By Andrew Hansen, Copywriter
Optimize your social media timing, tools, and platforms.
While running your digital marketing campaign, it can be difficult to decide what kind of content you want to post on social media, not to mention figuring out the nuances of every platform. But by picking up practices that drive-up engagement on your online profiles, your efforts to reach potential customers through social media will only improve.
Here are five important social media marketing tips and tricks every small business should know to maximize their time and effort online:
Post at the Best Times
A common misconception about posting on social media is that posts will find traction with followers regardless of when you post. Your small business may have a big announcement to make, but just because it’s important information doesn’t mean it should be released as soon as it comes to light.
Generally, the most popular time to post is during the week. The timing for peak activity differs from platform to platform, but reviews of popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter show that during the week, users are far more active than on the weekends.
For weekday posting, statistics show that Tuesday through Friday sees the most engagement. Early morning around 5:00 am sees a spike in activity as users check their social media when they first wake up. Later in the day, between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, is a broader window of high engagement. The weekends, particularly Sunday evening, see the lowest amount of activity.
Posting strategically to ensure you content gets optimum visibility is a simple yet effective way to up engagement on your social media profile. For more on best times to post, review this handy infographic overview of best times to post to social platforms by Oberlo.
Follow the Influencers
Social media influencers are individuals whose social media content is curated for a wider base of followers and is usually centered around a certain area of interest. The stereotypical ‘influencer’ usually self-promotes as a ‘lifestyle blogger’ while endorsing certain products. However, influencers exist on social media platforms across most communities- anything from ammetuer food critics to live-stream video game reviewers.
Following the influencers associated with your small business' area of interest is an easy way to access a broader pool of potential followers - and therefore potential clients.
Similar to influencer accounts, aggregator accounts are profiles that post reclaimed content from other social media users and give them credit. For example, travel photography has grown as a popular niche interest following on social media platforms, and especially on instagram. With permission from the original publisher, these aggregator pages repost the best photographs from the accounts of actual travel photographers, curating content from a range of influencer accounts.
Engage with these accounts by following and commenting on posts, adding to the conversation they have already started. This is the first step in catching the attention of potential followers, and possibly customers, online.
Boost Engagement with Social Media Activity
As every social media platform grows and evolves, features are adapted and added to enhance the user experience. Instagram, for example, added a ‘story’ feature where users can post a picture or video on their account that will only last for twenty-four hours instead of existing on a profile permanently.
The algorithms behind these platforms take some control away from the user when it comes to profile promotion. If you want to attract more followers to your account, posting regularly isn’t enough. Utilizing all the features the platform has, like posting stories or polls on Instagram, leads to the network’s algorithm circulating your content to more potential followers.
These features differ from platform to platform, but a few different ones are common across most social media sites like saving posts, resharing content, hashtagging, and direct messaging. All these actions aid in increasing the visibility of your profile.
But you don’t even have to get as technical as using every niche feature to boost follower activity on your account. A great way to get more hits to your profile is commenting on the posts of influencers or aggregator accounts with questions or affirmations. Even commenting ‘love this post,’ or another sincere sentiment, can spark a connection that leads to more profile recognition.
Positivity goes a long way on social media platforms. Commenting on influencers’ posts or resharing their content starts a circle of engagement and authenticity that can quickly lead to your content being shared and promoted in a similar way.
If you’re curious about other ways to kickstart follower engagement on social media, this JKM blog post offers an additional six things you should be doing on social media besides posting.
Use Tools That Make Content Publishing Easier
Keeping up with your social media accounts can feel overwhelming on platforms where new content is constantly being published and shared. But balancing your own posting schedule while remaining active on your feed is made simple with the help of social media managing tools.
Software solutions like Buffer or Hootsuite are available to help queue posts in advance and push them out at designated times. Staying ahead of your posting schedule takes the stress out of curating content and keeps your feed fresh.
Most social media platforms offer an analytical survey of your account such as the number of profile visits or the amount of activity on specific posts. Use these analytics to gauge which content performs the best. The reports will provide insight into what your followers want to see more of and can help you create better performing future content.
There are lots of tools online to help with content creation as well. Photo-editing software can help you turn good material into polished posts. For reference, check out Constant Contact’s cheat sheet on image resizing for social platforms.
Know Your Platform
Not every social media platform is the right platform for your marketing goals. If you’re hoping to grow your business’ social media presence, it’s likely certain platforms will serve you better than others.
One thing to keep in mind is matching content to platform. Let’s say you’re an event planner, caterer, or an interior designer, photographs of past projects are most likely your best bet in terms of generating interest through content on social media. In that case, a business profile on platforms like Instagram or Flickr, primilariy image sharing channels, are better suited to your content and your audience.
If your small business is looking to use social media marketing to share important announcements, updates, or as a way to keep-up with other businesses, then platforms that cater to text-based content are a smarter fit. Twitter, for example, is a great place to make announcements or to reshare valuable content from other sources.
Platforms like Twitter and Instagram are great for shorter, snackable content. When someone scrolls through their social media feed on these platforms, chances are they won’t take more than five seconds to view your post before deciding to comment, like, share, or move-on.
If you’re looking to post long-form content, consider a blogging platform, then use other networks to draw attention to the post. Sites like Medium or WordPress are great for written posts, while Pinterest is popular for photo-blogging.
To get a better idea of what to consider when targeting customers through social media, review this JKM post on how consumers really shop online.
What to Keep in Mind
Thinking about how you want your content to function is key in picking the best platforms for your business' social media campaign. Consider the interactive features and user behavior common to each social network and explore which platform is the best fit for posting your content content and targeting the followers you most want.
Monitor the activity on your profile by using the in-app analytics to determine what type of content gets the highest engagement and leverage these insightful statistics about your followers to optimize future posts. This perspective will help you develop smarter and more effective posts over time.
Never forget that authenticity is king when it comes to posting content and interacting with other users. If your social media profile reflects sincerity, than your business will only benefit from social media representation.
By Andrew Hansen, Copywriter
Andrew is currently studying writing and literature as an undergrad at University of California Santa Barbara and enjoys taking on marketing writing projects. When he’s not creating compelling content he likes to write screenplays and make films.