Social Media, It slowly crept into our lives, little by little. Until it was the focal point of our lives.
Today, 7 in 10 Americans use social media, compared with only 5% in 2005.
Businesses took notice, and social media has since revolutionized the way we do marketing.
The benefits are endless with a well-executed social media strategy.
A few benefits of a killer social media strategy:
- Increased brand awareness
- Grow a larger audience
- Connect with your audience better
- Increased website traffic
- Generate more leads
- Make more sales and money
There’s no doubt about it – social media should be a vital component of your overall marketing efforts.
Just look at some of these eye-opening social media statistics:
- Facebook receives an estimated 4.4 billion+ visitors each month
- Pinterest? It’s home to over 300 million users
- 500 million+ accounts are active on Instagram daily
It’s a large pond to go fishing in for your target audience. Not participating in social media marketing would lead to an incomplete marketing strategy.
If you’re ready to jumpstart your social media strategy, keep reading.
We’re taking a deep dive into the best cutting-edge tactics around.
1. Lay out your goals and objectives
Having a solid plan, objectives, and goals are imperative if you want to jumpstart your social media strategy.
If you don’t know what you want, how are you supposed to achieve it?
Not to mention, you can’t measure or evolve your strategies over time if you don’t have strong goals to begin with.
Your social media goals should align with your overall marketing efforts.
Writing down your goals is paramount if you want to reach them.
According to a study, you’re 30% more likely to be successful if you write your goals down. In some studies that number is as high as 40%.
When you set your goals, make them attainable and break them down into smaller action steps.
How to set attainable goals to slay your social media marketing strategy:
- Use numbers (such as: reach 5000 Instagram followers)
- Always set a deadline
- Be specific and make your goals “SMART”
- Make your goals in line with your entire marketing strategy
2. Research and learn about your audience
Connecting and engaging with your audience is crucial in today’s marketing if you want to turn a profit.
But, in order to do that, you need to understand your audience – inside and out.
You should be able to pinpoint their needs, wants, and desires -if you have a hope of creating a successful social media strategy.
How can you better understand your audience?
- Survey your audience to better grasp their pain points
- Look carefully at their demographics
- Take part in conversations on forums filled with your target audience
- Respond to comments on your blog, and comment on other blogs with the same target audience
- Reply to all comments or questions on your social media channels
- Collect feedback (using one of the many user feedback tools available)
Once you get a feel for who your target audience is, you’re better equipped to help them. They want to deal with businesses who care – not just a faceless brand.
Which makes this a vital step in creating any social media strategy.
3. Run contests to amp up your social media strategy
Crafting a successful social media contest is one of the most alluring tactics you can use. It’ll increase your online visibility, your followers, and your engagement.
There are a number of tools you can use to create an outstanding giveaway or sweepstakes.
The key to executing a successful contest is offering something of tremendous value.
Something that’ll be irresistible to your audience.
Here’s an example of a contest that had great results:
And another type of contest that did well:
How to run a contest on social media:
- Figure out your goals (do you want more Facebook page likes? Instagram followers? How many?)
- Decide what social media channel you’ll host the contest on
- Come up with a deadline for when it’ll end and when the winner will receive their prize
- Create the contest (look at different types and choose the right one for your audience)
- Promote it with all your might!
To get mind-blowing results, aim to have your audience do some of the heavy lifting.
Set the contest up so they get extra entries for sharing the contest or completing similar tasks.
Such as: “Pin on Pinterest”, “Share on Facebook”, or “Like my Facebook page”. You can also give them a unique link to share for extra entries.
It’s genius. Your contest will basically run itself!
4. Craft your social media content carefully
Every piece of content you post on social media should be carefully thought-out. If you’re posting just to post something – you’re going about it all wrong.
Depending on the social network you’re posting on, you’ll need to learn the various purposes of each network.
Here are some examples:
- LinkedIn – A professional network that is perfect for B2B audiences. Also includes LinkedIn Pulse, a content publishing and distribution platform.
- Facebook – Almost everyone has a Facebook account. Particularly good for news/entertainment related content. While Facebook Pages struggle to perform, Facebook Groups can be a great way of connecting with your ideal audience.
- Instagram – Perfect if your content is highly visual. Static images and short videos work incredibly well but it’s not as good at driving traffic back to your blog.
- Pinterest – Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual. Although it’s limited to static images, it can be highly effective at driving traffic back to your blog.
Note: For more on how each social network can fit into your marketing strategy, check out our post on the psychology of social networks.
