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What does it take to be successful in the social media space? Is it more followers? Maybe more RTs? Possibly increased engagement? Generate more sales? Chances are all of the above and then some. Social media marketing remains a questionable area for a good portion of small businesses. Are you utilizing social media to its fullest potential? Could you or your company use a tune up on your social media endeavors?

Realistically speaking, social media is still heavily misconstrued by many. Many brands perceive it as a platform to quantify that provides quantifiable results. Naturally everyone perceives social media in a different way. Some see value in conversations, sentiment, and relationship building. While others seeks instant gratification. That being generating sales on a 1:1 correlation.

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Social media is about connectivity, people, and interaction. All about community participation and involvement. At least that has been my perception and experience thus far in the 12+ years I’ve been in the social realm. Last year, Buffer went in-depth about its own social media strategies. I was quite intrigued at first when seeing the similarities in mentality and overall approach. But was definitely delighted to compare and draw new ideas.

When it comes to carving out a solid social media strategy for you or your brand consider sincerely some of the following tactics. After all a brand as reputable as Buffer has opened up and being transparent about their own social media strategy.

Facebook

Facebook alike other social media networks is continuously changing. Mainly due to evolving consumer trends and patterns in the marketplace. Therefore a shift in functionality or implementation of new ways for consumers to interact is simply essential. One of the main challenges is the fact that most businesses are still marketing like 2011. Facebook has changed and so have the methods of advertising. If you are seeking to maximize Facebook advertising potential than strongly consider the employment of new tactics.

  • Pay-Per-Play – it’s no secret that Facebook for business organic reach has dropped by nearly 50%. Quite jaw dropping, right? According to Buffer, Facebook paid advertising is one of the best and easiest ways to amplify your content potential. It will help you enhance visibility, generate more awareness, spark stronger interest, and obviously invoke more engagement. Think of these untapped opportunities as means for new business acquisition. Helping you generate more targeted leads interested in your products and services.
  • Test & Experiment – fundamentals for Facebook advertising definitely exist. However from an overarching perspective it’s imperative to strongly consider continuos testing. Experimenting with different messaging will most definitely help you determine what works and what doesn’t. If your business page is eligible for Facebook Live than absolutely use its fullest potential. It can be a great companion for company events, outings, promotional purposes. Animated GIFs, memes, or even infographics tend to pan out quite well.
  • Envision Growth – setting benchmarks to work towards for your Facebook advertising initiatives is definitely worthwhile. Envisioning growth over periods of time is a great way to remain positive. For instance some of those benchmarks may include growing your fanbase. Another may perhaps entail in increasing your commentary. Getting more people to participate on your content. These are some basic growth benchmarks to consider.
  • Dark Posts – throwing this one in as an added bonus on Facebook advertising. A dark post is a news feed type ad that does not appear on your timeline or your fans feed organically. The dark post can be comprised of a status update, photo, link, video, or even a special offer. Think about those products or services you may want to promote by giving them extra visibility. Facebook dark posts remain a hidden gem that a good portion of businesses are still unaware of.
  • Insights – big data is major key to success. It helps you identify specific information that your fans are interacting with. That is one of many benefits for using Facebook Insights. Capturing important details can assist with tweaking of your overall Facebook advertising strategy. In doing so you are constantly abreast with information about your fans.

Using Facebook Insights strategically

Twitter

Everyone thinks that Twitter is on a decline. Yes, that might in fact be partially true but the platform still offers plenty of potential. The issue here is that a good portion of brands view their Twitter accounts with an outdated lens. You need to get up to speed with modern tactics in order to leverage Twitter’s full potential. As a brand you have to think outside of the box. Consider quality over quantity in terms of followers.

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  • Content Frequency & Interaction – monitoring the frequency of content publishing in relation to interaction plays a key role. It can help identify engagement and determine how suitable your content is for the target audience. Good content will obviously spark an increase in followers. It can also help drive reciprocal traffic back to your website. A thorough comparison between frequency and interaction while evaluating activity can help gauge website traffic potential. Also continuously testing different content strategies is also highly recommended.
  • Experiment & Play – Twitter alike other social media platforms requires a sense of diversity. That includes the ability to test different experiments. Consider testing of different strategies and messaging. For instance, post during different times to gauge perception. Explore publication of certain events and/or chime in on twitter chats.
  • Pay-Per-Play – organic reach is down on just about any top social media network and that’s a fact. For Twitter, you need to explore promoted tweets or promoted accounts. Simply because it provides you with the ability to occupy some prime real estate. In essence pushing tweets or your account to the top of user’s Twitter feed. You really need to give Twitter Ads a whirl if you have not done so already.

Twitter Ads

  • Use Twitter Analytics – many Twitters users are to this day not quite fully leveraging the native analytics. We live in a day and age of big data. Information that can help you identify performance and assist with making smarter marketing decisions. In this case Twitter’s native analytics allows you to delve into individual tweet performance.

Twitter Analytics

I would strongly recommend you keeping tabs on the Twitter blog. You truly never know what new feature they may roll out. Definitely a great resource to have for keeping a steady pulse on Twitter’s evolution.

