4 Social Media Lessons from Top Experts
This huge figure is a dead giveaway of how noisy the topic is.
While there might be a slew of valuable guides on the internet on how you can use social media to market your business, you'll find that going through every available online guide might not be that good of an idea.
Not only can the process be overwhelming, but your chances of coming across harmful marketing tips is also very real. Instead of relying on a Google search alone, why not learn from seasoned business owners and marketers who have experienced unparalleled success? I'm talking about the thought leaders who walk their talk.
After all, given how much of the interwebs is littered with crappy content, you need to be cautious when choosing from whom you're taking advice.
Learn from the wrong people, and you might end up losing whatever chance you have of getting positive results out of your social media marketing campaigns. If you learn from the right people, however, then you'll be primed to skyrocket your sales within months.
Allow me to share with you four social media marketing lessons from bona fide experts – tips that you can use to grow your business today.
Let's hop right in.
1. Audience Engagement Is Your Primary Objective
Neil Patel is a well-known marketing expert who specializes in SEO, digital channels and growth hacking. He is the co-founder of CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics, QuickSprout and Hello Bar — all of which are used by countless brands for online marketing.
Patel talks a lot about the importance of audience engagement, especially on social media, which he views as a platform that marketers should use primarily for content distribution purposes, to drive traffic back to your own site.
Here's how he defines the entire discipline of social media marketing, in a nutshell:
Social media marketing is the process of creating content that is tailored to the context of each individual social media platform, in order to drive user engagement and sharing.
Engagement is where it's at, because that's what'll trigger the networks' algorithms to give your posts more exposure. When people engage with your content, it means you're accruing brand equity in their minds, either consciously or subconsciously, bringing them closer to that tipping point where they're ready to do business with you. And if you can provide your audience with content they'll love, then they'll gladly help spread it for you, which is why many experts view social shares as the ultimate form of engagement.
What's more, engaging your existing audience is more valuable than pursuing new audience members ROI-wise. After all, it costs five times more to win new customers than to maintain existing ones. And what's the point of drawing more attention to your brand's social presence, if you're failing to convert on that initial attention?
A great way to discover content ideas that are primed pique your audience's interest is to perform content research with BuzzSumo. Just type in a few keywords that describe your niche and click “Go” to begin your search.
Curating and sharing these posts with your audience should help you generate engagement – and can provide inspiration for creating new content of your own on topics that are proven to move the needle. In addition, you can also use this type of research to build strategic relationships with authors.
2. Always Be Improving
Mark Schaefer is a renowned social media marketing consultant and strategy specialist. He attributes his success in the field to his willingness to adapt and pivot as needed:
Unless you sell antiques for a living, you cannot dwell on the past. Reach forward and never count on riding your past accomplishments to drive your future. I am in a constant state of re-invention. Constant. Push, push, push.
Today, the state of the social media marketing landscape is ever-changing. Automation tools, audience device preferences, algorithm updates, emerging formats, the engagement strategies that work – there always seems to be something “new” popping up, left and right.
If you want to gain an unfair advantage over your competitors, then you need to be able to respond to industry trends.
One of the best ways you can adapt and stay updated is to set up Google Alerts on topics that are relevant to your brand.
When you're done setting up your alerts, you'll receive updates on the latest mentions and happenings in your industry. You can set up alerts for your brand name, competitor brand names, industry keywords, industry thought leader names and more. If you want to be able to turn on a dime, you need to know when, and in what way, it's called for.
3. Let Your Value Proposition Guide You
If there's one thing that can help your content slice through the noise, it's your brand's distinct personality, which comes along with the promise of a specific type of value that no other brand offers.
Social media expert and advisor Tai Lopez believes that any voice or style can garner an audience, as long as it has a high VRIN score.
This is what the acronym stands for:
- Value — The “value” rating refers to the amount of value that your business model/concept provides to your customers or audience.
- Rarity — This rating refers to how exclusive your business model and concept are.
- Inimitable — From a bird's-eye view, this rating covers how difficult it would be for someone to replicate your product, in the sense that your competitors can't offer the same thing.
- Non-substitutable — Even if no one can do what you do, can a competitor offer something else that would serve your customers just as well?
Here's what Tai Lopez has to say about applying VRIN principles to your content and social media activity:
Have a compelling overarching brand story, average out the VRIN score of each of your social media posts and be authentic – don't change your whole life for a social media post. You don't need to completely change your story, just switch it up and assess whether or not each post has value. One thing I've learned is that people are focused on themselves – nobody cares about you eating a sandwich. Your posts have to consist of content that is interesting, otherwise the people that follow you will just skip it. Make sure your content is unique, has a high VRIN score and stays true to your authentic self.
Nobody wants to consume content that's “me too” or flavorless. However, this doesn't mean your brand should be static and isolated from the rest of your industry. You just need to figure out how to infuse your own views and ideas into the current trends.
A long-standing tactic that can help in this context is content repurposing. This involves looking for popular content and repackaging it into a fresh, new format, giving any brand the opportunity to instill their personality into the new post. Another form of repurposing involves repackaging your own content into new formats. You can even track which types of content are giving you the most value, and which ones are giving you the least. When you have this information, you'll be able to optimize your social media marketing to help you get better results.
One of the best ways to repurpose your content is to turn it into an infographic. For this, you can use Canva. The platform is a drag-and-drop image editing application that helps you create stunning image-based content without you having to hire a professional graphic designer.
In addition to infographics, Canva can also help you develop graphics with text overlays for Instagram posts, featured images for blog articles, and newsletter banners with the help of templates. These can also be used to spice up any of your old content.
4. Avoid Overcommitting
A lot of brands aim to have a diverse social media presence by incorporating as many networks as possible.
While it isn't necessarily a bad approach, Brian Peters, a digital marketing and social media director at Buffer, thinks it can negatively impact content quality:
If I had to pick one piece of advice for entrepreneurs just starting out on social media, it would be to choose 1 or 2 channels and get really good at them. Try not to stretch yourself thin on too many platforms at once. It's unsustainable and may lower the quality of content you put out.
Peters believes that the platforms you choose should resonate with your target audience – not with what everyone else is doing. For example, if your product is aimed towards professionals and other businesses, then LinkedIn could be the ideal network for your content.
Buffer, the company that keeps Peters on its payroll, is a content scheduling platform for social media that offers a robust free plan. Buffer helps businesses with their content management on various social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Buffer makes a perfect complement to BuzzSumo, since you can easily queue your curated content and customize each post's message.
By configuring a posting schedule that matches your target audience's usage patterns, you can maximize the exposure and traffic you get out of your social media content.