5 Tips for Starting Up (or Starting Over) your Social Media Marketing
Many of us wonder what it would be like to just hit the reset button and start all over again. If you're feeling stuck, overwhelmed or uninspired, it's time to do just that.
When it comes to social media content, you don't necessarily need to do more, just do things differently. Taking calculated risks and trying new things in your marketing campaigns is the key to getting results.
But first, a disclaimer: we're not suggesting deleting your pages and profiles and starting over from scratch (that is rarely necessary). We also don't want you to shoot blindly from the hip here. To be clear, don't throw caution to the wind and do anything that comes to mind. The trick is to come up with a strategy and take small steps.
Here are 5 of the best ways to refresh your social media content:
1. Find inspiration on social media
Producing shareable content is vital to your social media success. But where do you start? You have several options. You can use Twitter Trends and Facebook Insights to find out what people are talking about in your niche. Both platforms offer a wealth of information that can help you create relevant content. Take a look at what your competitors are doing and follow their lead, or search for content on Google, BuzzSumo and other sites.
Know what hashtags they’re using to talk about your product and what platforms your customers congregate on.
The best content about your products and services comes from your customers. They're already talking about you. It's your job to tap into that conversation and use it to create content that will get even more people talking.
2. Ask questions of your audience
The easiest way for companies to engage with their customers is by asking questions on social media. This starts conversations, gives you data about your audience and generates content for new posts. Businesses can’t operate in a vacuum. You need to collect feedback on customer service, products and marketing activities to know how you are, or are not, meeting your users' expectations. Asking questions is an easy and effective way to connect with your followers. This can be as simple as throwing up a Twitter poll or slapping an engagement sticker on your Instagram Story. You can create audience surveys and customer focus groups if you need more in-depth feedback. A customer survey is an good way to gather data and it will help you generate new content ideas, find out what matters most to your audience, or simply see how people feel about you or a particular product or service you offer. Focus groups are great for getting real-time feedback from numerous people at once — which can be especially helpful when you want to test an idea before it goes public or confirm that something has been received well. Know when and how to use them in your market research.
3. Analyze the data and collect feedback
Whatever your reason for rebooting your social media marketing efforts, you can benefit by learning from what's worked in the past. Which campaigns that you ran were the most successful? Which flopped? What kinds of posts created the most engagement? Take the time to analyze that data from past campaigns, review the demographics of the people who engaged with the posts, as well as when they engaged with them. Use this information as a jumping-off point when developing a new, more informed strategy. If you’re just starting out, review some of your competitor's feeds and peruse their profiles to see which of their posts got the most attention. It's not creeping when it's in the name of market research ;). Then model your posts after theirs.
4. Experiment and test
Try different types of content, language and posting times and see which resonate the most with your followers or get the most engagement. Try new types of content like video, infographics, links or polls – just make sure they are high quality and relevant to your business and customers. And keep in mind that some social platforms are better for certain types of content (e.g., visuals often do best on Instagram, while links and polls work well on Twitter). Experiment with different tones of language. Pick a tone of voice that fits with the character of your brand and that your audience responds to the most. Is your tone friendly or professional? It could be persuasive, witty or adventurous, or maybe it’s bold or conveys the air of luxury. (Look for our upcoming post with instructions on field testing different voices on social media.) Post content at different times of the day and days of the week to see when engagement is highest. Social media platforms and third-party schedulers often give you this type of feedback. Varying your posting time will also help ensure that more followers are exposed to your posts.
5. Measure your success
Having a set plan in place will make this process much easier. The key is setting goals that are measurable, so you can accurately track the progress of your campaign. This could be increasing engagement, getting more followers or driving traffic to your website.
Don't be afraid of using paid advertisements to help get you to your goals. Compared to traditional ad spaces, a small number of marketing dollars can go a long way to reaching your audience online. Set up a system for documenting, measuring and tracking your results so that you can easily see what's working and what's not. Assign one person to create the content calendar, track analytics and calculate ROI.
And remember to be authentic. In fact, make authenticity a priority. Be true to your business values, brand voice and self. Authentic voices cut through the social media BS and are more relatable.
Remember to be authentic. In fact... make authenticity a priority.