17 min read
As social media continues to expand, it seems like more and more businesses become comfortable with testing new ways and strategies to grow their social media presence.
We all know that it has spectacular benefits in terms of raising awareness, reaching new customers, creating a community around the brand and talking directly to your customer. Some of them may be reached on Instagram, others on Facebook and if you’re in B2B LinkedIn seems to be the best social network to be active on. It depends a lot on your business and the purpose behind social media efforts. There’s no perfect formula for everyone.
That’s why we asked social media managers directly – what do you do? We wanted to find out their best hacks and tips to understand how they’re managing to win the Internet for their brand or client. From people in agencies to SMEs, B2B and B2C, they were all eager to share.
Surprisingly or not, each of them has their own tips and tricks, but it was exciting to know that there are some specific patterns you’ll see for each brand – content and consistency is key to reach a bigger audience for your brand.
Let’s see their best hack in the hat?
Steph Taylor | Wildbloom Creative
Focus on storytelling rather than promotion, it has the power to win your audience’s emotions and it doesn’t have to be difficult – it can be as simple as showcasing the people behind the brand, talking about your bigger vision or purpose, or sharing your customers’ stories. A new tactic to grow your Instagram audience is to do an Instagram Live with someone who has a larger following. Start an Instagram Live from your account and then invite them to join it. Their followers will be alerted to the fact that they are live, and they’ll see your profile there too – which significantly improves your chances for a bigger audience and followers base.
Find out here how to tell a story on social media that your followers will love.
Levi Olmstead | G2 Crowd
It may seem a cliché, but I’d say the most important is to post valuable content and engagement. Build an audience that enjoys the content you’re publishing. Engage with that audience – build lists of influencers, follow them, like their posts, comment and engage. Over time they will get to know you and form a relationship.
Many businesses lack the fundamental understanding of marketing, and adding social media to the mix creates even more challenges. Old school business owners tend to treat social media like any other one-directional marketing channel, which can be deadly.
Here are a few examples of common mistakes you need to avoid on social media
Being overly self-promotional or salesy (pushing only products and services)
Not segmenting content by audience or platform
Not customizing or optimizing social platforms based on features, capabilities, and audience
Not creating or tracking key performance metrics to optimize campaign effectiveness
Nicholas Kinports | Lonely Brand
We’ve been doing behind the scenes content on Instagram for awhile, and that really helps with engagement and follows. People love getting a window into our world and seeing how things are done. Overall our e-commerce business has grown 50% MoM using this and other tactics, but that growth is largely attributed to Facebook/IG and a handful of others.
Carolyn Shlensky | Pelicon
The best way to build loyal followers and grow your accounts is by taking the time to listen to and engage with your audience. Great content is important, but don’t be so focused on blasting out posts that you don’t take time to engage with your followers – ask questions, respond to comments, engage with other accounts. When your audience sees that you’re responsive on social, they’re more likely to engage with your content as well. The more engagement your content receives, the better it performs and the more people it will reach.
Read here what are the best sixty questions to ask your audience on Instagram?
[bctt tweet=”The best way to build loyal followers and grow your accounts is by taking the time to listen to and engage with your audience.” username=”PlanableApp”]
Kenneth Lang | KML Consultants
LinkedIn is underutilized for personal and company social media presences. This tool isn’t just for job search anymore, it’s for business / professional networking. Everyone seems to use more common and promoted social media tools while not utilizing LinkedIn to share and comment on appropriate content. In my discussions with various ‘experts’, I find very few know how powerful LinkedIn can be. LinkedIn is basically a ‘business’ social media.
Brandon Chopp | iHeartRaves
We’ve amassed over 400K followers on our iHeartRaves Instagram page and we like to use influencers as part of our digital marketing strategy. Our target audience includes fashion oriented people who attend music festivals and enjoy electronic dance music. We engage in influencer marketing in a variety of ways. We find popular accounts who meet our criteria for selection, and we start a conversation to gauge whether or not it’s a good fit. Often times, we will send one of our products to an influencer for free, in exchange for an honest review that is posted to their blog or social media followers. In the case of Instagram, this leads to a ton of new followers for us, as well as sales.
For us, the most important element of an influencer package aside from the cultural fit is the overall reach of their blog or social media accounts. We measure our return on investment based on the number of new followers we receive, the number of impressions we receive, how much referral traffic we get, and of course – how many sales come as a result of the campaign.
Alex Membrillo | Cardinal Digital Marketing
Instagram’s “swipe-up” feature isn’t available until you have 10,000 followers, but it’s highly valuable. Swipe lets you link your story to a website or product listing and significantly grow your click-rate to the website. This can be a game-changer for online retailers.
Jean-Philippe Fortin-Cantin | DashThis
One of my favorite strategies is to use remarketing to existing customers to get page likes on Facebook, as it’s cheap and useful way to grow our fan base. By using remarketing we got page likes from highly qualified people that were responsible for 20 to 30% of our community growth.
