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Social media marketers and business owners, this one’s for you

We’ve all been there before; social media marketing can feel like you’re on top of the world when it’s working, and like your whole life is in shambles when it isn’t. 

One minute you’re making content for social posts and creating an audience for an ad that you think is going to crush it, and before you know it, your keyboard and coffee cup has been sucked into some kind of social media vortex that is eating your ad budget and producing less than satisfactory results. Worst of all, your content isn’t even performing organically! WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

Next thing you know, you’re trying to figure out where you went wrong. You start banging your head against the wall and scrambling to change your entire social media strategy to hopefully start making some results. Sound familiar? 

Whatever the case is, this rollercoaster ride of social marketing mayhem isn’t for the faint of heart! 

Stop sucking at social and start winning. To help you start driving the results you want to see for your business or clients, we’ve created a helpful guide so you can get on top of your social media campaigns. 

Consistency is Important for Social Media Growth

When it comes to organic social media growth, consistency is key. There are a few things you’re going to want to keep consistent with your social media campaigns – high quality, frequency, and timing.

1) Create a High-Quality Social Media Content Marketing Strategy

In terms of quality; if you’ve set the bar high for the quality of your posts, you’ve got to keep hitting that gold standard for the rest of your social campaign or else your audience is going to lose interest. Say what? 

Think of it this way: If you follow a photographer because they’re posting stunning, high-quality images every day, you’re going to want to see more of that sort of thing every day. That’s what you followed them for. 

What happens if the photographer’s camera breaks and they run out of content? They won’t be able to post awesome photos consistently anymore. The photographer’s followers are going to wonder why there is a lack of new content all of a sudden. 

If the photographer tried to supplement their social strategy with low-resolution cell phone photos, the followers would probably lose interest in the photographer and unfollow them. 

Keeping the level of quality consistent is key for retaining your current audience and attracting new followers. That’s the name of the game for social media growth!

2) Find The Right Social Post Frequency

Let’s say the same photographer from the example above had a baby or got a promotion. As a result, they have less time for photography as a hobby, and they have other commitments. Such is life! 

But what if they can’t find the time to post something for weeks at a time? Now there’s a big problem with this social strategy. If you can’t post the good quality content that your audience is expecting, regularly, you’re toast.  

Set a pace that you can maintain and still keep up with your followers’ expectations. We’ve seen so many brands and businesses frequently post when they have a big content queue but taper off when it runs out. People, brands, and businesses get too busy for social; it happens! They almost always see a drop in followers and engagement as a result. 

The best way to solve this is to ask yourself: “how much can I commit to posting regularly for the next six months?”. The answer to that question is how often you should be posting on social media. 

If getting a high-quality post out every day is a stretch, stick to posting two to three times per week. Even a weekly post is okay if you have awesome social content to post with a consistent frequency

3) Post to Social Media at a Consistent Time

Finally, the last factor of the consistency equation is your post timing. In baseball, hitting the ball is all about timing. If you swing too early or too late, you strikeout. If you time your swing right and hit the ball in the sweet spot, you can knock it out of the park. 

The same thing applies to social media! Your audience isn’t on social media all day. People have work, school, and lives to live offline. You need to fine-tune your timing to get those posts out when the majority of your audience is online.

If you post Wednesday at 9 AM, because your audience is always online at that time, you better keep at it, slugger! Once you make a routine out of things, your audience comes to expect to see your content.

If you post at the optimal time, more users will see your content. Having more eyes on your content opens up the opportunity to earn more engagement. You could post one of the best pieces of content you’ve ever created, but it’s not going to get you a home run unless your audience can see it. 

Consistency should be the cornerstone of any successful social media strategy.

Hashtag Your Way to Glory

Many of you social marketers think you have a killer set of hashtags that are getting you the reach and engagement you want with your social posts. But the reality is, they need to be driving real purchase intent from potential customers to add value to your social campaigns. Keep this in mind when creating a social media strategy.

Any amateur social marketer can create a batch of tags that will generate some bot retweets, likes, or comments on social media. This is one of the worst indicators of content quality and driving results in the social media world. What’s important is the number of leads you’re able to generate by making your content visible to potential customers. If you don’t do this, your social media content marketing strategy is going to be dead in the water.

At the end of the day, there’s a reason why Facebook and Instagram are hiding likes, and marketers aren’t using it as a benchmark for post-performance anymore. They’re a lagging performance indicator! People like posts all the time, it doesn’t mean they want to make a purchase.

4) To Heck with Likes, What are Your Customers Looking at?

Post likes should not be your north star metric. If you’re a business, you need to generate leads with your social strategy; that is what is going to improve your bottom line and make a return on your investment. 

