This article was updated on April 8, 2021.
More than half of the world’s population is on social media. This presents a unique marketing opportunity for businesses. An audience of billions, combined with the modest cost of these platforms, is a potential goldmine.
But there’s more to it than traditional advertising where you talk to your audience. Social media is a two-way interaction. An excellent social campaign does more than hawking its wares–it builds a community.
If you’re new to social media, “community building” probably isn’t on your resume. That’s okay! We’ll walk you through 15 tips and tricks for creating a social media campaign that connects with customers, boosts brand awareness, and increases your sales and leads.
“Focus on how to be social, not how to do social.” Jay Baer
Social media was initially built for relationships, not marketing. It has since grown into a multibillion-dollar advertising machine. But to succeed on the platform, you have to respect its roots. Focus on relationship-building as a first step. Be responsive, friendly, and share great content. If you interrupt the social atmosphere with pitch after pitch, you will grow resentment instead of leads.
When somebody follows you or comments on your post–don’t alienate them with an elevator pitch. Start building a rapport instead. Be social first.
Get More Clicks With Original Content
Content marketing has become a saturated space. Every day, 1.2 million pieces of content are published on the web. And as content increases, attention span decreases–a phenomenon called content shock.
However, there is still a demand for new and original content. One way to make your writing stand out is to speak from your “sweet spot.” Every business has one. It’s what you do differently, what you do best. Speak from that place of expertise, whatever it is. Include your coworkers as experts too.
If you want to cover topics outside your company’s wheelhouse, bring in the outside experts. Help A Reporter Out is an online site that can connect you with professionals of every stripe. It offers over a million sources and has been used by 75 thousand journalists and bloggers.
Sharing expertise will help you build authority. And cultivating a unique voice will let you rise above the flood of content on social media.
When sharing your content, be sure to add a punchy title and a compelling image to get more clicks.
Posting sporadically on social media might get a moment’s attention. However, posting consistently builds relationships. You want people to tune into you as an ongoing source of information, education, and entertainment. Being consistent will build trust among your followers and heighten purchase intent.
A social media calendar can help hold you accountable for a schedule. Be sure to time your posts strategically using a traffic analyzer. That way, you publish content when engagement is highest.
However, don’t mistake consistency for repetition. Your content needs to be fresh, even if you’re making daily posts. An easy way to do this is to create a variety of habits. For example, you could schedule video content on Mondays, gated content on Tuesdays, curated content on Wednesdays, and so on.
Gated content is any premium content (e.g., ebooks, white papers, webinars) that a visitor can access after providing lead information. You can think of it as an information transaction. After providing an email, prospects receive in-depth information that can’t fit in a tweet or post.
Even the best of us hit an occasional writer’s block. This is the ideal time to use curated content. Content curation for social media means collecting exciting news stories, blog posts, videos, and infographics, then sharing them across your social channels. It’s best served with an explanation for why you think it might appeal to your audience.
Beyond filling gaps in your content schedule, it demonstrates your company’s dedication to providing high-quality information–even if it comes from a competitor. And you may be surprised to find other companies return the favor and link back to your content. Backlinks are great for boosting SEO.
Be A Joiner
Join local or industry-related groups to help build your reach. Participate in group discussions, and be generous in your praise, likes, and shares. That way, you earn social capital with the group before sharing your content.
People are suspicious of a plan. So, publish on the forum when there’s a natural opening. For instance, when someone expresses a problem your company can solve or asks a question you’ve covered in a blog post, that’s a perfect opportunity to share. You’ll be able to position yourself as helpful versus self-serving.
Give Them Candy
As content creators, we want our posts to reach, engage, and leave people thinking. We also want to get them talking. This is where the idea of candy comes in. Famous science writer, Malcolm Gladwell, describes candy as an “interesting snippet” that’s easy to remember and share. It could be a quirky fact, astonishing statistic, or a little industry humor. These tidbits of information stick with the reader and help your message spread.
Candy also helps break the ice on social media. You can introduce longer pieces of content with something fun or memorable.
Always Avoid Clickbait
We live in an age where virtually anything can be copied–your content, product, and marketing playbook. But you know what can’t be copied? Trust. You can’t download it or tweet it or manufacture it. Trust can only be earned. So, don’t try to fool your audience. If your blog post isn’t a one-minute guide to SEO–don’t title it that. If your recipe isn’t a quick and easy souffle–don’t claim it. Misleading headlines may drive people to your site, but it will also create distrust among your followers. And if they don’t trust you, they’re not buying from you.
Once you build your audience, you may need a few social media tools to help you create posts, manage responses, and track your campaigns’ success. Here are some apps that can make your life easier and capture more leads on social media.