Instagram

With over 300 million monthly active users swarming to the visual app there is not doubt that it should be part of the social media approach. Instagram has made significant strides to diversify over the last couple of years. For instance, the addition of a video was a great way to spark up visual engagement. Not only that but giving its users the ability to present content video format. This is one of the social media platform that you definitely shout not be ignoring. Here are some tips though to freshen up your social media strategy.

  • Strategy – you need to have a game plan like any other social media platform. Put forth valiant amount of thought in determining how to accomplish certain goals and objectives. For instance, identify your target audience. Have you considered what demographics you are going after? What will be be your themed approach? How often can you realistically publish? Take some of these things into consideration to determine your holistic approach.
  • Test & Experiment – this is probably where the biggest amount of success will occur. No, really. Once you have a strategy laid out it’s time to test and tune. As cliche as it may sound testing and tuning is probably one of the best ways to learn what works and what doesn’t.
  • Ads – targeted visibility is where it’s at currently for social media platforms. It’s a pay-per-play approach and Instagram ads are nothing short of it. In order to reach targeted users you have to weed through the junk and occupy prime real estate. The beauty of Instagram Ads is that as an advertiser you have the ability to target specific users. Users that are only interested in the specific content you have to offer. That is what this is all about currently. The ability to attract the right users, on the right platform, at the right time. Test and tune.
  • Big Data – did you know that there are plenty of Instagram Analytics tools out there worth using? For instance, Iconosquare is probably one of the best ones worth mentioning. Use it to its fullest extent to help you identify what content works and doesn’t. Find out more about your demographics and target audience. Instagram Analytics will help you better understand the perception and actions of your Instagram users. That will help you make better decisions on how to engage with your Instagram audience.

Snapchat

This is one of those social media networks that many are struggling to understand. Even Buffer. After nearly five years post-launch the social network is finally gaining some momentum. With over 200 million users on monthly basis and half of those engaged on daily basis it’s definitely one to get involved in. In terms of quantifying results Snapchat can be difficult in that sense of things.

  • Your Story – Snapchat is all about storytelling. This is where unique content about individual experiences trumps everything. The more engaging your story is the more appealing it will be to your friends. Putting a good story together though can be extremely tough. Hence why Snapchat tends to appeal more to the creatives.
  • Engagement – it’s imperative to monitor the level of engagement you are achieving. For instance, take the total number of your friends and divide it by the number of views on each post. This is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your content. Rest speaks for itself.
  • Ads – Snapchat has been working on its paid advertising platform for a bit now. As an avid Snapchat user you may already be exposed to a limited amount of ads on specific snaps. Alike other social media platforms Snapchat is seeking to monetize its ever growing user base. Keep an eye out for Snapchat ads as means of targeted advertising.

Anchor

One of the hottest apps around currently is Anchor. It is disrupting the airwaves a single wave at a time. Since the official launch on February 9, 2016 it was already gained a global reach. Admittedly I’m an addict of the app and seem to be enjoying it more and more on daily basis. Anchor is all about sharing unique content that resonates with users in the form of a wave or 2 minute recording. Checkout my Anchor beginner’s guide to get the scoop on how you can get started with this new app. Buffer really has not disclosed any particular successes with this platform as of yet.

However, here are a couple I wanted to share with you being an avid user of the platform:

  • Context – plan talk won’t help you build an audience on Anchor. It’s all about the substance of your content. That is how meaningful and beneficial it is to the person on the other wise. Consider strongly what that context will be and how to communicate it across to your target audience.
  • Hashtags – alike other social media networks Anchor too has trending hashtags. This is usually a great way to identify what people are discussing and what may be trending. So, if you look at hashtags from a content strategy perspective than I would strongly suggest focusing on specific ones. For instance, entrepreneurship, motivation, business type hashtags might be some of the most common ones to engage in.
  • Consistency – you have to be consistent with Anchor. Think of the whole push and pull analogy. If you fire off a wave and receive responses on it than it is strongly recommended to respond adequately. And vice versa of course. If someone happens to tag you in a wave than chances are they’re expecting a response. Focus on being consistent with your efforts which will help you build a strong community of followers.

Conclusion

There are other social media networks out there that you should definitely be utilizing as well. Some of those include LinkedIN, Pinterest, Peach, Slinger, Google+, Blab, Meerkat, Vine, and Periscope. One of the main reasons why I deviated from highlighting on these is for the sake of retaining focus on Buffer. If you think about it for a second though you will realize that social media marketing is in fact quite challenging. Simply because the social space is continuously growing and there’s always a new social platform on the uprise. Hence why as a business owner particularly it’s imperative to maintain a steady pulse on the social industry.

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Some of the key takeaways from this article for you should be the following:

  • Be consistent
  • Provide useful content
  • Experiment. Test and tune
  • Measure results
  • Focus on community development
  • Always give value

Did you enjoy this article? I’d appreciate it if you shared on your social media platforms. Thanks for reading!