You wouldn’t spend hours and hours creating content with the expectation that it will get barely any views and provide zero benefits to your business, right? Well, if you’re not intentionally thinking about distribution, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Marketers have used tactics like blogs and email for a long time as a way to distribute content. While those channels still hold up as effective (and essential) parts of a well-rounded content strategy, social media can propel your distribution efforts even further.
It’s 2020, so I know I don’t need to explain the power of social media to you. (If you need a little extra convincing, take a look at these statistics.) But I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you in on one of our big social media successes! In 2019, we generated more than 100 marketing-qualified leads from our social media efforts alone, which is huge, considering that 61% of marketers cite lead generation as their biggest challenge.
Sharing on social media allows you to get your content in front of a huge portion of your audience — and even reach prospects outside of your immediate audience. But it takes more than just a few tweets to break through the content clutter. If you want your brand to stand out, you need to be strategic with your social media marketing strategy.
How to Amplify Your Social Media Efforts
We’ve been able to see the level of results we have because someone on our team is dedicated to making sure we’re staying on top of our social media game. Of course, some businesses might not have the capacity to add a social media specialist to the team right now, and that’s OK. No matter what position you’re in, these tips can help you refine your focus and improve your social media marketing strategy to drive more results for your business:
1. Document a social media strategy.
Before you can identify the ultimate goal of your social media strategy, you need to know who your audience members are, where they are, what they’re looking for, and what pain points of theirs you can alleviate through the content you share on social media.
Once you’ve considered your audience, think about what goal you aim to achieve for your business through your social media strategy. What content can you share with your audience that will help you achieve that goal? As experts in the content marketing industry, we decided to use our social media platforms to educate our followers (who are largely marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners), so we identified thought leadership as our primary objective.
Keep in mind that different channels can achieve different objectives. For example, LinkedIn and Twitter are commonly used by businesses to educate, while Facebook and Instagram tend to see more engagement with entertaining content surrounding office culture or company updates. Whatever channels you use, make sure you consistently evaluate your social media efforts and implement a strong documented social media strategy to make the most of them.
2. Set a distribution schedule.
Consistency is key, so having a schedule that can hold you accountable and ensure that you distribute content at the right times is crucial. I maintain a weekly calendar that breaks down the content I need to post each day across each platform, and it’s a lifesaver. It looks like this:
You’ll also need to determine how often you’ll post. The cadence typically depends on a business’s goals and the amount of content it has to share, so there’s no “right” number as long as you engage with your audience at least a couple of times a week. Just remember: Quality trumps quantity.
3. Don’t just post — engage.
Social media’s power lies in the ability to connect, so make sure you’re talking with your audience rather than at them. Using interactive elements like polls, quizzes, or even live videos can spark conversations with your audience and increase your engagement.
The more your audience interacts with your posts, the more likely they are to see your content in their feeds. Getting creative and providing them with fun ways to engage with you can help get your content to the top of their feeds more quickly.
For example, leading up to our webinars, I post countdown reminders and polls on Instagram Stories. This is a fun change of pace from our normal posts because our followers can engage in more ways than just a like or comment. And it allows us to get direct feedback on what they want to see from us.
4. Measure your success.
Not sure how to track your social media performance and determine whether these tips are effective? Plenty of tools are available to help.
We use HubSpot to distribute our content and track its performance. We love it because it provides us with insight into some key metrics, including followers, clicks on our posts, likes, retweets, and the number of contacts driven from social media. Another tool we’ve used is Unmetric, which allows us to track competitors’ performance on social. Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social are a few more popular social management tools.
Regardless of which tools you choose, when you’re looking at social media measurement, don’t just consider your follower count and the number of likes you get. Pay close attention to who your followers are and what kinds of content they engage with and respond well to. You should use these insights to guide your strategy as you evolve and expand your social media footprint.
Having someone on your team who’s dedicated to overseeing your social media marketing strategy is the dream situation. It allows you to really dive into your social media strategy, content, and results — and then adjust your strategy accordingly. But even if having that dedicated role on your team isn’t feasible right now, these four tips can help you start to refine your social media strategy and see the engagement and results you crave.