How a Digital Marketing Strategy Can Turn Your 300 Follower Page Into 1000 Followers in 3 Months
Ashley Saunders, Jumping Elephant Social Content Strategist
The year is 2017, and it’s safe to say that many of us are at least remotely (if not heavily) engaged in personal social media accounts. In fact, there are over 1,870 million active users on Facebook alone.
At first examination, it seems as though people share strange updates across channels, from what they are reading, photos of their food, and events they are attending, to requests for help playing mobile games and funny cat memes. And for many, using their social media channels for personal reasons has very little formula to it.
SOCIAL ACCOUNTS ALONE ARE NOT ENOUGH
When you decide to “have a Facebook” page or “start an Instagram” for your business, it becomes slightly more complicated than just creating a page and posting random nonsense on a regular basis. Jumping headfirst into the world of social without a digital strategy in mind can actually be detrimental to your brand. It can leave a negative first impression and that can be a sour taste that takes too long to wash out of people’s mouths.
What can be more frustrating to the unseasoned digital marketer is this notion of how to increase their reach or audience. It can even sometimes be tempting to take advantage of one of those accounts that promises, “1000 followers instantly – click here”. And please trust us when we tell you; this temporary solution is a waste of money that will not help your brand or your business long term.
Let’s start at the beginning.
- 5 new Facebook profiles are created every second
- Almost 80% of time spent on social platforms is on a mobile device
- Over 50 million businesses use Facebook Business Pages
- Pinterest drives 25%of all retail website referral traffic
- On LinkedIn, 98% of posts with images receive more comments, and posts with links have a 200% higher engagement rate
- Blogging continues to grow, with over 409 million people viewing more than 6 billion pages each month on WordPress alone
How many of these stats did you know?
Let’s take a quick look across the many social platforms you can choose from to reach your audience.
Digital Marketing Strategy for B2B Companies
For B2B targeted products and services, its no surprise that LinkedIn dominates the market in terms of content marketing effectiveness. What this means is that if you execute a successful social media strategy and create meaningful content for LinkedIn (followed closely by Twitter and YouTube), that you have a better chance of getting your brand in front of businesses or brands that could become customers and, simply put, give you their money.
Digital Marketing Strategy for B2C Companies
If you are in the business of targeting consumers instead of businesses, Facebook continues to dominate the market and it should be a place you consider spending some of your digital marketing budget.
These stats are strictly talking about content and how you, as the business owner or brand, are using the social platform to interact with your audience. Remember that the point of social media is not to push out sales information to your audience and hope that they receive and understand your message; it’s to have a two-way conversation (engagement) with your audience and give them value that makes them like you, over other brands. Once you have a relationship with them, you can start soft selling to them – as is modern marketing.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS: HOW MANY PLATFORMS?
If you read our blog post on Marketing Strategy you’ll recall that simply being on various social media channels, or being on ALL social media channels is simply not enough to effectively communicate with your audience and build brand advocates. You need to know why you are on each channel, what you are sharing to each audience, and why it is different from what you share on other networks. Remember, many fans will follow you across multiple platforms and giving them all of the same info, at the same time, every day, is not doing your brand any favours.
YOU WANT FOLLOWERS? LET’S TALK.
Many individuals and small businesses come to us with a problem, or an objective – to increase their followers across the different social channels.
More followers across your social networks mean:
- More credibility as a brand or company (people tend to follow networks with already high followings; if you look popular, you become more popular)
- Increased likelihood that your page or posts will appear on someone else’s newsfeed (because of social media algorithms)
- Increased likelihood that your audience will share your content on their own pages
- More people see your products, services, click-through to your website, or interact with your customer service reps via social
Spending both your time, and some of your marketing budget, on creating and refining a digital strategy helps to refine your message, speak directly to your target market, create more brand awareness, provides content ideas so you are able to post more valuable content – more often, and provides you with a diving board into your competitors, influencers, and what type of content is popular across your industry.
Once you’ve determined your branding and your key messaging objectives, it makes writing blog content, that helps with your businesses SEO, that much easier and more effective.
GETTING FOLLOWERS: THE BASICS
- Fill out your profile completely
- Share a link to your profile via your other networks and via email
- Place follow links and widgets on your blog or website
- Add your new social profile to your email signature
Developing a digital strategy is not a quick or easy task. It takes research, industry experience, and social media insight to do a full industry, competitor and marketing analysis, and then to put forth social strategies, campaigns, and influencer marketing initiatives. Your competitors are usually more than just geographic competitors, and probably aren’t just the handful of similar product or service offerings that you think off the top of your head. Many forget that online hubs like Amazon, e-Bay and many others, can compete with a ton of mom and pop shop-style industries.
