If you’re a new brand or even an established brand with a huge following, getting the most out of social media marketing to help grow your business is a forever tedious task.
Trying to grow your brand on any social platform is not only difficult, time-consuming but also hard to do without going down the paid advertising route as most of these platforms require a “pay to play” mentality to get ahead.
Coming up with a strategy designed to attract new faces and build a loyal brand organically requires dedication, hard work and a solid understanding of the platform you’re using.
Whether you’re active on social media or might need a creative boost, there’s always room to improve your current strategy and get more out of the social platforms that billions of people use every day.
In this SEO Kings article, we’ll unearth what the most popular social media marketing platforms are, how to use them, if organic growth is possible and discuss ways to generate a content strategy that is designed to build engagement with your users.
1. Understand Each Platform & Its Uses
Despite the fact there are many different social platforms your brand can use, they may not all carry the same intrinsic value as each other.
Each platform has their own nuances on how to generate engagement and improve your brand awareness, but overall popular platforms like Facebook rely on you to generate a “community” given their organic reach is quite low in 2021.
Understanding each platform is the first vital step, given it helps you tick some very important questions off your list.
You need to ask yourself why you’re on this certain platform. What do you aim to get out of your business’ Facebook page? Who are the people you want to target?
What kind of content are you going to post on Facebook, in comparison to Instagram? Is this content going to be informational, educational or do you want to purely market yourself?
Some brands engage well with users when they offer free resources and are consistent with providing amazing reading material for their users.
You don’t always need to go to the “fully promotional” route with social media platforms and you should always try and showcase important parts of your business.
Social media is meant to be informal. Share excerpts of your podcast (if you have one), share photos of your team members or snaps around the office – get creative and let them see a more personal side to you because not everyone wants marketing material shoved in their face all the time.
Helping your users get to know you, helps build a community of people who are likely to stick around and get to know you which is always a positive for any brand, regardless if you’re a well-known or boutique brand.
The demographic of your audience might slightly differ across each platform, so take this into consideration when trying to push your “core message” about what your brand does and who you are so you can personalise your approach to fit their needs accordingly.
2. Be Relevant & Consistent
Depending on what the purpose of being on that platform is to your business, there are many ways you can segment the importance of posting on one social platform in comparison to another.
Businesses that like to showcase their day-to-day workflow or tasks, run frequent promotions or consistently publish new website content will find more use out of Instagram stories or Twitter given this will help engage your audience in the most appealing fashion.
Posting updates to your Instagram and Facebook feed don’t quite have that same level of urgency and as such, posts can be made sparingly at your leisure or if there are extremely important notices you want your community to be aware of.
Facebook’s news feed isn’t so rewarding to businesses trying to grow their page organically, whereas Twitter and Instagram offer a wide range of discoverability, whether it be through hashtags or showing up on Instagram’s “Explore” tab.
It’s no surprise that gaining followers on social platforms can be a struggle, with most Instagram business accounts only seeing an average followers growth of 1.46% per month.
The important thing isn’t to be discouraged though.
Much like everything in life, if you remain consistent with your posting and content creation, keep your content relevant to your audience and pay attention to how the engagement metrics for each platform work then you should experience a faster rate of growth.
Some platforms like Instagram now move posts users have “seen” to “Older Posts” by default, even if they just skimmed through their newsfeed so aim to captivate your audience with each post so it catches their eye.
90% of Instagram users follow a business and those businesses are all competing against you for that user’s engagement, so either be consistent or be forgotten.
3. Use Compelling Visuals
Not just a great tip for paid advertising on these platforms, but creative and compelling visuals are ideal in capturing your current audience and keeping them engaged.
It’s easy to apply the some core concepts that work so well with paid advertising creatives with the content creation for your brand on social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Visuals that are aesthetically appealing, easy on the eyes by having a solid contrast and colour selection are always the most suitable when coming up with ideas for your content creation.
For platforms like Instagram, having a colour theme or “aesthetic” profile is on the rise, especially for influencers and social media marketers and you might find some benefit towards doing this on your own profile.