With all our marketing effort we have over 60% of our clients in our fan base on Facebook. At our peak, we got about 450 likes for 0.30$ and we reached almost every client. We only spent 150$ and constantly optimized the remarketing campaign. It’s a strategy you can’t afford to do.
Kristien Matelski | Vizion Interactive
Growing a social media presence can be daunting. If you haven’t tried social media advertising, I recommend starting with a conservative budget (most social advertising is very economical!) and try promoting different types of posts/ads, testing your messaging, imagery, targeted audience, etc. You can also retarget people who have visited your website on their social channels, and since they’re already familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to follow you on social media as well!
What I find incredibly helpful for social media management is a tool that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time across multiple channels, as well as monitor the activity on those posts, and so much more!
Kristien said it right, you need a tool to collaborate and manage social media efforts. Which is why we had to, just had to remind you of Planable: 14 Days Free to Manage All Your Social Media Channels in One Place.
Stacy Caprio | Accelerated Growth Marketing
As a social media manager, my best tactic has been to genuinely engage with and answer customer comments and questions on all social platforms. Customers feel special and happy when brands respond to them and show they care. When you can build a connection with a customer that goes beyond the normal customer-brand relationship to a feeling of trust, friendship or humor, they will remember you and keep coming back for more.
Gigi Rodgers | Kontrolld Khaos
Distribution. Distribution. Distribution. You already put in the work into creating great content that’ll be of value to your audience. Now you have to get it in their faces. So what do you do?
You make a Distribution List and it’ll look something like this.
– Post in Facebook Groups
– Post on your Facebook Page or Profile
– Republish your article on LinkedIn
– Republish your article on Medium.com
– Post in relevant Reddit subs
– Answer Quora questions linking back to your article
And that’s not to mention getting featured in roundups, running Facebook & Instagram ads, and using other online forums to get your content in front of the people who would appreciate it most. Anyone should expect to spend 20% of their time writing an article and 80% of their time distributing it across the online landscape.
Charlie Worrall | Imaginaire Digital
There are no worthwhile shortcuts. You should never buy followers or likes. With this tactic, you’ll have an inactive following which doesn’t benefit you in any way. You should build your brand and advertise to people that will actually purchase our service or product. otherwise, you’ll be wasting money on creating adverts or other materials that no one will see, due to your inactive following.
Altimese Nichole | Digital brand Strategist
When seeking to grow your social media presence, it’s important to always start with relationships in mind. Your followers are extended relationships. Never attempt to sell a product or service with no invested time in building and nurturing a relationship. This occurs through engagement and conversation (also known as community management).
Find out how to manage dozens of social media accounts easier.
Keri Lindenmuth | KDG
Social media is meant to be social. It’s not supposed to be a one-sided conversation or a bombardment of ads. Your business needs to strike a balance between being engaging and presenting yourself as subject matter experts to show potential customers why they should choose you over your competitors. One of our tech company’s most successful social media campaigns is #TechTipTuesday. This campaign checks a lot of boxes. It’s engaging and informative. It teaches users something, encourages them to share and be social, and also shows our company’s expertise. We become a place social media users can come to get their regular dose of tips and insights.
[bctt tweet=”Social media is meant to be social. It’s not supposed to be a one-sided conversation or a bombardment of ads. ” username=”PlanableApp”]
Amy Kilvington | Blinds Direct
Remember to keep track of your engagement rate, which allows you to measure the level of interaction you get on your content (likes, saves, comments). This helps you determine if your content is right and having a positive effect on your audience. You should also consider the live streaming and Stories tools available on Instagram and Facebook. These will help to engage your following and reach a wider audience.
Chevie Publicover | Siege Digital Marketing
It’s important to install Facebook Pixel on your website, it tracks all the users that visit your website, view certain pages, fill out forms etc and it does its best to link them to a Personal Facebook page. It means that you’re providing valuable content on a specific topic and someone visits that page of your site, it’s likely they are interested in that topic.This means you can retarget them with more valuable information and encourage them to subscribe, follow etc. Our latest HVAC client has seen over 162% Revenue Growth by implementing a strategy that involves social media.
Tim Absalikov | Lasting Trend
Get really good at social storytelling. People are sick of spam and impersonal brand content only to get likes and comments. Throwing promo links in the post doesn’t work as well as it used to. Storytelling on social is the way to go now. People love stories and if you can invoke a specific emotion from your post then you’ve succeeded. Social storytelling rarely has promo links or a CTA in them, they’re for bringing about discussion and meaningful interactions. Your followers and social media platforms algorithm like these types of posts better.
Katie Campbell | Fundera
If you’d like to learn what topics and types of content perform best across different platforms, you should create a list of three to four topics associated with your business’s brand and plan different types of content like videos, articles, and images for each topic. Scheduling these out across a month on a social media management solution will allow you to experiment and analyze what topics and content results in the most engagement like shares, comments, likes, and more.
Find out how to never run out of ideas to post right here and categorize your content better.
