Social media tips for any platform
Create a specific strategy for each social media platform
The same way you prepare other aspects of your marketing plan, you need to have a specific and intentional plan for each platform you use. Each platform has nuances and best practices for generating engagement. Your brand may not need to have a presence on every platform, but for your posts to be targeted, you need to have a strategy that is specific to the platform you’re using.
If you have a hard time answering these questions, it might be time to dig deeper into why you’re investing time there. Answering these questions will also help you develop your strategy for that platform.
If you’re just getting started, prioritize the quality of your content over the number of your posts and sites that you use. For most businesses, particularly small businesses, trying to tackle a new strategy on five different social media networks often results in doing a mediocre job with little to no results.
How consistently you post should be specific to each social media site you’re utilizing. Some platforms like Twitter and Instagram Stories require you to be active multiple times per day to get the maximum potential from your audience. Other post types, like regular Instagram Posts and Facebook updates, don’t have as much urgency and can be used less sparingly. When determining your post strategy, look at factors such as how the algorithm works for each platform and whether content posts chronologically or is curated based on other factors.
Remember, your followers are likely following hundreds or even thousands of other people. If you’re not publishing new content as often as the other accounts out there, it’s easy to get lost and forgotten.
Focus your messaging
Each platform you use will have it’s own unique demographic. There will be overlap of the people you’re targeting on each platform, but it’s still essential to understand your demographics so you can tailor your message to have the most impact.
Having a focused message will help you create higher quality content that is on brand and resonates with your audience. When you have a solid message that you don’t stray from, you can count on your social media posts to always be relevant to your audience.
Sprout Social has a great social media targeting feature that gives you flexibility on who sees your social media posts. Depending on the network, you can target your posts by location, language, demographics and other criteria.
Let’s say you want to share a post on LinkedIn targeting the finance industry. Your followers who are in IT or the health industry might not find it relevant. Instead of filling their stream with irrelevant content, you can choose to only show that post to people within your network in the finance industry.
Keep an eye on what’s trending
Once you have your key messaging determined, keep an eye on popular trends emerging on each platform. If you notice a pattern or strategy rising in popularity and it aligns with your messaging, then it’s a great idea to capitalize on it to drive engagement.
Be wary of jumping on board every new internet trend you see. Creating posts that don’t align with your overall messaging to appear relevant is a quick way to alienate your target audience. You never need to create a particular type of content just because you see other brands doing it.
One way to have a steady supply of popular content is to create a list of sites in your industry that publish high quality, current content. Add them to an RSS reader like Feedly. Then you’ll have a dashboard full of the latest posts from sites you trust. You’ll also know that you have relevant content you can confidently share with your followers. You can even integrate Feedly within the Sprout Social dashboard!
Measure & analyze results
To make sure you’re getting the best results from your social media marketing, you need to be accurately tracking and measuring your efforts. Over 40% of businesses don’t accurately track their social media ROI at all, which means there’s no easy way of knowing whether or not your strategy is working.
Invest in video content
The fact is that video content is booming right now. With the birth of IGTV and the rapid growth of YouTube, Facebook Live and more, social media users are consuming more video content than ever before.
Social media marketing tips by platform
Social media tips for Facebook
Use Facebook ads & promoted posts
If you want to accelerate your Facebook marketing efforts and have a budget for it, it’s worth exploring paid advertising. The benefits of Facebook’s ads platform go far beyond increasing your reach among your audience. Facebook Ad Accounts have robust targeting capabilities that let you target people who share your audience’s interests, exposing your brand to people who are most likely to be interested in what you offer.
Facebook Live video still generates some of the highest reach among every post type of Facebook. The average Facebook Live session gets up to 10x more comments than a regular video in your newsfeed. People tune in to Live videos for up to three times longer than they would stick around watching a prerecorded video.
You might notice that you get notifications on Facebook when people you follow go live. Facebook Live streams also show up at the top of your newsfeed when you log in. Facebook is actively prioritizing promoting live videos and shows no signs of deprioritizing this kind of content.
Using Facebook Live to give product demonstrations, tutorials or holding Q&A sessions is a great way to generate engagement and stay in front of people in a way that you know they will see.
Build a community with a Facebook Group
It’s never been a better time to start a private community with a Facebook Group. If you have a Facebook Page, connect with your followers even more and reach them more directly with a Facebook Group your die-hard fans can join. Your Facebook Page can offer more general information, while your group can create a stream of communication between you and your audience and among your audience themselves. Groups give you a great opportunity to facilitate the conversation around your brand and create a space for people to connect over shared interests.
The group can be very niche, about your brand or product, or it can be about a broader topic that affects your industry as a whole. Before you start the group, get very clear about the purpose behind it and what you hope you achieve in creating and moderating it.
