Social media marketing is a vital ingredient for the success of any business. But do you know where to begin with your strategy? Are you a social media marketer who would you like to make your social media marketing strategy even better?
We have compiled a list of social media marketing tips from 28 social media experts and industry professionals. These social media experts range from major influencers to everyday marketing professionals.
Want results when marketing on social media? Check out these tips gathered from social media stars around the web and take a look at our white-label social media services.
Table of Contents
28 Top Social Media Marketing Tips for 2018
Social media marketing tactics can be different for every company and every industry. However, one thing that remains consistent for every company is the desire to see proven results from social media marketing. As the social media landscape constantly evolves, it is best to stay on top of new trends and ideas. That's why we have reached out to the individuals who follow these trends the closest, to give you our top 28 social media marketing tips.
- Devise a Social Sharing Strategy
- Use an Awesome Visual Storytelling Tool
- Don't be Afraid to Pay for Social Advertising
- Test Pinterest for Your Brand
- Make Video a Part of Your Content Strategy
- Use a Unified Social Inbox
- Stick to the Fundamentals
- Take Advantage of Ad Targeting
- Authenticity is Key
- Make Consistent Production of Video Content a Priority
- Focus on Relationships
- Try Newsjacking
- Start with Strategy
- Turn Customers into Brand Ambassadors
- Address Yor Target Audience by Name
- Aim for Engagement First
- Understand Your Target Audience
- Make Lasting Impressions
- Work with Sales to Understand the Buying Journey
- Be "Social"
Read the blog below to get the in-depth how-tos on implementing these tips into your social strategy.
Note: The following are direct quotes from social media experts on their top social strategies.
1. Social Sharing Strategy
Get more of your website visitors to share your content—you can easily double the number of shares of the content on your website by implementing a good social sharing plugin such as social warfare. This makes sure your sharing is very visible to all users when they are browsing through your blog post, it works really well on mobile and it allows you to customize the images and text used for different social networks. Pay more attention to how people share your content and you can easily double the shares.
2. Use an Awesome Visual Storytelling Tool
Find a tool that helps you create visual content that you can use to promote your core content on social media with visual storytelling. With so much content out there, it's important to create visuals that catch attention and encourage your followers to take action.
I write about and speak about a lot of visual content creation tools and Easil is one of my favourite tools for this right now. Here are some of the reasons why I love it:
- professional quality templates for everything from social media images to posters, banners, ads, business cards and more.
- awesome templates for visual storytelling with visuals such as infographics and Instagram story templates including multi-page Instagram story templates.
- you can easily re-size your images and create multiple pages.
- you can print your designs (in Australia but coming to the US soon)
- cool filters, text-effects, color palette matching and more!
Easil is super easy to use and is very "drag-and-drop". It was (apparently) developed for use with clients within lifestyle and entertainment industries so it's real-world tested. I was getting a little tired of the same layouts everywhere and I wanted something that wasn't cookie-cutter. Easil is fresh and unique so it can definitely help you stand out with your visual storytelling.
Easil has multi-page templates for dozens of Instagram story ideas.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Pay for Social Advertising
Most people see social media as a pure organic play, but I’m using it more and more frequently as a paid marketing channel. I’ve tested paid ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
All of them have their strengths and weaknesses, but if I were to provide one tip to people who are using social media, it would be this — don’t be afraid of paying for social media reach and clicks. It’s often a good investment!
4. Test Pinterest for Your Brand
I’d always believed Pinterest is best for organizations that have something visual to show: fashion, food, sports. But a client proved me wrong.
An organization that provides software as a service to a very narrow audience tested pinning their blog posts to Pinterest. In some cases, the images from the blog posts were original—infographics, their product in use or PowerPoint decks—and in others, they used a paid Shutterstock account. They built boards based on their brand personas, representing five different segments, and got to work.
On every blog post, they had a call-to-action, offering the free trial they already provide. While the people who visit Pinterest are not their decision makers, they do influence purchase decision. They knew, if they could get these people into the free trial, they would then recommend the software to their bosses.
After just one month, Pinterest became their number-one social network referral source.
Pinterest is the #1 referral source after one month
And has remained there since the test began.
Pinterest continues to be the number one referral source.
The company’s real goal was to drive people to take their free trial. In the four months, 35 people visited directly from Pinterest and took the free trial.
Pinterest has sent 35 people to the site for the free trial.
And, of those 35 people, 10 became customers. So a four-month test of pinning blog posts to Pinterest drove approximately $50,000 in new revenue. This is a public relations dream—using social media to drive new visitors, which can be attributed to sales. Not too shabby!
5. Make Video a Part of Your Content Strategy
If you're using social advertising on Facebook, especially for a local or B2C market, make sure that video is part of your content strategy. In our experience, video ads get maximum engagement on Facebook and it is easy to create a video or moving image slideshow using Facebook's own advertising tools.
