The power of social media is showing no sign of slowing down, so it’s understandable that businesses of all sizes want to keep up with the best social media marketing tips.
As most companies know, just having a social media presence isn’t enough. Typically, the more your following engages with your brand on social, the more likely your content is to reach more of the right people, increasing traffic to your site, maximising conversions and potentially turning one-time customers into loyal supporters.
As digital marketers, we’re always keeping up-to-date with the latest social media marketing best practices to help our clients achieve their goals. So we’re here to pass on some of our best social media marketing tips if you’re not sure where to start.
20 Best Social Media Marketing Tips
- Set social media marketing goals
- Be selective with the social platforms you use
- Have your social media profiles completed in full
- Speak your customers’ language
- Post at the right times
- Post consistently
- Re-share other people’s content
- Experiment with different types of content
- Feature good quality imagery
- Use hashtags
- Keep a bank of content ideas
- Don’t just sell, sell, sell
- Avoid poor spelling and grammar
- Write engaging copy
- Stay on top of trends
- Include compelling CTAs
- Think about seasonality
- Target the right keywords
- Actively seek out user-generated content (UGC)
- Measure your strategies
1. Set social media marketing goals
The number one piece of social media marketing advice we can give you is to set your goals. There is little point in investing your time, energy and money into your business’ social media if you don’t even understand what you’re doing it for. Social media goals don’t always have to centre around revenue, either. Here are some good examples:
- Increase website traffic
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase engagement
- Build a solid community
- Deliver customer service
- Build industry connections
- Increase conversions
- Increase e-mail signups
Whatever your goals are, make sure they are SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) and that you know what metrics you should be tracking to measure your progress.
2. Be selective with the social platforms you use
A jack of all trades is a master of none.
In order to make the most of your time and resources, you should focus your attention on the right social media platforms.
There are two key things you need to think about when choosing which social media platforms your business should be present on:
A) Is this platform best suited to helping you achieve your social media goals?
B) Are your audience hanging out on this platform?
If the answer to either of those questions is no, then you need to have a rethink. Otherwise, you’ll wear yourself too thin which will more than likely result in low quality posts.
3. Have your social media profiles completed in full
No one wants to see a half-finished profile! In fact, optimising your bio is a social media marketing tip that is often overlooked. It’s a great opportunity to provide a better experience for your customers and outperform your competitors.
Your bio is the first thing most users will see when they land on your profile, so make sure it’s engaging and that you’ve filled out all the important information, like telephone number and website URL. You want to entice users to stay on your profile, scroll through your feed and follow you – not jump ship immediately.
You should also make it clear what type of business you are. On Instagram, for example, business accounts can choose to feature their industry underneath their profile name. And, if your business name doesn’t make it clear what products or services you offer, consider adding this into your social handles. A good example of this is Hunter, whose social media handle is @hunterboots.
4. Speak your customers’ language
Your social media pages should always be tailored to your customer base, not based on your own personal interests. Focus on posting content that will entice and benefit the reader and, most importantly, speak their language!
What do they care about? What are their values? What trends do they follow? The more relevant and engaging your content is, the easier it will be for you to create new social media conversations with your target consumer and keep them as followers.
5. Post at the right times
Some social platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, will show you how active your followers are on different days of the week and at different hours of the day.
You can also use third-party social media management tools, like Hootsuite, to view and analyse this data.
Pay attention to your peak posting times and prioritise sharing your content during these windows. The best time may change based on the day of the week, so be sure to analyse your data carefully before scheduling your posts.
6. Post consistently
Nobody wants to follow an account that only posts two or three times a month. Social media users are super selective about who they follow, and an infrequent posting schedule can indicate that your account is no longer active.
Plus, social media platforms want users to stay on their app so tend to reward accounts that post consistently.
Most social media marketers aim to post three to four times a week at least, and with each social platform there are general industry recommendations for how often you ‘should’ post. Take these with a pinch of salt – it’s more important to run your own tests and make your own conclusions.
Always remember that the quality and relevancy of your content is so important. It’s all about striking the balance between posting regularly and posting quality, engaging content that your followers actually care about.
