Did you know that IBM saw a 400% increase in sales from social media marketing in just one quarter? Insanity!
None of you were born yesterday, you all know that social media is a critical component of your marketing strategy. But what about all those businesses that aren't seeing any return? Is social media not worth the headache? Is their audience just not using social platforms? NOPE, all this means is that they're doing it wrong! Facebook alone has 1.44 billion monthly users - as in 20% of the world's population, according to Mashable. For heaven's sake, my parents are on Facebook and Instagram more often than I am (well, almost).
I recently attended Distilled's Boston-based SearchLove conference, and was blown away by Jeremy Goldman's social presentation. Jeremy's list of accomplishments is extensive and impressive, but to name a few, he's the Founder of Firebrand Group, author of Going Social, and a columnist for Inc. and TNW.
6 Social Media Hacks That Will Deliver Insane ROI (from SearchLove)
What I liked most about Jeremy's presentation was the fact that I preach a lot of the points he made.
"There's no formula for social media success," says Jeremy. Luckily, there are actionable hacks you can implement that are much more likely to lead to success. So let's dive into six takeaways to turn your social strategy from average to remarkable.
Hack #1: Create Objectives for Every Social Media Campaign
You're probably rolling your eyes and thinking, "This doesn't sound like a hack." Well, surprise, it is! It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, blindly posting on social, unsure of what you're trying to accomplish. Jeremy encourages you to break this habit, and start taking the time to decide the actual goal of a specific campaign.
If you're posting employee videos on Facebook, why? Is the goal to recruit talent to your company or just gain brand awareness? Spend time deciding these things, creating content that will make them happen, and tracking the KPIs relevant to each goal.
"KPI's are only as valuable as the action they inspire," says Jeremy.
Hack #2: Throw Some Money Into Facebook
Organic reach on Facebook is dead! I've been preaching this for quite some time now, and was happy to hear Jeremy validate the fact that posting without any dough on Facebook is useless. Hate to break it to yah!
The good news is that clicks are relatively cheap. Throw some money into your highest-priority posts to gain visibility because unfortunately, Facebook's algorithms have made it pretty much impossible to reach even the people who have already liked your page. However, don't just "boost" your post. Look into audience targeting, campaign goals, and budgets and bidding strategies.
Hack #3: Pay Attention to Algorithm Updates
Another tip I was happy to hear from Jeremy; algorithm updates are insanely important and not enough marketers keep up with them. The problem is if you're just going along your day without any knowledge of a major update, whether it be to the way ads are served or even new feature functionality, it could severely impact performance. Chances are you won't even notice the update until your results have plummeted. So read about social!
Jeremy recommended TheNextWeb.com, as well as using Feedly to track updates. Something I do is skim the business blogs of popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because if anything major is going on, it's typically announced on that company's blog first.
Hack #4: Get Ahead On Instagram by Partnering with Influencers
I'm a self-diagnosed Insta-addict. Shameful, I know, but the social platform is by far my favorite social time-killer, and one that is becoming critically important to businesses.
I've written a few posts on the topic because for marketers, you need to be creative to gain traction here. In December, Instagram's audience left their older cousin Twitter's in the dust, reaching 300 million active users. The problem? Only select big-brands are allowed to advertise.
So, what can be done? Jeremy recommends partnering with the big boys to gain their followers. Tag influencers in your posts, post quality content, and persuade them to see if they'd feature your page on their account. It's that easy.
Hack #5: Treat Each Platform as a Separate Entity
PLEASE don't use Hootsuite to schedule posts to push to all four of your active social profiles (not that Hootsuite isn't a great tool!). Why? Because audiences vary widely on each platform. Also, fans that are following you on all social platforms will notice what you're doing, and be slightly turned off.
You need to treat each platform as you treat your friends - as individuals. Spend time thinking about the mindset your audience is in when using LinkedIn vs. Instagram vs. Twitter vs. Facebook. You should also dig into your analytics data to see what your followers look like and what resonates with them and where. It's going to vary per platform so keep that in mind, and respect the platform as its own unique place.
Hack #6: Continually Find Ways to Challenge Yourself
Your social strategy will go stale if you don't! Contests, partnerships, pranks, seasonal campaigns - whatever it is, be creative and innovative with your social strategy because it will fall flat and hit you in the head if you stick to a robotic approach.
One last inspiration tip form Jeremy: "If you think about human beings, you're going to be in a much better position long term."