6. Unified Social Inbox
Once your social media marketing starts to gain traction, managing your accounts is going to take up a significant portion of time. And that's only amplified if you're managing social accounts for clients. This means that it's critical to save time wherever possible.
One of the biggest time-savers that I've found is to use a tool with a unified social inbox. Before, I'd use a tool that only had streams. So I'd have to spend 5-10 minutes figuring out where I was up to whenever I sat down to go through @mentions etc. And that only got more difficult if I had to manage social from my mobile.
Instead, with a unified social inbox, I know exactly who I've replied to and who I need to reply to. But there's one button within a social inbox that saves me the most time - the 'archive all' button. This means I can go through my most recent messages/updates, hit the 'select all' button once I'm at the bottom, then hit 'archive all'.
The tool I use for this is Sendible, but there are a bunch of other SMM tools that offer this feature. My guess is more platforms will add this feature in the future.
7. Stick to the Fundamentals
Facebook, the leading social media platform, is moving an effort to be more transparent with advertisers. Recently, it changed how bidding is done and gave more control than ever to advertisers. The "secret tactics" are continuing to be less and less significant - while the fundamentals of marketing - message and positioning remain as important as ever.
I'm excited about the future. I believe the marketers who use fancy tools and pretend that they know marketing will be weeded out while those who are grounded in fundamentals will thrive on social media.
Jason How - Lead Generation & Sales Conversion Expert - @JasonHJH
8. Take Advantage of Ad Targeting
Social media continues to become a more crowded space, making it more difficult for most businesses to grab the attention of their ideal customer, much less engage with them there. This is especially true for B2B companies that may not be as sexy as B2C firms.
However, as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram mature, they've become much better at understanding who your ideal customer is, and how to get your message in front of him or her. However, this comes at a price: advertising.
While all companies should continue to publish organic content to the platforms where their customers "hang out", the way to capitalize on these platforms is through targeted ads that drive people from social platforms to your website or landing page. And don't be afraid to spend some ad dollars on driving traffic to your content--such as blog posts or podcast episodes--as well. Facebook especially seems to like ads that provide value to their users.
9. Authenticity is Key
BE Authentic, don’t just ACT it. This might seem obvious… but authenticity is on the verge of becoming just another buzz word in the social/content marketing world. TRUE authenticity (not just using that word often in your tweets and posts) will set your brand (product or personal) apart in today’s highly competitive market. Followers/Advocates are attracted to REAL, and can sniff out fake in a heartbeat.
REAL trumps PERFECT because REAL creates TRUST.
10. Consistent Production of Video Content
Consistently create video content on all your social media channels. In 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic. With Snapchat users watching over 10 billion videos per day and Facebook users watching an additional 8 billion, if you aren’t consistently producing videos on all of your social media platforms, you are already far behind the competition. Focus on creating content that aligns with your customer journey and consider content amplification. The more users that make a connection with your brand, the more engagement and followers you will ultimately receive.
11. Focus on Relationships
The life of social media is people. People like you and me. People who laugh, cry, get mad, go crazy, get married, divorced, have kids, lose family members, win jobs, lose jobs, get promotions, win new clients, get new opportunities, have fun, play hard and work hard.
Offer value to the people in your community with a goal of building real relationships. Offer value and knowledge. Inspire your communities to connect with you with a foundational goal of achieving their objectives. It is all about them and not you.
Inspire … Connect …Achieve. To do this you must know their objectives and goals. You must know them.
When you know your audience then you can know how you can help them be better. How can you help them learn? How can you help them go faster? Work smarter? Be smarter? Share more valuable information with their colleagues, clients, partners, and friends? Figure these answers out and use them to help.
12. Try Newsjacking
What is Newsjacking? It is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow a business.
When there is news in your marketplace reporters and analysts are looking for experts to comment on the story. Newsjacking gets you media attention. With little effort! As the story develops in real-time, buyers become interested in products and services based on what’s happening now.
Newsjacking generates sales leads and adds new customers. For free! Newsjacking is a great way to grow your business and become a part of the online conversation as it happens in real-time.
13. Start with Strategy
All great things online start with strategizing offline. To start, I advise my clients and students alike to step away from the social platform—whether it be Instagram, Facebook or their blog—and ask themselves 3 questions in this order:
- Why am I in this business? It is important to start with this because we often forget the real answer. And hint, hint – money is never the real answer.
- Who is my product/service for? The answer to this should be as specific as possible. If you serve a variety of audiences, you need to make a profile for each. This profile should not only include demographical data like sex, age, and location, but also interests, hobbies, clothing brands, etc. This will allow you to clearly envision your ideal client(s), establish which social platforms to reach them on and curate content that they will respond best to.
