Social media plays a huge part in marketing today. It is one of the effective ways to promote a brand even with a limited budget.
Here are some social media marketing ideas shared by industry experts to add creativeness in your campaign.
Social Media Recruiting
We’ve used social media to recruit tons of new hires. The main bottleneck of our service was finding enough tow truck drivers to work with us. Quite frankly, these tow truck drivers are not the most tech-savvy so they aren’t hanging around on job recruiting boards. But, we did find out that most of them were on Facebook.
So, we used social media to reach these drivers and target them to come and work with us. We did this by creating funny memes related to the industry. We promoted them, got them shared, and others in the industry shared it with each other. This eventually led us to get tons of qualified applicants.
So, in my opinion, social media can be a wonderful strategy for recruitment.
Our site is focused on entrepreneurs and small business, however, we found success in the traditionally food-focused social media platform of Pinterest. We doubled our traffic and gained double digits sales increases.
The high ROI (87% of users have purchased a product because of Pinterest) greatly interested us. So we created Pins that would appeal to the primarily female audience that linked to our existing content. Bright and colorful images showing women attracted tons of site visits and ultimately affiliate sales.
Get creative. Don’t shy away from social media platforms because you think they are not for your niche.
I use Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to grow my business with paid ads and organically.
- Pinterest: I create 800 x 1200 graphics that are called pins to promote my product or blog post. Then, I will place the pin on a keyworded board to appear in the Pinterest search. For promoted pins, I pay to give the pin a boost so that it appears on the page more often.
- Facebook: After creating a Facebook optimized image, I post it on my business page. I then pay $20 to boost the post so that it will be seen by more people.
- Instagram: The square image that I create is then optimized by keyworded hashtags in the description. I don’t pay for Instagram ads at this time.
I have found posting on social media storytelling platforms such as Quora or Reddit gets your business more organic reach than posting on traditional social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, especially after the last few years of updates.
The storytelling platforms also tend to have longer amounts of reach, meaning posting on those platforms will keep driving traffic to your site for months or years after posting, as opposed to Facebook or Instagram where you stop getting new traffic from a post in as little as a day or two.
Establish Thought Leadership
The number one most impactive thing that we have done on social media for Top Class Installations was to start an industry-specific Facebook group.
I started GPS Tracking Installers with the intention of bringing a scattered industry together. As a result of a strict industry only entrance policy and clearly defined group rules, we were able to generate an additional 6 figures in revenue within 6 months of starting the group.
To be honest, it was very simple. All it required was work and daily monitoring of the group. Once the group size hit 300 members, the content was generated mostly by members and no longer required my constant input.
People ask me all the time what the benefits of starting this group have been beside the monetary gains. Looking back, this was one of the most important power moves that I made besides writing a book.
Because of the group alone I have:
- Established myself as the go-to person within the industry
- Become the industry authority
- Become the industry connector of people and quite frankly the rainmaker for several others in the group.
Starting a Facebook group combined with public speaking and writing a book have made a massive impact not only for me on a personal level but for my industry, and most importantly, my employees. Because of the added revenue, we have been fortunate enough to grow the team by hiring new employees and promoting key personnel within our organization to managerial roles.
I started a global branding and marketing firm 18 years ago. Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but you do not have to let it run your life!
My advice is to pick a few things you enjoy doing and do them really well. You cannot be everywhere all the time so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths.
For example, Content Marketing and Thought Leadership are great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients/customers. Activities like speaking at a conference, writing articles, building your following on social media all contribute to increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.
Instead of trying to start your own blog or newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well-trafficked blogs in your industry or newsletters of like-minded organizations reaching the same target audience as you. Make sure you put your URL or contact info on it so they can find you and follow up.
When your articles or talks become available online, make sure to send them out via social media to all your friends, followers and contacts. Don’t let social media drive you crazy, you do not need to be everywhere, it does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or two that are authentic to you.
It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built. Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through.
Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you, make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.
Start small and build as you go. For me, I started speaking at local events and then submitted proposals to speak at industry conferences and trade shows nationally and eventually global events too. Same advice goes for writing start with small publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.
People need to be on LinkedIn so that they can be found too. It adds credibility and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common. LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy.
You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms but make sure you are active on the ones where you are. If your customers do not use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to find you then you do not need to make them a priority. For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.
These ideas do not require big budgets but they do take time. It is a smart investment to get this right.
Capture Customer Attention
It has become such a common practice that very rarely does someone stop and look at a post on social media unless it is unique enough to have caught their attention. Businesses today must use more clever and creative tactics to attract eyeballs on their social media content. One way to do this is with video.
