18 Expert Tips for Finding the Best Social Media Tactics for Your Business
Do you know if your social media strategy is working? One of the biggest challenges in “doing social right” is that it’s easy to get distracted by the countless tactics du jour.
So how can you know what tactics will work for you? And where to focus your efforts?
I asked a few social media experts to get their opinion. Here’s what they said:
“How can businesses know what social media tactics are right for them?”
The first thing they need to look at is which goal for social media is best aligned with their business objectives: generating brand awareness, generating new business or improving customer retention. If the company has customers reaching out to them in social channels it’s an easy answer, however there is more ambiguity when it’s unclear how prospects and customers are using social channels. Once they’ve selected a goal, it’s a question of which tactics will help them achieve it.
The best way to figure out what social tactic is right for them is to run rapid tests in the market, so they don’t invest too much time and energy into something that isn’t going to deliver results. Utilizing remarketing advertising and ads on social channels will allow companies to quickly test messaging, calls to actions and content with a minimal investment to quickly figure out some of the answers.
A big part of social media is just online networking. Look for signs that relationships are getting stronger. Here are 5 ways you’ll know you’re on the right track:
- If people’s comments in your social streams become useful testimonials for your website.
- If the people you meet on one social network start interacting with you other social networks.
- If you start getting emails from people thanking you for sharing.
- If you meet someone offline and they say, “Hey, I’ve seen you online. I’ve been reading you for years!”
- If you get a lead…
A key part of a successful social media strategy is knowing what you want to get out of it. Marketers need to clarify the measurable goals they hope to achieve and how they will leverage social media channels to reach their desired outcomes. Creating and pushing out social content on an ad hoc basis in hopes that someone – anyone! — will find it useful enough to share is a waste of time and will dilute (and potentially harm) your branding. Setting clear goals will help you decide which social media platforms you should use, how to use them to your best advantage, and how to allocate the proper resources. As you track the impact of your activities, you will be able to inspect and adapt as you learn about what works and what doesn’t and make course corrections along the way.
I think the answer to this question has a 2-part answer:
When it comes to “tactics,” I see them as universal for almost all business. In other words, every business, if they want to be incredibly successful online, needs to do 3 things very well:
If you can do those 3 skills at a high level, your chance for online success is very, very high.
The other part has to do with “platforms.” And when it comes to Social Media, there are enough platforms out there these days to drive all of us crazy. Because of this, many businesses attempt to be a jack of all social media trades and be a master of none. The key is learning *where your customers are” and then being as aggressive as possible with that platform first.Then,once you’ve truly dominated that platform, it’s OK to branch out.
The only way for businesses to know what tactics are right for them is to have them be governed by a social media strategy in which business objectives and ROI metrics for your social media program are determined and tactics are architected – and frequently optimized – according to your goals and measurements.
Who is their customer? And where is that audience online? Which networks and tactics allow them to reach that audience for awareness, to get them into owned media lists, and drive them toward sales? The sure-fire formula is advertising plus great content (whether that’s ebooks, whitepapers, viral social posts or videos) plus owned media plus conversion optimization. If they’re on a budget, they may have to work harder on organic methods. If they have a real niche audience, it might correspond to Pinterest (female 25-54) or Reddit (<25 years old). Twitter and Google Plus are great places to connect with media, bloggers or influencers. LinkedIn can be strong for B2B but only with the large ad budgets that get you the personalized ads or with strong active management of your own LinkedIn Group. Facebook, AdWords and YouTube are the titans of digital marketing because most people are there, and they are effective, targetable ways to advertise and market.
Answer is simple: through trial and error. Lay the foundation across all, and move away from the ones that don’t get any traction.