7. Re-share other people’s content
Sharing useful content from other accounts is positive for both your readers and for the creator. The more relevant information you share, the more likely it is that your readers will engage with your post and join in with the discussion.
Re-sharing content will also help you forge relationships with others, whether that’s leaders in your industry or your customers.
Don’t forget to tag the user whose content you’re sharing. This is an important social media best practice; not only is it the respectable thing to do, but it will also improve your reach and get your name in front of some of their followers.
8. Experiment with different types of content
Social media platforms are multi-faceted. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook have all adopted the ‘story’ feature. Carousel posts exist on Pinterest and Instagram. You can tweet an interactive poll or post one on LinkedIn. The list goes on, but the point is there’s more to social platforms than just sharing a photo or update.
When you’ve decided which platforms you want to focus on, create a list of the different features they offer. Then, think about which features you consider most relevant to your business and how you can utilise these in your strategy.
Your followers will appreciate a diverse mix of content – it keeps your feed interesting and engaging. And, when social media platforms launch a new feature, they may well push and promote this feature until the cows come home (looking at you, Instagram Reels). So it makes sense to test out new features as soon as possible as there will be less competition in this space and you may benefit from your content being pushed organically.
9. Feature good quality imagery
The imagery you share on social media should be high-quality, attractive and eye-catching – otherwise why would people stop scrolling? This is most important on platforms where visuals are the core of the app, i.e. TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. But, stand-out images can make a real impact on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, too.
10. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a social media staple, so make sure you’re using them wisely.
Using the right hashtags allows you to tap into groups of likeminded people who will probably be interested in what you’re offering.
But, with everything, you need to carry out thorough research. You don’t want to spam a hashtag that has absolutely nothing to do with your business – you won’t reach the right people. And, if you get it really wrong, you may wind up using inappropriate hashtags for your posts… not a good look.
Look to your competitors and target customers and see what hashtags they’re using regularly. There might be some niche hashtags that you wouldn’t have thought to look up, but are super popular amongst your target consumers.
Just remember not to overdo it with the hashtags as it can look spammy! For Instagram, we recommend no more than 20 to 30 hashtags per post.
You can also create your own hashtags. For example, creating a branded hashtag and encouraging customers to use it is a great way to track UGC. You may also want to create your own hashtags when launching a new product range, promotion or competition.
11. Keep a bank of content ideas
Sometimes the best ideas come to us when we don’t actually need them right away! This is why it’s a great idea to create and develop a bank of content ideas you can revisit when you’re planning social posts.
If you’re working with a wider team, give everyone access to the content bank so you can benefit from everyone’s contributions. No matter the size of your business, your colleagues will have different experiences within the business so you can draw on these when putting together content ideas.
Plus, your team members will have different experiences outside of work that can contribute to a great social post. Maybe they’ve seen an interesting Instagram post from a business they’re a customer of themselves?
Whatever it is, having a collection of content ideas you can draw on is efficient and a huge help if you’re lacking inspiration.
12. Don’t just sell, sell, sell
As an industry standard, the recommended content ratio is 80:20. That is, 80% of your social media content should be entertaining or informative, while 20% of your posts should directly relate to the goods you sell or services you offer.
Most people primarily use social media to feel inspired, learn something new and connect with others, not to go shopping, and this is where many businesses go wrong. Yes, your followers will be grateful to hear about your latest launch or promotion, but they don’t want to hear about it every day.
For example, if your business sells bicycles, you could share posts about the best cycling routes across the country, the latest Tour de France (or Tour de Yorkshire!) news, tips for cycling beginners or a how-to video explaining how to fix a flat tyre.
There’s so much interesting content beyond your latest promotion that your target market wants to see and, if you’re sharing this knowledge, your followers are more likely to stick around and trust you as an industry authority.
13. Avoid poor spelling and grammar
Poor spelling and grammar is a turnoff for many customers. It makes your company look unprofessional and lazy, and can encourage viewers to swiftly move past your posts.
Make sure you triple check your social media copy before you make it viewable by your audience or, even better, ask a colleague to proof your posts for you. It can be difficult to identify small mistakes of your own, after all.
Installing a spellcheck plug in, such as Grammarly, on your web browser, can help when you’re using third-party platforms to schedule your posts.
