Social media can be one of the best marketing channels you can use to promote and advertise your business if done right. But what exactly is working right now? Social media is constantly changing, as are the methods and tips that are effective.
What was working a few months ago may not be as effective now due to algorithm changes or APIs being blocked to certain marketing tools. For example, engagement pods were the rage for Instagram marketing a few months ago, but now that has become less effective due to changes in Instagram’s algorithm.
To help you find success through social media marketing this year, we polled a group of business owners and professionals to see what they felt was effective and currently working. Here are some
Stop the follow/unfollow trend – it’s spammy.
“Years ago marketers started using bots to follow accounts, thousands at a time, and then days later would unfollow any account that didn’t follow back. This worked in the early days, but like everything else, marketers eventually ruin it. Now, that approach reeks of spam and the average user knows when someone is following just in hope of a follow back.
If an account has 800K followers but is following 2.2M then it just looks suspect. Focus on following people you truly want to engage with, regardless if they follow back or not. Authentic engagement is key for social media marketing success these days.” – Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics
Focus on quality followers and not quantity.
“A lot of companies think that they need to have huge followings in order to appear popular and therefore attract more followers and customers. This is not the case, as most consumers are well aware that many brands buy fake followers.
Engagement rate is the key metric to focus on. If a company
has 400K followers but only receives a few likes and comments it becomes very
clear that they have inactive fake followers. This pushes people away as they
see the brand as fake and trying to dupe the consumer. Now, if a company has
just 2,000 followers but is receiving hundreds of likes and comments they
appear truly popular and they will then attract new followers and brand supporters.”
– Chad Gaynier of Clarity Clinic
Put your energy into two or three social networks.
“There are a lot of options when it comes to social media networks that you can advertise and market across, including organic and paid. If you spread yourself too thin your efforts will not be as effective. It’s much better to focus on two or three and crush it there, than try to master a half dozen and deliver sub-par results.
Facebook and Instagram are going to be the main ones that most brands will be active on. Then, there is LinkedIn, which is strong for B2B brands, Snapchat, which is great for brands targeting younger demos, and then Pinterest, which is great for the bridal and food niches.” – Tad Thomas, Managing Partner of Thomas Law Offices
Take in consideration that every year, cyberattacks become more sophisticated and businesses become more vulnerable. While many businesses are focussing their resources on implementing internal security controls, very few are turning their attention to monitoring the threats posed to their company by the manipulation of readily available data. Sapphire can provide Open Source Intelligence (osnit) to help increase your security and track your internet footprint
Re-market across all channels.
“If you are running social media marketing campaigns without a re-marketing strategy then you are missing a huge opportunity. You need to pixel every page of your website and then re-market across every channel. What do I mean?
Well, if you are running a campaign on Twitter that is sending traffic to a specific landing page offer, you need a re-marketing campaign set up that targets those visitors on Facebook that don’t convert, with a very specific offer relevant to the page they were just on. This does a great job at pushing traffic back and converting them to a sale.” – Chris Moberg, President of Slumber Search
Shift focus away from organic Facebook to paid ads.
“A lot of people spent time and money years ago building large Facebook pages for their brands, but now if they post content the reach is almost non-existent. It’s not going to get any better, as Facebook wants people to pay for ads. Why are they going to allow massive organic reach for free when they know the brands are going to run ads?
You can complain all you want, but the truth is that they can do whatever they want. It’s their network. Businesses that sit there and complain rather than adapt and master Facebook ads will be left behind.” – Hyung Park, President of Abraham Lincoln University
Run contests to attract new followers.
“One of the most effective ways to grow your social media following is by running a contest. It’s important to understand a couple things, though. A lot of brands will run a generic contest and give away something like a new iPhone or Laptop. This will attract a lot of buzz and help you gain a large following, but they will all soon unfollow you. They just follow to enter the contest. When it’s over they disconnect with your brand.
Focus on a contest that people in your niche will truly appreciate. For example, if you are a health and supplement online store, give away supplements. Require them to follow you and leave a comment and tag some friends. Then, jump in the comments and engage with everyone that participates. This builds a relationship and increases the chance of them following you, even after the contest is over.” – Pat Skinner of AnswerFirst
Don’t sell – inform and educate.
According to Robert K Bratt DLA Piper, a lot of people think of social media as a platform to advertise, and while this is true to an extent, you need to take the right approach. You can’t just post ads like, ‘Buy this product’ and expect sales to roll in. You need to build trust and make a connection first.
Take the time to post helpful and useful content that your ideal customer will appreciate. When you do that, you establish trust and you become a brand that is on their mind. Next time they are in the market or need for whatever it is that your business provides, you will be who they think of. Information is very powerful, and while it’s not always an instant sale, you create valuable long-term customers.” – Paul Kelly, 247 CCTV Security Ltd
Give influencer marketing a shot.
“Influencer marketing came out of the gate swinging years ago, and at first it was can’t miss. Businesses were paying any account with a large following to post and consumers were biting and biting hard. Now it’s not as simple, because it’s not a new concept. Followers know when they see a sponsored post and with the FTC guidelines, any paid post requires a disclosure.
But, you can still do well when you match the right offer with the right influencer. Look for influencers that are very niche-specific and have high authentic engagement rates. Avoid influencers with a lot of generic comments, as they are probably bot generated.” – Ignacio Soria, CEO of Cann & Co.
Share happy and satisfied customers’ reviews and feedback.
“One of the easiest ways to cultivate social media content is to look at your Google, Facebook and Yelp reviews, along with gathering customer testimonials. This is almost like a bragging session, and there is nothing wrong with sharing satisfied customer reviews.
This does two things. First, it shows potential customers that your business has a good reputation. Second, it connects a person to the kind words, and this instills confidence and can be the difference between a customer being on the fence or converting into a sale.” Michael Herron, Law Offices of Michael R. Herron
Live stream to give an insider view.
“Live streaming is very popular on Facebook and Instagram, and it’s a great way to give your followers a look inside your business. The trick is to think of some aspect of your business that people will want to see. You need a unique angle and something that cannot be seen anywhere else.
When you do this right you can build up a large viewing, especially when you announce your live broadcast times in advance. Then, as your viewer count increases you can think of ways to announce special offers during your broadcasts. Many companies do this well and generate a large number of sales every time they go live.” – Christopher Kerr, VP Marketing at Earnhardt Lexus