Groups aren’t the place for hard sells. Try to avoid being overly salesy in your Facebook Groups, although it is a great place to offer exclusive discounts and promotions to people within the group.
Utilize Facebook Messenger
With the rise of chatbots, brands can automate their Messenger use and create useful flows to answer frequently asked questions and nurture their fans in a more direct way than targeting them on their Newsfeed. See how people in your industry use Facebook Messenger to gauge if there’s an opportunity for you to create a strategy of your own.
Once you interact with your audience through your chatbot, you can create custom Messenger subscriber lists that are warmer than your overall email list and send them personalized offers and updates.
Social media tips for Twitter
Join the conversation
Using Twitter is still one of the easiest ways to engage with people in your industry regardless of whether or not they follow you. It allows you to join in on trending conversations and get your message in front of people who are interested in your niche but aren’t yet aware of your brand. Twitter also allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by contributing valuable insight into topics that people are already talking about.
Use hashtags appropriately
Many brands try to stay top of mind by joining in on every trending topic, despite if it’s relevant to their brand or not. This is not a great strategy to follow and will lead to a reduced focus on your core brand message. Maintaining the focus of your message and don’t dilute your brand and message by jumping on every topic you see. Instead, focus on your own branded hashtags and participating in trends that matter to your audience and that you can add actual value to discussion in.
Experiment with Twitter advertising
If you know your audience is active on Twitter, paid advertising can be an effective way to get your message in front of the right people. Twitter has three ways to advertise your content: Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends.
No matter which strategy you choose, Twitter advertising can be especially effective since it’s not disruptive and looks very similar to the organic content your audience is already scrolling through.
Define Your Networks or Themes
Each network provides unique outlets to your audience. How you use and set up your social media themes gives viewers insight into what to expect out of your channels. For example, some of the most popular businesses on social media have a specific theme or notoriety for their channels.
Target highlights it’s bright and summery colors on Instagram, but this doesn’t mean each channel has to be exactly the same. In fact, it’s much more the opposite. Most businesses prefer to use Twitter as a social customer care tool, while Instagram is more for creative, audience building techniques.
Brands Doing Things on Social Media
If you’re confused on what kind of themes we’re talking about, that’s OK. Here’s a list of a few of our favorite brands who have clearly defined themes on their social media channels:
Types of Content Themes
So now you know the brands doing it right, but how can your organization fit in without completely copying their theme? Luckily there are several content types to help boost your visibility and help engage your audiences at the same time.
Encourage users to submit their own content to post on your Instagram account. Urban Outfitters regularly uses Instagram to promote various levels of user-generated content. This helps boost trust in your community and shows there’s a human behind the username.
Brands like Casper, Denny’s and Hamburger Helper rely on being the comedian among the crowd on Twitter. Just look at what Wendy’s is doing with their fan asking for a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets. However, there are huge pitfalls to this theme, so be cautious.
Engagement Driven Questions
What’s one of the best ways to garner a response from your audience? Ask questions! It’s simple and easy to do whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Instagram. Just remember to be present and ask thoughtful questions that will actually drive engagement.
Behind the Scenes Content
Instagram is perfect for brands to take users behind the scenes of their company. Instagram Stories is the ideal tool to show your audience a more raw and authentic real-time look into what makes your business unique.
Highly Visual Images or Videos
How do some Instagram accounts have hundreds of thousands of followers without selling anything? More likely than not, their content is highly visual and absolutely engaging. If you don’t have an artistic eye for Instagram, find someone who does.
Products in a Unique Light
So most people know your business name, but do they know what you do? Use unique product shots or customer testimonials to showcase your brand in a new light. GetStat, a search analytics tool, uses GIFs and industry stats to highlight unique findings for users.
We conclude our 2022 social media trends and best social media practices 2022 with a more sobering outlook. While there are numerous benefits of social media, there are certain negatives that have come to light as many platforms are now being regulated. This is necessary with the load of fake news, data privacy, and online hackers. As eMarketer notes, digital marketers will face stricter regulation and the market will be filled with tech vendors to protect and store first-party data. We’re already seeing the impact of regulation. Social media platforms will soon require marketers to confirm they have user consent for Custom Audiences. Government and consumers will look to better guard personal data and rather than being impressed by journalism or clever personalization.
Best Practices for Social Media 2022 Tip
As frustrating as it is to move away from the Wild West mentality associated with social media, companies need to do their homework to understand what they can and can’t do with user information being gleaned. A great first step is creating a company guideline resource that outlines approved behaviors. Marketers really should be focused on ethical behavior from the start by ensuring subscribers opt-in to receiving promotional or marketing messaging in an unambiguous way. They also need to explicitly state what information they’re collecting and the intended use for this information. Companies would also be wise to create a plan for data security and communication surrounding data breaches.