Feeding the social media machine can feel like an overwhelming task. These strategies, techniques and tools can help you tame the beast.
By Tina Kelly
Social media is one of the most powerful tools marketers have. The problem, however, is that there are so many platforms to choose from. Plus, actually feeding the social beast on a consistent basis can feel nearly impossible at times. But, in fact, it’s not. Here, we break down strategies, techniques and tools to help manage and optimize your social media endeavors.
Step 1: Be Selective
Before you start posting — or even creating accounts, for that matter — on every single social platform, you need to figure out which ones are going to be worthwhile. Truth is, not every organization needs to be on every platform. And most times, it’s better not to be on every channel. It’s more important to focus on the ones that’ll drive results for you.
If you already have social media accounts, the best tool to help you prioritize them is Google Analytics. This allows you to see which channels drive the most traffic to your website and which get the most engagement.
If you don’t have any social accounts yet, it’s a matter of determining which channels your target audience spends the most time on, as this will help you get the most engagement. Once you’ve nailed that down, prioritizing your channels becomes easier.
Step 2: Define Roles and Goals for Each Channel
After you’ve prioritized your channels, it’s time to decide exactly how you’ll use them. If you’re a destination marketing organization, for example, you might use Facebook for community building by highlighting things happening in your area.
You’ll also want to set goals for each channel you’re on. These goals might include driving traffic to your website, encouraging users to sign up to receive emails, growing your follower base or building awareness.
Step 3: Start Small With Organic Posts
An organic post is a social media post that appears in your followers’ feeds, but not in the feeds of users who don’t follow you. They’re free to post, which makes them a logical first step in tackling the social media machine.
After you’ve done some organic posts, you can dive into your paid social media journey by boosting a few of them. This means that you’re putting some money behind the organic posts to turn them into promoted posts that show up in certain users’ feeds, regardless of if they follow your account or not. When boosting a post, you have the option to target specific audiences on the platform, which helps you reach more people and gives you a better chance of achieving the goals you previously outlined.
But how do you decide which posts to boost? A good rule of thumb is to boost the posts you believe people want to see, that includes the organic posts that have gotten the most engagement.
Step 4: Set Up a Full-Blown Campaign
After you conquer the art of boosting organic posts, it’s time to get further into the world of paid social media by setting up a full-blown ad campaign.
Deciding where to begin can be the hardest part of creating a social media ad campaign. With so many different ad units — such as carousel ads, static image ads, video ads, etc. — you might struggle to decide which will be the most effective. This is when it’s time to revisit the goals you’ve laid out for each channel. If you want to grow an email list, for example, a lead-gen campaign is likely your best bet. If you want to drive more traffic to your website, you might tease certain content and encourage users to learn more.
Regardless of the type of ad you choose, it’s critical to take advantage of the targeting capabilities these social platforms offer. That way, you’ll ensure the right eyes see your ads and increase your overall chances of achieving your goals.
Step 5: Optimize Your Social Media Campaign in Real Time
Even though you might think a certain type of ad or creative style works best for your audience, it’s important to test out different assets and optimize your campaigns in real time. This includes testing different imagery, calls to action (CTAs), messages, etc.
After you have a large enough sample size, dive into the analytics of the elements you’ve tested. If a certain CTA is performing significantly better than the rest, it’s wise to put more money behind the ad using that CTA. Or maybe you’ll learn that images with people in them perform better than ones without.
The point is that your work is never truly finished on any given campaign. Even after you’ve launched one, there are always improvements that can be made — but just remember to use data and analytics to drive your decisions.
Step 6: Leverage Social Media Management Tools
Although the world of social media seemingly becomes more complicated
by the day, there are plenty of tools that can help you manage it. A
few of our favorite post-scheduling tools are Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Sprinklr. If you don’t have an in-house graphic designer and need creative assets, Canva
can be a particularly useful tool. There are also websites that offer
free stock images if you don’t have an image library you can pull from.
Some of our favorites include Unsplash and Pixabay.
3 Final Social Media Management Tips
Social media is an ever-expanding world. Keep these three last pieces of advice in mind, no matter the platform.
- Rather than posting the same content across every channel you’re on, consider posting unique content on each channel. This gives people a reason to follow you on all the platforms you’re on and helps ensure you’re posting the right kind of content on each channel.
- Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Make sure your posts are always aimed at achieving your goals.
- Don’t be afraid to repackage/repurpose content and repost it, especially with organic posts. With the way the algorithms work on social platforms, the chances that someone saw the original post in their feed is fairly low.