A brand knows when a tactic is right for them using the same gut check as we do in life. Obviously, that implies that a brand knows itself as well as we do as individuals, and that’s no easy task. It’s very hard “to read the label from inside the jar” and so many brands struggle to define their social purpose, mission, core values and brand voice. As such, a brand should let that self-awareness work dictate the tactics it uses. To do this work, a brand should answer 3 questions. First, what is you promise to the world? Second, what are you the only of? Third, what is your vision for the future? Once you answer those three questions, you’ll see a theme develop around what is the authentic purpose of the brand and all tactics should fall out of that.
Viveka von Rosen
Research your Competition!
It’s a great idea to see what your competition is doing well – and where they are missing the ball. I have a client who founded a large sportswear company. We looked at what their competitor was doing on social media and immediately saw they had dropped the ball when it came to Twitter. So we focused our strategy on building their Twitter presence. And that was a huge success for them, and eventually we were able to use Twitter to feed all their other social networks. While they might not be able to catch up to the Competitor’s Facebook numbers, they dominate in Twitter and in fact the engagement on Facebook, despite lower numbers, is better. Had we tried to beat the competition in their own game, we might have failed – but we created and dominated the new playing field!
Businesses can only know what tactics are right for them by experimenting. Not following the new shiny object. Not taking shortcuts. Not taking the word of every expert. Try, fail and follow your metrics.
Before you can decide what social media tactics will work for you, you need to be very clear about whom your ideal clients are.
Doing this will ensure that you are not wasting time and resources in places on social media sites and/or tactics where your target audience is not spending time. Once you know where and how they are spending their time on social media, you must determine which of those platforms is most suitable for you to reach out and engage with them.
For example if you have a B2B (business to business) company then you will want to spend time on LinkedIn as it has been shown to be 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.
The key is to ensure that your tactics are both suitable for the platforms that you use as well as accomplishing your goals.
To determine the social media tactics that are right for them, the business must first articulate the content marketing strategy that will drive its social media sharing.
I personally favor crafting a content marketing mission statement that is congruent with the overall company mission. Clearly understanding the purpose of content makes it easier to design it for sharing across the respective social media channels.
The right tactics that follow are those the business can implement consistently, while also achieving a balance of long and short form multi-media content. Take a few risks and evaluate results, but always stay focused on relationships and community.
Businesses can easily determine the best social media tactics for them by paying attention to their customers and more specifically, their social media habits.
If their customer base primarily consists of preteens, then businesses should pay serious attention to Instagram. If their customer base in heavily invested in primetime TV shows, then Twitter is where they should spend their time.
The key to success is going where your customers are, creating engaging content and participating in the actual conversations.
There is no one right answer to this question, and there is not one strategy that fits all. The best thing any business can do is to focus on creating value. Your business should be seen as a resource, not a sales pitch. Focus on being helpful by providing industry relevant news, tips, information, and advice. Create and share amazing content, do Q&A’s, chime in on conversations with the goal of just being helpful. This helps to build your brand, reputation, and aligns your business as an expert in the industry all the while actually really and truly helping people!! The brand champions, followers, leads, and business are sure to follow, and it’s all truly authentic.
You’ll know you’re doing it right when people share your content, engage with you, and show appreciation for what you’re posting
See what other similar business are doing on social media. What promotions are they running on their social networks? What are your competitors doing?
There are so many creative campaigns running on social today that it’s easy to find exciting examples. Even looking at unrelated businesses can spawn great ideas. If you’re a B-B company you might get a great idea for a giveaway campaign from a consumer company or vice-versa. Read-read-watch-listen…there are so many great free marketing resources and blogs with tips and education for all levels of expertise.
Ultimately, what works for your business will be different than others, so discovering what works will be a continual process of trial and error. So enjoy the ride!
Are You Going to Social Media Marketing World?
Check out our recent infographic:
Bonus: We’re giving away a GoPro® camera to one lucky winner. To enter, tell us who inspires you and why. See entry details in the infographic.
Download FREE eBook:
Do you need a better solution to manage your social activities? Are you looking for wisdom to help you make the right choice? In this free eBook, you’ll discover how to select the right social media management solution, what to look for, what to avoid and much more. Click here to download your free copy now.