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social media how toDoes your social media need a boost?

Do you want to add something to your online marketing?

Trying new things can be fun and refreshing, for both you and your audience.

In this article I’ll share 26 ways, an A-Z guide, to improve your social media efforts.

26 tips to improve social media marketing

Discover 26 tips for improving your social media marketing.

#1: Add Audio

If audio wasn’t part of your foray into social media, it may be time to embark on a new adventure.

Recording audio entails choosing your message, selecting a program that permits recording and editing, finding a microphone that fits your budget and needs and deciding where to host your finished product.

In some cases you may want to find an application or individual to transcribe the audio files for people who prefer reading.

#2: Beef Up Blogging

There are myriad ways to blog—long-form, short-form (microblogging), image-only and more.

Your regular blog is a good place to write longer-form posts when needed. To get the most out of your efforts, make sure your blog is mobile-friendly. You can test it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

successful mobile friendly test

Social Media Examiner tested on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase shorter posts for a “less is more” approach.

No matter how or where you blog, choose the option that’s right for you and your schedule, then update consistently.

#3: Coax New Life Into Old Content

Evergreen content is your friend. Find your most popular posts and those that rank highly and update them as needed. Then reshare them across your social channels to draw new attention to those articles.

social media examiner weekly news article

Stay up to date on social media changes via SME’s weekly article.

A good way to ensure you have the most up-to-date news is finding reliable sources of information in your industry. For example, check out what’s new with Cindy King’s weekly Social Media Examiner series, “This Week in Social Media.”

#4: Draw on Your Community

It can be difficult to keep up with customer questions, especially if it’s just you trying to answer. Why not let your community help?

giffgaff community

GiffGaff encourages users to share information on their forum.

If appropriate for your business, consider creating a forum where more experienced users can assist new visitors.

#5: Encourage Customer Feedback

If you’d like to have more customer feedback on your product or service, give your customers a reason to help you out. Incentives can run the gamut here, and most are simple and straightforward.

The key is to offer customers something of value that fits into your business model. For example, discounts and a chance to win a prize usually serve as great motivators.

Brainstorm a number of offers for the year ahead. See what works and build future incentives around those successes.

#6: Find New Photo Editing Tools

Images are an important part of social media. It can be time-consuming to create or edit original images, but luckily you have many tools at your disposal.

Sites like PicMonkey and Canva let you make edits on your desktop, while apps like Snapseed, Over and PicTapGo let you get the job done on the go.

#7: Generate Buzz With Infographics

People have come to love and rely on infographics for explaining information clearly and concisely.

Whether you create one yourself or hire a graphic designer, be sure to include your company’s name and URL. That way your work is attributed to your business as it moves across the socialsphere. For example, this infographic from InfographicLabs.com.

inforaphic example from infographics.com

When bloggers use the infographic, What Infographics Are, the image links back to the creators.

Ask those who share your infographic to link the image back to your site so you’ll enjoy more traffic as well. When you share your infographic on your own site, make sure to include some explanatory text that deep links to previous relevant articles you’ve published.

#8: Harness the Power of SlideShare

Businesses have had a long love affair with slide decks. But what happens after you’re done with them? The presentation you and your team slaved over for weeks doesn’t have to retire to a folder on your hard drive. Upload it to SlideShare!

Once uploaded, you can embed your SlideShare in an article on your blog, share it at a conference or email the link to prospects.

For example, this wonderfully creative Sketchnotes slideshare presentation was created by Anne McColl on an iPad with the Brushes app, during sessions at SME’s Social Media Marketing World 2014 #smmw14.

#9: Install the Pin It Button

If you want people to share your images, it’s essential to make it easy for them. By installing the Pin It button, users who like images in your post can share them on Pinterest and spread your visual content in a matter of seconds.

pinit button on recipes.com

The Pin It button makes it easy for users to share your visual content.

#10: Join in the Customer Experience

There’s a very wise saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

Have you tried actually using your product or service yourself? Have you dealt with customer service as a customer?

