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Seven Tips to Shore Up Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Seven Tips to Shore Up Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

During the past year, people everywhere developed more dependence on digital platforms and relationships. Gorgeous weather and loosening restrictions from the pandemic will prompt a summer like no other.

As we all slip back into summer styles and fun in the sun, everyone will want to share those experiences (and pics) on social media.

Social media marketing carries the authenticity of traditional word of mouth promotion, while having all the advantages of targeted marketing offered by the age of algorithms.

Are you ready to take advantage of social media to grow your business? Use these tips to shore up your social media marketing strategy and connect with the locals, the Bennies, and everyone in between.

Conduct an audit of your social media content and re-evaluate your content strategy

Do an audit of all social media channels. Analyze which ones are generating the most traffic for you through your Google Analytics dashboard.

Define your top channels. Check out your best social media channels on the insights panel of Analytics to see which pieces of content received the most engagement and had the highest Click-through Rates (CTR).

Make a detailed record of those posts. Document topics, types of content, and the days and times to keep an eye out for patterns and set benchmarks for future postings.

Hash out #hashtags. Develop unique hashtags to be used across the channels like Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. Hashtags drive traffic through the topic but also encourage user-generated content, which potentially can drastically increase your ROI.

Sync hashtags with high ranking long-tail keywords that can be interconnected with your SEO strategy.

Establish your objectives and goals

Historical data presents patterns and insight into future reactions to your content. You can leverage this information to form new objectives, establish new benchmark goals, and set posting guidelines.

Setting specific and definitive goals is an important step in improving any marketing strategy. You wouldn't go on road trip without a clear destination, so why would you enact a campaign without a clear goal.

Setting targets gives you a way to measure how effective your efforts were and determining what needs improvement. You can use this information to project future timelines and progress.

Your goals depend on your industry, customer needs, and how much you're willing to invest but healthy goals for any marketing campaign should be:

  • Measurable and Specific – Goals need to be definitive and tangible. The clearer your goals are, the easier it is to track your progress towards them.
    Rather than something vague like, "we want to grow our followers on Instagram", try something like, "we want to add 100 new followers."  
  • Plausible – Setting ambitious goals can be admirable, but it's better to be surprised by over-performance than to consistently fall short because your goals aren't unrealistic. Instead of saying, "we want to viral on TikTok",
    try something like, "we want to publish 3 videos on TikTok every week". 
  • Relevant and timely. Goals should be relevant to your overall long-term strategy and have a clearly outlined timeline of milestones and benchmarks.
    An example of this would be, we want to generate 30 leads by August 31st". 

When trying to figure out what kind of content to create, use insights, historical data, and trends to create new objectives, establish new benchmark goals, and set posting guidelines.

The NY Times did a study on the Psychology of Sharing that established 5 primary motivations in the sharing of content. Keep these factors in mind when you’re creating new pieces of content that you intend to share on social media:

  • To bring valuable and entertaining content to one another. A significant 94% of respondents carefully consider how the information they share will be of use to other people
  • To define themselves to others.  68% of respondents said they share to give others a better sense of who they are and what they care about.
  • To grow and nourish our relationships. 78% of respondents said they share information online because it enables them to stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with
  • For self-fulfilment. 69% said they share information because it allows them to feel more involved in the world.
  • To get the word out about causes they care about.  84% of respondents share because it is a good way to support causes or issues they care about.

Schedule and stay consistent

The key to success with any endeavor is consistency. It's important that you establish a consistent social media calendar across your organization, and stick to it.

Remember the data from that audit from top posts? Try to create a calendar and content schedule around those high-engagement times and days. Create protocols for content creation that ensure that posting times are consistent.

While it can be tempting to create content far in advance to guarantee timely posting, relevant content is extremely important and should be topical rather than old and dusty.

If you work with a partner for content creation, make sure you're aligned around scheduling, production, and approvals. 

When it comes to the types of content you create, don't be afraid to experiment. Use the platform insights to determine what's working in terms of engagement and reach and then create more of that content.

Leave room in your plan for spontaneous content related to cultural and topical issues or user-generated content. Both of these categories can be incredibly engaging and draw in new traffic to your brand.

Update your images and graphics

Did you know that half of the human brain is directly or indirectly devoted to processing visual information? So it's no wonder that much of social media is also devoted to images or video. 

When asked what type of content they like to engage with, 68% of consumers preferred images, 50% preferred videos and 30% enjoyed text-based posts. (Source)

But how do you stand out from your competition and build brand recognition? Well, if the images and graphics used in your campaigns are sloppy or low quality, you've immediately told your audience to expect the same of your brand. Marketing images are the first impression. And it's not good, you may not get a second one.

Using tools like Canva, your team can easily create engaging images that look professional and instill faith in your brand in your audience.

Visual content is much more likely to be shared and engaged with than plain text on social media. Images that users associate with your brand are important to defining that brand. No matter what you think your brand means, your potential customers' perception is far more important. 

Speaking of branding, your logo and images you consistently share are the most important images and the framework brand recognition will be formed around. It is absolutely essential logos be eye-catching, unique, and professional. If you're unsure if your logo accomplishes what it needs to, check out what we can do to help with proper branding.

Embrace the power of Video.

We're well past the point where video is reserved for just YouTube. If images are the king of capturing attention, video is the king of capturing engagement. Marketing is about forming relationships with leads and potential customers.  Video offers a way to interact much more in-depth with an audience, while also being easier for the viewer to digest.

86% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. (Source)

A recent analysis of video marketing determined that 86% of companies surveyed used video as a marketing tool. Of all the videos produced, 67% were for social media. Competition is developing relationships with potential customers through video, without utilizing this tool you'll be behind.

The same study determined that 91% of marketers felt that video was more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the world in 2020. Social media has spent the past year becoming more essential to the way people relate to friends and family. Video lets you tap into this interpersonal aspect of social media and actually speak to potential customers.

Nearly every social media network now supports and contains vast amounts of video. While video only used to permeate certain social media bubbles and be limited in utility, now it can be utilized widely across a range of platforms.

Support and encourage user-generated content

The astronomical rise of TikTok has had massive effects on the social media marketing landscape. Though user-generated content has always been a sought-after piece of the marketing puzzle, TikTok's short-format videos and ease of recording from a phone make it easier than ever for users to take an interactive role in your brand's development.

User-generated content can come from a variety of sources, whether it be supportive customers who are already invested in your brand sharing their enthusiasm or more casual exposure. Either way, user-generated content magnifies your content creation efforts and can compound the gains of any campaign.

Get in the habit of featuring user-generated content frequently, and incorporate ways to encourage it into your strategy.

Authentically connect and stop talking about yourself.

When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor. (Source)

This past year truly emphasized how important human connection is. Without an authentic connection to your audience, your marketing will fall flat or worse – be ignored.

How do you build brand loyalty and increase engagement through social media? By filtering your message through a framework that invites your followers into a story that makes them want to pay attention and eventually buy from you.

That framework is the StoryBrand messaging framework that positions your audience and potential customers as the hero of the story (or your social media). The best marketing campaigns take us on an emotional journey — appealing to our wants, needs, and desires — while at the same time telling us about a product or service.

Next Steps...

Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas to get ready for the summer.  However, if you don't have a social media marketing strategy or would like help refining yours, schedule a time to talk.

I believe you should have confidence in your marketing and that it will make you money. I can help you grow your audience and get more sales. 

Schedule a time to talk

Ali J. Taylor

Ali J. Taylor / About Author

Ali J. Taylor is the CEO & Creative Director of BelMarketing Design Studio, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, HubSpot Consultant, and founder of the Captivation Key™ Program for transforming professional service brands.