With each passing year, we see new statistics that prove the relevance of social media marketing in every industry. Whether you’re a blogger, a retail store, or any business or brand for that matter, social media will help you skyrocket your brand awareness and keep your customers engaged. Over 95% of online adults are more likely to follow your brand via social networking, and close to 50% of the world’s population is on some kind of social media. What better platform to target your audience than a channel that gives you access to half the world’s population?
Many businesses realize the importance of social media in their marketing strategy, but end up spending way too much time on social media marketing. A survey conducted by Social Media Today found that 64% of marketers spend more than 6 hours/week on social media, and close to 41% spend more than 11 hours a week! Here’s a pie chart that shows how the 11 hours are spent on socialat media:
Clearly, strategizing, creating fresh content and engaging customers takes up most of the time spent on social media. The aim is to minimize the amount of time spent on social media but maximise output. How do you decrease the time spent on social media, but make sure you still drive customers to your website?
The answer : Use a social media marketing tool like Viraltag, Buffer or Hootsuite to automate posting to social media. You can schedule your posts to your social media profiles ahead of time, and save up to 4-5 hours each week! Not only are you saving time, but when you use these tools effectively, you can even double your engagement on social media, and convert leads to customers.
Here are 3 sure fire ways that will help you 2X your engagement online:
Post at optimal times and follow a consistent posting frequency
Not all social media networks are the same. People browse each social platform differently, so while a post on Facebook may perform well at 2 pm, certain pins on Pinterest may get good engagement even at 2 am. The same applies to the posting frequency as well - you can pin up to 10 pins a day on Pinterest, but it’s smart to limit your posts to 1-2 a day on Facebook and Instagram.
There are best practices for each social network. Buffer, CoSchedule and Louise Myers have researched posting to social media thoroughly, to figure out what combination works best on each platform. We’ve created an infographic based on these findings, showing you what time and posting frequency works best for each social network:
These times and posting frequencies have been seen to resonate well with audiences for each specific platform, so following this schedule increases your chances of getting seen by your target audience, and consequently increases your engagement.
If you have a Google Analytics account, you can go one step further and sync it with social media tools that have that integration. For example, at Viraltag we sync your Google Analytics account with our platform and get insight into your website’s traffic pattern. You can then post to social media at the time slots we suggest (based on when you have maximum traffic to your website). This way you’re making sure your post goes out to social media when your audience is most active, so it gets the best possible exposure. Here’s what our posting schedule looks like for Instagram, based on recommended times:
Recycle your posts
Having a constant online presence is very effective in acquiring new customers. This is because, when you have a continuous inflow of social media posts, your audience is engaged thoroughly and knows that you are active on social media. So they have something to look forward to!
That sounds easy enough, but when you post more often to social media, you’re going to need more content to post as well. While creating fresh content for your readers is effective in capturing their attention, there’s another strategy that requires minimum effort and works just as well, if not better.
It’s called ‘Post recycling’: you recycle content that you have already posted on social media. This way you don’t have to keep looking for new content to post, you can repurpose your old posts that have performed well on social media, and maximize your reach.
Here’s how it works:
Decide what content you can recycle
Posts that can be recycled need to be ‘Evergreen’. That is, they need to be relevant at all points of time. For example, an article on ‘5 Tips to ace your social media strategy’ can be considered Evergreen because it’s valid long past it’s publication date. On the other hand, a post like ‘5 Hairstyles to try this Summer’ is seasonal and so cannot be marked as Evergreen.
Look at posts that have performed well in the past. Content that has gotten good engagement in the past is bound to be high-quality content that performs well with your audience. So it makes sense to recycle these posts, because they are guaranteed to get you a similar reaction.
Here’s proof that content recycling works! John Haydon, a digital marketing expert tried re-posting 16 of his top performing photos from the previous year on Facebook, and out of the 16, 6 of them made it to the top 10 posts!
Use a social media tool to automatically recycle your posts
Once you’ve decided what posts you want to recycle, you can use a social media tool (For eg. Viraltag, MeetEdgar, ReQueue) that automatically reposts content for you based on a posting schedule you set. Whenever you have an empty time slot in your queue, posts that you’ve chosen to recycle will automatically fill it up, making sure you have a full schedule at all times and consequently maintain a constant online presence.
By recycling your posts you’re tapping into a larger user base, because you’re making sure your well-performing posts get seen not only by your old followers, but also by followers that you gain every day.
Optimize your content (size of image, hashtags etc)
Like I mentioned before, each social media platform functions differently. Just like different posting times work better on different social networks, specific types of content outperform other types of content on different social channels.
To make sure your post gets the best possible engagement on social media, it’s important you customize them according to the social platform you’re sending them out to. Based on information from Buffer’s ‘Complete guide to optimizing your Social Content’ here’s an infographic we’ve put together showing you what type of content works best, and what the ideal character count is for each social platform:
In addition to this, you can also use a Post optimizer that tells you what changes you can incorporate to make sure your post is tailored for maximum engagement. For example here are some optimization tips (in the yellow box) to maximise a sample post’s reach on Instagram: