It’s a new year. A clean slate.
A new opportunity to overhaul your brand, get your name out there and develop a reputation as a leader in your field.
Remember, practices that worked a couple years ago don’t necessarily work now, so it might be time to change your approach.
If you use social media as a part of your overall marketing strategy, then here are several ways to make your efforts leaner, more memorable and pack more social punch.
Related Article: 5 Practical Tips to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
All you need to do is apply science and statistics to your social media plan.
Tailor Post Frequency to Your Platform
When it comes to the frequency of your social media posts, not all platforms are created equal, and who better to compile data about what works than Buffer, which makes a social media scheduling app? The company compiled its extensive research into a study and infographic, but the numbers are fairly simple, and they do vary by platform:
- Pinterest wins the race, with five or more posts per day being the sweet spot.
- Google+ maxes out at three posts per day, after which you start losing users’ attention.
- Twitter, on the other hand, can also handle three posts per day at optimum engagement, but additional posts, while not performing as well, can still be beneficial.
- If you use Facebook to market to followers, you should stop at two posts per day (although, with Facebook’s following conventions and only about 18-20 percent of your posts appearing in follower feeds, you could potentially get away with a little more.)
- Instagram is more effective if you post an average of 1.5 of more posts per day, while LinkedIn peaks at one.
- Finally, there’s blogging. You should aim for a minimum of two posts per week, at which point you will be more likely to double engagement and conversion.
The easiest way to ensure that you meet these targets consistently is to market the right content to your ideal audience, be selective about which platforms you use, and to use a social media posting calendar like the template provided by HubSpot to plan posts ahead of time.
The New York Times’ Customer Insight Group is just one of the many focus groups and studies out there, delving into the reasons why people share what they do. Their report is extensive, but there are several key criteria they assign to shareable content:
- It comes from a trustworthy source.
- Most people share in order to connect.
- Shorter and simpler gets more shares.
- Funny and positive content is more likely to be shared.
There are a few other ways to make your social media posts more shareable, including adding images or video, and simply asking for retweets, which can get you up to four times as many shares.
Related Article: 10 Things You Need to Stop Doing on Social Media
Become a Curator of Awesome (Your Own and Other People’s)
Many people and brands fail at social media because they only ever talk about themselves. That’s the same as going to a cocktail party and spending two hours talking about yourself. It’s not very effective! The most successful social media accounts are managed by people and companies that know how to mix it up. They have a winning formula. They may share one or two self-promotion posts, followed by an equal number of
They may share one or two self-promotion posts, followed by an equal number of interesting, relevant and credible posts from third parties (which actually carry more clout in many cases.) They also engage in social listening, finding and sharing great content by their followers. Original content will set you apart from most other posters online, but you need to get the mix right too. Just remember that if you do share images, ideas or even quotes online, copyright conventions usually mean that you need to give credit (and a link) to the creators of the original story, image or idea.
Mixed Media Still Critical, and Still Tricky
Keeping digital visitors and voyeurs engages in your brand in an ever-noisier online world will continue to be tricky for years to come. With so many different forms of media out there, and more being added all the time, creating rich, interesting and diverse media messages will remain critical for a long time to come. Strata, a company that specializes in facilitating media buying reports that media mix is still one of the top challenges even for marketing companies. It’s probably not that surprising, then, that many smaller businesses can’t cope with all of the potential media channels on offer. The smart advice is to choose two or three types of media, master them, and then move on to others. Blogging, an active YouTube channel and regular infographics, for instance, is enough variation to stay interesting, while still being able to cope.
Marketers Who Engage Win the Race
Probably the most important key point in overhauling your social media marketing efforts going forward is to strive for more engagement. Marketers who get people talking, and get them engaged, are the ones who will streak ahead, as they always have. To succeed in social media marketing, you need to have a two-way dialog, not a one-sided monologue. There are several ways to get people engaged:
- Run contests on social media, where likes, shares or even better, comments are required for entry.
- Ask questions when you post on social platforms. Humans are hard-wired to want to answer questions, so you’re almost sure to get some response.
- Use Like gates or “Pay-with-a-Tweet” pages on your site or elsewhere, to drive sharing, liking and social media awareness of your brand.
- Interactive social media, which has been taken to the next level in recent years, which goes way beyond images and infographics.
Related Article: Post Like a Pro: Social Media Tips for Every Small Business
If your social media presence has been stagnating, and you haven’t been getting the results you want, there’s good news. It’s never too late to change your tactics, improve your social media game, and start leveraging this invaluable resource to maximum effect. Just because you’ve been doing things a certain way doesn’t mean you have to keep doing things that way, and you can make changes as often as you want.
Test things out. Try new strategies. Some will work, some won’t. But if there is only one thing you do with your social media presence this year, make a vow not to be boring. Be exciting, engaging, controversial or quirky. Keep followers interested, and you’ll reap the rewards in 2016.