- How does my product/service solve my ideal client’s problem? This is a two-part question as you must first establish the pain points your clients are experiencing. Then, you describe how your product or service resolves those pain points.
These 3 questions are the start to building a strategy, which will allow you to move onto goals, branding and lead generation via social media. Companies that don’t do this crucial offline work risk wasting time and money online.
14. Turn Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
Want to "wow" your online community and customers? Listen to and respond to what they have to say in social media! Engage! You'll convert customers into brand ambassadors when you do!
15. Address Your Target Audience By Name
When creating posts or ads on social media or PPC, address your target audience by name. Sounds like marketing 101, but you wouldn’t believe how much content I see out there that doesn’t call out their audience directly. If you’re not getting results, I can tell you this is the number one reason why.
You’re competing with millions of other posts. Make sure yours stands out to your intended scrollers and searchers. Let’s say you’re marketing to small business owners, use the name in your headline, text, description, and even your image.
Do this one simple thing, and you will reap the benefits, tenfold.
16. Aim for Engagement First
One of the biggest mistakes I see small businesses are doing is, they always aim to get a lead or conversion from social media ads. One thing you should understand is that people are scrolling social dashboard for entertainment and not to buy or submit their email.
So I would highly recommend focussing more on engagement. Start with your industry related entertainment images and videos. Boost those posts to reach your targeted audience. Start with as low as $5 per post and scale it for the high performing content. You’ll be amazed to see how soon you'll have a healthy base of fans and followers who are waiting to read your posts. That’s the time to smartly tell about your business and convert them.
Quick Tips From Industry Professionals
17. Understand Your Target Audience
Ensure you're focusing your efforts on where your target audience is and that you understand how those you're trying to reach use social media at different touch points in their day and how they interact with them.
Example: A business owner may check LinkedIn and Twitter at work, but Facebook outside of work and they may interact with different types of content on each channel.
Bethany Webb - Digital Marketing Executive at Blue Digital
18. Make Lasting Impressions
Focus on lasting impressions and genuine content over playing into fleeting trends and slang. Your brand's voice should be consistent and real, and reflect the company and culture for which it speaks. This doesn't mean don't embrace new things; just be cognizant about the difference between meeting your customers at their level and trying too hard to "be cool."
Kati Sorensen-Young - Digital Marketing Manager at The Social Dinner LLC
19. Work With Sales to Understand the Buying Journey
As with any marketing, the key is understanding your audience - especially in an enterprise sale. Marketers should work side by side with the sales team to understand the buying journey and various influencers/champions that are involved along the way to reach the decision maker. Once the marketer understands this journey, they should create content that fits along this process.
As for inbound lead gen, my opinion is that the most effective way to do this is by creating content that either: helps the reader do their job, saves the reader time during their job, or entertains the reader. This content should then be pushed out through the most relevant channels (dependent on who the champion and DM are).
Stefan Kollenberg - Founder of Backpack Content Marketing
20. Be “Social”
The key to social media is to be “social.” Regardless of how many posts are published on a social platform increase social engagement by leaving feedback, following, retweeting and somehow connecting with your audience. You will notice a drastic difference in your click/open rates in future posts.
Christopher Bhajan - Marketing Coordinator at Guardair Corporation
21. Two Main Elements Drive Engagement: Subject Matter and Visuals
On LinkedIn, your subject matter posts should include a healthy mix of industry insights and "personal professional" posts. I have found that while sharing your industry insights on a topic with original thoughts or with third-party content - e.g., an interesting newspaper or trade publication article, you can actually generate a high rate of engagement (likes, shares, comments) by posting a short statement on what you're up to. For example, a quick opinion on a legislative discussion, or a post to let people know you spoke at a conference - i.e., personal, but professional. One to two sentences can be enough.
Visuals are important. For event posts, a photo of you on a panel or on stage can generate high engagement from your connections.
Astrid Greve Spencer - Senior Account Supervisor - KemperLesnik
22. Beat the Algorithm!
In order to maintain high online reach without paying for ads, you want to consistently be seen by your audience. Easy cheats to get on top? Always use photos, gifs, videos, or links in your post. The days of text-only updates are over.
Use hashtags appropriately. Even though it may seem tempting to tag it all, keeping it contained to only relevant and trending words keeps your base interested without being overwhelmed, especially on Facebook where hashtags are not commonly used.
Finally, stay trendy, recycled content with older keywords will be pushed back by the Algorithm, whereas trending topics will both be pushed up AND appear in trending tabs.
Jessica DiPette - Social Media Manager - Proximo Marketing Strategies, LLC
23. Ask Questions Before You Dive In
Spend upfront time planning:
→ Who are you speaking with?
→What purpose does each channel serve?
→ Where's the intersection of what you want and what they want?
