5 Practical Tips to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

By Jerry Low

Get more value from your social media efforts with the following five tips.

Using social media as part of your marketing arsenal is not just smart; in today’s landscape, it’s necessary.

But true, valuable social media marketing takes more than just an established Facebook page or occasional tweet. To see real results, it involves a strategy and tactics. 

Get more value from your social media efforts—and focus your efforts into more prosperous directions—with the following five tips.

1. Add Value to Your Profiles

Stop thinking of your profiles as an obligation and start thinking about them as an opportunity.

Your profile should do more than serve as a placeholder; use the space to add true value for your reader. What does your business do? Why should someone follow you (what’s in it for them)? This is your opportunity to sell yourself—so take advantage. And remember, your readers have short attention spans, so be direct.

For example,

“Serving Nashville homeowners for 15 years” doesn’t say anything about what you do or how you’ll help the reader—it simply serves as a tagline. To be frank, it’s a bit lazy.

Instead, try something like, “Helping Nashville homeowners to keep bugs out—and happy memories in—for more than 15 years.”

It gives an idea of what you offer, addresses the audience, and provides an idea of the benefit.

Or, try offering an incentive—for example, “Keep your home bug free for less! Follow our page for free DIY tips and a new coupon code every Friday!”

Character counts can be a bit limiting, yes—but using those characters smartly will serve you (and your potential clients) well.

For you references, here are some examples of those who have done it right:

Related Article: How To Make Content Marketing Work in a Boring Industry

Hoot Suite Twitter Page
Example-3: Hoot Suite

2. Don't Be a Zombie

Anyone can use social media—but not anyone can use it well. The difference between having a presence and having a presence that works for your business often lies in one simple thing: not being merely present.

What does that mean? Well, as I like to put it, don’t be a zombie.

People follow—and work with—other people and businesses that they feel an actual connection with. That means that you need to interact with your readers, for starters—but also that you need to do so in a human way.

Consider dropping the formal business tone—you aren’t pitching a presentation here, you’re trying to have a conversation. So don’t be stuffy; be yourself!

Jason Fried

3. Find Your Focus

Before you start posting away on every known social media platform, just hit pause and consider what you’re hoping to accomplish. There are so many different sites now—and each with its own quirks and benefits—that trying to use them all is like trying to boil the ocean.

Instead, take some time to build at least a basic strategy. For starters, consider who your audience is—then determine which platforms they most identify with (and use).

For example, if you’re targeting late teens or young adults, Instagram may be a fit. Targeting an older business professional crowd? You aren’t likely to have the same success on Instagram, LinkedIn or Google+ might be more up your alley.

Once you know where you’re posting, make sure you know who you are. Your goal is to become an “expert” and influencer in your niche… so determine exactly what that niche is. Then, find your own voice and use it to explain your own unique ideas and thoughts—there’s little value to come from simply restating what others in the field have done or said.

In a word, focus. Focus your audience. Focus the social media platforms you use. Focus your niche. And focus your posts to that niche.

Related Article: The Value of the Keyword: Why It Matters In Content Marketing

4. Leverage Trending Topics

Even the most creative among us will burn out trying to constantly think of new, fresh topics. Instead, make use of what’s already going on around you. Trending topics provide the automatic advantage of tying your content to something that people are clearly interested in (otherwise, they wouldn’t be trending topics).

The trick is to relate your own ideas or offerings to that topic in a way that is

  1. Transparent,
  2. Relevant, and
  3. Interesting

As for finding what those topics are:

If you’re on Twitter, you conveniently have a list of trending topics displayed right on your dashboard.

Buzzfeed is a great site for viral content—often that comes straight to you via your Facebook or other social media feeds.

Reddit gives convenient tabs that allow you to quickly find topics sorted by newness, rising content, top content, and other categorizations.

Since hashtags have become so commonplace—in and out of Twitter, try Hashtags.org. Notably, there are fee services for Hashtags.org if you want to promote or measure your own hashtags, but there is a free component to simply find what’s hot in the now.

Finally, Google Trends is a quick and easy way to find what people are searching for—in general or by topic.

Google Trends

5. Make Use of Video

When social media first started, it was all about static updates but today’s social media landscape is filled with multimedia content. Think of how to show your audience rather than just tell them.

How-to videos, parodies, funny animals juxtaposed with content—the ways to turn your content into videos is endless. Is everyone going to turn into a viral success? Well, no but if you hit the right audience, you can create great impact in your space.

One thing to note—a simple talking head is unlikely to get you too far. Instead, think of ways to create content that directly benefits the viewer.

Think product demos, how-to videos, or give glimpses into life behind the scenes anything that adds value or insight into something that they might find intriguing is a step in the right direction.

Bottom Line

As with anything, your bottom line should be about quality—not quantity.

Don’t focus on the number of posts or the number of social media sites that you participate in. Instead, focus on interacting—consistently and in a way that adds value—on the right sites for your purpose.

And, be more than present, but a part of your own conversation and find ways to provide value to your readers and co-conversationalists. Do this, and your efforts will start to pay off.

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