The digital age has made it both less, and more challenging for marketers simultaneously. Here are my five social media strategies that have helped me over the years. Happy reading!
Hype up everything you do in advance. If you're about to drop new content, drop teasers to hype it up a few days before posting it! Even 24 hours of hype-building is better than zero. The rationale for this is to build anticipation.
"If your followers are anticipating your post, they are more likely to engage with it."
Relying on random chance discovery is not the best strategy. The social media feed algorithm is a complicated thing. I am still learning things about it every day. What worked yesterday, might not work today. One thing has always remained the same: engagement is how your posts grow. If your followers are anticipating your post, they are more likely to engage with it. Likes, comments, and shares are more likely to come this way. Anticipation is everything.
It also makes your followers feel special. When you hype content beforehand, the follower feels like they are getting inside information before the general public (your non-followers) do. This is a subtle way to build a trusting relationship with your viewers. You want your followers to expect your posts.
How early should I start hyping my content? Well, that depends. What is the nature of your content? Is it a quick blurp that you don't want your followers to spend much time with? Is it a major project that you have been working on for months? It all depends. I hype up my time-lapse drawing videos at least 24 hours in advance, because I spend a full day of work, preparing that content. I want the viewers to stick around for the whole video, therefore, I hype it 24 hours in advance to build excitement in the follower-base. Whereas a book is a much bigger project, I begin hyping it several months in advance.
2. Hashtag Hunting
Yes, hashtags still matter! They are a nifty tool to get your post seen, once it is out there in the wild. Each hashtag brings in a whole new audience group to your post, that would not have seen it, otherwise! The key is to use the right hashtags. You have to hunt for these. They won't just hop into your post description.
"Go to the top-performing posts in each hashtag relating to your subject. Take note!"
Go onto the hashtag feed, and take notes from your competition. If you are an Etsy calligrapher, search for the hashtags #Etsy, and #calligraphy. Think like a marketer when you do this. Go to the top-performing posts in each hashtag relating to your subject. What trends are you seeing? Take note!
Piggyback other hashtags from successful posts in your genre. On the highest performing posts, what hashtags are they using? Consider copying these into your hashtag paragraph at the bottom of your post. If your competition sees merit in these hashtags, why shouldn't you?
3. Insights Data
Who is your audience? No, really ...who are your followers? It doesn't matter how gorgeous or useful your content is if it is being consumed by the wrong audience! Different audiences require different marketing aesthetics, techniques, and lingo to be successful.
"Timing is everything."
When are your followers the most active? Generally, 2:00 AM on a Tuesday is not the best time to post. That is ...unless that's the time when your followers are the most active! Insights are the way to find this information. Timing is everything! When you sign up for a business, professional, or creator account on most social media platforms, they will have some sort of insights dashboard. Get comfortable here, because it can make or break your success on the platform!
When to post? I recommend posting shortly after the prime window for your followers' activity begins. For example, my followers were very active on Sunday Nights, and Monday afternoons. The data showed that they were the most active on Mondays from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. With this data in mind, I posted my time-lapse videos at 6:30, just before the peak activity time. If you post too early, it will get lost in the matrix of posts, competing for that real-estate on consumers' phones. If you post too late, you will miss the peak activity time and miss opportunities. Experiment with this a bit! Try it both ways and take note of what worked in your niche industry area.
Who are these people, anyway? Take note of the age, gender, and all demographics you possibly can. Are they young? Are they old? Are they suburban soccer moms in metropolitan areas? Maybe they are old-school couples that listen to two-step country. Take note of these facts! What works with one audience, may not work with another. Take this data, and research the products and services that these demographics are buying. What are those companies doing right? What are these people looking to get out of the marketplace? Find this data, and you will find your marketing edge.
4. Join Groups in Your Niche
Not every social platform offers a group feature. Unfortunately, you Instagram creators will have a harder time with this tip. I will give you an alternative though, don't worry!
"Find groups of people who are doing what you want to do."
Join every group you can. Find groups of people who are doing what you want to do. These groups are prime real-estate. They are full of people with similar interests as you! Interact, and make as many connections as you possibly can in these groups.
What I give the most credit for starting my follower-base, were NASCAR fan groups I joined. I often shared posts of new artwork with them. I discovered one particular Facebook group for fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr. I joined and started sharing portraits of Dale in the group. Every time I joined a fan group of a driver, I would try to draw that driver’s car, and share a picture of it with the group, mentioning the Joey Perry Arts page in the description. Results came slowly at first, but the posts started getting more likes, positive comments, shares, and being a bigger, more useful resource.
Learn from them. Don't spend every waking moment, spamming the group with your business promotions. You have to read the room a little bit. You might get booted out, and even worse, you won't get as much as you could out of these experiences! Follow posts by other successful people in your niche, and take note of what is working for them!
Here's an Instagram alternative. Are you an Instagram content creator? I know it's a bummer that you can't use groups to your advantage on this particular platform. There is one way around it though. Find someone incredibly famous and successful in your industry. Go to one of their posts. Click on the like counter to bring up the list of users who liked their posts. Go down the list one-by-one, and like a photo or comment something on their fans' posts. If their fans have a large account, it may take more than one like or comment to get their eyes on you. Always say something nice if you do comment.
Here's the kicker: do not spam them! Don't say anything along the lines of, "check out my profile, sign up for my webinar, etc." That will turn people off so fast. You don't have to shove it in their face! It's actually better that you don't. When you comment or like someone's post, they will be naturally curious who you are. If they are intrigued, they will click on your account in their notification tab. This is a much smoother, more organic way of them discovering you. Make them think it was their idea to follow you! This is kind of an extension of the phrase, "don't toot your own horn." People don't like braggers. They don't want you telling them how great you are. They like it better the other way around. Trust me on this one!
5. Adapt Your Content for Specific Platforms
Each platform is a different beast in its own right. Instagram is made for a different type of content than TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter. Keep that in mind.
"Posting the same thing across every platform won't work very well."
As your brand grows, you will likely have profiles on several different platforms. When this happens, simply posting the same thing across every platform won't work very well. Twitter has a 140 character limit, whereas Instagram does not. Instagram had a minute-long cap for videos for a long time, until the recent addition of the IGTV feature. Facebook punishes post ranking for videos under a minute and thirty seconds, last I checked.
Size your visuals for each platform. Your visuals need to work on the platform you're posting them to. Instagram is a square media app, whereas Facebook is pretty landscape. If you post something in landscape orientation on Instagram, it will get cut off along the edges, and could make text illegible! On Instagram, always consider how your post will be cropped for the profile grid. YouTube is almost entirely landscape orientation, excluding shorts. Snapchat and TikTok are both portrait orientation sites.
Tailor the length of videos for each platform. Videos have different parameters on different sites. Facebook will punish your post's ranking if your video is less than a minute and thirty seconds, last I checked. This means that you need to make it be at least this long on Facebook to meet the algorithm. Snapchat on the other hand has a maximum limit of 45 seconds. If you post the same video from Facebook, you will have to trim it down to the most important 45 seconds, or speed up the footage.
"These five social media strategies have helped me get to where I am."
I hope this helps any fellow entrepreneurs out there. If this was helpful to you, please share with your fellow entrepreneur friends! Let's help each other's businesses take off! Need help with your brand marketing strategy? Need a logo? Let's talk!