5 Tips for Shifting Your Social Media Strategy into Overdrive
Author: Regina DeMars, Director of Content Marketing & Social Media
Love it or hate, social media is an integral part of business marketing. With over 4 billion users, social media channels provide an unparalleled opportunity to engage your customers and attract new people to your company.
However, social media isn’t necessarily about selling. Sure, you can create content that educates about your products or services and even results in sales, but the primary goal is to build relationships with your audience. These connections will inspire brand loyalty, resulting in greater profitability over time.
Here are five important tips for creating a social media presence that engages your audience and builds rapport.
1. Hit the Hot Buttons
Nearly 92 percent of businesses with more than 100 employees use social media for marketing. Depending on your market niche, that could result in intense competition for audience engagement.
For example, Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm prioritizes posts and accounts that receive the most likes, comments, saves and shares. When up against these social giants, it can be difficult to get your content seen even by people who follow your business page.
To improve the odds that your carefully crafted posts will be read and shared by your followers and others, take some time to research before creating content. Search for those hot topics everyone is discussing and add your thoughts to the conversation.
If you’re stumped for insight, try asking your audience. Twitter polls are a great way to engage current and potential customers while also generating buzz for your social media accounts.
Keyword research is another great way to identify trending topics. You can do this yourself using free keyword tools or by hiring an SEO professional. Also consider asking internal subject matter experts and sales teams about issues that concern your customer base. You may be surprised at the wealth of insight sitting in the office next door.
2. Brevity Is Best but so Is Diversification
If you’re scrolling through a social media account and come across a lengthy post with a lot of text, do you stop and read it or keep going? If you’re like most people, you continue scrolling.
In fact, Facebook posts with only 40 characters earn 86 percent more engagement. Tweets between 71 and 100 characters are retweeted more often, and the Instagram team recommends that you limit your image captions to under 125 characters for optimal results.
It’s also important to diversify your content. If your company manufactures widgets, and all of your posts contain information about widgets, you risk boring your audience. Try posting instead on industry trends. Inspirational posts are also well received as are videos.
If you haven’t yet tried sharing user generated content (UGC), now is certainly the time. Seventy-nine percent of consumers say that UGC highly impacts their purchasing decision, and nearly half of consumers use UGC to discover new products.
If you’re wondering what user generated content is, it’s pretty simple to understand. UGC is content shared by users of your product or service about your brand.
3. Focus on Image Quality
You know the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”? It’s certainly true in social media. For example, Facebook posts featuring images see more than 2 times the engagement over posts without. That makes image quality an important consideration when posting to social media.
Consider using your own images over stock photos. If you aren’t able to source your own high quality imagery, consider using an editing tool, such as Adobe’s Photoshop, Gimp or other free image editing software to create your own unique photo or graphic. Even something as simple as cropping and adding some text can turn a stock photo into something unique to your brand.
Last, make sure your images are the right size or ratio. For example, the ideal image size for Pinterest is 1000 x 1500 pixels or an aspect ratio of 2:3. To avoid losing image quality on Instagram, make sure the horizontal height of your photo is at least 1080 pixels.
4. Use Compelling Captions and Text
While a well composed image can speak without the aid of text, your social media captions can also make or break a post. For one thing, social media users often scan headlines, looking for interesting content.
But what is it that captures their eye?
As it turns out, certain words and phrases. Social media company, Buffer, examined more than 3,000 headlines from 24 top content sites to discover the words and verbiage most often featured in power headlines. You may be surprised to learn that phrases such as “blow your mind” and “what happens when” are associated with top performers, providing some insight into the type of headlines that drive engagement.
In short, users are looking to discover or learn something new that elicits emotion. Phrase your headlines in ways that touch feelings, and you’ll have abetter chance of engaging your audience.
5. Tell Your Story
Most social media platforms now offer the chance to create stories in addition to regular content posts. Stories provide a different way to engage with audiences either through a short video or by combining text with images to share a message.
Best of all, stories are displayed at the top of a user’s feed, making them a highly visual way to gain audience attention. In fact, stories have increased interest in a brand for 62 percent of users, according to a Facebook study.
The Final Word on Social Media Engagement
Overall, your social media strategy should be aimed at building user rapport, connecting with potential new customers and nurturing existing relationships. By using the tips above, you’ll see greater results from your social media efforts and might even find your company going viral a time or two.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.