Over the past few years, I’ve been growing my personal media social accounts as well as major enterprise brands. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about social media growth.
Research from Datareportal revealed that 3.96 billion people across the planet use social media today, equating to almost 51% of the total global population. Fifty-four percent of these social users were influenced by social media to make purchases. If your company is not implementing a social media strategy, these purchasing decisions will benefit your competitors.
It is extremely important to have a social media plan. Whether you hire someone as your social media manager or contract with an agency to do it for you, you should have a social media strategy for your company. Social media takes time and should be managed fully.
Ask yourself, what are your social media goals? Are you looking to grow your following? Do you want to increase ROI? When you start with your goals, it's easier to determine your strategy. Once you know what you want to accomplish with social media, here are a few tips.
Some people believe posting more will help grow your social media presence, and others believe that it’s the quality of posts that do this. Overall, it’s a little bit of both. You want to keep a consistent number of posts while also making sure their quality fits into your social feed. Consider posting at least once per day on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and 2-3 times per day on Twitter.
As far as the quality of these posts, consider the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of your content should be promotional, with persuasive calls-to-action, including information that would benefit customers, whether it be a discount, special offer or useful stat. The other 80 percent of your content should be educational. This includes influencer content that revolves around the way you do business. Look at what content appeals to your audience by creating buyer personas. Take a look at your strategy from the previous year to see which posts received the most engagement, and continue posting similar content.
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content, which has already started to dominate social media in terms of content published. Whether it is short-form videos like those popular on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, videos will continue to be the future of social media.
According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video. If you’re not currently creating videos, now is the time to start including it within your social media strategy.
Make sure to keep up with your audience and current trends. If your audience is starting to make their way to a new platform, it should be on your radar. If you see that your audience is now on TikTok or WhatsApp, represent a smaller subset of your bandwidth tied to experimentation and growth within those secondary channels.
Keeping up with posting can be overwhelming, whether it’s for your personal account or for multiple accounts you are managing. Services such as Hubspot’s Social Media Tool let you schedule your posts ahead of time. This way, you can plan out your social calendar and keep everything consistent.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of companies that do not factor in when their followers are online viewing content on each platform. Instagram and Facebook let you view when your followers are online. This way, you can consistently post at the right times each day on all of your platforms. Use Tweriod.com to view when your Twitter followers are online.
If you want your posts to be seen, it is a necessity to boost them, as changes to Facebook's algorithm have essentially made the platform a pay-to-play model for brands. With a wide range of targeting options and Facebook scheduling, you can essentially reach who you want, when you want.
Boost the posts that receive the most organic reach. The more people who see your post organically, the more people will see these posts when you boost them via paid advertising. To view what posts are receiving the most organic views, go to your Insights tab on Facebook, then select “Reach.” Here, you will be able to see each Facebook post broken down by reach. Also, boost posts that ask questions. This will increase your engagement.
A great way to expand your target audience is with Facebook lookalike audiences. These are advanced targeting options that give you more control finding new audiences that are very similar to your existing audience.
You can create lookalike audiences based on your sources. Some examples of lookalike audience sources you can use are people who have viewed a page on your website, a custom email list, people who have watched a percentage of one of your videos, and so on.
These audiences are based on a percentage sample of people in your target country, from 1% to 10%. The best way to get the most out of lookalike audience advertising is to test each of these percentage samples to see which produces the best results.
Observe their social media posts to find out what’s working and what isn’t. This will help you avoid certain topics and go above and beyond to get a step ahead of the competition. It starts with trial-and-error, but if you can see what isn’t working from your competitors, you are saving yourself time by avoiding content that isn’t relevant enough for your brand. Also, check out HubSpot’s Social Monitoring tool. This will help you track social conversations that matter to you most, including the conversations your competitors are having.
Find out which of the platforms you’re using are the strongest and which ones need some work. Take those platforms with a strong presence and create posts to promote your other platforms. You can even pin these posts to maximize your reach. Also, don’t forget to put links to your other channels in your bios.
It’s important to take a look at your engagement rate (the number of people engaging on your posts divided by the number of followers you have) to understand how well (or not well) your channels are performing. The average engagement rate on social media is around 2%. A great engagement rate to aim for is between 3.5% and 6%, which is considered high.
Ask questions in your posts to help increase your engagement. It helps make your followers feel important. Ask them to tag friends who may enjoy your content. Friends tend to have similar interests with one another, and this will only help grow your audience.
On top of this, respond to your followers. Be personal with them so they feel they’re truly a part of the conversation. It’s called social media for a reason!
Social media has always been a place for conversations and has now become a place for users to also receive customer service. Make sure to respond in a timely manner to users who have questions, advice, etc. One of the most important things on social media is responsiveness.
Growing a social media presence isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes time. The information shared in this article can help you get started and reach your social media goals.
Social media is only one part of your overall strategy. Learn more about social media best practices and how to strategically advertise your message with our free Demand Generation Guide.