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10 Tips for Harnessing Social Media

May 18th, 2015
05.15Socialmediamain

At this point, it is almost impossible to deny the power of social media. Brands now have the ability to communicate and interact with their target audience on a daily basis, and making the most of this ability is crucial. Packaging your company’s services, products, and expertise for social media gives you the chance to extend your reach and make a mark for your brand in the social media landscape.

Social media marketing may seem like a daunting task, but these ten tips will help make the process easier.

1.  Tailor Your Timing

Timing is crucial for the level of engagement your posted content receives. This seems like an obvious point; however, there are many nuances to social media timing that brands are unaware of. Different social media platforms have wildly differently peak times. If you post in a “dead zone,” these posts aren’t going to get the critical level of engagement they might get if posted at a peak time. Check out some peak times for different social media platforms below:

  • Twitter 3-6pm
  • Facebook 1-4pm
  • LinkedIn 7-9am
  • Instagram 4-6pm
  • Pinterest 8-11pm.

 2.  Avoid Engagement for Engagement’s sake

One of the most popular “tips” offered about social media marketing is that engagement is everything. While engagement is important, you should avoid “engagement for engagement’s sake.” Engagement efforts should always lead to enrichment, otherwise you are wasting your audience’s time as well as your own.  Follow up comments from your followers with questions, suggestions, and links to further establish a relationship with your audience.

3.  Use Video

The attraction in short videos shared on social media is their digestibility- easy to watch, easy to get the point, and easy to share. Though you may feel confused what type of video content to post, videos on how your product is made, the history of your company/product/service, tutorials, or “a day in the life” videos are all widely popular and easy to consume.

4.  Listen

While the world is social media is highly dynamic and fast-paced, don’t forget to take a step back and listen. Research what your target audience is interested in, search through hashtags, explore similar brands and what strategies they are implementing. Find and follow users that frequently engage in your brand/product/industries to get an edge on what your audience expects from you.

5.  Exercise Restraint

 Restraint should be applied to opportunities in the world of social media. Simply said, don’t seek out opportunities, content, or relationships that don’t effectively support your brand, its perception, or your audience’s expectations.

6.  Master the Most Popular Forms of Quick Content

Producing content is a must in social media marketing, and being aware of the different types of quick content is equally important. The most popular forms of quick, social media-based content are:

  • How Tos
  • List Articles
  • Topical Opinion Pieces
  • Infographics
  • Industry improvement pieces

Become a thought leader in your industry by using these typical forms to address questions, resolve issues, and provide valuable information to your followers in easily digestible formats.

7.  Defy Expectations

Audiences know that your brand uses social media to market your products and services. Defy their expectations by going beyond just selling. This can be accomplished in several different ways. For example, exploring how your brand has impacted the lives of your users. Additionally, you can use crowdsourced or user-generated content. Crowdsourcing content from your followers promotes brand authenticity and creates a sense loyalty with your audience.

8.  Utilize the Power of the #Hashtag

#Hashtags were pioneered by twitter; however, they have extended to several other social media platforms. Create a consistent hashtag for your brand to use throughout different social media platforms like twitter and Instagram. Using one, consistent hashtag serves to develop your brand identity and consistency.

9.  Evergreen Content

While “newsjacking” is a popular tactic, you should always aim for “evergreen” content over topical content. “Evergreen” content is content that performs well, even after time has passed. This is not to say that you should completely ignore topical content, you should just apply the 80/20 rule to it. 80% of your content should be “evergreen” and 20% topical. This strikes a useful balance that allows your brand to be flexible while remaining consistently valuable.

10.  Have a Strategy

Implement a plan so you are able to measure your success. Be aware of your goals: do you want to promote brand awareness, generate leads, or engage with your audience? All of these goals would require very different social media marketing practices. Knowing what you want is the first step in getting what you want when it comes to social media. Additionally, don’t just create a plan or implement a set of goals and then forget about it. You should continually return to past content to improve future posts and get a feel for what is working and what is not.

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