Plus, don’t forget to check the copy on any social media graphics you create, especially because it’s a lot more effort to edit these once you’ve hit share.
Top Tip: Check out these four common yet easy-to-fix copywriting mistakes to avoid!
14. Write engaging social media copy
Yes, strong visuals are key for social media marketing, but don’t underestimate the power of engaging copy.
Your copy should be on-brand and as personable as possible. Social media marketing is just the thing for humanising a company, and the tone and voice of your copy can help you achieve this.
You may also want to amend your copy based on the platform you’re posting on. For example, Twitter has a character limit so keeping things punchy works best. On the other hand, LinkedIn lends itself well to longer, more business-oriented content. ‘Micro-blogging’ has become its own form of content on Instagram, where users share long, informative captions, say a detailed review, how-to instructions, top tips or a travel itinerary.
15. Stay on top of trends
Trends are hugely significant when it comes to social media, and jumping on a trend is the perfect way to show off your creativity and authenticity. Nine times out of ten, your followers will appreciate it and you may end up going viral.
You need to be on the pulse to jump on a trend, so keep tabs on your social feeds, Google Trends and the news. If you need some inspiration, follow brands with big social media personalities, like Yorkshire Tea or Innocent Smoothies, and watch how they do it well.
Staying on top of trends and being reactive also requires a degree of adaptability. If you have a social media schedule, don’t be afraid to make some changes and move posts around in order to fit in a fresh post that captures the trend of the minute.
16. Include compelling calls-to-action
Engagement is an important part of social media, so be sure to include compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) in your captions. To do this well, consider the aim of each post you share.
Are you trying to drive customers to your website? Do you want your followers to join a conversation in the comments? Is the image you’ve uploaded shoppable? Do you want your followers to save or share your post? Whatever it is, don’t shy away from making this clear in your post!
17. Think about seasonality
Seasonality and relevancy go hand in hand. Your followers are more likely to enjoy and engage with your content if it’s highly relevant to them, and creating seasonal content is a great way to do that.
To do this, start thinking about the four seasons and how you can create content that slots into each quarter of the year. Beyond that, you can think of the holidays celebrated in each month, like Christmas, Easter or Chinese New Year.
18. Target the right keywords
A keyword strategy shouldn’t only be reserved for your website; social media platforms are now using keywords to rank profiles, help users find content, and organically push content from accounts they don’t follow.
Use keywords in your bio to help consumers and social media platforms to understand your business, particularly if your business name doesn’t explicitly indicate what goods or services you offer.
If you’re using a social media platform with a separate ‘about’ section, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, then you should integrate your keywords here, too.
You can also target keywords in your captions and, if appropriate, in your image alt-text.
19. Actively seek out user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most valuable tools a business can utilise on social media. It’s content that your customers create and share, showing off your products or services.
People generally trust UGC more than any other type of content because of its authenticity, so you should integrate it into your social strategy. (In fact, according to Hubspot, 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions!)
UGC has other benefits, too. Not only is it free content, but it’s also a way of building a strong brand community and improving relationships with your customers.
However, you can’t just expect UGC to turn up on your doorstep as soon as you set up your social accounts. Tell customers you want to see it! Create a dedicated hashtag for your followers to use, shout about it in your bios, and put a note in your order confirmation emails.
Just don’t forget to ask for permission before sharing anyone’s UGC online. Leave a comment on their post or send them a direct message where you explain how the content will be used, where it could be used and always credit the creator when you go to post!
20. Monitor your strategy
If you’ve set yourself social media goals, you need to monitor to see whether your strategy is actually helping you reach them. There are a lot of different metrics out there, but you should focus on the ones that are directly related to your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic, be sure to monitor click-through rate.
It’s important to review your metrics regularly, ideally every month, so you can monitor monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual performance. This will help you monitor trends, identify high- and poor-performing posts, and adapt your strategy if necessary. Plus, you can report back to your managers and/or your client, explain the results of your strategy and, if needed, make a case for additional resources.
By following these social media best practices, you’ll be well on your way to building an engaged community, conveying your brand’s identity and boosting your business’ reach.