Videos are a great way to improve user engagement on Facebook if you’re conducting a paid advertising campaign, but they might not be necessary for every-day posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Your users will want to see visual content that is highly engaging and that starts with being able to create content that not only gets the message of your brand across, but does so in a fashion that is easy to digest and beneficial to the user.
They don’t always need to be brightly coloured – just get your point across with complimenting colours. A basic example is below and you could even create your own, similar visuals.
4. Pay To Play: Invest In Paid Advertising
As digital marketers, we’re in the business of getting results fast and as efficiently as possible – the aim of the game is to promote your brand, drive traffic and increase sales.
Unfortunately, the algorithm and engagement metrics of Facebook and Instagram are ever-changing and in 2021, organic growth isn’t necessarily that possible on these platforms.
Facebook and Instagram rely heavily on ad revenue and both platforms have over 1 billion monthly active users, so given their digital penetration, it may make sense for you to invest some money into paid advertising.
These platforms are no longer just social hubs, they are now powerful opportunities to grow your business without a hefty price tag – perfect for many small business owners who don’t have a massive marketing budget.
Maintaining a social media presence is made easier with paid advertising. You don’t need to be a technical wizard to run ads on Facebook or Instagram, given you can simply “boost” an existing post to reach an audience wider than just your followers.
The amount of time and effort spent on trying to grow your page organically doesn’t pale in comparison to simply running ads.
You get the benefits of brand awareness or driving traffic to your website without the heavy time investment of creating content that will ultimately show very little engagement and won’t help increase your sales.
The purpose of organic content is to help supplement your paid advertising campaigns.
Sending users to your Facebook page that is empty, shows no user engagement or recent posts does as much harm as running an ad and sending them to a poorly optimised page.
Use paid advertising and organic content to help utilise the best of both worlds – organic content rewards your current users, helps build a community and paid advertising is designed to bring new users in and increase your sales depending on your campaign type.
The organic algorithm of social media giants like Facebook and Instagram is always set to change, so it might be beneficial to stick with a reliable strategy to improve your brand’s visibility and help funnel-in your desired target market.
Set aside a budget to invest in paid social media ads. Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads reduce the reliance on organic reach, giving brands with paid ads a boost in reach. Boosting or promoting your posts on these platforms is comparatively less expensive than Google AdWords, making it an effective strategy for small businesses.
A/B Conversion Test Where Possible
There is debate over whether or not A/B testing is still viable on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, given that Campaign Budget Optimisation (CBO) is a popular advertising feature, distributing your budget across ad sets.
It aims to utilise Facebook’s algorithm and distribute your budget across ad sets that are most likely to get conversions at a lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
If you’re making minor adjustments to your audience, ad placements, device it shows up on, A/B testing is a more suitable option than if you were tweaking CTA’s, text, colour schemes in your creative.
5. Get Creative With Contests & Discounts
It’s easy to admit and a universally known fact that everybody loves free and discounted things – no matter what they are.
The ability to obtain something valuable at a discounted rate is an alluring tactic you can use to drive engagement, increase your online visibility and reward your loyal followers.
The purpose of this tip is to revitalise your strategy with things that are going to bring real value to your users and can help generate organic growth the right way.
Before you start any contest or discount, you need to figure out what the purpose of this giveaway is.
There needs to be a goal that you’re striving towards, whether it be new followers or more page likes or whether it’s gaining a huge email list that you can use for retargeting in future ads – you need to define your objectives.
Since these tend to rely on visibility to generate any real results, you may want to consider using paid advertising to establish a more refined audience for your contest.
Your contest won’t be relevant for everyone and as we already know, organic growth simply won’t cut it in terms of getting the visibility required to move the engagement needle.
With Facebook and Instagram advertising, you’ll be able to define your demographic – people that you know are most likely to be interested in your giveaway are the obvious choice, but thinking outside the box certainly helps too.
