The top tips I’ve learned about social media marketing
The first market research interview I did with a customer, they said that they used Hootsuite. I said “what’s that?”. The second interview they said that they used Sprout Social – I said “what’s that?”. I knew nothing about social media management software and I was going to build the future of the industry? Unlikely.
I’ve spent 2 years learning everything I can about social media marketing. I’ve talked to over 200 social media marketers about their problems, goals, breakfasts, dinners, pet peeves, childhood pets, mother’s maiden names, model of their first cars – yes ironically I could probably hack a lot of their social media accounts at this stage. I’m not a social media expert, but I’ve learned enough to sound like I know what I’m talking about when people ask about some of the top tips for social media marketing.
Our demos with potential customers often consist of them asking a question that’s important to them. “What type of posts do well?”, “What qualifies as good engagement?”, “How do I deal with my client/boss limiting what I can post?” or “How can we justify our content ideas to clients/management?”
I don’t have answers to all their questions, but a lot of the time I can quote a marketer that I talked to 3 months prior that had a solution to their problem. I’ve internalised so much information at this point, if our software doesn’t scale, I’m pretty sure my personal pivot will be into social media marketing.
Top 11 tips I learned about social media marketing
- Engagement rate is inversely correlated to the number of followers a page has
This is one that most people realise pretty quickly. As a page gets bigger, you can expect the engagement per follower to reduce. Two of the main reasons are more bot accounts following bigger pages (up to 25% of Ariana Grande’s followers are bots) and smaller brands will have a much higher proportion of followers with personal relationships (friends, family, close customers). We are actually looking to bake this into Connect Mor going forward.
- Pay-per-click ads can be ridiculously targeted
On Instagram you can target friends of people who engage with football content. On LinkedIn you can target people with specific job titles in specific companies in specific countries. From a user perspective it’s weird and frightening, but as a data nerd and business owner it’s really cool.
- Most engaging content is formulaic
There is no dark art, there is no secret sauce (most of the time). If you look at a lot of semi-viral posts, they follow one of a couple tropes. This isn’t a jab or anything. It’s amazing how much the industry has honed in on human psychology:
– Competitions and giveaways
– Humour (okay this is a dark art but still formulaic) / shock content
– A senior person in the company being humanised
– Greenwashing / feel good content
– If brand value is very high, a well presented product launch. Like the new iphone, or your town’s favourite pizzeria launching their new tuna and sweetcorn pizza (it’s a good combo okay)
– A groundbreaking announcement (these can’t really be planned for)
- Content aggregation is really a sure way to win
A post does well on reddit? Post it on Linkedin and it will usually do well. A twitter thread gets a lot of likes? Post it on tiktok with a robotic voice over reading it and it will do great. Whether or not these have to be your own content originally is more of a personal decision. People are people, and even in the B2B space, it’s people engaging with content online, not companies.
- The people who realise the 2 previous points want to look at high performing content from similar businesses, but don’t have time or tools to help.
- Social media marketers are expected to somehow be graphic designers, SEO experts, PPC experts, content creators, content strategists, tiktok stars, copy writers, and data scientists. It’s crazy. (Shoutout to TJ who does all this and more for us lol – but we’re a startup so it’s allowed).
- Consistently posting content is a sure way to grow your brand
Social media is a 100% a quantity game, but you need to figure out how to post consistently engaging content too.
- Social media is as much about community as it is about content.
It’s an incredible opportunity to build relationships with customers, or potential customers. Content catches the eye, but interactions are why you’ll be remembered when a customer needs your solution.
- AB test everything.
Social media is a huge dataset that you can run cheap (or even free) experiments on to gauge results. People are constantly interacting with content, so you get instant feedback on what works well, and what doesn’t.
- For costs: text < image << video
For engagement: video > image > text
It’s good to figure out what makes sense for you, your brand and your budget. In particular, if you are creating video content, try and create content that you can reuse on other platforms as it’s so expensive to create. The beautiful thing about tools like TikTok and Instagram Reels is how cheap and easy they make it to produce engaging video content. Would Ryanair’s social media person have been churning out greenscreen videos before TikTok was a thing?
- It’s very useful to create a content pillar.
This can be a podcast, a youtube series, a series of well researched blogs, a series of informative TikToks (TikTok supports 10 minute video now…), recording conversations with smart people in your company, or many other things. Somewhere you can create slightly longer form content for and you can pull snippets of it to repurpose on different mediums, or even on the same medium as smaller chunks of content.
And that’s it…
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