Five no-nonsense social media strategies for growing your business

| January 9, 2020

Countless articles exist claiming they have found the key to social media success. They’ll swear the secret is to post on Tuesdays at 2 pm, or run a giveaway every week, and then you’ll find viral fame within minutes. You’ll also find paid plans that offer to walk you through the steps to a million followers. Unfortunately, these claims are far from the truth.

Social media is an ever-changing beast. It varies massively from niche to niche, and real success comes from finding a strategy that works for your particular brand. However, while there’s no secret formula that will guarantee you meet your goals, there are general trends that are more favourably looked upon by users.

The following tips will help you build a social media that is unique to your brand and promises exponential growth.

1. Be Human

Social media marketing has become a meme in itself. Users are so used to seeing sponsored posts, product updates, and engagement tricks (giveaways, competitions, etc.) that they barely even register anymore. In fact, studies have shown that what consumers really want is to get to know the brand owner.

70% felt more connected to brands with active CEOs. They enjoyed seeing the human side of the business and felt more endearment towards posts by actual people, rather than those that are obviously promotion.

Not only does this tactic aim to get more engagement, but it’s actually giving your customers what they want. The same study discovered that 64% of consumers want to be able to connect with brands. If you can give them honest, relatable content, then they’ll jump at the chance to be a part of your business’s journey.

2. Follow Your Audience

Now you know the kinds of things you should post, the next question is where?Many small-medium businesses (SMBs) make the mistake of trying to create active campaigns for all social media platforms. The reality is that there isn’t enough manpower for this to be sustainable.

The resolution to this problem is knowing your audience. You should already have an idea of to whom you’re marketing. Next, it’s time to work out where they’re most active on social media. Different platforms excel in different areas.

For example:

  • Most B2B interactions work best on LinkedIn.
  • The Baby Boomer generation is the most active on Facebook
  • Twitter tends to be middle-class users who are in employment
  • Instagram & Snapchat target the younger generation most effectively.

Take the time to categorize your audience and research the types of networks they’re likely to be using. Be sure to look further than demographics alone. Psychographics are a great wayto classify your audience further and understand what drives them.

3. Engage

Hootsuite and TweetDeck are great, but they take out an essential part of social media – actually interacting with your followers. Most ‘social media tips’ articles will reiterate the importance of replying to comments on your posts. In reality, engagement needs to go even further than this.

Think about engaging on two levels:

  1. Algorithm Boosts

Most social media platforms have become savvy to marketers. They want you to pay for advertisements and will decrease your visibility if they think you’re promoting on personal accounts. The easiest way to get around this is to act as if you’re an average user. Average users don’t just post, they comment, share, like, disagree, rant, etc. etc. etc. If you can fool the algorithm, your engagement will soar.

  1. Networking Opportunities

Finding similar brands on social media is fantastic to increase your credibility in your industry. Most companies know the importance of interacting online, so they’re often willing to help you engage and promote your message alongside theirs. Once your brand name becomes associated with more prominent brands in your niche, then other users will start to see you as an authority on the topic.

4. Jump On the Bandwagon

One of the biggest struggles that business owners have with social media is its ever-changing nature. Finding a great strategy isn’t the only challenge; you also have to stay relevant. Fortunately, trends are continually floating around social networks that help you stay current with your audience. Some examples from the last decade include:

  • Ice Bucket Challenge

Charities have recently started online challenges that ask you to complete an act to raise awareness for their specific cause. The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS was perhaps the most well known. Joining these online events are great for both engagement and celebrating a good cause.

  • ‘What’s in My Bag’

YouTubers and online influencers began filming videos exploring the contents of their bags. The trend was met with considerable positivity. Sharing your personal belongings is both intimate and relatable, helping to further drive that connection that consumers desire.

  • Memes

Memes have become the dialect of the internet. Often, trending memes occur where a specific image is re-used. Finding and repurposing these are a fantastic way to stay relevant while keeping the conversation about your brand and industry. Plus, every-one reacts well to a bit of humor.

Staying up-to-date with these trends means keeping your finger on the pulse. If you’re engaging well with your community, then it should be obvious when a new bandwagon opportunity arises.

5.  Analytics is King

 You could listen to advice all day long about the best social media practices – and still make no advances! The problem is that every company is so unique. The real key to success is to analyze and reflect on the strategies you’re already trying.

Google is one of the most successful web companies, and their monopoly was built primarily due to their ability to analyze statistics.  Keeping your finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t will help you identify which avenues are most worth pursuing.

Useful analytics to track include:

  • Post type – i.e., image, video, long-form text, short text
  • Reach/visibility
  • Engagement – i.e., likes, comments, link clicks
  • Platform comparisons – e.g., Twitter Vs. Facebook etc.
  • Paid campaigns.

Create a Social Strategy that Works for YOU

We’d love to give you an article with five straightforward steps to success. Unfortunately, there is no secret solution or short cut. The reality is that your business is unique, and your following has a unique set of needs. If you can spend the time honing your tactics and really understanding your audience, then it will give you the best chance for sustainable, ongoing growth.

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