10 effective social media hacks to boost brand awareness and online presence

If you sell social media packages, staying on top of all your client’s accounts can feel like breathlessly running on a hamster wheel. In today’s fast-paced world of social media management, there are a few social media hacks to help you stay ahead of your to-do list and reach your digital marketing goals without taking up all your time and resources.

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If you’re ready to outsmart the competition and turn your agency into a social media powerhouse, these ten clever shortcuts or innovative techniques are designed to help you navigate social media more effectively and efficiently. From enhancing brand awareness to turbocharging your online presence, having these social media strategies in your back pocket will let you do more in less time.

1. Leverage social media scheduling tools

No matter who your client’s target audience is, they’re likely using multiple social media platforms. Most social media users access 7 unique accounts each month, so building up a multi-platform presence is an important social media strategy.

The only problem? Juggling multiple platforms and keeping them updated can feel like a Herculean task. That’s where social media schedule tools, like Vendasta's Social Marketing, come into play. You can use it to plan and schedule posts across platforms, saving you time and sanity.



Scheduling tip

If you want to take this social media marketing hack to new heights, here’s a pro-tip: batch-create your content. By creating and scheduling your posts for a week—or even a month—you can dramatically reduce the time spent on social media management. Just remember to review and tweak your posting schedule based on your audience’s peak activity times.

2. Craft eye-catching content with graphic design tools

​​A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in the visually-charged realm of social media. Unfortunately, not all of us are particularly talented graphic designers. If this sounds familiar, this social media hack is for you.

Whether you need to edit a photo to make it pop or create a custom graphic to convey interesting information, a bit of graphic design muscle comes in handy. Luckily, there are free tools available like Canva and Adobe Spark to help you create visually stunning posts, even if your artistic career ended in grade school.

These tools offer user-friendly interfaces and pre-made templates that you can tailor to your brand’s aesthetic.

Post design tip

Whatever design tool you use, keep in mind that consistency in colors, fonts, and overall style helps reinforce your brand identity and maintain a cohesive online brand experience for customers.

3. Harness the power of your followers with user-generated content

When it comes to finding things to post on social media, your clients already might already have a treasure trove of valuable content right at their fingertips: user-generated content (UGC). This encompasses anything the audience creates related to the brand, from reviews and testimonials to pictures and videos.

Why UGC is important

The magic of using UGC as a social media marketing hack lies in its authenticity. It's perceived as real, raw, and unfiltered compared to more highly produced brand-generated content. It tells the story of a product or service from a perspective that you, as a marketer, can't replicate. And this authenticity resonates deeply with audiences, driving engagement and boosting a business’s credibility.

Incorporating UGC into a business’s social media strategy can be a game-changer: it's a win-win scenario, offering fresh, engaging content for your channels while strengthening the bond between the brand and its audience by making customers feel seen and appreciated.

But how do you maximize the impact of this social media growth hack? By reposting or sharing it on your channels, you amplify the voices of customers and celebrate their experiences with your client’s brand. It's a digital shout-out that shows you value their input, creating a sense of community around your brand.

Content sharing tip

No matter how eager you are to repost that fantastic picture, always remember the golden rule of UGC: ask permission before sharing someone else's content. It's a simple step that shows respect for the creator and fosters goodwill.



4. Leverage hashtags to maximize discoverability and reach

Hashtags have been around for a while, but make no mistake: they’re still a functional, powerful social media growth hack that can significantly boost the visibility and reach of a post.

Think of hashtags as the Dewey Decimal System of the digital world. They categorize and organize content, making it easier for users to discover relevant posts. By using strategic hashtags, you effectively put your content on the map, positioning it to be found by users who might not follow you yet but are interested in the topics you're discussing.

So, what’s the best way to use hashtags for reach and discoverability?

  • Use popular, relevant tags that align with your client’s brand and content
  • Consider hashtags that are industry-specific, event-related, or tied to a certain trend or topic
  • Relevance is key: irrelevant hashtags—even if popular—can harm your credibility

To generate ideas, look at what hashtags successful competitors are using. Typing hashtags into the Instagram search bar and clicking on the “tags” tab is another great way to see related hashtags, along with the number of associated posts using that hashtag.


Next, don't shy away from creating your own brand-specific hashtags. This can help create buzz around a campaign or product, and galvanize a brand’s audience to share their own content using the hashtag.

Hashtag tip

A final tip for this social media growth hack: remember to strike a balance. Hashtag stuffing can appear spammy and decrease engagement. As with most things in life, moderation is key.

5. Unleash the power of social media analytics for strategy optimization

Your social media strategy shouldn't be a guessing game, and this social media hack is all about taking the guesswork out of creating social marketing campaigns that deliver serious results. With social media analytics tools, you can understand your performance, refine your approach, and steer your ship based on concrete data.

These tools can help you measure key performance indicators (KPIs), like engagement rates, reach, impressions, and conversions. By digging into these metrics, you can learn what content resonates with the audience, what times they're most active, how they're interacting with your posts, and what drives the most conversions.



