Social media is going to get even more difficult for businesses supply of content already far exceeds demand and paid reach keeps falling dramatically.
Plus, all the platforms want to make you pay to play. But organic social media isn't dead you just need to get inventive, you just need to be a bit different.
We are going to share with you some nifty tricks and tips that are going to really help your business on social media. So let's do this.
10 Actionable Tips on Social Media for Business
Social Media Tip Number One:
The first half an hour of a post going live is make or break. And in the modern age of social media, this tip is arguably going to have the biggest impact on your social posting.
So what's tip number one?
- Get engagement early - the social algorithms for every platform love this.
Take Instagram, for example, the algorithm works in three stages.
Stage one, as soon as you post something, the algorithm is going to start to show that new posts to a small sample of your audience and then monitor how fast that post gets engaged.
In stage two Instagram is going to compare the level of engagement the new post is receiving to a post made at a similar time of day previously.
Stage three is your photo attracting a lot of engagement - great - Instagram will start showing it to a larger proportion of your audience. And it may even showcase it on the Explorer page for a chance at super virality. So this can be the big one.
If the post continues to attract strong engagement, it's going to stay at the top of more people's feeds, increasing reach and the chance of extra engagement with the photo or brand page.
And the story is the same for every social platform, you really need to be driving engagement early on. This is going to help both your reach and the longevity of the posts.
And if you don't get engagement early on - expect to be drowned out by the other 3 billion social accounts that are going to be posting content.
Quick Bonus Social Media Tip
Know your algorithms.
This is going to be fundamental to mastering social media.
It's really going to inform your tactics, to help you excel and definitely beat the competition.
Social Media Tip Number Two:
Time to get a little bit hacky.
You want to be getting your post ranked really early on. So a really big tip is, where possible, to avoid outbound links at all costs.
Every social media platform wants you to stay on that platform.
Basically, it means they can serve you more ad impressions and ultimately make more money.
But wait, surely you need to share outbound links on social media?
Absolutely. Luckily, there are workarounds.
We have to thank Jean, our internal Linkedin expert for this tip as this example comes from that platform.
The great thing about LinkedIn is it allows you to do two things.
One, it allows you to edit a previously published post and two allows you to copy links to specific comments.
So what does this mean?
It means you can avoid outbound links in the main body of the post by publishing and then placing the link in the first comment after that, you just need to copy the comment link and place it that inside the body of the post.
We've typically seen a 1 to 200% increase in reach since we started using this technique.
Do you know any cool tricks on the other platforms like this?
Bonus Social Media Tip:
Now, this is something I love to do on social media and it's using tools like Rebrandly to mask your links.
There are three benefits to this.
Benefit one: they look much nicer and much more on brand.
Benefit two: you can also use a tool like ClickMeter to track even more metrics, like the number of clicks, the geography of those clicks, and even the platforms and organisations those clicks came from.
Benefit number three: and our absolute favourite is you can add retargeting pixels to the branded links. This will allow you to fire a page selling ads to the people that engage with relevant content.
Social Media Tip Number Three:
Have you ever used the subject line trick with email marketing?
This is a handy little marketing automation hack that can really help improve the performance of your email campaigns.
Simply put, you can resend an email a few days later, to all those that didn't open it with a brand new subject line.
We've actually seen open rates increased by over 25% using this tactic. Different copy interests different people.
But hold on, what's this got to do with social media?
Well, it's actually a social distribution hack. It's a way to significantly improve the reach and the longevity of your owned content.
Owned media being any property that you can control and that's unique to your business.
There are over 1.5 billion pieces of content being released to the internet every day, you need to do a lot to get noticed.
You've put loads of time and effort into making an amazing blog post or compelling landing page. So you obviously want to make sure as much of your audience sees it as possible.
But sharing identical content over and over again doesn't really work.
It gets stale, and the social algorithms hate it.
So you've got to make the old look new, but how? Change up the metadata.
Most blogging platforms and landing page creation tools are going to allow you to do this
Take for instance Instapage, HubSpot and Yoast for WordPress, much like changing the subject line of an email, changing the metadata on your own content is going to help you be seen by a whole new segment of your audience.
And you never know, with some amazing new copy and visuals it could even help it go viral.
Another Social Media Bonus Tip:
Don't have loads of owned content yet? No problem.
Content curation can actually be really valuable for your social audience and help establish thought leadership.
But surely the benefits can be limited, right?