Once you learn about the varying networks, you can focus on which ones you think will mesh well with your business.
A major component of killing it at your social media strategy is using the right words. The way you get your message across will vary depending on the social network you’re posting content on.
But, in general, there are ways to improve your online visibility over all the platforms!
To craft captivating copy on social media:
- Use copywriting techniques.
- Address your audience directly.
- Use snappy, witty, or intriguing hooks to begin your social media posts.
- Switch it up with different content types (Try linking to blog posts, videos, ask questions, etc).
- Always write a description on every link you post. Never just put the headline of the post.
If you perfect your social media content, you’ll see higher engagement rates, more followers, and generate more leads and sales.
5. Keep the salesy tactics to a minimum
Intrusive, traditional marketing went out the window a long time ago, for good reason.
People don’t want to be sold too.
They want to establish real connections and relationships with you.
That’s the secret sauce to getting your audience or customers to trust you.
And, if they trust you – they’ll buy from you.
Consumers find it offputting when brands and businesses post too many promotions.
As you can see, 57.5% of people found it annoying in this study on Sprout Social:
Alternatively, you can craft helpful content that people actually want to consume. Content that leads buyers to your products or services – without being pushy or salesy.
6. Take advantage of video content in your strategy
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how potent video content has become. Especially in social media marketing.
So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to jump on that bandwagon as soon as possible!
There are loads of different ways to use video content in your social media strategy. But live videos (like Facebook Live Videos) appears to be all the rage right now.
Here’s a snapshot of a successful Facebook live by Caitlin Bacher:
Facebook live videos allow you to connect with your audience in an authentic way that isn’t possible in other content formats. Plus you can repurpose your live videos!
People engage by asking questions. So you can show them you’re not just a brand, by interacting with them during and after your live video.
They’ll see you’re a business owner who cares and that will bring more results than anything. According to Facebook, you’ll see 6x the interaction and engagement with a live video.
However, a combination of live videos and regularly recorded videos will be your best be. You’ll have people flocking in your direction.
7. Create mind-blowing images
It probably comes as no surprise that crafting mind-blowing images for social media should be a top-priority.
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to design stunning graphics for your brand. You can utilize tools like Canva or Picmonkey to craft alluring images to wow your audience.
Your other option is to outsource. Many business owners and bloggers do this – and it’s money well spent.
Here’s an example of a Facebook Group graphic from Wonderlass:
And another example of a graphic on Facebook promoting an opt-in freebie. This time from Elna Cain:
You’ll need to create graphics for:
- Cover photos for each social media platform you have
- Images for your opt-in freebies (you’ll want to post these on Facebook sometimes)
- Facebook and Twitter posts
- Instagram images – (You can use copyright-free stock photos or create a graphic using Canva or PicMonkey.)
- Pinterest graphics
The dimensions for these will change over time. So do your research when creating these to find the right sizes for social media images.
Every business’s images and graphics will differ, but you’ll want to make them cohesive with your brand and always eye-catching.
8. Connect with your audience
If you’re not building relationships with your audience and/or customers – it’ll have disastrous effects on your business.
Expanding your reach is undoubtedly forefront in your mind. And the best way to do this is by connecting in a genuine way with your audience.
This will lead to targeted people landing smack dab on your website and purchasing your services or products. Social media is one of the best tools to bring in new customers or clients.
In fact, 73.3% of people purchase items or services because of social media:
Social media is a powerful tool for any marketing strategy. And that mainly comes down to the fact that businesses can interact and engage with their customers in a way that’s impossible otherwise.
Smart ways to connect with your audience:
- Interact in Twitter Chats
- Retweet on Twitter
- Survey your audience
- Engage in Facebook groups with a similar target audience
- Always reply to comments on your Facebook business page
If you can master this, you’ll start to see the leads pouring in.
9. Utilize Pinterest to take your strategy to the next level
Pinterest is the third most popular social network among adults. And the second largest search engine besides Google.
A bit confusing, right? Is it a social media platform, or a search engine?
It’s actually a visual search engine, that’s frequently confused with a social media network.
Regardless, Pinterest has the ability to maximize your website traffic, your income, and your credibility and authority in your niche.
So if you’re not utilizing it to its full potential – you’re missing out, big-time.
To get started with Pinterest in your social media strategy:
- Set up a business account
- Enable rich pins
- Create an awe-inspiring and keyword-rich profile
- Create relevant boards (use keywords as the board’s name and in the board description)
- Start using an automation tool, like TailWind or Board Booster.