If you’re running a contest offering a free RoboVac for users that like and share your Facebook page – don’t just target people interested in vacuum cleaners.
Think of homeowners, first time buyers, people interested in real estate and home improvement.
They might not be the highest commercial intent customers, but there’s always the possibility you’ll hit an impulsive user who sees value in what you offer.
You don’t even need to sell anymore either – offering free resources like eBooks and “ultimate guides” are a great way to drive engagement and people tend to appreciate free learning materials and will generally come back if they find them useful.
6. Interact With Your Users & Drive Engagement
Most brands should already be following this, but if you aren’t – start now.
Aside from a few passive or inactive accounts, your users are following you for a reason.
They want engagement and those who are talking about you, might want to see some added value from your brand about what you offer.
If you run paid ads, make sure you reply to each comment – be it good or bad.
These ads are shown to your entire, defined audience and negative comments left without any transparency from your brand can leave a less than desirable or dishonest impression.
Conversely, pay close attention to hashtags, posts or brand mentions from other businesses and make an effort to communicate with them.
A brand should feel warm and inviting to existing and new customers, so ensure that you’re monitoring each social media platform for mentions, comments and messages to help drive up your engagement rates.
If you have a huge Twitter following, consider asking them questions or generating polls in which they can answer.
This is a perfect way to spark up a conversation with users, gain some valuable insight and put a real face to your brand.
SEMRush – an SEO analysis tool we use here, run their weekly #SemrushChat on Twitter which generally focuses on a wide range of SEO topics that are open to the community for answers.
Measure & Track Results
You need to take a proactive approach with your monitoring, to truly understand whether or not you’re getting value out of your social media marketing.
If you aren’t accurately tracking the important metrics, there’s no effective way to know if your strategy is working as intended.
You should be actively checking these metrics in order to gauge how much improvement has been made over time.
- Organic reach and how many users you engaged with on Facebook
- Views and engagements on your Instagram stories
- Engagement, impressions, saves and likes on Pinterest
- Likes, comments, mentions and shares on Facebook & Instagram
- Tracking how many users visited/followed your profile from “Discovery” on Instagram
Depending on the platform, each post can provide insights as to how it performed, where your viewers came from and how they interacted with your page further.
You don’t necessarily need to monitor these metrics every day, but it helps to check them every week or month depending on how much time and effort you invest into your social media marketing strategy.
7. Make Use Of Video Content
People love video over visual ads and the statistics don’t lie.
If you don’t believe me, absorb these facts and understand why the use of video content is such a powerful social media marketing tip that you wished you knew it sooner.
- 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. (Wyzowl)
- 66% of B2C marketers use video marketing.
- 92% of consumers view videos with the sound off – proceed with caution. (Verizon and Publicis)
- 87% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. (Wyzowl)
- 80% of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales. (Wyzowl)
Brands that utilise video marketing end up with higher engagement rates and better paid advertising results.
Text and visual photos are still great for organic content to post on your business pages, but if you want to make the most of your time and effort, invest in learning the ins and outs of video marketing.
If you’re looking for engagement, try Facebook or IG Live feeds where you conduct Q&A’s about important questions surrounding your services or your industry.
We understand these social media marketing tips won’t be viable for every brand given you need to have somewhat of a following before being able to make use of these strategies, but these are sound principles you should carry with you as your brand continues to grow.
By now you should have a great understanding of how the organic and paid routes of each social media platform fair and how to implement certain techniques to improve your brand visibility, establish brand loyalty and what platforms might best suit your business type.
These are the best practices for social media and although some might not be ideal for smaller brands, every business should try and make use of these tactics given they don’t require all that much effort.
Tracking and monitoring the progress of your social media campaigns determines areas for improvement and confirms things you’re doing right, so make sure you pay attention to the analytics and the insights they provide regarding engagement.
If you enjoyed these social media marketing tips, we recommend checking out the rest of our blog for all things digital marketing.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 27th August 2019, but has been updated on 19th of January 2021 to reflect higher-quality information and transparency.