Social media is a pain in the ass. We can all admit it.
Monitoring multiple platforms. Trying to keep up with ever-changing algorithms. Standing out in a stampede of content. A lot of the time, it’s not fun. But we can make it easier.
Social media is now a huge part of any digital marketing strategy. And social proof is a powerful motivator. So, it makes sense to get into it. But how can you stand out?
Well, here are 11 super handy social media marketing tips. Ones that too many people forget about:
- Figure out your goals and strategy
- Don’t make it all about your brand
- Engage with your target audience and join communities
- Bigger influencers aren’t always better
- Don’t be on social media platforms for the sake of it
- Create, use, and practice your brand voice
- Hashtags are your friends
- You should be using video marketing
- Don’t just share your content once
- Social media tools make life a lot easier
- Track your results and optimize
1. Figure out your goals and strategy
Like any project, you need an end goal in mind. And a social media marketing strategy to get you there.
Companies know they should be on social networks. So, they are. But too many don’t really know why. Or what they should be doing once they’re there.
That’s why having an overall aim is so important. Here are some of the most common business goals:
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Drive traffic to your site
- Interact with your audience
- Build a community
- Customer service
Source: Sprout Social
You might want to focus on one overall target. Or maybe one per platform. Either way, your social strategy will be the tactics used to achieve it.
Hootsuite covered 9 steps to create an awesome one:
- Choose social media marketing goals (tick!)
- Learn everything about your audience
- Get to know your competition
- Do a social media audit
- Set up accounts and improve profiles
- Find inspiration
- Build a social media content calendar
- Create quality content
- Track performance and adjust your strategy
This social media marketing tip seems simple. But it’s often overlooked. Though it’s not too late to go back and fix. A new social media goal and strategy could be just what you need.
2. Don’t make it all about your brand
This one’s a biggie. So many companies are guilty of it. And if your social media posts are all about your business, I’m sorry. But this means you.
What kind of person is most annoying in life? Universally. Come on. You know the one. Bingo! That person who only talks about themselves. Right?
Think of your brand as a person. And everything you share on social media is things they would say. On your Facebook page. Your Instagram Stories. It all counts.
So, what kind of person do you want to be? How about the one who shares lots of different types of content? So, your audience knows they’ll always find value whenever you post.
Yes, some of it will be created by you. Cause you know your stuff. But you’ll also give your target audience more.
You could repost infographics you think they’ll enjoy. Retweet expert tutorials. Basically, use the power of curated content.
Curation is our next social media marketing tip.
It’s such an easy addition to your strategy. But most people aren’t bothering to use it. Which is crazy. Because there are so many benefits of content curation:
- Keep your content calendar full
- Become a thought leader (by adding unique insight)
- Curation tools can send you high-quality content
- Balance self-promotion
- Increase social signals (linked to SEO)
- Network with influencers
- Increase engagement and build a community
You may know a lot. But you can’t know everything. Put your audience first. Add curation to your content strategy. And give them a variety of content from many minds.
3. Engage with your target audience and join communities
“Engage with your audience”. Well, this sounds like a dumb social media marketing tip. But think about it. How often do you really spend on this?
I don’t mean replying “thanks” to someone that’s shared your content. Or liking a mention.
If you don’t have a social media manager, you might forget this part. But it’s what the platforms were literally created for. Genuine interaction between people. Especially before businesses got involved.
As Buffer said,
“People don’t use social networks for a one-way experience. They’re seeking connections — with people and with brands.”
And this hasn’t changed. Actually, it’s even more important to remember. Especially if you’re using it as a marketing tool. If you want social media engagement on your content, you gotta give it.
So, how can you get involved on different social media networks? Well, try to:
- Use hashtags to join trending conversations
- Join groups with other social media users
- Take part in Q&As
- Share other people’s content (curation)
- Respond to all tags/mentions/comments
- Add personality to posts with gifs, emojis, and memes
- Post conversation-starters and questions often
Party game creators Cards Against Humanity is a great example. They reply to potential customers in their typical cheeky way:
Now, this style won’t fit every brand. But just remember to keep all marketing efforts genuine.
