You’re likely used to hearing that social media marketing is one of the best ways to promote your brand quickly and cost-effectively. And why wouldn’t you be? Today, over 77% of marketers use at least one social media platform to promote their business. However, only 48% are seeing a solid return on investment. So, the majority see potential in social media marketing, but many are not seeing results. So what’s the magic formula? While everyone’s talking about how great social media marketing can be, far fewer resources exist to help you figure out exactly how to maximize your efforts. We’ve rounded up 10 actionable steps you can take right now to boost your social media marketing’s ROI.
1. Make sharing third party content a key part of your strategyOne mistake many small business owners make is that they focus exclusively on self-promotion. The key part of the term “social media” is the word “social”. It might seem counterintuitive, but focusing on immediate conversions and sale will NOT get you a great ROI on social media. Followers will quickly get bored and turned off by a self-centered newsfeed. The first step to keeping them engaged is to be sociable. That means sharing other people’s content in addition to your own. One general guideline followed by many social media marketing experts is the 80/20 rule. Share 20% of your own promotional content and 80% of third-party content that interests your target audience. Not only will content curation help you build a loyal network of followers, but it will also help you connect with leaders in your industry. You never know, they might even return the favor and re-share something of yours, or at least mention you in a response. Pro tip: make sure you always tag/mention the author of the article and any businesses mentioned in the content you share. This encourages them to join the conversation.
2. Use a social media scheduling toolScheduling your content allows you to do two very important things:
- Organise your content in advance, instead of posting last minute.
- Reach your target audience at optimal times.
3. Boost your content with social media adsIs a post doing really well? Maybe you’ve got a really important article you’d like thousands of people to see? Consider boosting your content with social media ads. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make it really easy to get your content at the top of people’s news feed with just a few dollars. The great thing about social media advertising is that it helps you target very specific audiences and demographics. Before you set up your ad, make sure you think carefully about who it is you want to see your content. The more specific you can be, the easier you make it for Facebook and Twitter to place your content correctly. An even cooler Facebook ads feature is that it lets you retarget audiences that have already shown interest.Once you’ve generated traffic from your boosted content, a great extra step is to retarget that traffic with a special offer. A little promotional feature will help convert that new traffic into loyal repeat customers.
4. Use video content to get more engagementVideo content is extremely popular on social media right now. According to an article in Forbes, video posts are generating three times more monthly visitors to a website than text-only posts. Video content doesn’t have to be super technical and costly to produce. For example, you can record an interview or a “behind-the-scenes” using your phone. The most important thing is that the content is highly relevant and interesting to your audience. If this wasn’t enough, Facebook now makes it easier than ever to add video content with Facebook Live and Instagram stories. Want to know more about using Facebook Live to grow your business? You might like this article. Whether you use a platform’s live video options or pre-record a 30-second clip, consider including a special promotional offer at the end of the video to increase your traffic even more.
5. Use branded links for third party contentPeople may be really interested in the content you share, but if you send all traffic to third parties, how do you benefit? Well, there’s ways. A number of tools have come up recently allowing you to add your own brand in an overlay over third party content you’ve shared. You do that by using one of these tools as a URL shortener and showing your brand in a small overlay on screen once the user clicks the link. While there might be different opinions on how fair that is for the original content owners, one might argue if you’ve taken the effort to share someone else’s content, you might also get something for yourself in the process – you know, a win-win situation. After all, the original content owner gets more links from you and traffic, you just get a little bit extra visibility by showing your brand with their content (you’re not taking over their site branding, just adding a tiny mention of yourself and a CTA button in an overlay at the bottom of the screen). To mention a few, we have Snipe.ly, Replug, Back.ly, Rite.ly, Sharey. They’re all quite similar, all worth a look. The latest addition to the bunch above, is a tool like PixelME which takes a different approach: once you share a link using their shortener you can track anyone who clicks on your links – whether your own content or third-party links or not – and retarget them with tailored ads across social media. You can run retargeting ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google to anyone who clicks on one of your links. Powerful (Fair? that’s another discussion)!
6. Learn from the experts and influencers in your industryWhen in doubt, turn to the experts. A great way to get ahead in social media marketing is by combining the expertise and experience of industry leaders, whilst adding your own brand voice. Make sure you’re following the best brands in your industry and taking note of their social media marketing strategies. A few key things to look out for:
- How they engage their followers
- Which of their posts see the best results
- What kind of tone they use
- How often they post