Social media channels are inundated with both paid and organic posts that follow a generic template: a couple of lines of text with a static image. By including video in your social media rotation, businesses are able to break through the masses. It doesn’t have to be a highly produced or edited video.
It can simply be a 60-second how-to video, shot on a cell phone answering a common problem for your industry. Or, maybe you have a webinar coming up. Take a video sharing the high-level details of what people will learn and where potential attendees can register.
Pro tip! Add the video to the actual post on social media, rather than a link of the video on YouTube. This assures your video starts playing as soon as a social media user scrolls past it on their feed. Doing so increases the chances of someone stopping to continue watching, rather than mistaking the post for another static image because they need to hit play to start watching the video content.
While there are lots of great social media channels like Instagram and Twitter, Facebook offers many ways to connect with customers. My number one tip is to use a live chat feature on your Site or Facebook page. Reasons include:
- 44% of online consumers say that having their questions answered by a live person during a purchase is an important feature on a site.
- Live chat makes you accessible to your prospects in real-time and lets you generate new leads
- 63% said they were more likely to return to a site that had a live chat function, and 62% were more likely to be a repeat customer
Live chat and chatbots go hand-in-hand. They can answer questions anytime, close sales, and engage with customers when you’re not around.
Research and Networking Tool
Social media is one of the greatest tools to use for marketers since it directly targets millennials who are the main consumers for most of today’s brands. Therefore by allowing employees to utilize social media to reach out and try to gain new contacts and exposure for products one is using social media as a research and networking tool versus simply a chat site.
In the same manner social media can help garner exposure for one’s brand, as well as help marketers, understand the effectiveness of any message we put out by allowing us to track clicks, likes, and overall engagement.
This is called SEO or search engine optimizations and it is one of the best ways to measure content relevancy when it comes to social media. If you can include certain keywords or phrases that search engines recognize, that increases your likelihood of appearing first in a search and that in turn can add to an increase in your clients’ traffic on their website.
Another good way to best utilize social media for your business is by advertising on those social platforms in a fun an not extremely direct way. For example, your brand can seem current if you incorporate popular gifs or memes that resonate with your brand as more people tend to click on that type of contact in contrast to a standard ad that is overlooked.
Modern Word of Mouth Marketing
In this digital age, people are generally skeptical of what they read on the internet. The best way to directly increase business from social media marketing is for employees to share the company’s posts.
By sharing new blog posts, new service offerings, and other company news, our content is being shared with a new audience. This is a modern version of Word of Mouth and it can work to grow your business.
When people share about a company on their personal Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, their friends and followers pay attention. People generally want to know what other people are up to and what they spend their time doing all day.
These posts plant the seed with followers to know what kind of work and services are offered and when a referral opportunity arises, your business is top of mind. Employee advocacy is a simple way to get legitimate and quality leads coming in the door.
One very powerful way to leverage social media for your brand is to get granular with your targeting and leverage lookalike audiences.
The goal – if you are doing a paid marketing push on a platform like Facebook – is to balance the quantity of lead traffic with the quality of lead traffic.
In early testing with a wider audience, at least half of our form submissions would be missing critical information such as a business name or even a contact name at all. More recent test audiences, which were pinpointed using previous testing data, have been rolled into a lookalike audience campaign – allowing Facebook’s algorithms to add audiences that are close to the audiences we have already built.
The result has been a vast difference in legitimate lead traffic we have gained and a roughly 70% reduction in our cost-per-lead – giving our campaigns better results at a lower per lead cost.
Marketing and Sales Funnel
We use social media as a way to promote our blog content, but more so, to help people enter into our marketing and sales funnel. Our primary goal as a marketing and social media team is to drive people toward signing up for a 30-day free trial of our project management software.
Our social media visitors rarely sign up directly from clicking on a link we promote on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, but they often do sign up for a trial later down the path, with social media as their entry point.
From digging into our numbers in Google Analytics, we often see that a social media visit becomes an “Assisted Conversion” leading to a signup for a trial three, four, even seven other steps down the line. People who first engage with a piece of content on social may later read one of our emails, watch an academy training video, click on one of our paid ads, or even watch a webinar before they eventually make the decision to signup.
Along these lines, even if you’re not seeing direct to conversion paths from your customers’ social media activity, it’s a really bad idea to discount the impact of social media entirely and fail to give it the care and time it deserves as an engagement tool, above all else.
We have had a lot of success with running photo competitions on social media. We post the criteria and ask our customers to share their best photos in the comments under the post. Not only do we get to hear incredible stories from our customers, but we also create a community on we’ve our social platforms.