It’s one thing that most consumers look for. They need to be able to trust you. Especially if they’re going to buy from you.
You can even try creating your own community on social media. Facebook Groups or Twitter Lists are popular options.
Graphic design platform Visme created one for their most loyal customers. It’s an awesome way of making people feel special. Plus, they get direct user feedback on the regular!
4. Bigger influencers aren’t always better
Ahh, influencer marketing. First, it was celebrities. Then regular content creators. Now we’re somewhere in the middle. But what makes an influencer?
Well, it’s someone with a following on social media that endorses brands. But there’s a few different tiers nowadays.
There’s also a lot of debate about these metrics. How many followers or subscribers warrants each title? Well, here’s my take on it:
|Influencer Tier||Follower Count|
|Nano||1K > 10K|
|Micro||10K > 50K|
|Mid||50K > 100K|
|Macro||100K > 1M|
If you’re looking for mass brand awareness, Macro or Mega are the big guns. But expect to pay big too. This isn’t a tactic for small businesses.
So, what if you want interaction instead? Well, more followers should mean higher engagement, right? Nu-uh. It’s actually the opposite.
As audience reach rises, engagement rates drop. But this can work in your favor.
Nano and micro-influencers have smaller, more dedicated audiences. Which usually means more conversion power. They’re also way more affordable. So, if your social media marketing plan doesn’t have much budget, don’t worry.
Paying for influencer social posts isn’t the only way either. First, you have to pick the right influencer for you. Then, you can try to:
- Send a free product or service trial
- Interact with them on social media
- Curate their content
- Ask to guest post on their site
Look outside Instagram too. You might find you’ll get better results on Twitter. Or elsewhere. Think outside the box a little.
5. Don’t be on social media platforms for the sake of it
There are so many social media platforms out there. And it’s tempting to want to be on them all. Especially when you hear about the great results some people have.
But this is my next social media marketing tip. Don’t have a presence on an app just because it’s popular. There’s no point in having a profile where you don’t post. It looks sketchy. Trust me.
Each social media channel has a different vibe:
- LinkedIn – The place for professionals. Obviously huge for B2B marketing, company updates, and long-form content.
- YouTube – The 2nd most visited website globally and the home of video marketing. Has a huge impact on purchasing decisions.
- Instagram – Visual content with the highest organic engagement rate. Also great for eCommerce and influencer marketing.
- Facebook – Pretty much everyone has a profile here. Great for local business marketing and community-building.
- Twitter – Real-time updates make it perfect for customer service. Also, one of the most popular sources for news.
- TikTok – The new kid on the entertainment block. Great for short social videos and viral trends.
If you’ve done your customer base research, you’ll know where yours hangs out. Different demographics are on different sites. And you should adjust your strategy for each.
But consistency is key. So, you should always have a full content calendar for each platform you’re on. And don’t worry. You can schedule posts to plan ahead. And curate content to fill any gaps.
You should also be engaging with your audience. And getting involved in different communities. But I’ll get to that soon.
Basically, if you’re going to try marketing on a social platform, make sure to really be there. Be present. Be involved.
6. Create, use, and practice your brand voice
Remember what I said about making your brand a person? Well, what do we remember most about people? Sometimes it’s how they look. But mostly, it’s what they say.
Your whole social media presence will be based on this. And any content marketing efforts. So, you need to think about it. And choose wisely.
Are you passionate? Quirky? Don’t take yourself seriously? This is what you need to decide.
You might have an idea. But how do you create a fully-formed unique brand voice? Try these 5 steps:
1. Research your target audience
2. Complete some brand voice exercises
3. Be inspired by strong examples
4. Practice with the content you create and curate
5. Create brand voice guidelines to stay consistent
Your voice will depend on who you’re talking to. So, work out your target demographic. And which social media accounts you’ll need to have to interact with them.
