Small businesses are using social media, but they don’t know how to use it effectively.
Social media is an essential tool for small business owners who want to succeed in today’s digital world.
But there are too many options out there and not enough time or resources to figure them all out.
These proven social media marketing techniques will help you drive traffic and leads from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other top social networks.
Even if you’re new to digital marketing or don’t have a big budget.
Social Media Marketing Techniques
1. Don’t Shove It down Their Throats
Social media is not a place to sell directly or post direct links to your products.
This can be viewed by some as spammy and will hurt your brand reputation.
Instead, focus on building trust and providing value with quality content and the right calls to action in your posts.
2. Post valuable content regularly
Posting valuable content on a regular basis is one of the best ways to grow your social media following.
If you’re consistent, people will start to recognize your brand and check back for more valuable information.
How often you post depends on what type of business you have and your specific goals, but studies show posting at least once per day often yields the best results.
Hashtags are a great way to gain exposure for your social media posts, especially on Instagram and Twitter.
Most people that use these networks rely heavily on hashtags to find content related to their interests, so make sure you include relevant hashtags in your posts so more people can discover your brand.
Visual content is one of the powerful social media marketing techniques.
You can post your own original images, but also curate images (called “image roundups”) around specific topics and themes for even more traffic.
For example, the popular blog SocialMediaExaminer posts weekly image roundups called “Social Media Smackdown” that get thousands of likes and shares.
5. Host A Contest
Done right, contests can help you gain new fans and followers, increase brand awareness – and even bring in more sales!
One simple tactic is to offer free products or coupons as contest prizes with an entry requirement of following your brand on social media.
6. Create a Facebook group
Creating a closed Facebook group is an effective social media marketing technique to build up your community and interact with fans.
It’s also the best way to keep conversations about your brand going on a consistent basis over time.
For example, clothing retailer Frank And Oak have built an impressive following of more than 456,000 Facebook fans with its private group, The Lab.
7. Give Exclusive Deals to Followers
Give your current followers a reason to stick around and gain new ones by offering special discounts only available on social media.
For example, retail clothing brand Buck Mason offers its Facebook fans an exclusive discount of $50 off their next order when they share their favorite Buck Mason piece on Facebook or Instagram.
8. Use Paid Social Ads
Paying a small amount for targeted followers, likes, views, and clicks can help get your posts in front of more relevant audiences on Facebook and other top networks.
Just be sure to test different options and keep an eye out for results to maximize ROI.
Twitter chats are a great way to engage with like-minded people, build up your brand publicly and drive traffic back to your website from mentions of your URL in the chat.
A simple tactic is hosting weekly or monthly chats that focus on specific topics related to your industry.
For example, technology blogger Chris Dyson hosts the #ChatChitChat chat on Twitter every Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST.
While contests are great on Facebook, they’re also very effective on other social media sites like Twitter.
Choose a hashtag for your promotion and encourage fans to retweet or respond with content related to your prize themes.
This will help you gain exposure using the power of influencers!
For example, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay offers “dinner with the Ramsay family” as a prize in his Twitter contests.
11. Showcase Your Products on Pinterest
Pinterest is a powerful way to showcase and sell your products, especially if they’re visual like food or fashion items.
For example, retailer Bonobos has built up more than 3.3 million Pinterest followers with its Rich Pin strategy to showcase items as pins with a strong call to action.
12. Schedule Your Instagram Posts
If you’re posting on a regular basis, it can be tough to keep up with the demands of social media while also running your brand.
That’s where scheduling tools come in handy.
Tools like Combin, Sprout Social, and Buffer allow you to upload posts ahead of time so that you can spend less time on social media while keeping up with the demands of running a business.
13. Post-Instagram Stories
Re-posting content is one way to stay relevant on social media and keep current followers engaged, but if you want to take things a step further try using Instagram Stories.
This feature allows you to upload live video clips and photos that disappear after 24 hours.
For example, fashion blogger Aimee Song of SongOfStyle uses Instagram Stories to share outfit ideas and behind-the-scenes footage from shoots.