How about you try distributing this curated content with a tool like snip.ly
Snip.ly is a tool that allows you to add a call to action to curated articles and then drive traffic back to your site.
Just make sure you actually relate that call to action to the content of the piece. Also, when you're creating content, try using a tool like buzzsumo.com to find the best article to share one’s with proven virality.
Social Media Tip Number Four:
Engineered marketing is the idea of giving something valuable away for free, and then selling something related at a later date.
And what's going to working really well is social media is quizzes.
A Buzzsumo article found that two of the most shared pieces of content on Facebook were actually quizzes, and research from Neil Patel found the most popular content by far was quizzes.
Quizzes generated over 50k shares and likes compared to 15k for articles.
Sharing quizzes feeds our ego and gives people a glimpse into who we are, what we're interested in, and what we value.
This is called social currency.
We’ll come on to that a little bit later.
Quizzes can be ideal for qualified lead generation. As long as you ask the right questions.
Take our T shaped player quiz, for example, this went crazy on social media.
And we generated nearly 1000 responses in just a few weeks because people love to benchmark their skills against their peers.
And for us, we get some amazing insight into the market for skills where they're abundant, and where they're lacking - pretty powerful for an education company.
And great news. quizzes are actually really easy to make with the right tools.
We have been experimenting with quizzes using Twitter and Facebook. And so far, so good.
Building them natively on the platform offers much less functionality than the tools mentioned.
But the great thing is, as we said earlier, you won't be generating an outbound link. So the algorithms are going to love you, plus quizzes really help you to start the conversation with the audience.
Social Media Tip Number Five:
Most social networks have recently come out and said they're going to favour posts that generate what they call meaningful conversation.
They want their users to have a better experience.
So yet again, they've killed the reach of page posts in favour of friends and family.
Take Facebook, for example, they recently came out and said that over the next few months, they'll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about most.
On top of this, Mark Zuckerberg himself came out and said one of our big focus areas for is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
Killing the organic reach of page posts increasingly makes Facebook the pay to play arena for businesses so that probably has nothing to do with it.
However, this is not the end of organic social media on Facebook for business.
We just need to get smarter. So be conversational. It's best practice on every platform.
Anyone start the conversation, mediate the conversation and get involved in a conversation.
But how do you start the conversation? First, you want to be getting clever with your copywriting.
Write copy that actually elicits a response - as an example, if you're sharing a blog post pose a question. You can also ask for people's thoughts on a subject, or think of triggers to start a discussion on recently trending subjects.
David Ogilvy, the godfather of advertising once said:
Do not address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they're alone. So write, copy, and post questions for a person, not a following.
Secondly, you're going to want to use the right content medium. The head of Newsfeed at Facebook recently said live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook.
In fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.
Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers.
And with being conversational just remember the basics - always respond.
Media is billboards, TV and print ads. Social media is conversational. Your profile is an extension of your business and your brand.
Essentially, having no profile is better than having an inactive profile social for business
Social Media Tip Number 6:
More than 80% of all web traffic will be video.
More video content is uploaded every 30 days than the major US television networks have created in the last 30 years.
Plus, according to research by Forrester one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words to your audience. That's right.
Tip number six is to use video it's going to continue to reign supreme across all the social platforms which love video.
More stats alert.
Did you know that social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
Plus, our good friend Mark Zuckerberg announced a social network is generating 8 billion video views daily. Even the sinking ship that is Snapchat says they're still generating more than 10 billion video views every single day.
Plus, around 60% of video is consumed on mobile phones, so your brand should really make sure it takes a mobile-first approach.
Going mobile-first is a big topic.
We love videos at Growth Tribe, for us average engagement on a video is 225% greater than photos and 186% greater than linked posts.
We went video first back in 2017. And it was one of the best marketing moves we've ever made.
You need to go video, but wait, hold on - video marketing has huge barriers to entry right?
We love Video Marketing here at growth tribe. We have two full-time video professionals, as well as a team of T-shaped marketing professionals that can contribute whenever necessary. What about smaller businesses with fewer people, fewer resources and less time?
Well to help, our resident video expert Paolo released this video on creating professional business videos on a budget.
You can also use tools like Animoto, WAV, and even keynote to make videos that are perfectly suited for social media.
Even the big players are using these tools for efficiency.
Take this video from the World Economic Forum This can be easily recreated using a tool like Animoto.
Bonus pro social media tip:
Try using square video for Facebook, Twitter and the Instagram feed and obviously use vertical video for Instagram stories, Facebook stories and Snapchat.