Say you’ve nailed that. Now, there are lots of different exercises you can do to find your voice. Here are 4 I like:
- “We’re not __, we’re __.” – Fill in the blanks. For example, “We’re not rude, we’re funny.”
- Personify your company – Describe the person your brand would be. What are they like?
- Pick a celeb – Pick a celebrity that would be your spokesperson. Who? Why?
- Read it out – Write some things your brand might say. Does it sound awkward? Or on point?
After that, you need some inspiration. Now, most brand voices are pretty “meh”. But there are some out there doing this well. Here are 3 examples of online personas I love:
Finally, it’s practice, practice, practice. Write as much as you can. Use the “voice” whenever you’re engaging with anyone. Try to evolve it. Even if it’s only a few words. Make them count!
7. Hashtags are your friends
Onto the humble hashtag. Now, most people get these wrong. They either overuse (hello spam). Or don’t bother at all. If it’s the latter, they’re missing out on potential reach.
They can be used on any social site. But they’re most popular on Twitter and Instagram. They basically group all content about a certain subject or conversation. Which makes them easier to find and get involved in.
There are so many ways to use them in your social media marketing:
- Take part in trending conversations
- Use branded hashtags to build awareness
- Support social issues
- Help people find you
- Add context to posts on social channels
- Show sponsored ads or partnerships
But how do you find the right choices for you? The ones that are specific to your niche? Well, try these ideas:
- Research influencers and thought leaders
- See what your competition is using
- Use a hashtag generator tool
- Try social listening
- Check out “Explore/Discover” app sections
Source: All Hashtag
Twitter works best with 1-2 at the end of a tweet. While you can use a bunch on Instagram. But make them your first comment. Rather than the caption itself. That way, it doesn’t disrupt the reading experience.
Hashtags are an unfairly forgotten social media marketing tip. Which is crazy. Because they actually make marketing easier. They help new customers find you.
8. You should be using video marketing
The amount of video content people watch has more than doubled since 2018. But there are still so many businesses that aren’t using it as a marketing tool.
Is it worth putting in the effort? Well, 85% of social media users want more videos from brands. So, I’d say definitely.
Now, video marketing can come in many formats. So, don’t worry if you’re a newbie. You don’t need to dive in with a long live video first. Why not try:
- Expert interviews
- Q&A sessions
- Product/service demos
- Behind-the-scenes tours
- User-generated content
- How-to tutorials
- Recorded podcasts
YouTube is obviously a great source of inspiration. So, try searching your niche and see what you find.
Fitness retailer Gymshark has really branched out over the years. They do a mix of video content like:
- Athlete case studies
- Follow-along workouts
- Stories from their CEO
- Strength competitions
- Tweet reactions
It shows the huge variety a niche can come up with. Yours is no different.
So, now you’re ready to film your new content. Just remember these top tips:
- Make sure it’s engaging when it’s muted (think subtitles and graphics)
- Choose an eye-catching thumbnail
- Tell a story (don’t be too promotional)
- Command attention in the first few seconds
- Include CTAs (calls to action)
- Collaborate with other bloggers, entrepreneurs, and influencers
Try starting with quick social videos. Especially if you’re new to it all. Then build from there. You’ll be a pro in no time!
9. Don’t just share your content once
Social media is popular. Obviously. But did you know there are 510,000 comments posted on Facebook every minute? And 293,000 statuses updated? Seriously. Think about how much content you’re competing with!
Social media tip lists tend to forget this next one. But it’s meant to stop your creation getting lost in a sea of content.
When you usually post new content, is that it? Do you share once and forget it? Or do you share it a few times? Now, I’m not recommending spamming people with it. But posting content shouldn’t be a one-time thing.
Social media algorithms are all over the place. So, post once. And you’ll have a ton of people that miss out on your masterpiece.