There is a Japanese proverb: “A reputation built over a thousand years can be undone in a single hour.” Ancient wisdom for modern times, when a single tweet can damage a business.
Social media has become a powerful channel for customer feedback. A whopping 47% of people have complained about a business online. A social listening tool can monitor brand mentions and let you respond to unhappy customers in real-time. You can also easily find and repost the positive feedback. Research shows that peer recommendations are more believable than traditional advertising.
Social listening tools also track keywords. You can identify trends in your industry and the topics your prospects want to learn about. Use this research to create relevant content that attracts leads on social media.
Appearances matter on social media. Link shorteners get rid of long, unsightly web addresses and replace them with a micro link. With paid subscriptions, you can add your brand to the shortened URL. For example, instead of an unruly URL with random characters, a link to ESPN’s Super Bowl coverage could be condensed into https://es.pn/superbowl.
Your links won’t just look better. People tend to trust and click on simple URLs more frequently. Shorter links also help you maximize your character limit on platforms like Twitter.
Keeping up with several social media platforms is time-consuming. As your brand gains popularity, it may become next to impossible. A social media management tool can let you see all your accounts from a single dashboard. These apps offer a variety of features, such as:
Respond to comments, posts, and queries on all social platforms from a single screen.
Create content in bulk and have it post on an automated schedule.
Receive a notification when someone mentions your brand.
Monitor relevant keywords and hashtags to find new leads on social media.
Measure the effect of your social media campaigns through KPIs such as engagement rate, impressions, and shares.
Facebook did a biometric analysis of how people view content on social media. They tracked users’ eye movements as they scrolled through their feeds. Video posts were the most captivating, holding attention five times longer than other types of content. People also shared video 12 times more often than other mediums.
Given the numbers, video content is indispensable to a successful social media campaign. It can grab your audience’s attention and drive brand recognition via shares. Don’t have any video editing experience? No problem. You can create compelling videos in just a few clicks with a video maker. Apps such as Animoto, Vidyard, and Promo put thousands of images, templates, and soundtracks at your fingertips.
Make note that if you are advertising a product, it’s better not to use a filter. You want your merchandise presented accurately. Also, 85% of Facebook video is viewed with the sound off. Look for a video maker that provides a text overlay. Otherwise, your potential leads may not hear the call to action.
The main reason people shop online is convenience. But online shopping isn’t always customer-friendly. Some companies put too many steps between the prospect and the purchase. Their website may be challenging to navigate, or the pages load slowly, driving candidates away. This is called friction, and it cost businesses around US$ 213 billion in lost opportunities last year.
Facebook Commerce Manager makes the buyer’s journey fast and direct. Users can shop directly from your FB page or Instagram feed without leaving the app. Plus, they will feel more comfortable giving their payment details to a global brand.
Facebook charges a selling fee of 5% per shipment or a flat fee of US$ 0.40 for shipments under eight dollars.
If you operate on a thin profit margin, 5% may be too much. You can still direct users to your website, but first, do an audit to ensure it’s easy to navigate. Make use of any call-to-action buttons on your social media profile. For example, Facebook offers contact, book, and shop buttons under your business page’s cover photo.
Social media gives us a public platform to share our thoughts and feelings. It offers an intimate window into our lives, and yet, it has become overrun with fakery. Between the counterfeit followers, photoshopped faces, and onslaught of fake news, people don’t know who to trust anymore.
Consumers are hungry for something real, making authenticity a key trend in 2021. Ninety percent of consumers report it is a priority when choosing brands. Here are a couple of ways you can bring authenticity to your social media campaigns.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
Less than half of consumers trust company advertising. By contrast, 92% percent of consumers believe the recommendations of their peers. Facebook’s algorithm also prefers posts from personal accounts versus businesses.
To succeed in social media marketing today, you need customers to help tell your story. Glossier, WeWork, and Away are three global brands that show real-life experiences with their products via UGC. Their feeds are gorgeous, varied, inclusive, and real.
How do you get user-generated content? Just ask! Many of your followers would love to share the spotlight.
Employee advocacy is another way of extending your organic reach. Like UGC, consumers see an employee’s story as more trustworthy than the official company narrative. Have workers post about their jobs and show the people behind the brand.
The medium is the message. Marshall McLuhan’s marketing philosophy is more accurate than ever in the age of social media. To use social media effectively, you must respect what the medium was built for–relationships. There are countless tools, tips, and trends you can follow–many of which we outlined above. But above all, be social, focus on relationships, and your business will thrive and drive new leads across the social channels.