The Comprehensive Guide to Effective Social Media Marketing

The buzz has well and truly died down.

The years in which I wrote “Top 10 Strategies to Get Facebook Likes” or lines like “social media is the future of marketing!” are in the past.

We’re now in the era of “Teens Are Leaving Facebook like a Sinking Ship” and lines like “Wait, Google+ is still around?”

Does social media still offer a platform for business growth?

Can you take advantage of Facebook’s 2 billion users without paying for Facebook Ads?

Can you utilize Instagram’s high user engagement and demographics to drive brand awareness or, dare I say it, final sales?

This article will take an in-depth look at the most effective strategies behind five leading social media marketing objectives.

Table of Contents (Click to Jump)

Effectively Use Social Media to Organically Generate Engagement

We’ve all heard the “woe-is-me” story of how, back in 2014, your organic reach was 20%, and now you’re lucky to get 2%.

And we feel for you, we do.

But let’s get over it.

Facebook isn’t going back to the gold ol’ days, and your business can’t neglect the world’s largest pool of prospective customers in one place. So let’s move on and get what we can get.

Here are 3 Effective Strategies Proven to Boost Organic Reach on Facebook and Instagram…

#1. Use Live Video:

Video continues to hold sway on Facebook and Instagram with an average of 300% more engagement and 12x shares than text and image posts (combined!)

The reason behind this is simple: Facebook wants to rule world. That means competing with Whatsapp for messaging, Google for advertising and (most importantly for us) YouTube for video.

For more on marketing with Live Video, check out “How We Used Facebook Live Video to Grow Organic Reach 300% (+ 3 Bonus Case Studies).”

#2. Repost Proven Content:

Check out your Facebook or Instagram Insights to determine which of your previous posts did the best. Then, redesign and repost. Consider that even your top posts ever only get seen by (maybe) 10% of your Fanbase. That leaves you 90% who haven’t seen your awesome content and are likely to be just as engaged as the audience was when you first posted.

Top Tip: If you have specialized content that’s more likely to be of interest to a specific type or demographic, use the Audience Optimization tool to choose a more friendly audience for that content.

#3. Post Engaging Content:

The Top 5 Post Types to Try…

Effectively Use Social Media to Build a Community of Prospective Customers

The best way to grow your social media Following with people who have a chance of buying from you is to run a social promotion.

There’s just no getting around it. Here’s why…

Here’s an example of a simple Facebook promotion giving away a 6-month supply of health bars:

Place your promotion page on a Facebook Tab, and drive traffic to it from your website (with a welcome mat), your newsletter, Facebook Ads and organic postings. Ads, your welcome mat and posts will drive new traffic, while your newsletter will engage with existing customers and get the ball rolling with sharing with their friends.

For a walkthrough on creating a Facebook marketing campaign, check out my article “How to Build a Complete Facebook Marketing Campaign from Start to Finish.”

Top Strategies to Get More from your Social Media Promotion:

1. Use Bonus Entry Incentives to Boost your Reach:

This is especially important if you have a large subscriber base. You’ll get a lot of your entries from that, but want those existing customers to share with non-customers. This will get you more social media Fans (who you don’t yet have) and the contact details of people who haven’t yet bought from you.

2. Use a Leaderboard to Incentivize Sharing:

People are competitive at heart. Creating a leaderboard within your campaign is an effective incentive to get your entrants to Share.

3. Use Facebook Ads Effectively:

Facebook ads are a powerful way to drive traffic to your promotion. When optimized, you can generate new Fans and prospective customers for only around 50 cents.

Related Reading:

Effectively Use Social Media to Build Positive Relationships

Many businesses correctly believe that social media is a place to build relationships with your prospective and existing customers. And it is.

Something lesser-known (or at least less frequently taken advantage of) is the fact that social media is also a great place to build relationships with other businesses as well.

Just as a social media promotion offers a lot of opportunity for your business to drive new Fans and social media engagement, so does a social media co-promotion offer an opportunity to generate new contacts and prospective customers.

Here’s an example from a co-promotion Wishpond’s running with Samcart:

Top Tips for a Social Media Co-Promotion:

Effectively Use Social Media to Drive Brand Awareness

The best way to drive awareness on social media is probably “cost-per-impression” Facebook Ads. When they’re well-designed, it’s possible to show your brand name to more than a thousand Facebook users within your target demographic for only a few bucks.

But we’re not diving into advertising in this article, so I’ll fall back on the second-most-powerful way to drive brand awareness…

Influencer Marketing.

Influencer marketing is a tried-and-true strategy to get your brand in front of someone with a bit more heft than your business – someone with a few hundred thousand followers or (if not that) a lot of respect. Getting in front of them often means you get in front of their network, and that network can (as it did with us when we got a Facebook share from Mari Smith) make your servers crash…

Here’s a snapshot from a Forbes article focused on Shane Miller, an artist bringing in 40% of his sales from Instagram marketing:

Miller’s ‘aha’ moment with Instagram came when he reached out to Instagram influencer Ruthie Lindsey, a friend with a large following in March 2017. “She had 90,000 followers and I asked if she’d trade a painting for a promoted post,” he says. “When we met up she brought a friend who had 1.2 million followers with her, and he liked my work and ended up showcasing it on his feed.”

Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough for an optimized influencer marketing approach:

Related Reading:

Effectively Use Social Media to Drive Sales

After all, what’s the point of a million Fans and 10 milion impressions if nobody ever buys from you?

Social media is still a viable platform to drive sales, but not without a bit of thought.

There are several effective strategies for using social media to drive sales…

Related Reading:

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this guide to effective social media marketing has given you a better idea of how to better-utilize the platforms you’re already on.

The fact of the matter is that the glory days of easy social media marketing are likely over. As each platform has gotten bigger and their organization more corporate, opportunities for massive awareness or sales are harder and harder to come by.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still drive results from the hundreds of millions of users, it just requires a bit more thought, and a bit more commitment.

If you have any questions about how your business can get more out of social media, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comment section below.

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