To generate leads and drive some purchase intent with your social campaigns, you need to find the hashtags that real people are looking at, not the ones that everyone and their dog are using to get more likes on their selfies.

It’s time to think critically, which hashtags actually matter to your customers and what will they be looking at? At the time I’m writing this blog post, #YYC has 9.7 million posts on Instagram, and there are several tweets going out every minute on Twitter.

The goal with your hashtag strategy is to win over a top tag spot on the hashtag feed or gain visibility for your business in a chronological feed. With a hashtag that moves that quickly and that much competition, it’s unlikely you’re going to see tangible results.

This is why you need to find niche tags for your hashtag strategy. A general rule of thumb is to use tags with less than 100,000 posts or tweets.

If you’re making a post in Calgary, try something that fits that post size criteria like #CuriocityCalgary. The slower pace and lower quantity of posts mean you’re more likely to be seen in the chronological feed, and less overall competition means you’re more likely to earn a top post or end up on the list of the top tweets! 

What are your odds of winning the lottery when it’s one in a million? Not very good. How about one in a hundred thousand? Way better!

Niche Hashtags in Practice

Let’s use the example of a bike shop in Calgary. The shop could use the hashtag #yyc on their posts to pick up a couple of extra likes, but that isn’t going to drive any sales. Not everyone using #yyc is going to want to buy a bike, nor are they going to be looking to buy one on that tag. 

If that bike shop wanted to get their content in front of their target audience, they’re going to need to research what Calgary cyclists are looking at on social media and immerse themselves in that niche. 

If they want to sell commuter bikes to Calgarians, something like #yycbike with under 30,000 posts would be a better fit. If they want to get the attention of mountain bikers to sell high-end bikes, a hashtag for the closest mountain bike trail network like #mmbts would also be a good fit. 

This may take some research, but you need to get to know your customers and key user groups to figure this one out.

5) Create a Conversation. Be Social and Build a Relationship.

It’s important to be social for two reasons, to build engagement and to build a relationship. Social media algorithms now have the smallest amount of organic reach they have ever had. 

As a result of the decline in organic reach, we can’t just rely on posting something and expecting everyone in our audience and those using the hashtags we’ve selected to see it. 

To drive intent, we need to interact with our target audience, start a conversation, and build a relationship. This is what is going to make them aware of our brand, content, and offering. 

Many brands, businesses, and social media marketers seem to forget this part. The idea behind social media is being social. 

For this part, we recommend using Alex Tooby’s “Ten Minute Strategy”. Set a timer for ten minutes, browse content on a niche tag related to your business, and leave a few meaningful comments and likes to the posts that you see. 

When someone sees you’ve commented, they’ll want to see who you are and visit your profile. This is just natural human curiosity in play. 

If you do this for ten minutes a day, you will see an increase in engagement, followers, and you’re bound to generate more leads as a result.

6) There’s Nothing Wrong With Using Several Hashtags

You’ve probably heard people say that using a ton of hashtags on your posts looks tacky. The truth of the matter is, there is nothing wrong with it, and there is a tasteful way to go about it. 

The more hashtags you use, the more potential reach each of your posts will have. Our stance on hashtag use is that you should tailor the hashtags to each post or at least each type of post. 

Social networks are cracking down on users that are using irrelevant or spammy tags. To avoid any penalties, it’s important to rotate through a set of tags or mix them up from time to time. 

Our hashtag best practices for posts are as follows: 

  • Use 5-7 post tags at the bottom of the post caption
  • Hide the rest with periods or spaces below the caption, so a “read more” link appears on the post. 
  • Create a list of 30 total niche tags for every post to get exposure from the desired audience. 

By doing this, we get the clean look of only using a few tags in the main caption and the added benefits of using numerous tags in total. You get the best of both worlds!

Social Advertising Isn’t Dead.

If you’re trying to grow your audience on social media and you’re not running ads, you might as well turn around and go home. Although there are some interesting tools and growth tactics out there that can help you grow your accounts, social advertising is by far the most effective way to reach your target audience on social media. 

We know that social advertising can be scary, so we’ve got some advice to help you get the cost per result you’re looking for, find the right people, and drive tangible results with your social media advertising campaigns. 

7) Keep your Social Media Ads Simple

Like many things, with great power comes great responsibility. The same thing applies to social media advertising. 

Social networks are able to find out so much about who you are and what you’re into that it enables some pretty detailed targeting. However,  just because you can run a Facebook ad targeting recently married women that listen to Slipknot in Airdrie doesn’t mean you should… 

Don’t overthink your advertising audiences. As a rule of thumb, try not to use more than 3-4 interests or behaviours when creating an ad audience for the best results. 

