Social Media Strategies to Achieve Your Marketing Goals
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45% of the world’s population are actively using social media every day. As we progress further into the 21st century it has become increasingly clear that powerful social platforms like Twitter and Instagram have become something more than simply, a force to be reckoned with. Social media is an unstoppable phenomenon and social media strategies have never been more important.
The mind boggles at the speed these platforms have risen in popularity, and just how many of us are using social media regularly to keep in touch with friends and family, and connect with the rest of the world – Facebook alone has roughly 2.85 billion users worldwide and on average 9,557 tweets are sent every second. Developing thorough social media strategies that cut through the noise is essential if businesses hope to survive in this chaotic world of influencers, cancel culture, and Tik Tok dance battles.
Social media has become particularly pertinent in the past year as the pandemic sent us scrambling for the sanctity of our homes. As the rolling lockdowns began and the emergence of dangerous new variants sweep the globe, humanity found itself isolated. Battling fear, confusion, loneliness and remote working, we took to social media to stay connected. It has never been more important for businesses and marketers alike to nail down their target audience and web presence through bespoke social media strategies that connect and engage with audiences.
How do I implement social media strategies?
So where to begin? It may sound patronising, but your social media strategies need to be realistic and achievable. Begin by setting smart goals and then plan accordingly. By setting specific, measurable objectives that are precise and practical, your team are more likely to achieve them which can boost morale in the long term and get your account where it needs to be.
You also strongly consider a social media audit as a part of your research. A social media audit essentially evaluates and analyses your accounts. Before implementing your social media strategy, be sure to thoroughly ‘audit’ (research) your channels using key metrics such as organic engagement and conversions, including your demographics and how your audience is engaging with you. Once you have a better understanding of where your account currently stands, you can focus on moving it forward and growing your audience.
Choose your platforms carefully
If you’re brand new to social media, you may want to cover all your bases by using every single possible platform available. This is unnecessary, not to mention time-consuming. Before signing up for a platform think about how it will be useful to you and your audience. This is where knowing your demographic is particularly important – research into who is using what and establish strong brand identities on the platforms where your audience will be reachable. From there you can focus on growing a following, producing relevant content, and creating a community to engage with.
Build an organic following
Look to any account on Instagram and it’s immediately obvious if their following is authentic or not. Gone are the days where brands, businesses and organisations can get away with ‘buying’ followers and likes – these days it’s all about that ‘organic’ following.
More than anything you should care about the quality of your community. The stronger, more authentic your audience, the better it speaks of your brand and the effort you’re putting into your social media strategy as a whole. To build an authentic following, invest time and energy into creating engaging, well-thought-out posts which encourage interaction and add value to your follower’s lives. Interact with your target audience through the live feature of your platforms. Host contests, ask questions and push powerful Facebook groups as safe spaces in your community.
Research and plan your hashtags accordingly
Hashtags can make or break the success of your marketing strategy. Use too few and your content might not get the exposure you’re chasing but use too many and you may even be punished by the social media gods via a mysterious process known as ‘shadow banning’ – arguably one of the most persistent and controversial ‘myths’ on the internet.
Regardless of whether or not you believe in shadow banning, you can’t say using all thirty-something of the allowed hashtags on Instagram doesn’t look desperate. Hashtags are a powerful tool, so to use them effectively ensure you research thoroughly into the hashtags that are relevant to your business and brand. If your business or organisation has a smaller following, try focusing more on the content you’re producing and using lesser known hashtags to get your message out there. Once you have an established following you may like to even think up your own hashtag – having your own personal hashtag also gives your audience a place to go to share content of their own through UGC.
Employing UGC with your social media strategy
UGC, or user-generated content, is content shared by your audience in relation to your brand. This type of value-driven content builds credibility and shows an unrivalled level of engagement with your audience. If you want to build a trustworthy relationship with your target audience then employ UGC in your social marketing strategy and watch your engagement soar – employing the assistance of a down-to-earth, honest influencer who likes your brand is a great start. Influencers create content and give exposure to your brand, but it is best to be wary of who you hire. Be sure to complete a quick social media audit of your influencer before sending them any freebies or discounts just to make sure they have a real organic following. You should also research the person’s background and presence on social media to ensure their values and visual aesthetics align with yours.
If you’re not keen on Influencers, then you can encourage your own audience to create content although depending on the size of your following you may need to give them an incentive to do so. Host competitions, offer discounts and coupons and use your chosen platforms’ interactive features to engage with your audience. For example, on Instagram stories you can host quizzes, ‘this or that’ surveys, and ask questions – these tools can also serve as their own powerful analytics tool and are a great way to find out more about the people who are following you.
