Social media is great for building your brand visibility, especially since it boasts a whopping 3.2 billion global users. So what better way to get the word out about your business and its products or services?
But in order to witness any real results, you need to first figure out which social platforms to use. And then learn the best ways to engage your target audience.
For instance, you’ll find that using visual content can boost social shares by 40x. Then if you can give users a great social media experience, they’re more likely to recommend your business to others.
If you’re looking to get great engagement and conversions on social media, then you need a solid strategy. One way to do this is to listen to the advice of social media experts who’ve already witnessed success.
So let’s take a look at the top tips given straight out of the mouths of 8 social media pros.
1. Use Different Forms of Content – Syed Balkhi
As we’ve already mentioned – visual content reigns supreme on social media. So it makes sense to implement them in your content marketing strategy.
But this isn’t to say you should forego creating text content, such as articles and blogs. What we are saying is that you should integrate visuals into your text pieces.
You can do this with graphs, infographics, and relevant photos.
According to social media expert Syed Balkhi (founder of WPBeginner, List25, and OptinMonster), he was able to grow his audience to 1.3 million using visuals.
He turned the articles he published on List25 into video content. He did this once a week and uploaded the content to his YouTube channel. This allowed him to accumulate more than 200 million video views.
Then he turned around and duplicated his success by doing the same with his WPBeginner articles. While he didn’t generate millions of followers and views, he was able to grow his subscriber base to more than 8,000 users.
To top it off, his WordPress plugin sales increased.
Outside of using video content, there’s another recommendation for using visuals – converting snippets from existing blog content. In other words, taking screenshots of your article content and using that for your social media posts.
Balkhi states that he has a higher reach on Facebook using this method. However, he also uses them on other platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
It’s also a good idea to use other forms of content, such as e-books. Brands with lots of content on one particular topic can take those pieces and combine and publish them into an e-book format.
The idea is to deliver content in forms that cater to everyone – those who like to watch, skim, and read.
Then it’s a plus that you get to reuse content in clever ways to reach a broader audience.
2. Develop a Strategic Social Media Channel Plan – Joe Pulizzi
Having a strategy is the key to making any form of marketing work. And it’s the same for social media. You need key details to help ensure you’re marketing messages are reaching your target audience.
Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and efforts on generating little to no followers. Or worse, building traffic from users who aren’t interested in becoming a customer.
Joe Pulizzi (founder of the Content Marketing Institute) shares how businesses can turn their social media efforts into a strategic plan.
To start, you need to decide which channels you’re going to engage with users on. You may find Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest is where all of your target customers are at.
It’s important to identify whether the platform you’re considering works for your brand as well. For example, you may find Instagram and Pinterest aren’t good fits because you’re in an industry that’s not highly visual (such as industrial warehousing or manufacturing).
Yet, there are ways you can get creative, such as developing behind the scenes footage showing how certain items are made. The idea is to create different content for each platform so users are more inclined to follow all of your brand pages.
Other components you’ll need to identify for your social media plan include:
The persona of your target audience
The goal you’re trying to accomplish (be specific)
Main type of content you’ll create (video, infographics, text)
Tone (serious, fun, sarcastic)
Structure (the way each post will look)
Channel integration (how each channel works together to get max results)
The call to action (what you want users to do – call, subscribe, buy)
Editorial calendar (a plan of topics/formats for content to be created throughout the month)
As you can see, content plays a major role in social media marketing – after all, what will you share with followers? You need a detailed plan so you can create content that will intrigue, engage, and lead users to action.
3. Find a Great Visual Storytelling Tool – Donna Moritz
Since visual content is so important for social media marketing, it makes sense to find tools to make creating them easier. This is why Donna Moritz (founder of Socially Sorted) recommends using tools like Easil for developing visual content.
What makes visual content essential is the fact it helps you to capture the attention of users in a sea of content. Then these visuals must also stir users to take action – whatever that may be (your CTA).
Easil is just one tool you can use to create visual content. However, the key is to find a tool with features that allow you to make professional-grade imagery.
For instance, it should come with quality templates for all sorts of images, including banners, ads, posters, infographics, and so on.