When you look at your business from an outsider’s perspective, you’ll have a better understanding of your customers’ experience and gain important insights into what matters to them. Then you can decide what to do to meet their needs.

#11: Keep Learning

If you’re like most marketers, in the past few years you’ve had to extend your reach into unfamiliar marketing terrain. Social media requires constant learning and mastering new skills.

As you find new ways to engage your audience, you’ll likely need to learn something new. Venture into audio, video, photography, image editing and focused content marketing to take your social media marketing to new levels.

#12: Learn from Millennials

Millennials are digital natives. They’ve grown up in an online world where content is easy to access and is available 24/7.

Given their proficiency online, they’ve come to expect certain features on the websites they frequent—clear navigation, fast response times and mobile-friendly options are all important.

infographic from cebglobal.com

Screenshot taken from infographic, Inside the Millennial Mind, created by CEB’s Iconoculture Consumer Insights: cebglobal.com/millennials.

In addition, compared to their parents and grandparents, Millennials are typically more willing to share personal information and opinions with businesses they engage with online.

Become familiar with these digital natives’ expectations and behaviors, and build them into your updates, customer service and social media tactics.

#13: Maximize Impact with Visuals

Text and links are important parts of communicating online—they give context and drive traffic. Of course, they can’t work alone. Visual content, especially photos, has quite an impact on audiences. Done well, images allow you to tell your story simply and quickly.

exposure app

Check out Exposure for a new take on how you can share your visual storytelling.

Sites like Tumblr and Exposure both focus on images. Exposure in particular is a beautiful way to microblog while highlighting your pictures.

#14: Nurture Content Sharing

Whether your social media marketing department is comprised of a single person or a staff of 10, you don’t have to figure out meaningful company content on your own—ask for help from other departments. Who knows the current projects and goals better than the people who work with them daily?

For example, customer service can share success stories or ways they meet customers’ needs. Sales can tell you what was particularly hot this season. Product development can give you updates on new releases.

Tap into those resources as much as possible. Not only will you make your job easier, you’ll be sure to share the most important information.

#15: Offer Added Value

Want to keep your business top of mind and meet customers’ needs? You can do both—and become a trusted resource—by offering added value.

weight watchers free helpouts

Weight Watchers provides free Helpouts to serve their target customers.

For example, offer free webinars, downloadable ebooks, free consultations or discounts to demonstrate the benefits of your products and services, while giving customers immediate assistance with something they’ve already identified an interest in.

#16: Participate in Conversations

If you want to connect with prospects, you have to engage with them. And to do that effectively, you need to know where they’re engaging most frequently on social media.

When you know where your prospects hang out, start connecting with them. If they’re on Twitter, add them to a Twitter list. Add Google+ users to a circle. Reach out to leads on LinkedIn. Read and listen to their content, and comment when you have something to add.


#17: Question Social Ads

Organic reach has experienced a nosedive, especially in the past year. Businesses now have to pay to play. It’s time to assess where to spend your precious ad dollars.

Facebook ads have dominated the scene for a long time, but they aren’t the only game in town these days.

instagram sponsored update explanation

Instagram lets businesses promote posts with sponsored updates.

Don’t dismiss options like Instagram, LinkedIn and SlideShare.

You’ll want to consider a number of factors—potential reach, pros and cons of platforms, price differences, etc. Do your homework to determine the best placement for your social ads.

#18: Ramp Up Online Reviews

Reviews significantly influence consumers’ decisions about whom they want to do business with. Are your customers telling others about their experience with your business?

Explore review sites and online listing platforms that are relevant to your business (e.g., TripAdvisor or Yelp) and ask your customers to leave feedback on those sites. Be sure to respond—your response tone and enthusiasm say just as much about you as the reviews.

#19: Share on Instagram

Sharing brand photos and videos on Instagram is a powerful way to capture people’s attention. By using tactics like showcasing products and services, featuring clear calls to action and including popular (and relevant) hashtags, you can quickly improve your presence on Instagram.