This drives a significant amount of engagement for the brand; much more than if we were just to post a photo or piece of self-generated content ourselves. With the customers’ permission, we can then use this content in emails and other campaigns.
Building Relationships and Engaging your Audience
The video gaming community is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic sectors in the world of business, so making sure we fully engage with and build relationships around this world is absolutely vital to us.
One of the best means we have of building out these social handles on platforms such as Tumblr and Reddit where we share around stories that relate to us as a company, engage with opinions and occasionally throw in a link to a story or article that links to our site.
It’s free, successful and is a great way of growing out the standing of a company!
Freebie hunters naturally find themselves in money-saving communities, and so we decided to leverage Facebook to create our own community!
We have a Facebook group that now has around 33k members, which has grown by nearly 13k in just the last three and a half months. We did this by changing our admin from our faceless Magic Freebies branding, to posting as admins from our personal accounts – this improved trust which has in turn improved engagement.
We’ve grown so much just by making this small change that we have now taken on two moderators who help immensely with the workload of a very active group community.
We also rewrote our rules to be more inclusive and ‘fun’ to align with our brand, and we’ve launched regular competitions in the group to keep engagement up and to keep gaining valuable new sign-ups. Having such a positive community to direct people to has improved our TrustPilot rating and has driven more people to our site.
We have two tactics that we use to harness social media for our business and they work best on separate platforms.
One of the most useful aspects of Twitter is how current all discussions are. You can harness recent news and discussions for your business to generate views around your profile. By contributing to relevant discussions around your industry and reacting to news you make sure that not only are you a constant presence in these types of conversations but also that people can come to your profile for a hot take.
Through Facebook, you tend to find that content which prompts people to tag their friends is a great way of generating a following and increasing potential customers. The single easiest way to create this content is simply a funny or intriguing image with a caption encouraging shares along the lines of ‘tag a friend who would do this’. It may seem like clickbait (and it is) but it generates a lot of activity around your profile, which gets your brand in front of potential customers, and best of all it only takes 5 minutes!
Utilizing the Platform Features
Always be on the lookout for new features and functionality on social media platforms, as they’re introduced. As an example, we were one of the early adopters of the new feature which LinkedIn brought in earlier this year, which allowed you to invite connections to your company page.
We gained thousands of followers in the space of a couple of days through this method before LinkedIn removed the feature – whether temporarily or permanently is still yet to be determined.
Don’t be complacent and assume you know all of the routes to grow your audience and your business through social media, as these platforms will continue to roll out new features which you need to be ready to embrace.
We use social media firstly for paid ad placements and sponsored content, because the demographic targeting accuracy that this provides enables us to directly target prospects that have shown an interest in our competitors, or in complementary products to our own.
However, we also dedicate a few hours a week to using social media to support our brand marketing by means of social interactions, joining groups, getting in on trends, posting on pages, answering questions, and taking part in discussions that may be of interest to our target audiences too.
These are rarely directly related to our products or used as an opportunity to promote and sell, as social media users don’t respond to a hard sell approach when they’re trying to socialize and find entertainment.
However, by getting our brand on people’s radars and making ourselves memorable for being fun, helpful or interesting, we support our brand awareness and boost
brand perception, and build our organic social media audience as a result.
Influencer marketing is a great way to grow your business through social media. Influencers can create authentic, genuine content that customers are more likely to act on than traditional ads. The key to growing your business through influencer marketing is to think outside the box.
Everyone has seen a typical influencer post with the product held up while they snap a quick pic. The better way to gain traction with influencer marketing is to work with the influencer to create a highly original, engaging piece of content.
It could be a giveaway to the influencer’s audience, or providing the influencer with behind-the-scenes content about your company. Instead of giving the coupon code that we’ve seen a thousand times before, try creating a landing page that showcases the influencer and their recommended products.
If you’ve seen it before, try something new! It’s important to remember that influencers are content creators, not billboards. Working with them to create their content can help you get mentions and posts that are valuable to your target customer.
Posting Deep Dive Analysis
This type of high-level analysis would cost thousands from a specialized consultant and is worth $10,000s – $100,000s in terms of the ad revenue increases they could realize. When we post the deep dive analysis, we find the publishers want to initiate a conversation with our sales teams of how they could make the recommended changes via MonetizeMore.
Other publishers use this as a resource to analyze their own ad inventories since many publishers suffer the same programmatic ad issues and have the same optimization opportunities. This innovative new social media strategy has further established MonetizeMore as a thought leader in the programmatic ad industry and has gained us some new premium clients.
There you have it! Some of the creative ways you can use on social media from our industry experts. We hope that you find a lot of ideas you can implement for your business!