Wouter de Vos
Engage with your community. Allways. Too many times I see a post with 50+ comments but none of them from the brand in question. Don’t ask questions if the answers scare you.
Natalie Hagen | TakeLessons
Instead of trying to do Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube – experiment and figure out which platforms give you the most engagement and return on your investment, then spend your time creating high-quality content and ads for those platforms. Let’s say you’ve found that Facebook produces higher ROIs than Twitter. Then you can take the time spent on Twitter and divert it to Facebook. This allows us to create higher quality content and spend more time engaging with our followers on Facebook figuring out exactly what motivates them to use our product and what they want to see more of.
Mike Khorev | Nine Peaks Media
The key for paid advertising is the more precise you can target your audience, the lower your cost and thus the higher your ROI. Be extra careful with your targeting, and utilize advanced targeting options like Lookalike Audiences (allowing major social media platforms to find the audience similar to those who have visited your site on their platform), which can be an effective lead generation method.
Lamia Kharchach | GOLIN Paris
The best advice I can give is – work on content. Produce content for the right network and the right timing. All brands are on social media. But not all of them use social media the right way. Content is the key!
[bctt tweet=”Produce content for the right network and the right timing. All brands are on social media. But not all of them use social media the right way. Content is the key! ” username=”PlanableApp”]
Lily Tomala | Sommet Education
Know your niche: own it, do it well and sincerely. Practically everyone I’ve worked with – in-house or agency – has been hugely guilty of bandwagoning, rather than identifying their target audience and building strong, unique and personal relationships with them; understanding that high engagement rate and true connection in a small fanbase will always trump a larger, disinterested following is essential.
Patience is also key, but rarely practiced: a solid community can take time to build, especially with younger generations – dare I say millennials – who use technology innately and can quickly decipher where there is and isn’t value.
Social is ultimately – and always has been – about the quality of relationships. Yes, the traditional paid/owned/earned approach still applies (if handled appropriately) but the cliché is true – you can’t buy love
Be authentic. The easiest way to be authentic is to share content that your audience will find useful. This way you add value to your community and strengthen your social media presence at once.
Kinga Odziemek | Brainy Bees
You can’t rely only on one platform. Testing is necessary not only for finding out what works out for you best but also for finding potential back-ups for your brand’s communication. Have a holistic approach for your content – before you create it, think how to redistribute it via social media. And by social media I mean more than Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Quora can be a great lead magnet, Pinterest can deliver high conversion, Twitter can be used for pitching journalists. Each piece of content should have a bit of a social media strategy behind it.
Ugljesa Djuric | CompetitorsApp
I have a system of 10 steps in 1,5 months, especially if you’re into B2C.
Step 1 – Create engaging and funny content for your target audience
Step 2 – Find the spot on the Internet where your ideal customers are
Step 3 – Scrape their information and use it as a Custom and Lookalike Audiences
Step 4 – Invest less than $50 into paying ads to your custom and lookalike audiences
Step 5 – Provide them valuable content who solves their problems – Guides, Playbooks, Sheets, How-to’s, Tips & Tricks, etc.
Step 6 – Retarget the people who visited your website and content
Step 7 – Narrow your custom and lookalike audience
Step 8 – Invest $50 more into proven ads with the proven audience (based on the knowledge from testing)
Step 9 – Build newsletter lists and engage with your followers daily, for example, ask them how are they doing, is there anything you can help them with, etc.)
Step 10 – Pay Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook bots to do boring stuff for you.
Use 24-hour tools and platforms (IG Stories, Snapchat etc) to act as a window into your business. Not perfectly polished pretending-to-be behind the scenes, but a real look at the personality behind your logo. The human side.
Keep in mind the social media success cycle
👉 Social Listening (show that you care about your customers)
👉 Social Influencing (show that you know your thing)
👉 Social Networking (help other people show that they know that you know your thing)
👉 Social Selling (generate leads, grow an email list, increase buyer frequency)
Beverley Theresa | Hello Beverley
Have a marketing budget for paid ads. You can have all the inspiring and engaging content you want, but if nobody knows it exists, it doesn’t matter and was a waste of time. Stop being too in your face with your sales. Nobody gives a sh*t about your company, product or service, they want to know HOW your offering will benefit THEM.
Don’t be afraid to use automation tools and bots to do work for you, just use them wisely. If you’re a personal brand, don’t be fake. Your audience is smart, be yourself, fakes are easy to spot on social media. Also, remember that social media isn’t a replacement for a website and an email address is worth more than a follower.
[bctt tweet=”You can have all the inspiring and engaging content you want, but if nobody knows it exists, it doesn’t matter and was a waste of time.” username=”PlanableApp”]
Betty James | Vibrant
Building an online presence is essential for every business. With social media, you can grow your audience and reach more people. Each strategy differs for different niches. Create engaging content, inspire, educate your viewers and of course market your business. Driving traffic to your website or landing page is a great way to get people to know more about your brand. You need to get to know people and trust is what it’s all about.