Okay, we’ve talked about how to best use social media before. So you might be thinking, “how is this article any different?” Well friends, for this article, we here at Little Bird assembled only the best of our social media experts (all of us), put on our special social media thinking caps (normal imaginary thinking caps), and jam-packed this article full of information on how we, the Little Bird team, best use social media to extend the reach of your marketing message.
Social media is without a doubt the most valuable tool available to you for promoting content and engaging with your audience. Think about it - you have a following of people that are waiting to hear from you. All you have to do is create the content and post it. That’s powerful! Chances are, many of you saw this very article thanks to one of our social posts. Crazy, huh?
Like with any tool in your marketing toolbox, social posting is only as effective as the person using it. Every social platform is different, and while you should probably be utilizing all of them, blanket posting across all platforms isn’t going to yield the best results. To get the most out of social media you need to make sure you're using every platform in the way it was intended to be used - in a way that the people on each platform expect to see it.
So, before we dive into the specifics of how we the peeps use social media to boost your reach, here is a rundown of the social platforms that your business should have, and how to properly create content for each of them.
Facebook - Videos, Blogs, and Curated Content
The granddaddy of social platforms has, over the last few years, evolved into a content playground from what was once mostly just used for communicating with friends you hadn’t seen since your last high school reunion. Don't believe us? Try it out. Open your Facebook app right now and count how many posts there are until you see an article or video shared by one of the people you follow. We’ll wait…*waits for reader to open Facebook and look at very first post.* Wow, that didn’t take long.
Facebook is used to build your brand and engage with your fans. Videos are proven to be the most engaging type of content on this social platform as they have higher engagement rates than images and links. We’ve been saying it a lot lately, and we'll continue stressing the importance of video as a way to reach your audience. People like watching videos.
Make sure that as you use Facebook you are keeping track of the things your audience is engaging with. If they like a certain post, analyze what it was about the post that they liked and give them more of it! In fact, with features like the "boost post" option, you'll actually get performance stats that you can use to further analyze the effectiveness of your posts. But more on that later...
Instagram - Photos (duh), Quotes, and Stories
Ah yes, Instagram. Or “I.G.” as the kids like to refer to it these days. Like Facebook, Instagram has come a long way since its humble origin - from a platform that was simply a showcase for people to share their photos to one that showcases marketing excellence, allows individuals to create their own personal brands, and provides a streamline to visual content for millions. It’s even managed to place itself within the lyrics of multiple pop songs. #famous
To get the most out of this social platform, you have to understand one very important aspect of what makes it so popular - it has become a place where people (and brands) only post their best photos and videos. Users are looking for aesthetic; not just the content itself, but the way it’s presented. So, no matter what you are capturing, make sure that it’s high-res and that it’s artfully presented to your followers.
While your bread and butter is going to come from great photos/videos, another very popular type of content is the inspirational quote. In fact, a quick Instagram search at the time of writing this blog shows that there are 61.5 million posts with the hashtag #quotes. So yeah, it’s a trend that isn’t going away any time soon.
Lastly, with Instagram you have the option to add to your "story" - a feature that allows you to temporarily post content for up to 24 hrs. This is an exceptional way to speak to your audience in a way that is very direct - simultaneously relieving the need for other similar social platforms.
*cough* Snapchat *cough*
Twitter - News, Blogs, and Good ol’ GIFs
When Twitter first came onto the scene, it seemed as though it was just a Facebook for the succinct. "Not so," said the 335 million active users who utilize the communication powerhouse. Everyone and their dog has a Twitter. Athletes, musicians, celebrities - heck, even He Who Shall Not Be Named has a Twitter. Not only is it a streamline for communication between those who may not be able to communicate otherwise, but it is also a hotbed of breaking news, trending topics, and a go-to source for information about current events.
People go to Twitter for news. So use it to share exactly that - news within your industry. Your followers will appreciate it and will begin to see your page as a source of information on the topic of your expertise. I mean it’s why they started following your Twitter account in the first place.
Other great content to post on Twitter are blog articles, in which you post eye-catching one-liners and a link to an article, and GIFs (correctly pronounced “jifs” according to Little Bird Designer, Kahlief) which are the fun little moving images that we all love - and were actually first popularized on Twitter.
Just make sure, no matter what content you are posting to Twitter, that it’s short, sweet, and to the point. That’s why people are on the platform after all!
