Social media marketing or management might seem like an easy thing to do. But the truth is, there is a lot that goes behind it if you really want to grow on these platforms. Increasing your social media presence isn’t just about posting a few times every day or boosting a few posts to garner likes – it needs to be strategic in approach, measurable and be constantly optimized for better results.
When you look at brands like Starbucks, Vans and others, you know they’re dominating the social space. But how did they really get there? Was it all about spending thousands of dollars to bring their audience together or was it a few smart moves that lasted them long enough to get where they are?
Well, without further ado, we bring to you 10 smart tips that will help you increase social presence of your brand – without having to scale up your marketing budgets.
1. Set realistic goals and objectives
The first and foremost step to grow your social media presence in a sustainable manner, is to set realistic and measurable goals for yourself. You need to have a very specific and defined answer to why you are on social media – just being there because the whole world is, doesn’t classify as a reason!
Make use of S.M.A.R.T technique when defining your goals and objectives.
- Specific – define which platform your audience is on, which platform you can leverage from the most and how
- Measurable – what is the measure of success for your business on that platform
- Achievable – what is a realistic result you’re aiming at considering the marketing resources and budgets available to you
- Relevant – how is your social media activity relevant to your brand or how does it help in achieving your overall business goals
- Time bound – the time span you set for yourself to achieve a milestone on a specific social platform
2. Identify your actual target audience
Social media is a vast space and the number of users on each of these platforms, is increasing by the day. And let’s be honest, not all of them are your target audience.
Before trying to leverage from social media, it is important to identify your target market or audience. Who are you trying to engage with, what do they do, what are they facing a challenge with, what are they looking for, how can you help them and how can you make them respond to your message.
Here are the 6 keys to identifying your target audience:
- Identify your product market
- Create a marketing and sales funnel
- Determine the core values of your product
- Identify potential market via surveys
- Conduct competitor analysis
- Leverage from machine learning
Also read: The 6 Key Steps to Identifying Your Target Audience
3. Ensure you’re always human
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make when using social media, is to not give it a personality. This results in the brand’s account looking more robotic in nature – and no one wants to connect or can feel a connect with such a profile.
Since there will definitely be a person managing your social accounts, ensure he/she is able to include some of their personality in the messages or interaction they make. It gives a more personal touch to the social media activity and people know they are reaching out to another human who is more likely to reply to their concerns.
A small way to include a human touch is to sign off a reply with a name. People would know instantly who they are talking with from the brand’s side. For instance, TTC created a separate account to offer customer service to its audience. They ensure each of their tweets is signed off with either a name or initials – this reassures their following that the replies are not automated and somebody is definitely looking into the concern raised by them.
4. Focus on building relationships
In their zeal to create a social presence, brands tend to overlook the core essence of these platforms – socialising. Instead of only trying to convey your brand’s message, sell a product or reinforce a concept, focus on building lasting relationships with your audience.
Get your audience engaged with what you do and share, and you’ll notice how your social presence gets boosted. A few tips to keep in mind while trying to build relationships on your social accounts:
- Mention or tag the people you’re speaking to so that they get notified of it
- Answer all the questions your audience has – positive or negative
- Reply or thank people who share your content or mention your brand in a post
- Start a conversation wherever possible
- Include user generated content in your calendar
5. Create a compelling content calendar
There is no way to work without content marketing today. But a wise decision is to integrate your marketing efforts, instead of trying to create separate calendars for everything. Create an editorial calendar that doesn’t just cater to your inbound strategy, but also gives you enough content to maintain a rock solid presence on social media.
Although, it is important to keep in mind that while sharing content on social media, you don’t become too repetitive. Stick to a theme, but offer different types of content to your audience. Like they say, different strokes for different folks!
6. Leverage from marketing automation
Scheduling your social media activity – posts and messages, is a great way to manage time and campaigns that you need to run across various channels. But in the time of personalization, it is important to ensure you’re leveraging from marketing automation the right way.
The only right way of using automation is to incorporate a human touch. Here are 5 ways to sound less robotic and more human:
- Build your own marketing database
- Organize your segmentation
- Share relevant and contextual content
- Keep the sales team in the loop
- Experiment to scale up
Learn how to humanize your marketing automation with Wigzo here.
7. Make use of visuals
About 65% of people are visual learners and about 90% of information stored in our brain is in the form of visuals. The same holds true when it comes to social media – the two pretty much go hand in hand.
Visuals are proven to get more engagement than any other form of content. Hence, instead of always sharing textual information, switch to using visuals to convey the same. But remember, general stock images aren’t going to do the trick all the time. Here are a few things you can experiment with:
- Popular industry quotes
- Short videos
- Customer shoutouts
- Behind the scenes
8. Promote your social profiles aggressively
One of the simplest things to do and yet, the most commonly overlooked tip – promoting your social profiles aggressively across all channels. Relying entirely on a social platform and campaigns to grow your audience, is like missing out on thousands of opportunities.
It is important to promote your social profiles – the most active ones, on all the digital and offline channels you’re making use of to communicate with your target audience. For instance:
- Add your social profile badges to your business website and blog
- Include your social links in your email signatures
- Ensure your social profiles are included in guest posts
- Promote your social media username on print media
9. Remain consistent and relevant
The one thing about social media platforms that businesses need to keep in mind is the fact that it is growing at a fast pace. The less active you are, the higher are the chances of your occasional content being overlooked.
There are brands that are sharing content on platforms like Twitter and Facebook so aggressively to remain on top of their audience’s news feed, that getting lost in the volume is highly possible. This is why it is important that their is a consistent effort made towards social media management.
Decide on a frequency of posts for each social platform, the timings your audience is more likely to engage with them on and stick to it! But remember, in your zeal to post consistently, you don’t end up losing relevance.
10. Keep a track on what’s trending
The one way to ensure you land up in your target audience’s feed – including those who aren’t following you, is to leverage from what’s trending. This technique is popularly known as trendjacking and refers to cashing in on something that already has a buzz around it.
For instance, when the debate around the color of a dress started – black and blue or white and gold, many brands used it to promote their own range of clothing that was similar to it. Be it on Twitter or on Instagram, they ended up leveraging from what simply started as a debate!
But the only thing that you need to ensure while implementing this tip is to be able to tie the trend back to your core business or brand message. If you compromise on relevance, you lose your audience.
Over to you
There are a number of ways to grow your social media presence, but the above mentioned pointers should always form the base of your strategy – whether it is a paid campaign or an unpaid effort over a period of time.
Remember to closely measure the results of every social media effort you make, and optimize them with small changes over a period of time. Experimenting, testing, measuring and optimizing are the core elements of a successful social media campaign.
What other tips would you have for increasing one’s social media presence?