Social media has become one of the best ways to interact with your audience, increase web traffic, and boost conversions.
Universities offer graduate programs in digital marketing, but for many, that is a daunting and costly step that seems out of reach. Technology, and in particular social media, also changes so rapidly that a formal course may, in fact, be outdated and lacking in true value. Thankfully, there are numerous better, more cost-effective options for you to continue your learning in this industry.
In particular, our curated set of online social media courses provide you with plenty of relevant information that will help advance your career. Best of all, these courses regularly update in response to changes in the social media environment.
To give you an idea of what you might learn once enrolled in these courses, let’s discuss six quick tips that will help improve your social media marketing skills.
1. Understand the Uniqueness of Each Outlet
When starting with social media, you might think the best strategy is to put your brand everywhere and on every platform. The more exposure, the better. Right? Not necessarily. In truth, a better option is to take time to research and understand what makes each platform unique. From there, you can make an informed decision about which platforms will best serve your marketing goals. If you are a fashion ecommerce brand targeting young adults, you likely don’t need to waste your time posting to LinkedIn. Alternatively, if you are a B2B brand, it is a safe bet that you don’t need to be on Snapchat.
The truth is, each social media platform has a distinct demographic and set of expectations. For example, posting ten tweets per day is perfectly normal, but posting ten Instagram posts is overkill. Without understanding each platform, you would never know what is appropriate and what is annoying to your audience.
We won’t dive into the specifics of each channel, but Shopify recently released a great guide that’ll help you understand the differences.
It is also important to note that social media usage is increasing across all major platforms, as seen in the above chart which was generated from research by Pew Research Center. While Facebook reigns supreme in terms of overall percentage of adults using the platform, there are still plenty of people using all other platforms. Keep in mind it’s always better to advertise to people who are likely to show interest in your brand rather than just trying to get in front of as many people as possible. Pinterest has fewer users, for example, but they are highly engaged and convert frequently – 87 percent of users, in fact, have made a purchase because of Pinterest.
2. Source Your Blog for Social Content
One of the biggest difficulties with social media is coming up with enough content. Posting once a week is simply not good enough, and your customers are highly likely to forget about you. Algorithm changes also come into play, and your content is likely to not show up at the top of a user’s feed. Instead, you need a steady flow of unique content that your audience will enjoy engaging with.
Concerned about where all of this content is coming from? You aren’t alone. A great source for social content, however, is your blog. Blogging is a highly beneficial tool for any brand, and it’ll help your social media as well.
There are several ways you can use your blog on social media. Use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to post links directly to your content. For more visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, consider creating some custom visuals that you can create from your content. Quote images are highly successful on social media, for example.
Another great content source you can create from your blogs? Infographics. People love infographics, and better yet, love to share infographics. If possible, transform your blog content into a visually pleasing infographic and share via social media. Over 40 percent of marketers list infographics as the content that receives the most engagement for the brands they manage.
3. Research and Implement Trends (Where Appropriate)
Keeping up with the latest social media trends can make your brand appear relevant and interesting, but be careful, as this requires more work than you might imagine. Depending on your brand, certain trends may not fit with your overall identity and can actually have a negative impact on you and make you appear desperate for social engagement.
For example, memes have become majorly popular across nearly all social media platforms. Some brands have even gotten in on it and have used them with great success. However, if your brand has an older target demographic, you are likely to have less success and may, in fact, confuse or annoy your audience.
4. Begin Creating Video Content
Video marketing has become incredibly popular, and it isn’t going anywhere. We just recently discussed video marketing in depth, which you can take a look at here. It is important to discuss video marketing within the content of social media because this is one of the main areas where people are consuming video content.
With specific regards to social media, a particularly popular type of video marketing is live video. Most major social media platforms have implemented a live video function- including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. People really enjoy this type of video, and in fact, watch it a lot more than traditional video. Facebook users alone spend 3 times as much time watching live video compared to traditional video.
Looking for more stats on video? Take a look at this infographic, courtesy of Social Paragon:
5. Interact with Your Audience
You are probably aware of how important it is to respond to your audience (or you should be!) Something as simple as a quick ‘thank you!’ when a user comments or posts about you can go a long way in terms of boosting your brand image and keeping your customers happy. If possible, dedicate either a specific person or part of your day to social media engagement. While this does take time, the payoff can be huge. In fact, failing to respond to customers can lead to up to a 15 percent increase in customer churn.
Negative engagement is also something you need to heavily monitor. If a customer complains about you on social media, you need to take control of the situation and say something. Be sure to get in touch directly with the customer and make it known that you are happy to handle the situation and come to a resolution that the customer is happy with. Ignoring negative comments not only upsets the people who are posting, it also serves as major negative press for your brand. If a new customer is researching you on social media and sees tons of unanswered complaints- do you think they’ll be more or less likely to become a customer?
The speed with which you respond to customers is also just as important as how you respond. Twitter users expect a response from a brand within one hour. As for Facebook, the social platform actually displays how quickly brands respond to private messages. Keep up your image by staying on top of all social media comments, concerns, and messages.
6. Build Relationships with Influencers
Finally, a great way to build up your authority on social media and increase your audience is by working with influencers. Influencers are simply people within your niche that have a large following that is similar to your target demographic. Their endorsement of your product or brand can help expand your audience, increase traffic to your website, and ultimately, increase conversions.
As you can see in the infographic above, influencer marketing tends to be very effective if you can find the right influencer. Nearly 70 percent of consumers trust online opinions from other consumers (which can mean an influencer) and conversions can increase up to 10 times when using influencers. Who wouldn’t want to get in on that success?
There is a lot you can do to improve your social media marketing skills, and this article has just scratched the surface. If you are truly looking to grow in this industry, consider taking one of our social media courses. These courses are up to date, allow you to work at your own pace, and best of all, are much more affordable than traditional classes.