A strategic social media marketing strategy can play a major role in the success of your inbound marketing strategy. However, in a time where everything and everyone is changing, your regular social media strategy, content, and cadence must adjust to the new normal to be effective
Even while in uncharted territory, it’s vital that we connect with prospects, clients, and team members. Social media presents a simple and effective way to keep that connection and still support your inbound marketing efforts. To help you along this journey, below we’ve gathered four tips that will support your marketing in the ‘new normal.’
4 Ways to Use Social Media to Support Your Marketing
According to a report from SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers say they only engage with brands and marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests. Modern day users value personalization and engagement. Humanizing your brand on social media is a quick way to grab their attention.
Think about how you interact with your online audience. Have you established a connection that helps establish trust and loyalty, and foster engagement? Humanizing your brand means opening your company up to your audience, inviting them in, and giving them an exclusive look at your culture.
How to Humanize Your Brand on Social Media
If you want to offer a valuable experience on social media, you need to engage with your audience in an authentic, empathic, and relatable way. Here are a few tips:
- Showcase your people — Share photos of employees working from home, volunteering in the community, or have them take over a social media account for a day. For example, The Skimm has an employee take over their Instagram Stories every day to show followers what they do in a day and give career advice. This helps with branding, and also promotes their workplace culture.
- Be responsive — It’s important to maintain a sense of urgency and respect when interacting with your audience (and others) online. Pay attention to comments, messages, and group discussions, and provide feedback and helpful information when appropriate.
- Use tasteful humor — Sprout social found that 90% of consumers are more likely to engage with posts that embrace the company’s personality.
2. Utilize Social Listening
As a business, your listening skills are critical to your success. With everything changing — from marketing strategies to what people want — now is your chance to find out what matters to your audience and what issues they care about. If you don’t listen to what they want, you can’t help solve their problems and connect with them. Your digital voice is a very significant part of your customer service experience, don’t underestimate or underutilize it.
Ways to Utilize Social Listening
Social Media Examiner defines social listening as the process of listening to and analyzing conversations happening online about specific topics and keywords. Here are a few ways to utilize social listening:
- Closely monitor your audiences’ requests, questions, and concerns
- Use various tools to track brand and handle mentions
- Search industry terms and trends
- Watch your competitors
3. Try New Publishing Times
Everyone’s day-to-day lives and routines have been massively altered. With one of the main goals of a social media strategy being to connect with your target audience, you must post at times that they’re actually using social media.
When to Post on Social Media
Early 2020, Sprout Social published a report on the best times to post on social media. Once the pandemic hit, the data shifted. For Facebook their original report suggested that the optimal time for engagement was Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (CST). The COVID-19 version notes that the current best times to post to Facebook, based on overall engagement trends, are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (CST).
The number of peak times during the week also expanded for Instagram. Previously, Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. (CST) were identified as the best times to post. Now, Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 2 p.m. (CST) are the best times to post on Instagram.
Since LinkedIn is a professionally oriented network, it’s not surprising that behavior has remained largely similar. The best time to post did shift a little, moving from top times at Wednesday from 8–10 a.m. and noon, Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1–2 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m. (CST) to current best times for LinkedIn of Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursday at 9–10 a.m. and Friday from 11 a.m.-noon (source Sprout Social).
Twitter, like LinkedIn, remained more consistent. “This may be due to the ongoing use of the platform as a way to quickly check news and spread useful public information for different regions’ lock down and quarantine measures,” notes the report. The current best time to post on Twitter is Friday 7–9 a.m., with 9 a.m. showing the peak of activity.
4. Embrace Video and Going LIVE!
Scoptophobia (also known as scopophobia) – the fear of being stared at is a real condition that varies in severity from person to person. If you’re terrified of getting in front of the camera, you could very well suffer from this social phobia! But right now, our prospects and clients are in desperate need of human connection, even if it’s just a familiar, friendly face on Facebook Live.
Ideas for Social Media Videos
Videos are the new face-to-face meeting, and it’s time to embrace it. Additionally, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. And, if that isn’t enough to convince you, take a look at these other eye-opening video statistics to support your marketing and sales strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) related to your industry or service
- Have a team member discuss a blog post of provide additional insights
- How-to videos
- Motivational or positivity messages
Click on this link for an extensive guide to getting comfortable on camera!
Social Media and Inbound Marketing
Social media can be used to significantly improve any company’s inbound marketing campaigns (source Forbes). However, if you want to effectively attract new visitors and potentially convert them into leads, your efforts must be strategically outlined — and that means adjusting with the times.