I had the privilege to share my insights and provide tips about Social Media Growth Hacking for another site recently, so I thought I would share that content with you all as well. It was an awesome experience to collaborate with many top social media influencers whom I respect to provide a comprehensive resource for marketers and business owners alike. With no two influencers using the same strategy, it was a great collaboration to take a peek at how each of the top 30 influencers and social media consultants hack their way to achieving success. Unfortunately the original article was deleted from the web, so all we have left to share are my own contributions to the piece…
Here is the summary of the social media growth hacks that I believe can help marketers in keeping up with the harsh and competitive world of social media marketing.
Give Your Branding its Own Voice
Branding is all about being consistent across channels. This means that the same naming, color scheme, and imagery that is part of your branding guidelines needs to be applied to social media.
The challenge, though, is that most branding guidelines don’t include “voice,” perhaps the most important part of your social media branding.
Here’s another perspective on social media “voice”:
Nearly 84 percent of employees surveyed believe that CEO social media engagement is an effective tool to increase brand loyalty, while 68 percent think that C-suite social media use enhances the perception that a company is honest and trustworthy.
With that in mind, who represent (or represents) the voice of your company in your social media branding guidelines? And what will their tone(s) be?
Maximize and Optimize Your Content
If social media users are communicating and sharing information in social media, what is your company going to talk about? Content provides the medium to help you engage in conversation – and creating content that is truly resourceful and shareable can have many long-term benefits to your company’s social media presence.
Content isn’t just about blog posts, photos, and videos: Think outside of the box! Creating infographics, presentations, memes, and even discussions (such as in a LinkedIn Group) are all types of content that should be considered for your social media marketing strategy.
That being said, 62% of marketers blog or plan to this year – and I’ve been blogging since 2010 as to why a blog should be a part of your social media strategy.
Has your company started blogging – and is it completely integrated in your social media strategy?
One of My Favorite Social Media Growth Hacking Hacks: Breathe New Life into Your Content through Curation
If you’re just talking about yourself in social media, no one wants to listen. It’s only when you begin to curate content that is of interest to your followers and promote it together with your own content that your social media accounts begin to breathe new life.
Did you know that 85% of marketers surveyed stated that content curation is an important tool for establishing thought leadership?
Does your social media strategy include which sources you plan to curate from – as well in which ways you plan to leverage your content curation activities? Don’t forget that crowdsourcing content is also a great way of curating – especially if it is from your own fans’ tweets about and photos of your products.
Choose the Social Media Channels that Fit with Your Brand
There are more than 50 types of social media networks having at least 10 million members. Which of these social media “channels” will your company include as part of your social media strategy?
You can’t – and shouldn’t – have a presence on every social media channel, but deciding which social networks to engage in – and creating internal best practices and tactical plans for each of these networks – will form a sizable part of your social media strategy.
While most companies concentrate on the more established social networks, depending on your industry the new emerging social networks of Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram, or even more niche social networks, might be equally important.
Strategic Posting Frequency Can Spell the Difference
No two social networks are alike, and with limited resources you need to decide how much time you are going to spend doing what on each platform. This will also help you measure how well you are doing as well as maximize your ROI for time and resources spent on each platform.
More frequent posting doesn’t necessarily make your social media more effective. Post strategically.
For instance, one data point shows that when a brand posts on Facebook twice a day, those posts only receive 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post that a single post receives.
Are you using data to properly tweak your frequency strategy for each social network so as to maximize the effectiveness of your posting?
Practice Both Proactive and Reactive Engagement
Engagement should be considered in both its proactive and reactive forms. While most companies do well at proactive engagement with their own content, proactively engaging with new social media users and reactively engaging with those who engage with your updates are equally important to create an effective social media presence.
One thing to keep in mind about engagement, though, is that engagement should be a tactic to help you achieve your objective, not the objective itself.
It’s interesting to note that 60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a fan or follower.
Is the engagement with your fans on each of your social media profiles worthy of being followed?
Implement a Listening Strategy to Augment Your Social Media Strategy Growth Hacks
Listening has more meaning than merely being on the lookout for complaints. Every engagement with a social media user is a golden opportunity, and being a good listener can also help you reap the benefits of utilizing big social data to help understand potential future trends for your products and services.
Here’s two stats that indicate the importance of implementing a listening strategy as part of your comprehensive social media strategy plan.
- 67% of 23,000 consumers surveyed said they had used a company’s social media site for customer service.
- A recent study showed 71% of customers who complained via Twitter were not contacted by the company.
Does your company have a listening strategy in place?
Create Campaigns Aimed for Engagement
Readers of Maximize Your Social will get a fresh look into how I redefine what a “campaign” is in the age of mainstream social media. Think of it less as a promotional marketing campaign and more of an experiment to better understand and more effectively engage with your social media followers.
That’s why I believe, as part of a comprehensive social media strategy plan, that it’s important to create campaigns on a regular basis – and remember to make them platform and/or content-specific to help give you more precise data for your future planning.
We all know the many potential benefits of campaigns.
One stat that I like is that 39% of Facebook users who click on a “pick your favorites” ad campaign post go on to share it with friends.
Is your company experimenting not only with different campaigns on different social channels, but different types of campaigns that are best suitable for each channel?
Tap Influencers to Amplify Your Social Media Strategy and Growth Hacks
Amplification of your message via influencers can help make your social media more effective – if you are engaging with the right influencers for the right reasons in the right way.
The task of determining who an “influencer” is is not a trivial one: The social scoring service Klout, in its heyday, scored 400 million users and analyzes 12 billion social signals on a given day.
Are you targeting the right influencers – for the right objectives?
Bring Your Brand Ambassadors into the Frontline
Whether they are the long-forgotten brand ambassadors that are your current employees, alumni of your company, or loyal fans to your brand, your social media strategy should always be looking for ways to engage – and reward – brand loyalty and amplification in social media.
Brand ambassadors are critical because we all know of the famous stat that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all forms of marketing.
I believe one of the biggest untapped opportunities for businesses is to leverage their own internal employees as brand ambassadors.
The above was my contribution to the article.