, Talkwalker, and NetBase.
Analytic and reporting tools
These tools help you dig deeper and stay on top of your social media metrics and insights so you can easily understand, measure, and report how well you’re performing.
There are loads of analytic tools with comprehensive features that you can use to track your social media efforts. They include Sendible, Google Analytics, TapInfluence, Awario, SEMRush, Native Social Analytics, Keyhole, Curalate, and Raven Tools.
Social media visual apps
You can spice up your social media content and campaigns with apps like:
- Canva or BeFunky — for creating memorable images, graphics, and collages for your posts. You don’t need any graphic or design experience to use them.
- Creative market — a one-stop-shop for ready to use design assets such as clip arts, fonts, photos, website themes, mockups, typefaces, patterns, graphics, and more.
- Giphy — for finding free animated gifs to make your content more attractive and memorable.
- Infogram, Picktochart, Venngage — create charts, dashboards, printables, maps, infographics, presentations, and reports to illustrate your messages quickly.
- Story Slicer — for cutting, editing, and posting videos for Whatsapp, Facebook, or Instagram.
This list of social media tools is by no means exhaustive. You can carry out research to discover other tools that you can use for various aspects of your social media campaigns.
Ultimately, the tools you choose will depend on your budget, preference, and needs.
When executed correctly, social media marketing yields transformative results for your business. But if you treat it with levity, you’ll fumble a lot of opportunities and miss out on numerous benefits.
Make your audience a priority, share posts that are relevant and engaging, develop a solid marketing plan, bring in influencers to take your social marketing to the next level, monitor your progress, and incorporate the right mix of tools into your strategy.
As long as you follow the tactics I’ve laid out in this article, you’ll be able to generate cold, hard results from your social media efforts.