We believe in following the 5:3:2 rule for posting content across your social media channels, and we’ve seen just how effective it can be at increasing both your following and engagement within the networks.
To explain this equation, think of every 10 posts you share on social.
- 5 posts should be relevant content you share from other sources (we call this karma marketing. If you sell pet food, share articles about why natural is better, ways to train your dog, or other articles on pet health or lifestyle)
- 3 should be original content you create yourself. Blog posts, informational videos, or anything that sells your products/services in a respectful (not hard sell) way. You can plug a new product, or talk about a seasonal promotion, but less is more on social media
- 2 should be personal, fun content that gives your brand a face. No one likes a corporate, “personality-less” brand. Show the human side, make it fun, make yourself likable, share humour, etc. Create custom memes or share fun facts.
Remember, if your audience likes you, and can relate to you, they are far more likely to want to use your product or service, and even refer you to a friend.
HASHTAGS: DAYS OF THE WEEK
A great and easy way to get started creating content for your social media networks is to tap into current trends, such as the Days of the Week trends that are huge on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We are not talking about only posting tips on Tuesday, and services on Sunday, and memes on Monday – that’s outdated – we mean the super trendy hashtags that go along with days of the week.
Another note about hashtags is that on networks like Twitter you should only use 2-3, whereas on Instagram, you can feel free to load up to capture a larger audience (max 30). It’s important to use hashtags for good and not evil. Using hashtags that are unrelated to your brand, just because they are popular, is a great way to irritate your audience and even lose followers. Do your research into the most popular hashtags across your industry.
For example, if you are a designer, whether that means furniture design, interior design or architectural design, here are a handful of hashtags that perform well in your industry.
#design #modern #homedecor #interiordesign #architect #designinspiration #antique #luxurylifestyle #interiors #realestate #creative #handcrafted
… and the list goes on.
SOCIAL MEDIA BUDGET
It’s also worth putting aside a small budget to invest in your social-specific marketing endeavours.
Ad recall from sponsored posts on Instagram was recently surveyed by Nielson’s (a huge research center) and came in 2.9x higher than the norms for online advertising (like e-mailers and web banners).
While you are creating shareable content to populate your pages with, the occasional advertisement driving home your current promotion or brand new product offering is totally acceptable as another non-invasive touch point in your potential customers journey to making a purchase.
And in case you thought it was all about Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,
100% of the top 100 global brands have run YouTube ads in the past year
Creating content might seem like a massive task to undertake as a small to medium sized business, and we hate to say that it’s not enough on it’s own. Having an outreach or influencer strategy is the other piece to a successful social media puzzle.
Once you analyze some of your competitors in your industry, it’s important to determine who the influencers or “it people” are. They are usually the ones with large social media followings, active accounts, and have a non-digital component to their brand, whether it means some television appearances, public event attendance, or they’ve been profiled by someone else in your related industry. Every industry also has bloggers that are credible, knowledgeable, trusted resources in every business sector. The best early step to take once you’ve populated your social channels with some content is to “friend” or “follow” some of these influencers. Once you’ve connected with them, finding some time to comment on their content, posts, etc, or asking for their opinions in a public social forum is essential to tap into their current fan base and put yourself higher up on their radar.
Why are influencers important?
70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities.
Those teenagers may not be your target market but the digital marketing realm allows for young persons to develop brand preferences and build trust with certain personalities, and those decisions do carry through into their adult purchasing lives.
The biggest single issue with marketing is that almost every industry is saturated with competition and since many company’s offer very similar, if not identical products or services, how is one supposed to break through the clutter? Our answer: TRUST. If you can get your audience to trust you, they will choose you almost every time, over any competition.
Remember that with all marketing, results may vary and the only way you are going to see results is if you remain consistent in your content creating and sharing, and pair it with a lot of outreach and connections. Create a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. We recommend posting on Instagram once per day, and Twitter and Facebook 1-2x per day, but you know what your capabilities are as a business. It’s also recommended that you create a blog schedule and stick to it. If you can’t post a weekly blog, try either bi-weekly or monthly and remember to plug your blog posts across all of your different networks (on different days to maximize the amount of your audience that reads them).
It also can’t be said enough how vitally important your customer service is on your social channels. Once you have a page up and running, people use your page as their main point of communication, especially on Facebook and Twitter. Any questions or comments asked on your wall, or reviews written should be responded to – good or bad. A bad post isn’t going to break you, but ignoring it, or worse, deleting it, can ruin you in your audience’s eyes on social.
Are you curious just who your competitors are? Who the influencers in your industry are? And what hashtags will really get the best bang for your time? Our digital marketing strategy will tell you – in detail – like a big how to book.