Social media is both a science and an art. The art is the ethos and spirit of your brand. It’s your job to bring that to the table.
Today, I want to look at the more practical things you can include in your content marketing strategy to grow your social media presence.
We’re going to look at how SEO, consistency, authoritative content and getting offline can help you grow your social media channels.
Optimize Your Profiles for Search
Visibility is key to growing on social media. Search engines almost entirely control how visible your content is. One of the most common ways to make social media content searchable is to use hashtags.
That said, long gone are the days of flooding your post with generic hashtags in order to get traction and engagement.
The trick with hashtags is to narrow down the niche of the hashtag as much as possible
The lower the volume of people using the hashtag, the more your content will show up in top searches and receive engagement.
What about optimizing for search engines?
- Use the same profile picture and brand graphics across all social media channels. Don’t forget to size them up or down accordingly so that they’re not blurry or truncated.
- Google loves backlinks. By creating valuable content that people want to share and link to, you’re creating backlinks and telling search engines you’re worth ranking well. Another way to do this is to outreach content to key influencers in your niche.
- Serve informational as well as transactional content. Your audience will go to you as they gather information in their buying journey. Search engines love a good mix of content and prioritize user satisfaction while ranking.
Diversify With Industry-Adjacent Content
No-one loves a self-obsessed person who can’t stop talking about themselves. This is a hidden pitfall for businesses on social media because you may genuinely feel you have tons of value to share about your business.
To avoid this risk, curate and share valuable content that is industry-adjacent and rouse the interests or answers the needs of your audience.
The best example of this is Nike. Of course, the sportswear giant shares posts about its products. However, they also create an overwhelming amount of digital content, amplifying the stories of athletes from all sports and walks of life.
Yes, we know Nike is probably endorsing some of these athletes, but it’s still refreshing for the product to take the back burner and to hear some inspirational human stories.
You may not have Nike’s blockbuster budget. What can you do to diversify your business’s social media content?
- Collaborate with businesses adjacent to your industry for fun and informative Q&A or deep-dive posts. For example, a restaurateur could host a nutritionist on their social media to dissect nutrition and their menu.
- Amplify the voices and work of local charities and community-based organizations that align with your mission. A teen clothing brand may look into local youth initiatives.
- Comment on current affairs, such as national holidays or global happenings. An important caveat here is to do your research and avoid sharing opinions that hurt your brand image.
Post Consistently Without Spamming Your Audience
You never want your audience to think, “Oh! I had forgotten about this brand,” when your posts pop up on their feed.
If you haven’t already, put together an editorial calendar detailing posts, captions, and hashtags for each social media platform.
Planning your content on an editorial calendar will enable you to:
- Schedule your posts in advance to maximize timing for your audience and to avoid the time suck that is churning out posts in real time.
- Collect data and analytics on what parts of your content strategy actually works and then rinse and repeat.
- Have a bird’s-eye view of your content, which will help you maintain consistency in your brand messaging and to avoid repetition or any disparities.
- Provide valuable content because you have the headway to plan ahead and discover stellar content ideas
A calendar will help you avoid posting too much. This is such a key point to note, it deserved to be addressed separately. Posting too much can actually reduce engagement on your posts.
For instance, a HubSpot survey found that posting more frequently (twice a day) on Facebook only benefited pages with over 10,000 followers. For smaller pages, the posts got 60% more engagement when they went up once or twice a week rather than when posted daily.
To help you get the right cadence of posting on socials, here’s a little cheat sheet.
In the content game, quality will always tramp quantity. So, focus your resources on ensuring that each piece of content is great instead of flooding the feed.
Go Beyond Social Media Platforms
An adpocalypse is a colloquial internet word referring to advertisers boycotting a social media plat
As a marketer relying heavily on Facebook or any other social media platform is boxing yourself into a corner.
To shore up this vulnerable side of social media, make sure you have a space online, your website, that is fast, well-designed, up to date, and optimized for mobile users.
Secondly, think about how your socials translate offline:
- Keep your URLS, usernames and handles short and memorable
- Have physical reminders of your social media through printed materials or even a Twitter wall in your premises—a screen displaying live tweets about your hashtag, topic or customer orders and feedback.
Use Other Platforms to Promote Your Social Media Accounts
From my experience, I’ve found that I mentally divide social media platforms according to usage. For example, I’ll go to YouTube for tutorials but follow motivation coaches only on Instagram or TikTok.
What does this phenomenon have to do with your business’s social media?
Well, if your audience is in any way similar, they may only follow you on one platform.
For instance, you may have devoted YouTube subscribers who follow your channel uploads religiously, but don’t follow your other social media accounts.
The idea is to convert your existing followers on one platform who already believe in your brand into a loyal audience across all channels.
How do you do this?
- Use widgets to float your social media icons on the page as readers scroll through your blog posts
- Prompt your followers to follow you on other channels at the end of your posts or videos.
- Don’t forget to include your social handles in offline locations, such as your business card, promotional banners.
- Share content across platforms, tailoring both the format and content to each site. Detailed Facebook posts become bite-sized tips on Twitter. A 16:9 YouTube video needs to change to 9:16 to work on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Reels.
- Include the social media links in your email signatures as clickable icons.
If you take away only one thing today, it’s that consistency in branding, posting and providing value will get you before the right eyeballs every time. Remember to broaden your approach beyond your own offering and beyond the digital space.