The tone of voice, timing, tools, escalation paths - think about them before you dive in, but do dive in. You'll make mistakes - if you don't you're not human or trying new things - but if you've planned well, a sorry will normally suffice if needed
24. Community management is more important than people think it is!
It is an opportunity to connect with your followers on a more personal level. It is also a chance to show off your brand voice/company's personality. People want to feel like they're communicating with an actual person and not a corporate robot.
Also, utilizing the right influencers can boost your brand awareness and increase your number of followers. Depending on the market, micro influencers may have more of an impact than macro influencers.
25. Consistency and Relevancy in Your Brand
As a starting point, define the objective of using social media and really understand how it can support your business. It’s important that you’re clear on the role of each of the channels within the mix — how can they be utilized to reach your preferred audience? The way you use Facebook might be different to Twitter, for example.
Don’t want to state the obvious here but I’ll say it anyway... Always ensure that your content is of high quality and fit for purpose. I’ve witnessed some brands using screengrabs from other places and post it on their feed — very unprofessional and clanky. It’s important to note that the way you present your brand through social media is no different to running an ad on other channels — it plays an important role in building your brand. Thus, consistency and relevance must be constantly taken into consideration.
Rayne Timan - Global Assistant Digital Manager - Unilever
26, 27, 28. Humanize Your Business
Try to "humanize" your business by featuring employee voices in posts and campaigns. In my opinion this is where B2B and B2C go apart most. So ... try to make it personal!
Andreas J. Itter - Sales & Marketing Manager at Tetra Pak Processing Equipment GmbH
The most important lesson I've learned during my stint as a B2B social media marketer; The companies you are selling to are comprised of people too, not just a brand name with a corporate board but genuine people. So treat them like people in your communication and they will have a conversation with you.
Nidhi Dewan - Senior Social Strategist - OgilvyOne Worldwide
Caring about your audience. Provide quality content that's meaningful to your audience. Give, give, and give some more and develop those relationships. Engage with your audience and try to humanize your approach.
Martin Oderinde - Digital Marketing Consultant - The Church Without Walls
The Experts: Who Are These People?
The social media marketing experts featured in this blog are a mix of professionals, all of whom share similarities in their knowledge of social media marketing.
→ Social Media Influencers:
You may recognize some of the names on this list! These individuals are some of the world’s top social media marketing pros. Together, these individuals have a major following on social media, with millions of followers across numerous social media channels.
→ Subject Matter Experts:
These individuals have extensive knowledge of one or more social media platforms. Their comprehensive knowledge has been shared across the web and has allowed many of them to become recognized as the go-to sources for social media marketing tips.
→ Industry Professionals:
These are the people who work with social media marketing tools every single day. The content experts, social media marketers, directors, managers - the list goes on and on. These individuals leverage the power of social media marketing for their own businesses and share their insights with Vendasta.
If you are in the business of social media marketing, be sure to follow these individuals online. They are constantly sharing meaningful social media marketing tricks, tips, and suggestions to help businesses.
Social Media Marketing: Key Takeaways
So what did we learn from gathering social media marketing tips from influencers, subject matter experts, and the professionals who work as social media marketers every day?
We learned that there is no defined way to succeed in social media marketing and that businesses should try numerous approaches to achieve social media marketing success.
There are constantly different tips and tricks that social media marketers should be aware of in order to achieve success for their brands. As time progresses, so do the social media marketing strategies that companies have. It is important to always be aware of the direction social media is headed! A business can very easily fall behind social media marketing trends, which can lead to stagnant growth.
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The key takeaways from social media marketing experts:
- Ask Questions
By asking questions, a business is able to develop a social media marketing strategy.
Questions like: Who are we targeting? Who will this advertisement help? In what way can we get our message across to our potential customers?These are all relevant questions that help a business develop effective social media marketing tactics.
- Be Authentic
People connect with people. It does not matter if a business is marketing on social media, they still have to be personable in their brand’s message. Many brands are so focused on perfecting social media marketing that they lose touch with the human element in marketing. Social media marketing is only effective when the message being sent is coming from a trusted source; in other words, coming from a human, not a robot. Ted Rubin says it best,“REAL trumps PERFECT because REAL creates TRUST.”
- Try Video Marketing
It is clear that video marketing is becoming more and more effective on social media. For businesses who don’t have a video marketing strategy, it is definitely not too late to start! The future of social media marketing lies within video content; make sure your business is not missing out.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money
A business can’t afford to spend their time creating great content and then not promote it! If there is one thing we learn from these marketers, it is that they are not afraid to utilize the paid advertising features on social media.Social media marketing experts like Jamie Turner suggest each social media platform has their own advantages, and they definitely do! By through the rest of the social media marketing tips it is clear that Facebook emerges as the most widely used social marketing platform.
What do you think of these social media marketing tips? If you are in the business of social media marketing, what did we miss? Please share your comments & social media marketing tips below!