- Craft pin-worthy graphics
- Begin engaging on the platform directly (as well as with automation tools -for best results)
This will help grow your Pinterest following, and the rest will soon fall into place.
The traffic will begin to pour in.
You’ll become a go-to authority figure.
And your income will ignite.
You’ll be glad you made Pinterest a priority in your social media strategy!
10. Use the right tools
The tools you choose will determine the strength of your entire social media marketing strategy.
Think of it like building a home.
If you began by putting up drywall or installing a deck, it would fall to the ground.
You need to lay down a steady foundation first.
The same goes for your social media strategy. Finding the right tools will ensure your strategy runs effortlessly.
You’ll need to decide which social media automation tool you’ll be using to schedule your social content. Weigh up your options – every business has different needs and requirements.
Here’s an example an automation tool, called Buffer, in the free version:
As life-changing as automation tools like Buffer are, there are other tools out there that can help you manage almost every step of the social media marketing process.
To avoid feeling like you’re drowning with overwhelm, look into social media management tools to manage everything for you.
And if you’re really serious about your social media marketing strategy, you’ll want to monitor your presence. Social media monitoring tools and analytics tools can help you with this.
Whether you use 1 or 5 tools comes down to personal preference, budget, and how serious you are about creating a cutting-edge social media marketing strategy.
11. Start a Facebook group
If you’ve thought about creating a Facebook group – now is the time.
With the drastic changes occurring within social media – Facebook was hit the hardest. Facebook’s algorithm changed, making Facebook pages more challenging to grow or profit from.
Basically, Facebook is saying you’ll be seeing more from your friends, family, and groups in your newsfeeds. And less “public content”, such as from businesses or brands.
Benefits of running a Facebook group:
- An increase in your website traffic
- Promote your products and services in a non-salesy way
- Engage and connect with your audience in an authentic way
- Build your email list
- Grow your business and earn more money
Launching and growing a Facebook group is a top-notch strategy to add to any social media marketing plan.
To launch your own Facebook group, go to the left bottom hand corner of your newsfeed, where it says “Create”, then click on ‘’Group”.
Next, you’ll get a screen like this:
From there fill out the necessary information, and you’re good to go.
And once you’re ready – check out my post on promoting a Facebook. Inside, I share 16 strategies you can use to accelerate the growth of your new community.
12. Promotion is key to your entire strategy
You could create the most mind-blowing, quality content on the web – but if nobody gets eyes on it, you’re not going to see results.
That’s where promotion comes in.
We’ve talked about automation tools; it’s vital that you use them for the social media platforms you’ve chosen for your social media strategy.
You’ll also want to have a separate tool for Pinterest, such as TailWind.
This’ll maximize the number of people who see your content and it’ll help to skyrocket your website traffic and your income.
Creating outstanding and diverse content for social media is crucial, but don’t overlook the promotion process.
This is a massive mistake that many bloggers and business owners make.
So what promotional work can you do to level up your strategy?
- Cross promote between your other social profiles
- Collaborate with influencers in your industry
- Run a social media contest that encourages participants to follow you
- Leverage other platforms you have access to (for example, after someone subscribes to your email list, invite them to follow you on social media.)
- Take an SEO-driven approach to the content you publish on social networks (for example; use relevant hashtags on Instagram and use popular keywords in titles/descriptions on YouTube.)
13. Consider the latest trends and changes
Staying ahead of the curb is essential in social media marketing.
It’s forever changing, and algorithms are being altered left, right, and center. Making it your job to stay on top of the latest trends and changes in social media.
This includes reading up on current statistics for the social platforms you use, and social media statistics in general.
For example, here are some trends happening right now:
- Live video content is only climbing and is continuing to grow
- Instagram stories are a go-to tactic for businesses
- Messaging apps are on the rise for a way for consumers to speak to businesses
- Influencer marketing is all the rage
- Virtual reality in marketing has become huge
To make the most out of your social media strategy it’s imperative to stay on top of these trends and any algorithm changes. Because we both know what was trending a year ago is likely not now!
Social media marketing can be hard work. But the benefits are difficult to ignore.
If you don’t take it seriously, you’ll undoubtedly miss out on leads, customers, online visibility, and sales.
Use these tactics to fine-tune your social media marketing strategy until you’ve created a winning strategy.
Just remember, social networks are made for conversing with others.
If you don’t make your audience a top priority – you won’t see results.