#20: Tap Into Snapchat

Snapchat, the photo/chat messaging app where photos disappear and chat messages can be cleared or saved, provides an exciting environment for businesses to engage with users, raise awareness and share a story or business announcement.

snapchat app

Is your businesses on Snapchat?

#21: Use Vine

Vine’s short looping videos have won the attention of businesses and fit the bill for a cost-effective and innovative way to promote products and services. To get your own creative juices flowing, check out how other businesses have been using Vine.

#22: Visit Your Social Media Strategy

No matter how long your business has been on social media, it’s always prudent to review your goals, assess your success and make any needed changes. Pulling back from one platform and switching it up on another may be just the thing you need to freshen up your presence and become more effective.

#23: Wrap Your Head Around Twitter

Who should you follow on Twitter? Is it better to favorite or retweet? Should you include a hashtag and/or a URL? If you’re not sure, Twitter has suggestions for businesses and a helpful glossary of terms.

twitter basics diagram

Get to know the basics of Twitter.

I suggest learning more about Twitter cards. Consider the benefits of including photos and albums, live video, product details, lead generation and landing page information to your tweets.

#24: eXperiment

Why pour money and resources into campaigns that aren’t effective? A/B testing (or split testing) is the best way to find out what’s working and what’s not.

You can use Google Analytics to run a test to discover which social media tactics are working best. Then you can run further tests on your most popular platform to see whether images, links or text affect click-throughs and comments. For example, are your Facebook ads doing the best they can?

#25: Yield Results With Geolocation Offers

Many people share their location with retailers. Knowing where your customers are can help you reach users with timely targeted mobile messages.

Marketing Land has an excellent article explaining how customers are using geolocation to find bargains while shopping, find the best place to eat nearby and more.

#26: Zero in on YouTube

Creating brand awareness with quality videos posted on YouTube has been a go-to social marketing tactic for a number of years.

youtube cover specs

Go the distance with a branded YouTube business channel.

Marketers should keep in mind, though, that YouTube is more than a platform for sharing video footage. It’s just as important to develop a channel that is in keeping with your brand identity (e.g., using consistent imagery, thumbnails, colors and graphics within your video and your channel page design).

As you’re designing your look, be sure to review and adhere to YouTube’s cover specs.


Conclusion

Social media marketing has come a long way. There are many new avenues to explore and places where businesses can stand out.

What do you think? How will you spice up your social media marketing in 2015? Do you have a few ideas to share? Please leave your comments and thoughts below.

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  • Great stuff in here. #11 is a real number one!

  • deb1221

    Glad you like #11. One of my personal favorites, too.

  • Nanette Circo

    EXCELLENT resource, thank you Debbie!

  • Great tips…. #1 should be create a marketing budget$

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  • magoo

    #14 “Nurture” is missing an “r” 🙂 But awesome ideas that I’m going to share for sure!

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Amazing choices, Debbie – I would also add Native Facebook Videos to the list since they are exploding in popularity!

    Thank you – #11 is indeed my favorite too <3

    Kitto

  • Maria Bywater

    I’m intrigued by #3, but thought that changing a high traffic page would mess up the SEO value of having a page online for a long time.

  • deb1221

    You’re welcome, Nanette.

  • deb1221

    Ha, good point–marketing budgets do help. But even with the smallest budgets we can do some very cool things to improve social efforts.

  • deb1221

    Thanks! You were paying attention 🙂 I’ve let editing know. Glad you liked!

  • michelle

    I feel that with this ever changing world of social media we are constantly having to learn and grow within this field

  • deb1221

    Hi Kitto, Thanks. Great suggestion! Love to hear from other lifelong learners!

  • deb1221

    Re-sharing the article with an edit ( and not changing the title or domain host) shouldn’t have a negative effect. Unless someone knows differently?

  • deb1221

    I know, some days it feels like it’s hard to keep up. But pick and choosing where an how we spend our time, can make it feel more manageable. At least that’s what I keep telling myself 🙂

  • deb1221

    They’re quick! Thanks, Cindy!

  • Maria Bywater

    Thanks, Debbie. This is really useful.

  • deb1221

    You’re welcome!