14. Post Videos
Video content is one of the best ways to get your brand in front of different audiences and provide them with more information than they’d receive from a simple image or text post.
Since Facebook has made it much cheaper and easier to post videos, take advantage of this opportunity by producing original content for your followers.
15. Post High-quality Images on Instagram
Photos get the most likes on Instagram so make sure you’re using beautiful and relevant images in your posts that capture your brand’s personality well.
Not sure what to post?
Try following the lead of brands like @toms and @minimal.interiors who use Instagram images to show off their products and give followers a little peek into office culture.
16. Participate in Quora
Quora is a popular Q&A site where users post questions and the community responds with well-researched, high-quality answers.
Since there are many questions related to your industry, participate by finding relevant questions and sharing helpful responses that link back to your website.
17. Post Original Blog Content
Instead of just sharing other people’s posts on social media, take it one step further by creating and sharing your own unique content, such as videos or images, that you can use to expand upon relevant topics in your industry.
For example, the travel site Expedia turns travel into an adventure with its #LiveExpedia campaign by sharing videos, images, and GIFs that show different ways to explore the world.
Infographics are a great way to increase brand awareness by getting in front of new audiences and bringing together all relevant information about your brand in one place.
For example, outdoor apparel company Patagonia uses its Patagonia Action Works page to share its products and causes in an easy-to-digest format.
19. Use Facebook Custom Audience targeting
If you already have a list of email addresses or phone numbers for your customers in your CRM (customer relationship management) system.
You can upload them into Facebook to help narrow down your audience on this social network.
To do this, go to the “Audiences” section of your Facebook ads account and click the blue “+Create Audience” button, then select “Custom Audience” from the dropdown menu.
From there you can add in all your customer information and choose whether you want their activity on your website or on Facebook to be used to target them.
20. Run a Contest on Snapchat
To help you better engage with your Snapchat followers, consider hosting in-app content that prompts them to show off their creativity and share it with the world.
For example, retail app Lifted challenged its followers to create their own original artwork using the Lifted logo and post it on social media with the hashtag #Liftedx to win a shopping spree.
21. Use Pinterest’s Promoted Pins Feature
Pinterest’s new Promoted Pins are an easy way for brands to get their pins in front of more users who might be interested in the products or services they offer.
They’re especially beneficial if you have a large budget since they cost as much (or more) per click like a normal pin — and they’re shown to real people who are actively looking for products like yours.
22. Promote Your Video Content
Videos are among the most shared and engaged-with types of social media content, so it’s important to be actively promoting your branded videos on a consistent basis.
On YouTube, make sure you’re optimizing your titles and descriptions for SEO by adding relevant keywords that help people find them while searching.
For example, Dove Men+Care taps into a shared love of cars to get people excited about its #TryDoveMen YouTube videos by sharing fun car-related facts.
The effort seems to be paying off as this video alone has garnered over 7 million views in just three months.
23. Post Photos on Snapchat
Given that photo posts get more exposure than just about any other type of post on Snapchat, it’s a good idea to keep this social network stocked with eye-catching photos that are all related to your brand.
You can also try adding a bit of personality into these posts by using emojis or stickers, as well as captions and text over the images.
For example, clothing store PacSun uses its Snapchat account to share brief videos and photos of new arrivals as well as seasonal items.
The brand also frequently posts selfies with pop-culture celebrities who are known for wearing or promoting their products.
Social media marketing isn’t going away anytime soon.
In fact, it’s likely to only get more and more important as time goes on — especially if you want your business to stay relevant in the eyes of younger customers who are constantly plugged into their social networks.
These 23 social media marketing techniques for boosting engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat can help you get the most out of your efforts, no matter which networks are best for your brand
It’s true that if done right, you can see great results from your social media marketing campaigns. But here’s the thing:
It’s not something that should be done halfheartedly or without a plan.
If you want to get the best return on your investment, you need to have a proven strategy in place before you ever begin promoting yourself online.
Till next time!