A hack is a clever bit of ingenuity that makes something better, faster, or more effective.
In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to teaching others hacks that they can apply to their personal lives in a variety of ways. There are workout hacks, organizational hacks, productivity hacks, etc.
If you are the head of a small business, an entrepreneur launching a startup, or a marketing pro, it might be helpful to know that there are also social media marketing hacks.
The following 5 hacks can really help you fire up your social media marketing efforts and get some great results!
Keep reading to check them out.
1. Embrace content curation
Creating a great piece of content involves a lot of time to research, write and optimize.
By curating content, you can also share more complex forms of content with your audience without overcoming any learning curve.
Let’s take infographics as an example. People love them and they love to share them. Learning to create infographics takes time and practice, though. That might not be something you have to spare, but you can find relevant infographics to share with your followers.
Finally, if your content offerings are rather sparse, curation is a great way to fatten things up. Social Bakers did a study that showed that top brands and industry leaders such as iTunes, Skittles, Red Bull, and Victoria’s Secret posted on Facebook at least once per day if not more on average. If you aren’t able to keep up with that demand, how can you get the results you want?
So, where do you begin? First, it’s important to remember that there needs to be as much thought and strategy behind your curation efforts as there is behind your creation efforts.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you curate:
- Focus on industry influencers and thought leaders when searching for content
- Add your own thoughts and insights
- Invite the source of the content to the conversation
- Use BuzzSumo or another similar tool to find what’s trending
- Consider your audience and your branding and select content that Ffits
2. Give engaged followers the VIP treatment
You may have noticed that some of your followers are more active and more engaged with your brand on social media than others. Think of these folks as VIPs. They are the ones who are helping you get the return on investment that you are looking for. Their commenting and sharing has a direct and positive impact on your social media influence. Make sure that they know you appreciate their engagement.
Here are just a few things you can do to reward your VIP followers:
- If they are trying to establish their own social media presence share and comment on their posts
- Invite them to build up their own following by allowing them to Write a Guest Blog for your website
- Look at their posts and figure out what interests them. Then use that to influence the content that you create and share
- Offer discounts, rewards or other incentives to followers who share or comment
- Start a hashtag marketing campaign to earn more brand enthusiasts
Remember that an engaged follower can be converted into a true brand ambassador if you treat them right.
When run correctly, a hashtag marketing campaign can have an extraordinarily powerful impact. If you haven’t created a hashtag campaign before, here are some great tips to ensure that your campaign is a success.
One example of a successful hashtag marketing campaign is Charmin’s #tweetfromtheseat campaign. In spite of the fact that some were (ahem) uncomfortable with the campaign, it resulted in the company’s Twitter following skyrocketing.
3. Balance your knowledge and instincts with ‘The Rules’
There is advice all over the internet on where and how you should be participating on social media. Much of this advice is quite solid, but it must be balanced with your own instincts and knowledge of your niche.
Take Zara as an example. One common rule of social media marketing is that posts should be customized for each social media platform. This fashion retailer doesn’t do this. Instead, they post the same content to each social media platform where they are present.
The consequence of breaking that rule is that they are one of the 20 most popular brands on Facebook. This is why relying on data and your own experiences to determine your approach to social media is key to getting the best results from social media marketing.
Remember that you want conversions and not just traffic. If you only rely on the ‘latest and greatest’ social media marketing advice, you might get traffic, but you won’t likely get conversions.
And don’t spread yourself too thin. Just because a social media platform is being touted as the newest and trendiest place to be doesn’t mean that your audience is there.
Of course, in order to determine what does work, you’ll have to find ways of collecting data. You can do this using analytical tools, however, since social media is all about engagement and feedback, consider going directly to the source and asking your audience what content interests them and where they prefer to engage with you.
Also, don’t forget to ask your ‘boots on the ground’ employees what they are hearing from customers.
4. Give influencers their due
While all shares and comments have value, the truth is some are worth more than others are. When thought leaders and industry influencers link tom your content, share your posts, and add positive comments to your content offerings, people pay attention.
In order to get the attention of the influencers in your space, you have to do a bit of legwork.
Here are a few things to try:
- Become one of their VIP followers. Establish yourself as someone they can count on to share, link, engage and promote
- See if they are accepting guest blogging content and offer up a few insightful posts
- Learn what interests their followers
- Let them know when you have shared their content
- If you’ve created longer form content such as Ebooks or Whitepapers, ask influencers for quotes or reviews
- Invite them to guest blog for you
- Ask them if they would consider sitting for an interview or AMA session
Skype collaborated with Jack Baran who is an exceptionally popular YouTube personality and Instagrammer. By entering into a relationship with somebody who is so influential, Skype opened its doors to well over 1 million of Baran’s followers.
Ultimately, the best way to get the attention and respect of influential people in your space is to focus on quality content and to stay engaged with your own audience. Before a thought leader is going to be willing to give you an endorsement via social media, they need to be convinced that doing so will reflect positively on them.
5. Have a fully formed social media strategy
Too many marketing professionals and small business owners don’t get the results they are after because they take a haphazard approach to social media marketing. As a result of this, ROI is diminished significantly and goals are not only left unmet, they often aren’t set to begin with.
Here are a few points that should be included in a social media strategy:
- Defining the target audience along with their values and interests
- Establishing guidelines to ensure that social media participation does not go counter to branding
- Determining which social media platforms are best
- Integrating the social media strategy into the overall marketing strategy
- Establishing an individual or team as the social media strategist/point of contact
- Setting company policies on employee social media participation when acting as company representatives
- Setting goals and means of measuring success
- Determining which technology solutions will be employed
- Setting up an editorial calendar
- Getting feedback and buy in from all business areas not just marketing
Once established, your social media strategy should be documented, then reviewed on a regular basis just like your overall marketing strategy.
If you follow Netflix on social media, they are an excellent example of a company that has a social media strategy that does a great job incorporating audience members’ interests and needs.
If you approach it correctly, using social media can benefit your business by helping you increase your audience, establish authority in your niche, and help you increase your social media presence. By employing the techniques outlined above, you will soon find that you are getting the results that make your efforts seem much more worthwhile.
Guest Author: Nicole Boyer is graphic/web designer, digital marketing expert, and contributing blogger for several websites. She is tech-savvy and business devoted. Connect with her via Twitter or Facebook.