Why? Because it means more visual real estate.
Extra bonus tip - don't have original video content ideas yet? Experiment by repurposing old articles as video. Tools like Lumen5 actually use a form of AI to turn articles into a short video. Perfect for social media.
As a final note or video for social, always post natively, where possible. What we mean by that is actually upload the video to the social platform and then post it.
We use what I like to call the two-week rule. So when we first make a video, we do post a link onto our social platforms. But around two weeks later, when the initial traction dropped off, we're more than happy to upload it again natively to the social platforms. Because we get to see a spike in the reach.
Found an awesome video on YouTube, you'd love to share? You could actually get a little bit cheeky, and maybe ask the content owner, if they're happy for you to share that video.
Download that YouTube video and re-upload it natively onto the social platform of choice because you're going to see much more reach.
Social Media Tip Number Seven:
As we mentioned earlier, you really need to drive engagement early on. But we get that that's easier said than done.
How can you craft an epic post that people want to like, comment and share immediately? Great question. And so important for owning social media.
Our favourite recipe is the S.T.E.P.P.S framework developed by Jonah Berger, in this book.
This framework is essentially the first real scientific look at what makes things go viral.
In the words of Jonah, there is actually a science behind why people share some things rather than others.
And remember social media platforms and technologies. They're not strategies in and of themselves, you have to understand why people share some things rather than others in order to use social media to your own advantage.
The first part of the framework, and what I would definitely argue is the most important for social media is called social currency.
People share things that make them look good.
Think about the last thing you shared on social media. Why did you share it? Did it make you look smart? Did it make you look cool? Whenever you craft new content for social ask yourself, is it remarkable?
Secondly, start thinking about triggers. What we mean by this is what's going to be top of mind for your audience in the world of social media?
A real safe bet is to look at what's trending, you're probably not a TechCrunch or a LadBible.
So trying to share the absolute latest trends and news is probably not going to work, you're likely going to be beaten by many, many more publishers that have crazy amounts of resources, and they're going to beat you to the punch.
But what you could do is incorporate current trends in your own uniquely branded way.
In the run-up to GDPR. We actually released content specifically on how this will affect growth hackers and marketers rather than focus on the full regulation because, to be honest, that's insanely boring.
While on the subject of triggers we just want to throw out a special mentioned Oreo they came up with what for us is probably the most timely triggered social post of all time, so take some inspiration.
Back during the 2013 Super Bowl the company capitalised on a massive power outage by tweeting this post, entitled you can still dunk in the dark.
Huffington Post actually proclaimed that one of the most buzz-worthy ads of the Super Bowl on Sunday wasn't even a commercial. It was a mere tweet from Oreo during the blackout.
Bear in mind that Super Bowl ads are multi-million dollar projects. So this is some achievement and has gone down as one of the best real-time marketing efforts ever.
Up next, let's get emotional.
As brilliantly coined by Jonah Berger: to care is to share.
That's why very often the most viral content is the most emotional content.
So when creating content for social media, think about how much high arousal emotion it's likely to create? Does the post inspire and amaze? Perhaps it's funny, will it hit a nerve make you angry? Maybe it's controversial.
Not everything we can share can be super emotional, but that's okay because the next point is practical value.
We've looked at why caring makes you share. But this is all about sharing because you can.
As an education company, at Growth Tribe, we often focus on practical value. Is it actionable, can you the viewer, take this information and use it straight away?
When it comes to both emotion and practical value, the stats really don't lie.
Take the list of the most viral Facebook content, the top 10 most viral pieces of content are either heartwarming, inspiring, amazing, or offer practical tips.
The only one that supposedly doesn't is a pie hacks video, which is outrageous, because one who doesn't like pies? And two, in our opinion, perhaps the ultimate form of practical value.
So why are they all the top kinds of posts? Content that is stuffed with emotion and practical value have way more social currency.
So the next ingredient in this virality recipe is public.
In the world of consumer goods this is about visibility, in the world of social media, we like to think about public as social proof.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.
So what's social proof on social media? For us, this is visible, engaged, visible likes, comments and shares.
Have you seen an article or a video with little or no engagement, you're going to be much less likely to engage with that content yourself even if you think the content might be interesting if of course, you see it.
On the other hand, a post with hundreds or even 1000’s of visible engagement points is going to appear more credible or high quality.
This has also been referred to as wisdom of the crowds social proof.