LinkedIn - Jobs, Company News, and Professional Content
LinkedIn - The businessman’s Facebook. Created as a way to increase one's professional network, LinkedIn has become a one-stop shop for all things business. Use it to post/search for jobs, build your resume, find great advice as a professional, and establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry. Like most other platforms, LinkedIn posts are most engaging with a visual aspect. In fact, according to LinkedIn “images generally result in a 98% higher comment rate” and “links to YouTube videos play directly in the LinkedIn feed and usually result in a 75% higher share rate.”
Just make sure that when you are using LinkedIn that your content is professional. No one is on this platform to see funny pictures of dogs. That is of course unless your company is a dog photography business... in which case, post away!
For more tips on how to own your social media game
Download our FREE guide: Priscilla’s Top 10 Ways To Crush It On Social Media.
And now it’s time for some Little Bird Marketing social media ProTips!
Now that we have established the difference between the main social platforms, it’s time we dig into what is probably the reason you clicked into this article in the first place. Here we will give you the 3 main ways that we take your social media game and turn it up a notch.
These tips aren’t by any means a secret. In fact, you may be doing some of these things currently. But we want to inform you of the “why” behind doing them so that hopefully you can understand their importance and have a better grasp on what makes social media posting such an integral part of your marketing strategy.
1. Targeting Your Personas
Targeting your audience is the key to successful marketing. One of the things that make social media marketing so effective is the ability to target your audience with ease. Not only are you sharing information with people that have already made a decision to follow your page, but it also gives you an opportunity to reach other people that are interested in your content that might not see it otherwise.
To achieve more audience engagement (likes, shares, comments) with your posts, you can”boost” a specific post. Giving you an opportunity to curate your content to a specific audience of your choosing. That, coupled with the use of proper hashtags, increases the chances that those interested in the type of content you are creating will “stumble” across your work. The ability to target your buyer personas with ease is a feature that we at Little Bird never take for granted and it’s a practice that we apply to every one of our clients.
2. Ads Extend Your Reach Even Further
Taking things a step further is the use of ads. These posts are a more advanced way to target an audience - giving you several more options to target even more specific audiences. Options such as language targeting and behavior targeting allow you to be very exact with your message. Knowing that it’s only going to be seen by those people gives you the opportunity to curate the content even more.
Ads also have the feature of a call-to-action (CTA) button - making it even easier for people who are drawn by your ad to take the next step. Types of CTAs include: “shop now”, “download”, or “sign up.” This is huge when it comes to grabbing someone in the moment. With a great looking ad, a good offer, the right targeting, and an easily accessible CTA, you are setting yourself up for a quick conversion of a customer. A no-brainer when considering that:
- 4 in 10 internet users say they follow their favorite brands on social media. (link)
- Beyond that, 1 in 4 internet users also follow brands from which they’re considering making a purchase. (link)
- Over one-third of online shoppers use social media to “find inspiration” for a purchase. (link)
The rising popularity and acceptance of ads by the public is why Little Bird utilizes the power of ads for our clients. The important thing is to make sure that the ads look good. This is content marketing after all - aesthetics always matters.
3. Using Tools to Schedule Posts
Okay, it’s pretty obvious how social media can help you get your message in front of the right people. The next step? Getting your message out.
The beauty of social media is that people are always looking for new content. While your posts will live on well after they are created and published, you have to remember that you really only have a shelf life of about 24 hours. Your brand’s followers aren’t just sitting around waiting for you to post. And, they are definitely not going to your social page to look at whatever it was that you were posting about last week. You have to have consistency. The best way to be consistent? Scheduling.
There are tools at your disposal that can help you accomplish this. For example, at Little Bird, we are big fans of HubSpot. Once you’ve found a tool that works for your company, you just simply start creating and scheduling content. Social media marketing is not a one-and-done type of strategy, however, with the use of scheduling tools, it can be much more automated.
People often ask us how about the frequency at which they should be posting. The truth is, there's no one answer. It varies given several factors (audience, industry, social platform, etc.). Finding the right frequency takes a bit of testing. But, as an example, taking into consideration our audience and industry, Little Bird Marketing has over 400 social media posts waiting to go out. That is at the time of writing, by the time these words hit your eyes I’m sure that number will be much higher.
Now that you know the differences between the social platforms and you're filled in on our ProTips for social media marketing, let’s review.
- Social media, when used properly, amplifies your reach and helps you gain authority.
- The social media platforms are different. In order to get the most out of them, you have to use them the way they’re intended to be used - the way the users of that platform expect.
- Social media is made useful with the ability to target. Use it to your advantage.
- Ads are becoming more accepted by social media users. Not properly utilizing them is wasting a very valuable resource.
- Scheduling takes the stress out of social posting and allows for you to post more than you would one day at a time.
There you have it! A rundown of how Little Bird Marketing uses social media to expand your marketing message.