Easil offers all of this, plus it comes with Instagram story templates, such as for multi-page Instagram stories. Then it enables you to resize your images, develop multiple pages, add filters and text effects, and more.
User-friendliness is the key so you can hit the ground running, crafting your own visuals so your posts stand out.
4. Use a Tool with a Social Inbox – Adam Connell
Over time, your social media campaigns will start to soar. This means your list of followers will grow, along with your user engagement.
Trying to keep up with all of the comments and questions becomes increasingly difficult. So the recommendation from Adam Connell (founder of BloggingWizard) is to use a tool that offers a Social Inbox.
This will allow you to monitor all of your social media profiles and the comments and brand mentions flowing in. You can see it all in one dashboard and even reply to them quickly and easily.
There are various platforms out there that offer this, such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Buffer. The one Connell uses is Sendible, which allows you to see which messages you’ve yet to reply to and “archive all” messages once you’re done.
5. Deliver a Consistent Flow of Content – John Lee Dumas
In 2013, there were an astounding 50 million brand pages on Facebook. As you’d imagine, this number has increased significantly. Not to mention, more than 4 million businesses are using social ads on Facebook.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of competition on Facebook and various other social networks. Trying to stay relevant to your core audience becomes more difficult if you’re not consistently in their face with valuable content.
And this is why John Lee Dumas (founder and host of EntrepreneurOnFire) recommends publishing content on a consistent basis. This is where that content calendar we talked about earlier comes into play.
It’s recommended that you come up with a 30-day calendar of all the content you’ll write and posts you’ll make. This should be a healthy mix of blog content promotion, conversation-starting questions, and curated content.
Don’t forget to include videos, infographics, photos, and other visuals to make your posts stand out and engage.
6. Host Invite-Only Hangouts with the Community – Martin Shervington
If you’re using Google+, you can create groups and host live sessions to engage your audience and make important connections. This is the recommendation of Martin Shervington (a Google+ marketing expert, consultant, and executive coach).
You can build a private community with like-minded members of your community, including influencers, customers, and prospects.
You can then host private hangout sessions with individuals in the community you’d like to link with. This way, you can grow relationships and provide great content for your followers to watch.
The idea is to invite certain members to a hangout and then air it live so your audience can tune in. There are features you can use on Google+ that allow you to create event invites and notifications for members.
This can also help grow your groups as members spread the word on the great content you create for members.
7. Strategically Implement Hashtags – Peg Fitzpatrick
Businesses are finally starting to get the hang of using hashtags to build visibility on social media. But you don’t want to be one of those brands that include too many or irrelevant hashtags in their posts.
Peg Fitzpatrick (co-author of The Art of Social Media and social media strategist) recommends using hashtags strategically. Rather than hashtagging randomly and without direction, it’s better to use tags that cohesively tie together all of your content.
Some quick tips include using hashtags that are simple to spell and remember. Be sure to check if your hashtag isn’t already in use for another campaign. Tools you can use to follow your hashtags include Sprout Social and Social Mention.
8. Make the Most of Ad Targeting – Rich Brooks
Now that Facebook and other platforms are making it harder for brands to reach their audience, it’s imperative that you use social ads. Not only does this help to rise above all the noise, but it also enables you to target a specific audience.
According to Rich Brooks (founder of Agents of Change and president of flyte new media), it’s essential for brands to take advantage of ad targeting.
You can use the data these platforms collect to create ad campaigns that target key users. While ads are loathed by the general consumer, there are ways to make your ad campaign easily digestible.
For instance, you can make your ads look like any other valuable post you’d publish to get users to click on it. You can take users to your website, landing page, or brand page.
Some of the content you can advertise or boost, includes podcast episodes, blog content, infographics, videos, and product demos. As long as you’re providing value, your audience will receive it well.
Implementing the Advice of Social Media Experts
So what have you learned thus far? We covered the importance of having a strategy, using visual content, and rising above in a sea of content.
With these tips, you can enhance your chances of being noticed by your target audience and even getting an intended reaction from them.
If you’re ready to grow your brand on social media, then start putting these tips to use. Or if you need help – you can always hire virtual assistants from Uassist.ME!