This is when a large group of people appear to be endorsing. Essentially, this many people can’t be wrong.
This is why we have to stress the importance of early engagement for your 2019 social strategy. It's a snowball effect, early engagement equals more reach, which equals more potential for even more engagement.
And this sounds sort of obvious, but more engagement, therefore, equals more engagement, that social virality.
Finally, you've got to wrap everything in a story and tell a good one at that.
As Neil Patel recently revealed, you need to share life experiences. Your life is unique. If you can tie your personal experiences into your content, you'll do much better. You and your business's unique experiences are original, more remarkable and much harder to replicate.
So be authentic, be fun, be educational, be thought provoking, just be different.
Social Media Tip Number Eight:
In a social media world, where the supply of content far exceeds demand, you have to stand out. Even great content is going to fail if you don't deliver in the right way.
Changing our YouTube social shares from link to photo posts, we actually saw 250% more reach and 500% more engagement. Why? They were much more visual and used more real estate.
The same can be said for Twitter, especially when you're trying to go mobile-first, posts with lots of visual content are really going to excel.
Moz actually did some eye-tracking of Google SERPs and found that visual imagery on a page draws all of the attention.
So we talked earlier about video content on social, and while we know a lot of brands are going 100% video on social media now, we get that it's not possible for everyone.
And often, it's not actually right for every business.
So it's best practice number two, at least ensure you're being visual.
By that we mean use emojis, use GIFs and use effective imagery that really drives emotion.
And please make them originals. Never use stock photos, it's the best way to blend in. As it turns out, cheesy stock photos can be a huge turnoff for your readers because they're in person.
We would even argue that most of them are ridiculous. But hey, we understand that often. businesses do tend to use stock photography because they don't have the time or knowledge to create high-quality professional photos using tools like Photoshop and Illustrator.
Well, good news. And here's another bonus tip for you - use tools.
My personal favourite is Canva it's been a lifesaver for us when we need to quickly create visuals for Facebook ads, blog banners, webinars and social assets and in general, they look great and anyone can use it.
Social Media Tip Number Nine:
According to a post by Social Media Today having a core social media schedule can help you create consistency and retention, fill in gaps, create consistent interactions and reach, figure out what works and what doesn't, stop you pulling your hair out which by the way, we highly discourage, and free up more time and develop an outline your brand story.
An impromptu your approach to social media just isn't going to cut it. There's too much competition policy much content.
As we've said your social content is going to have to be absolutely amazing. This means the majority of it is inevitably going to need to be planned. It may need to be aligned with product launches, the company roadmap, holidays and events.
Luckily, there are more tools and we can even count to help you out.
Two scheduling tools that we would recommend are Hootsuite and Buffer.
Hootsuite has slightly more functionality but Buffer is a little more inexpensive.
At Growth Tribe, our overall content calendar actually has a huge influence on our social media calendar. As does the company roadmap, any product launches that might be coming up, the holiday and events calendar, plus any recurring native social content that we put out on a regular basis.
And Finally, Social Media Tip Number 10:
What is your goal for being on social media? What's your one metric that matters in the world of social media?
It's going to be really easy to get carried away with a vanity metric.
So I know I've talked a lot about reach in this video.
And yes, it's a great leading indicator to show that you're posting and social strategies work, more reach often leads to more eyeballs on your content.
So brand awareness, more engagement, and then more web traffic and lead generation ultimately.
If the only reason you're using social media is for brand awareness and presence, then fine, reach is okay.
But for most of us, reach is actually a prerequisite for what really matters. So make sure you dig a little deeper.
At Growth Tribe we measure both Hard and Soft metrics.
The soft fluffy metrics, as we like to call them include reach, engagement and sessions driven from social sources.
The hard metrics, the ones that really matter to us include marketing qualified leads that have been influenced.
We actually use attribution reporting to do this and new leads generated where the first touchpoint was social media.
Why? Because lead generation is our one metric that matters.
So don't worry about followers.
Be engaging and be sharing. A small group of highly engaged followers is far more powerful than a large following of ghosts.
Ghosts don't share, brand ambassadors do. They're really going to help you gain that early traction you need your posts to take off.
So look. Social Media Marketing, especially organic is going to get even tougher for businesses.
And don't be surprised to see major algorithm updates that hurt businesses even further.
Thats all for now, we really hope this guide and video is going to help you excel in social media.
Best of luck with your Social Media efforts!
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