Remember, there’s a ton of different things that affect how much ads will cost to run and the cost per result. Ad inventory, industry competition, ad quality, and the placements of your ad. 

8) If your landing page sucks, there are options!

Does your landing page have a pitiful conversion rate? If you feel like you’re wasting your advertising budget by sending people to your website, try the built-in lead generation forms on Facebook and LinkedIn to generate leads for your business. 

These forms appear when someone clicks the built-in call-to-action on your ad. These forms take less than twenty minutes to set up and pack a serious punch in generating leads for your business. 

They collect the name, age, phone number, location, and can have custom questions built into the form for the user to answer. 

When it comes to the information you need, think of everything your sales team would need to know about a lead in order to tailor your offering and convert them. 

These built-in lead generation forms are a great way to one-up your paid social marketing campaigns and generate more leads for your business.  

9) Tailor your ads to your audience.

We’ve seen so many beginners create a set of Facebook ads that have not been tailored to the specific audience that is being targeted by the ad. 

If you saw an ad targeted to everyone in Canada, is it going to hit home? Probably not. If there’s an exclusive deal or opportunity for Calgarians, doesn’t that sound a bit more relatable? Probably! 

Some of the best things you can do to tailor your ads to your audience are: 

  • Mention their city/location in the ad copy
  • Use technical/relatable language that resonates with your audience
  • Use relevant landmarks from their area in your ad image / video
  • Showcase an interest they have with your ad

We’re only scratching the surface of what can be done to create a tailored ad for your audience here. You need to fully understand your audience and what appeals to them. 

It’s time to get personal and make ads that will create a personal appeal to your target audience. Make it hit home in as many ways as possible! This is the way to create effective ads that engage customers to supplement your social media engagement strategy.

10) Include Boosted Posts in Your Social Media Campaigns

We’ve said it time and time again, thanks to social algorithm changes, organic reach has significantly declined in recent years. Luckily, there’s a way to supplement your social media engagement strategy.

So, how do we extend our reach and get more eyes on our Facebook posts? By boosting them! 

Boosting posts enables us to advertise our post to our target audience and have it appear in their newsfeed. This is by far the best way to extend the reach of every Facebook post and get the impressions and engagement you’re looking for. 

A good strategy we’ve come up with is to boost each post for $1 per a day. Yes, it’s going to cost you about $365 per year, but it’s a good litmus test to see which content is going to perform the best and garner the most reach, impressions, and additional engagement for a successful social media campaign.

How can you tell which posts are going to perform the best? 

To determine which posts will perform the best and make the most out of additional advertising budget, head over to your insights tab. 

Next, click the post’s category and scroll down. You’ll see a breakdown of which posts earned the most organic and paid reach/engagement. 

In case you’re unfamiliar with these performance metrics; on Facebook, reach is the number of unique people that saw a piece of content. Reach affects every other metric that is tracked: engagement, likes, comments, clicks, etc. 

We want to increase the number of unique people we can reach in order to get more likes, comments, and clicks!

From this group of posts, we can see that the SEO meme we posted had the greatest amount or paid reach. As you can see from the bar chart, it reached 61 people organically and 209 people with a $1 boost. 

This meme would be a good post to throw some additional advertising budget at. Given that it performed well with a dollar, it would likely perform well if promoted with a larger advertising budget. 

This is a good strategy to determine which pieces of content are going to perform the best for your Facebook page without breaking the bank. You’re still gaining some additional reach with every post that you put out to boot. Give it a shot! This could help you make one of your best social media campaigns yet.

The Only Way to Stop Sucking is to Practice with Your Social Strategy!

Above all else, the only way to truly stop sucking at social is to practice. We can give you as many strategies as you’d like, but it’s going to take time to experiment, refine them, and make them produce results for your business. 

We’ve been running social campaigns for years now, and we still continue to learn more about how we can make these campaigns more effective for clients every day. Social media is constantly changing. To be a good social marketer, you’re going to need to keep in touch with the latest features, trends, policies, and any algorithm updates that happen. 

As always, Konstruct is happy to help you with all of your social marketing needs. From social strategy to executing your campaigns, we can help you grow your online presence and generate more leads for your business.

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Joey Reinhart

Content Specialist

Entrepreneur, social media marketer, web developer, cyclist, student, and volunteer. These are all titles that can be used to describe Joey. He has years of experience working with organizations of all different shapes and sizes to help achieve their social marketing goals. Joey has a vast skill set and is continually educating himself to stay on top of digital marketing trends.