This was a legitimate question I was asked by a very responsible business owner, “What are the tricks to show up in people’s social media feeds?”
I can absolutely understand where the question comes from. Out of frustration. Businesses feel like they are trying to do everything possibly right with social media and aren’t getting the results they want…so there must be some trick to it, right?
There are no tricks to show up in people’s social media feeds. What I will share are four ways to get in front of your target audiences on social media.
Number 1: How to Show up on Social Media? Pay to Play
Pay for an advertisement in order to show up in a target audience’s social media feed. There is a large component of advertising happening in social media. You need to accept this, get comfortable with it and become part of it. Understand that social media algorithms are coin operated and social media advertisements are pay to play. So, if you really want to get in front of a specific audience, pay to do some advertising.
Number 2: How to Show up on Social Media? Build an Audience
Social media is about sharing content and engaging, but you have to build an audience in order to tap into the benefits of a social network. Make sure you consistently spend focused time building and interacting with your audience. This is the very same thing you do with your professional network. It applies here too. Social moves fast, but we as humans still build trust and relationships slowly.
Number 3: How to Show up on Social Media? Research and use Hashtags
Instagram and Twitter are both very hashtag heavy platforms, so you definitely want to be using hashtags. To do this effectively, research the hashtags appropriate to your industry and content ahead of time to ensure you are using the most effective terms and to get ideas on new hashtags.
Why is this important? One reason is that certain acronyms or sayings that are popular in your industry may mean something completely different in another industry.
During one experience working with a Canadian mining company, we were considering using a certain industry acronym in their social media campaign. This acronym meant something very specific to the mining industry. When we researched the history and use of the hashtag, we discovered the same acronym was also used in the Formula 1 car racing industry and had a completely different meaning.
So, two different industries, same acronym, two different meanings.
The F1 industry had been using the acronym much more extensively than the mining industry so we decided not to pursue using this hashtag because we would be lumped in with F1 car racing posts, which we wanted to avoid.
In another situation, while working on promoting authors in the process of writing their novels, we discovered #amwriting which was a hashtag writers use to discuss their art and process of writing. Without this discovery and use of this hashtag in our social media promotion strategy, we would have never tapped into this specific audience.
Number 4: How to Show up on Social Media? Look at and Understand the Analytics
There is an incredible amount of beneficial information provided by analytics. One of our favourite analytics is from the LinkedIn Company Pages.
Often, the number of people that follow a LinkedIn company page may be lower than the number of followers on other social media networks. Frequently, clients comment that they did not increase their number of followers on their LinkedIn Company Page in a given month and feel disappointed. However, looking at the analytics reveals that the same client had 3,000 people check out their page because of the content they posted. Wow! We would have never known this had we not checked the analytics.
We have to remember that not everyone will follow your page, but there may still be a considerable number of potential clients or customers visiting your page. The analytics are so important because they let you know what is really happening.
Secondly, while there are best practices including “best time to post,” “best day to post,” “best time to do this, the best time to do that”, understand that these best practices may not be best for YOUR audience. It’s really important to test out different pieces of content and posting at different times of the day to see where YOUR audience is most engaged with your content so that you can post and interact at a time that works for THEM.
While these four tips are not tricks, nor are they supernatural spells, I hope implementing them can work some magic for your social media results.
Jen Kelly is a marketing consultant in Toronto and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing Inc. (NIM) serving growing businesses in Canada and the USA. NIM is the team to call for marketing execution excellence. For companies that don’t have a marketing department, we become your marketing department. For companies that have an existing marketing team and are challenged adding capacity and skills to their team due to a head-count freeze, we act as your marketing team’s right-hand, supporting the skills needed on a monthly basis. Contact us today for a conversation about your company’s marketing needs.