Like I said before, creating content is a waste if no one actually sees it. So, let’s fix that. We’ve got to get it out there. And there are 3 main channels of content distribution you should know about:
- Owned (e.g. your site and newsletter)
- Paid (e.g. ads and influencers)
- Earned (e.g. mentions, shares, reviews, etc.)
Content promotion needs to be part of your marketing strategy. And we need to get it out to these channels. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, either.
Here’s how to promote your content if you’re super busy:
- PPC (pay-per-click) ads on social media
- Use SEO to rank organically in search engines
- Join groups of bloggers and forums in your niche
- Get hundreds of social media shares with Quuu Promote
- Send it out to your email list
Source: Quuu Promote
These tactics help get eyes on your content. And social media is all about visibility. So, don’t forget to promote your social links on your site and newsletter. That way, you can bring your target audience to the same place.
10. Social media tools make life a lot easier
No social media marketing tips list would be complete without tools. And I’m not talking about your exes, ladies.
Social media marketing takes a ton of time. And skills. And team members. So, a great social media tool should:
- Save you time
- Be affordable
- Fill in the gaps in your skills
- Be easy to use
- Keep you organized
Source: Rival IQ
You can get tools for every area of social media. From content creation to scheduling and tracking results. And your budget will have a huge impact on what you pick. So, here’s a variety to get you started.
Some are free. And some aren’t. But they’re all quality tools that’ll make your life easier:
- Canva – awesome templates for visual content creation
- Socialchief – super simple scheduling tool
- Quuu – content curation on autopilot
- StreamYard – live video streaming made easy
- Adobe Lightroom – edit and organize photos
- Sendible – social media management for agencies
- Mention – social listening and audience insights
- BuzzSumo – find influencers in your niche
- Tailwind – social automation for Pinterest and Instagram
- Bitly – shorten URLs for social share texts
There are tons of tutorials on YouTube for each of these. If you aren’t sure how to use one, get searching. They’ll also be helpful to research the right fit for you:
The size of your brand will play a part in your choice of tools. And the channels you’re on. So, weigh up the different plans they offer. And remember. A big name won’t necessarily be the right one.
11. Track your results and optimize
At the start, you created a goal. And a strategy that would (hopefully) get you there. So, now it’s time to find out if it’s working or not.
My last social media marketing tip may be about results. But you should be checking these regularly. Imagine creating a 6-month plan. And finding out it’s not been working the whole time.
We’re better than that, folks. So, we need to track them as we go. And make changes when needed.
Your goals will determine what you should be tracking. For example, let’s say you want to increase engagement. You’ll most likely be tracking metrics like comments, shares, and likes. But you’ll also probably want to dive into detail.
Which posts are performing best? Why? By digging into engagement rate, you’ll start to build a picture. Then you can optimize future content.
Here are some metrics for popular social media goals:
- Brand awareness – impressions and reach
- Drive traffic – shares and clicks
- ROI – conversions and referrals
- Customer support – response rate and time
Now, you know what you should be tracking and how. So, keep on top of it. Review often.
Say your results don’t match up with what you expected. Ask yourself why. How do they compare to your competitors? What are they doing differently?
Find out the reason. Then, adjust. And repeat. Soon you’ll find a winning formula.
These social media marketing tips aren’t new. But they aren’t being used enough. And that’s a shame. Because they can produce big results.
If there’s tumbleweed on your social feeds, shake it up. I covered:
- Creating goals and a strategy
- Not being too self-promotional
- Engaging with your target audience
- Influencer marketing tiers
- Being present on limited social media platforms
- Creating and practicing your brand voice
- The power of hashtags
- Why video marketing isn’t going anywhere
- Promoting your content
- Social media tools that make life a lot easier
- Tracking your results and adjusting
One of these tips could be all it takes. Just remember to break it down. Don’t change everything at once. Or you’ll have no idea what is or isn’t working.
Is there an important social media marketing tip you think I’ve missed? Have you had success with any of these? Let us know in the comments!