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  • Wambui Githire-Mburu

    Great tips Debby. I love them all!

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  • deb1221

    Happy to hear, Wambui.

  • Agreed Kitto! We’ve tested a few videos with TechStarters and Facebook’s algorithms certainly favor the native videos. Even without any ‘boosting’ we saw some wonderful organic results.

  • #22.5 – FOCUS. Unless you’re Vaynerchuk Media, you probably don’t have time to create and manage content for all of these channels. It’s great to experiment, but never forget where your customers are. Focus there.

    Fantastic post Debbie!

  • Very practical and step by step. All do able. Thanks very much.

  • Katerina Narovcova

    It’s such a great article, Debbie!
    Like a Newbie in Marketing and Social Media world it is really handy to know about everything, what it is current. Things in Social Media are pretty fast changing, so I appreciate to know what it is really important at this moment!

  • Kate

    Great article! Thanks @deb1221:disqus

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Joe. Couldn’t agree more.

  • deb1221

    Thank you for reading, Bijaya.

  • deb1221

    Thanks Katerina. Appreciate your feedback. And, Social Media Examiner is definitely a great place to keep reading day in and day out.

  • deb1221

    Appreciate your feedback!

  • You can improve your marketing technique by adding the entertainment stuff on your social sharing stuff. Its not only helps you to attract more visitors, but, also build a strong bonding between you & your targeted audience.

  • deb1221

    Hi James, Great points. Thanks.

  • Some great ideas in here. We personally use and love Canva for our blog. Great example of a beautifully crafted product.

    GeoLocation is something that’s been on the horizon for some time now, we’ve even added a new feature to meet some client requests in our product but it’s definitely still one of those things that intuitively makes a TON of sense but is a hard to execute properly from a marketing perspective. Primarily, how do you approach this demographic in your geo-targeted area without seeming creepy or intrusive?

  • deb1221

    Hi David, Thanks for your comments. Love your question about geolocation, “how do you approach this demographic in your geo-targeted area without seeming creepy or intrusive?”

    I know what you mean. Several times I’ve had the experience of walking into a store and immediately received a message about a new promotion, a deal I can’t let pass me by. For a moment, I’m delighted and think how serendipitous is this?! And then I remember my old friend, technology and how she put me up to this.

    So, bottom-line, I get the creepy, intrusive reaction. I guess the “let’s make a deal” approach speaks to many consumers but maybe marketers should be up front and say something like, “Hello, don’t mean to scare you but we just happened to notice you entered our store. And, while you’re here…”

    Geo-location. Still a work in progress?

  • buzz360

    Thanks for sharing ! A great informative post!

  • Arun Kumar

    Great article ! This is really useful.

  • deb1221

    Thanks!

  • deb1221

    Thank you!

  • Nirmala Santhakumar

    These are awesome tips to shine in social media. I’m blogger who follows some tips but would like to implement some great stuffs revealed here. Adding infographs, Slideshare and attractive images will definitely improve our marketing efforts in social media.

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  • Seth Riley

    So rich-content you have here, Deb! You shared a lot of tips and they are great! Never tried some of them but probably this time. Thanks for sharing! Keep it up! 🙂

  • deb1221

    Thank you! Let us know what you end up trying and how it works for you.

  • deb1221

    Mirmala, hope your new initiatives go well!

  • Amy Klein

    I am interested in learning more about “geo-Location”. I read the referenced article from Marketing Land and am wondering if you could explain how I can incorporate this into my business? Are there apps available or certain websites that I can learn more about this.

  • drdemmba

    Redundant

  • allset

    Thanks for sharing this informative and useful post .

  • Shyna Walls

    Good points to be considered. I am sure every social media personal will be influenced by these points. Facebook and Twitter are no doubt the most reputed and acceptable set of websites to be considered but more than that today, Pinterest and Instagram has stolen the market.

    Public generally depend and like pictures and videos rather than going with texts. And what could be more feasible than having pinterest and instagram as the best partner websites for social media campaign.

  • Thank you Hemley to sharing with us..

  • Great Stuff Debbie!