When I think of social media, my friend Sue Painter always comes to mind. That’s because she is everywhere! Or at least it seems like it. What’s more, she has an audience who interacts with her regularly. Want that kind of engagement? Use Sue’s 3 social media marketing strategies!
One of the hot topics in any group of online marketers is how to increase engagement in their social accounts. A complaint I often hear is that it now takes too much time to build visibility on social media that gets decent engagement.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of spending more time and money on social media, driving up your operating costs and hoping that volume alone will drive engagement. But it’s the content that engages on social media, not the amount of time you spend.
As a business owner it’s your job to pay attention to the time and the money you spend for social media graphics and posting tools. I recommend that you keep your eyes on these costs and use social media marketing strategies that don’t blow your bank or tie up all of your time.
Let’s talk about 3 social media marketing strategies that help you build engagement and get a return on your investment into social media.
- When it comes to social media marketing strategies my best advice is to pick your poison and drink it up. By that I mean pick the one (at most two) social media platforms you want to work with and go full in. It does no good to be on seven or eight different platforms and barely show up on any of them.
- Pick social media that’s where your ideal customers are, which might not be the platform you like the best or are most comfortable with.
- Make sure that you are posting consistently, which means you’ll be scheduling content at least daily and perhaps more, depending on the platform you pick.
- Start out using posting tools that are free (the light version of schedulers, for example.) As you build your following and get better at managing your content you can invest in the “pro” versions that have more tools for you to use. If a social media account offers pre-scheduling right within the account (Facebook, for instance) I recommend using it. You’ll get a tiny bit more reach than if you use a scheduling tool outside of Facebook.
- Build your social strategy but understand that’s not the end game, especially if you are selling services rather than products. Use social to meet prospects and build relationships, but take it off social and onto your email subscriber list as quickly as you can. For higher end services think about moving your prospects from social to livestreams, webinars, or one-on-one sales conversations as a bridge to your offer.
Bonus Tip: I don’t recommend paying team members to post for you in real time unless they are doing something like keeping your Instagram stories going 24/7 for you. And even that you can pre-schedule and push to your phone if you have the “pro” version of several schedulers (Later is one of those.) If you use a team member you’ll soon find that you have almost a full-time employee on your hands just for social media marketing. You’ve got to be a decent sized business to financially support that.
Keep in mind that your end goal is to find customers and make sales, not to brag about how many followers you have.
How to keep ahead of your social media marketing investment:
- Keep track of what you are spending in time and money and team time. For everything you do, there’s an opportunity cost for what you are NOT doing. You can’t do it all, so it has to count. That means watching your operating costs and not letting the time suck and the money spent get out of hand.
- Track where your customers (sales) come from. ALWAYS pay attention. If you are getting more referrals from word of mouth and from speaking than anything else, feel free to chop out some of your social marketing time and costs. But to make this decision, you need to know where your customers come from. Pay close attention, and track this on a list!
- Don’t go to a second or third social account until the first one is making you money.
- Don’t spend time on social media chatting up the folks who do what you do – use it to find new centers of influence and collaborations for yourself that can be win-wins for you and the person you are reaching out to. In other words, be strategic.
- Repurpose your content diligently. Because reach on social platforms is decreasing (unless you are Joanna Gaines) it’s really doubtful that people will see what you are posting and think, “Oh, she just posted that yesterday over on Facebook, and here I’m seeing it again on Instagram.” Who cares? If it’s good content, people will like seeing it, and repetition can help you with top of mind awareness.
- Make sure that your content on social drives traffic to your website and has a call to action.
- You can get my Social Media and Blogging Planning Template to help you stay focused and organized with social content and tie it to your blog posts, too.
Remember that getting engagement on social media means going for quality over quantity. Offer truly useful information to your ideal customer. Keep asking yourself, “What would my best prospects find valuable right now?” Educate and entertain, showcasing your expertise and the problems that you have solutions for. Less content and fewer connections can actually result in higher engagement and conversions for you.
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Social media engagement means that you must really be very focused into a narrow niche, and call to those people in everything you do on social media. It’s much easier to catch the eyeballs of a new mother who is having trouble breastfeeding than it is to catch the eyeballs of “mothers of infants,” as an example. When you post something that gets more engagement be sure to post more posts like that one, too.
Pro Tip: Ask thought-provoking questions. Not just for the sake of engagement alone, but with genuine interest in the responses. Ask your readers’ opinions, ask them to leave a comment, ask them to share their own experiences. Let your reader know exactly what you want them to do next in every post you make.
Use these strategies and tips to make small changes in your social media accounts and you’ll begin to see better engagement. You can pull it all together with the Social Media and Blogging Planning Template.
Sue Painter is the founder of The Confident Marketer. For almost 2 decades she has helped small business owners around the world with brand clarity, customer engagement strategies, social media and email marketing. She is the author of several business books on the Kindle platform, and a certified email marketing specialist. You can visit her website at confidentmarketer.com.
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