Content. Social media strategies are nothing without it. It’s the new(ish) kid on the block that should be at the centre of all digital marketing – including social media. Your web presence should be rich with content that is relevant to your audience and adds value to their day-to-day lives. The more value your content holds, the more chance your account will gain traction and your audience will grow. More shares, likes, and comments reflect well on your brand and help to expand your audience beyond the people already following you. One such way brands are encouraging organic growth is Instagram and Facebook stories which allow users to share an image, video or another profile’s post for up to 24 hours.
Take a look at a typical news publication for example, such as The Guardian’s Instagram profile. The Guardian, a left-wing British newspaper, use their brand colours throughout their entire newsfeed. Their posts fit seamlessly together on the grid and present news in a compact, easily-read formula. Whoever is behind the social media at The Guardian is a true master of taking complicated news stories with complex backgrounds and presenting that story in an accessible, easily-read formula. In terms of design, the posts are aesthetically pleasing but the content itself is also simple to understand, which is absolutely essential on social media where attention spans are notoriously short. They also regularly utilise video content by sharing stories through Instagram TV and Instagram Reels. Using this formula, posts by The Guardian are regularly shared to their users own Instagram stories which in turn helps to expand their audience.
Essentially, The Guardian really have hit the nail on the head. Another notable profile is The Washington Post’s Tik Tok account, which utilises short-form video and on-trend internet memes to present news stories to a younger audience.
Consider Pinterest (seriously)
One of the most misunderstood social media platforms on the internet, the American-owned image sharing website known as Pinterest isn’t just for women and wedding planning. However, admittedly women do make up the majority of its users by an overwhelming majority. If you are looking to drive traffic to your blog and/or website then Pinterest shouldn’t be underestimated – it’s one of the biggest drivers of traffic in the world today. With millions of users actively ‘pinning’ content to their boards every day, Pinterest’s audience grew from 171 million to 235 million people between 2018 and 2019. If you can nail that crucial visual aesthetic people go crazy for, then ‘pins’ could be boosting your brand exposure and driving your target audience to your website in droves. If Pinterest isn’t a part of your social media strategies already then you could be missing out.
Create bespoke boards with your content to draw different demographics in. Say you’re the marketing manager behind a national chain of bakeries. One board could exclusively be cake and cupcake recipes for that ‘organic mum’ vibe. Another could feature the converted ‘French girl with a baguette’ aesthetic the internet goes wild for. Be sure to include links with every pin you post and watch your website traffic soar.
Social media with Priority Pixels
Priority Pixels is Devon’s best-kept secret. We’ve been delivering bespoke digital marketing strategies to businesses and organisations in the South West since 2016. We are a team of creatives specialising in building strong web presences for our clientele that work.
For more information on how Priority Pixels can help manage your social media channels and build your following, get in contact with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01626 245061.
What hashtags should I use?
Research heavily into hashtags that are relevant to your brand. Hashtags that are specific to days in the week are a great start, such as #WellnessWednesday and #ThrowbackThursday. If you’re considering starting your own hashtag then make sure to search for it on all social media platforms before utilising it to ensure it’s not only suitable but also readily available for you to take over.
How do I gain followers on social media?
To gain an honest, organic following on social media you need to be regularly posting value-driven content that is relevant to your target audience. Avoid the overuse of hashtags, and make sure your posts are consistent with your branding and other content.
If you’re using multiple platforms you may want to tailor your posts to each channel. It may be the same content, a carousel of images for example, but you may want to edit the photographs into a square format for Instagram while retaining a rectangle for Facebook and Twitter. You can also post links in the caption of a Facebook post but on Instagram, you’ll need to direct users to your bio. Consider how your content will look on each platform and tailor accordingly. One size doesn’t always fit all.
How often should I post on social media?
To grow your audience, you should be posting at least once a day including weekends. Make sure your content remains consistent in aesthetic and topic, and that you’re regularly engaging with your community through key metrics such as likes, comments, and shares. You should engage with your audience as much as possible – it lets everyone know there’s a person behind your brand.
Is it worth hiring a marketing specialist to manage my social media?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed there’s no need to fret. While social media is a powerful, at times formidable force, you can easily employ a digital marketing strategist to build your following.
Social media strategists in particular have the experience and knowledge to manage your platforms with ease, so you’ll have more time to focus on the other aspects of your business or organisation while they get busy creating content and engaging with your audience. Make sure your strategist has a deep understanding of your brand and the image you want to portray to your community.