Armed with data, you’ll be equipped to adjust your social media strategies for optimal engagement. Noticing a spike in likes for video content? Maybe it's time to invest more in video production. Spotting a dip in engagement on weekends? Perhaps shifting your post schedule could help.

Social media analytics tip

Analytics tools function as a compass, keeping you on course and guiding you toward a more impactful, data-driven social media strategy. By using this social media growth hack wisely, you can continually refine your approach and social media management guidelines—and maximize your client’s online presence.

6. Stir up excitement with social media contests

With this social media tip, you can drum up engagement and create buzz around your client’s brand with a relatively low-effort technique: social media contests.

Who doesn’t love a contest? They're exciting, interactive, and offer a fun way for audiences to connect with brands they love.

Contests can come in various forms: photo contests, quizzes, sweepstakes, or even user-generated content competitions. The key is to align the contest with the brand, and make participation easy and fun.

This hack taps into the power of incentives—prizes—for audience interaction, and when done right, it can lead to a flurry of shares, likes, comments, and new followers.

Social media contests tip

To make the most out of this social media strategy, remember to promote the contest across as many relevant social media platforms as possible for maximum participation. And once the contest ends, don't just announce the winner and move on. Showcase them, discuss entries, and use the opportunity to engage with the target audience further.

7. Discover new audiences through influencer partnerships

There’s no denying that influencers hold sway over many of our purchasing decisions today. By partnering with these digital dynamos, you can tap into their audiences and boost your client’s visibility.

To make the most of this social media marketing hack, focus on the influencers who exhibit the core values that will make their brand advocacy effective: authenticity and trust. When trusted influencers, who have carefully cultivated relationships with their followers, promote a brand, it comes across as a friend's recommendation rather than a corporate ad.

The result? Greater engagement and trust in the brand, and plenty of new eyeballs on the product or service you’re marketing. Whether it's a sponsored post, a product review, or a brand mention in a story, the influencer's endorsement can significantly increase awareness of your brand.



Social media influencer tip

Make sure that the influencer aligns with your client’s brand image and values. The wrong influencer can do more harm than good, so take time to vet influencers and makes sure they’re an appropriate fit.

8. Never miss a beat with social listening tools

If you want to know what customers really think, it’s best to go straight to the source: their own conversations about your client’s product or service. Social listening tools are the ideal social media hack for doing just that, by giving you a way to keep your finger on the pulse of online conversations in real time.

Going well beyond monitoring likes and shares, these tools can be used to keep track of conversations around a brand, industry, and even competitors. In short, social listening is your secret weapon for spotting trends, understanding consumer behavior, and gaining insights into what your target audience wants.

When it comes to using social media for reputation management, social listening is non-negotiable. It enables you to promptly respond to both positive and negative mentions, turning potential crises into opportunities. It’s an invaluable social media tip for brand awareness, customer engagement, and strategic planning.

9. Foster connections through timely engagement

We’ve mentioned the power of using social media listening tools, but to really get the most out of them, you need this next social media marketing hack: always engage with your audience promptly and professionally.

When you respond to comments and messages, it shows that you value your audience's opinions and feedback. It turns your social media platforms into a two-way communication channel, fostering a sense of community and connection.

Timely engagement can also boost a brand's visibility. On social media, engagement sends positive cues to the algorithm, creating a virtuous cycle in which more interactions can lead to more visibility.

Not sure how to handle all these conversations at scale? Luckily, you don’t have to do it all in-house. Between white-label social media experts and reputation management solutions that can generate AI-powered auto-responses, missing comments and reviews is a thing of the past.

Engagement tip

Every comment or message is an opportunity to showcase a brand’s personality and customer service prowess. So whether it's a question, a compliment, or even a complaint, respond promptly and thoughtfully. This little gesture can go a long way in building relationships and boosting your client’s online presence.

10. Leverage geotargeting to boost brick-and-mortar traffic

For local businesses with physical locations, it helps to think small. Translation: using location-based targeting, or geotargeting, helps you focus your marketing efforts on a smaller but far more impactful local audience.

The effect of this social media marketing hack is that you’ll reach local audiences who are more likely to visit a store or office. This not only raises brand awareness where it matters, but it can also drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations.

With this social media strategy, you might find that your total impressions are lower than usual, but the conversion rate can be much higher.

Frequently asked questions

What constitutes as a social media hack?

A social media hack is a clever strategy or technique used to optimize the use of social media platforms. These hacks aim to increase the efficiency of social media efforts, boosting engagement, driving traffic, and generating better ROI.

What are some effective social media hacks for small businesses?

For marketing agencies, effective social media marketing hacks could include leveraging user-generated content, using scheduling tools, implementing hashtags, engaging with comments, running contests, and using analytics tools to optimize social media campaigns. Social media marketers should also track and tweak their performance to get the most out of their campaigns.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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