10 Quick Tips From the Pros to Get More Out of Social Media Marketing

Sophocles once said a person’s worst enemy is bad advice. Thankfully, this is friendly territory. We turned to 10 wildly successful social media managers to hear their top marketing strategies.

Follow this kind of advice, and we’re certain you’ll achieve amazing results.

1. Keep your eye on the goal

“Start with your top three marketing objectives, then evaluate how social media may help you achieve them. Too often business owners buy into the idea that ‘I have to be there. I have to be in all these new places or I’ll be left behind.’ But social media has to help you reach your objectives or you’re just wasting time. Don’t think of social media as just a megaphone for your business, but think about how it can help you reach your goals.”

John Jantsch, business marketing consultant and author of Duct Tape Marketing, nails this must-do essential. Many organizations fumble at launch because they haven’t yet honed in on specific goals. Do you want to boost name-recognition of the brand? Generate excitement about upcoming events? Share exclusive offers with a target audience? To be effective, your team needs a game plan.

Related Read: “7 Stupid Ways Marketers Get Social Content Marketing All Wrong”

2. Show appreciation to fans

“The most important thing about social media is that it’s not just about you! Social media is not a monologue where you tell the world about the awards you’ve won, or the special deals on your products and services. It’s an opportunity for you to connect, in a meaningful way, with the people who have helped you and supported you in business.”

What Brian Moran, founder of Small Business Edge, says rings true – no matter if you’re working with a heritage brand or emerging start-ups. Existing customers are a company’s very best ambassadors. Why? Because while people tend to view brand advertisements with distrust, that problem is largely alleviated when consumers are exposed to brand and user-generated content together. Simply including user photos or customer reviews on a company website increases shopper confidence by 73 percent. So, give your digital followers some love! You’ll both benefit.

3. Stand out with highly-visual content

“Many brands spend time thinking about their content strategy, yet many forget to think about their visual brand. The best brands have a strong visual identity on social media. Every time you post, you need to differentiate your content from the flood of updates that fill people's social feed. It's been proven that images result in more retweets, likes and comments.”

Zach Kitschke, head of communications at Canva, certainly understands the value of creating effective designs. Often, visual content is readily available in the form of UGC. Collecting fan photos from major social media networks and displaying that UGC on websites, live event boards, e-commerce galleries, and other settings is proven to grow traffic, increase sales, and help create a stand-out brand story. If you haven’t already, consider the benefits of running a hashtag contest.

4. People believe other people

“What others say about you is way more credible than what you have to say about yourself.”

BlitzMetrics Chief Technology Officer Dennis Yu sums it up nicely. More than 92% of consumers around the world trust earned media (like advice from family and friends) more than all other forms of advertising. This makes sense, since we typically expect brand’s to put their best foot forward in an effort to win our confidence and pocket books. Peers who have nothing to gain from our approval  tend to resonate better. Fortunately for marketers, thanks to the growth of social media networks and review sites, much of those peer-to-peer recommendations now appear online. and mar-tech platforms make it easy for brands to access and project that UGC for enormous growth.

5. Automation is a game changer

 “If you can automate a fraction of your to-dos, you can scale your marketing and make more time for strategy.”

Chatbot proponent Larry Kim is right. Personally tending to every, ongoing social media action may not necessary.  After all, successful marketers work smarter, not harder. At TwineSocial, we’ve developed a few tools to help social media teams expedite tasks, like our powerful Rules Engine, which lets managers automatically route content based on chosen criteria. Automated High Fives can also be configured to follow-up with fans whose tweets appear on your brand’s social hub. These types of features take the busy work out of social media marketing, create positive interactions, and free brand managers up for more advanced outreach.

6. Prioritize Generation Z

“Make Generation Z your priority. As they have now started entering the workforce, that means they have money to spend. And the best place to find them is social media.”

GoodFirms Content Marketing Manager Kim Smith expects the year 2019 to see a high rise in social e-commerce. That’s largely because of the influence social media marketing is having among. not just millennials, but particularly the Gen Z demographic. This, of course, is the first generation (born between 1995 – 2010) to have not experienced life without the Internet. Digitally connected around the clock, these young shoppers expect brands to demonstrate connectivity, too. Companies that do – by creating seamless buying experiences and customized ads –  experience significant conversions through social media platforms.

Related Read: “5 Secrets to Building a Gen Z Following”

7. Show your brand’s personality

“Social media is personal. It's your personal brand first, and your job or business second. You need to convey your persona. Get above the noise. Be different. You don't have to wear a superhero costume like me, but in a world of social media noise you need to stand out and be remembered.”

Business consultant Kedma Ough is known as the “Small Business Superhero” and advice shared with Forbes explains why. Hum-drum marketing doesn’t work. Fans love interactive content, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, and opportunities to share their own experiences. For an example of a campaign that really nailed all three elements, check out country music star Jake Owen’s “Love Bus Tour”. A stream of entertaining videos and photos kept fans engaged during the musician’s summer break, and that lively social feed served as the catalyst for hundreds of fan submissions along the way.

8. Have fun with live events

“If your job is to provide social coverage for an event in real time say, a new or exclusive environment, experience or setting approach it like a kid at an amusement park.”

When you’ve worked in global marketing and corporate communications as long as Charlie Kautz, it might be tempting to settle into industry norms. But at TaylorMade Golf Company, Adidas, and now as a management consultant. Kautz gained a valuable insight: enthusiasm is contagious. This is one of the reasons why so many live events now incorporate streaming social media walls. Guests love seeing their digital content acknowledged and displayed locally, on-site. Selfies and tweets do look great on the jumbotron, but event managers gain something  much bigger. Done right, live streams can be a highly-effective marketing tool outside of the event, too.

Related Read: “Why We Love Displaying UGC at Events (And You Should, Too!)    

9. Partner with superfans

 “Building a brand advocate program often starts with identifying your most passionate supporters and finding a way to appeal to their existing habits, interests, and motivations — then building content programs that put those goals at the forefront. Marketing campaigns featuring paid influencers can be fun and can certainly achieve rapid awareness and reach, but they will never be able to counter the lasting value of an authentic advocate, particularly when it comes to countering criticism or improving the perceived status of your brand or industry.”

The industry is catching on to the idea that award-winning social media strategist Michelle LeBlanc is referencing. For years, celebrity endorsements were considered the crème de la crème of marketing campaigns – but, realistically, much too costly for most brands to secure. In many ways, the advent of the Internet leveled the playing field by giving consumers easy access to information from authority figures and the proverbial product users next door. Research shows that content shared by regular customers carries more weight, and that’s why LeBlanc says locating and working with your brand’s superfans should be a top priority.  

10. Build community around a unified hashtag

“If you want to be successful with your social media plan, stop random acts of hashtagging and use a good hashtag to tie all of the pieces of your campaign together.”

Peg Fitzpatrick, co-author of The Art of Social Media, knows a goldmine of potential when she sees it. Hashtags are far more than quippy, parenthetical thoughts – or, as is more often the case, a total afterthought. By categorizing each post with a unified keyword or phrase, brands are able to bring users together around an product, event, or even a feeling. Inviting customers to join the conversation about your brand opens up a world of opportunity, but only if you can find it. Hashtags make that possible, serving as an indexing system to make your brand’s valuable content more easily discoverable. For ideas on how to get started, check out 10 of last year’s very best hashtag campaigns.

Do you have social media marketing advice to share with the TwineSocial community? We’d love to hear your tried and true tips for success!

For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

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