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Are Your Harnessing the Best Strategies for Your Social Media Channels?

Social media is a must for today’s marketers, but knowing exactly how to market on each social media platform can be overwhelming. About 30 percent of millennials say they engage with their favorite brands on social media, so not having a specific strategy will at best be ineffective, and at worst damage your brand image.

You only have so much time in a day, so utilizing your social media marketing time to the best advantage is important. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can implement that will improve your overall social media outreach and make your efforts more successful.

1. Choosing the Best Social Media

There are a wide range of social media options for you to choose from — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. However, your target audience is going to congregate to some of those platforms more than others, and knowing where to place your efforts can have a big impact on your bottom line.

If you simply want to increase overall brand awareness, then you’re probably smart to stick with the established sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. However, if you want to reach millennials or another market segment, then you may want to put your focus somewhere like Instagram or Snapchat. Do your research and choose the platform that makes the most sense for your target audience.

VRBO uses Instagram to show images of homes they want to market.

Take a look at how VRBO reaches out with images of some of its vacation homes on Instagram. For those who value experiences, seeing the image of a small cottage set among palm trees or an ocean view is like eye candy. Using big, beautiful images, VRBO draws on its target audience. Instagram is an excellent platform for a travel-related site for this very reason.

2. Understand Regional Differences

If you own brick-and-mortar businesses, or are located in a single city or two, your strategies will be a bit different than for someone who has a more global business. For example, if you want to reach only homeowners in Cincinnati who are interested in home improvement, then you would probably plan a Facebook ad and target people in a certain age range that live there. You would further refine your target by interests, such as home improvement.

3. Team up With Influencers

One of the key ways you can reach new eyes on social media is to find the influencers who already speak to your target audience. These are people who have a large following and an engaged group of followers who comment on and share their posts. You want to make sure that anyone you team up with shares a general business philosophy with you and that their audience is made up of the people you’d like to reach.

Subaru used social influencers to market it's #MeetAnOwner campaign.

Subaru teamed up with social influencers with a large following for its #MeetAnOwner campaign. These influencers posted different scenarios where they would go somewhere or do something special in their Subaru vehicles. These videos were viewed millions of times, taking the campaign viral.

4. Use New Media

It’s expected that online videos will account for 80 percent of consumer internet traffic by 2020. Make sure you are posting them, and don’t be afraid to mix things up by creating a SlideShare or an infographic and sharing it. Take advantage of blogging and share that content on your social media channels. Encourage your followers to comment and add their own input.

Also, seek out new photo editing tools, so you can add some text or special effects to images. Study the popularity of Snapchat and consider how you might tap into the success of its filters in your own posts. Be as creative as possible.

5. Interact and Respond

There are few things more frustrating to fans than making a comment or tagging you and not receiving any response. If you don’t have the time to man your social media channels, then hire someone who will at least for a portion of the day.

Anytime someone tags your company, lodges a complaint or simply comments, there should be a response to that effort. This increases engagement and helps build brand loyalty. There is a reason why 70 percent of companies indicate they have a dedicated social media team. It is an effective way to add a personal touch to your interactions with customers.

6. Show Don’t Sell

You’ve probably heard that when you are telling a story you should show and not tell, but on social media you need to show and not sell. What this means is that you should seek first to tell an engaging story to your followers, and sell to them last. So, you might share the story of how your company started, or the story of how an owner uses your product, but you would only occasionally post about a sale you’re having on a product.

Whole Foods uses Twitter to tell stories about it's healthy foods.

Whole Foods is known for its healthy foods. They’ve translated this into stories on Twitter that highlight families shopping, funny videos, and images of amazing produce and healthy food. The more entertaining your posts on social media, the more interesting your brand will be. Seek to define a personality for your brand, so the consumer knows what types of stories to expect from you.

7. Align All Employees With Social Media Campaigns

Your social media team shouldn’t live in a vacuum. Make sure everyone in your company knows what social media campaigns are going on and the goal for that campaign. This can be achieved with a quick mention in a stand-up meeting each morning. If a client mentions a specific campaign, you don’t want your offline staff feeling stumped over what the client is talking about. Make sure everyone is keyed into specific goals with social media marketing.

The Best Strategies Change

The best strategies for your social media channels will vary widely, depending upon the channels you are using and the personality of your company. Take the time to get to know each platform thoroughly and study what your competitors are doing. How can you reach customers better than they do on social media? Stay informed as the way people interact with brands online changes. Twitter allows more post characters than it used to, for example, and Instagram has risen to one of the top social media platforms.

Pay attention to changing trends and shifts in the social media marketplace and you’ll be better equipped to come up with strategies that will benefit your brand.

Lexie 1

Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has some coffee nearby. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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