What a wonderful time to be alive. Everything I could possibly stimulate my mind with is on that 6-inch screen. Good thing is, each of us feels this way. I mean, who isn’t a part of social media platforms these days, right?
For the first time in history, we’re all connected with each other in real-time. But ever since businesses have gotten into the social media landscape, it feels like a bunch of monkeys yelling and screaming everywhere and everyone wants their noise to be louder.
Don’t get me wrong, we all love money, it’s just that the modern-day social media marketing strategy is chaos, and I’m here to make you question that mainstream paradigm. Just like backlinks in SEO, social media channels are becoming more & more weary of conventional business marketing.
What am I talking about? Let’s find out.
Mainstream Social Media Marketing Strategy
Businesses are still trying to crack the code of a perfect social media marketing strategy for organic growth and they think they have, and why wouldn’t they? The popular marketing gurus are pumping out what worked for them because they either had a first-mover advantage or they’d like to keep the raw truth to themselves.
Let me point out some of those suggestions below.
Post More Often
Not a bad strategy, but let me tell you when it’s actually effective.
- When the social media platform is new – Remember when TikTok arrived? People who started posting frequently saw an exponential spike in their growth. Charli D’Amelio, a 16-year old girl, is at 100.2 million followers on TikTok, 95 million of which she gained in a year.
- When a platform rolls out a new algorithm – Instagram did that with IGTV when it arrived, now it’s doing the same with reels. People are witnessing a ridiculous growth in their social media following just because they started posting more reels, and the novel algorithm did its magic.
There is no third possibility, and the reason is that as soon as the big businesses start to invest heavily in these apps, the organic reach dies. There’s a 2011 study by DDP and Paris that found that the #3 reason why people “unliked” a Facebook page was because they posted too frequently.
The #1 and #2 reasons were that the “brand was no longer of interest” and “the information available was no longer of interest” respectively. This means that even if the brand was of their interest, they could simply “unlike” the page just because you’re always posting.
Leveraging industry influencers on social media definitely helps. Marketing tools like Intellifluence are even making life much easier by letting you find peer-level influencers, which works when you have a lot of money to invest, but that social media marketing strategy doesn’t help small businesses.
Post on More Platforms
Again, posting on as many platforms as you can is another mainstream advice you get from the hustle culture. Post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and flood all the forums with your business. Eventually, you’ll run out of platforms to post on.
But wait, there’s a solution to this problem – what if you republish the content? That should churn through the same list of followers and maybe you’ll get more likes, right? It’s true.
In fact, here’s a case study to back this claim. But then again, what difference does it make when all your followers are your first and second degree connections at most? Just because you hope a social media marketing strategy works, doesn’t mean it will.
This is the fundamental problem with every social media marketing strategy. What you’re posting is only getting to the people who like and share your posts out of courtesy. They aren’t really going to buy the service unless they absolutely need it, which means they probably won’t.
Create Interesting Content
Buzzfeed and Vice have people chasing content that appeals to the lowest common denominator. After all, user retention is everything. One of the biggest misconceptions is that if the content reaches a large number of people, you’ll be able to improve your chances of conversion.
The more generalized a content is, the less processing power it takes for your brain to compute the information, and the more people it appeals to. It’s a strategy that values quantity over quality, which is not sustainable if you’re trying to sell a product or service.
The definition of interesting may be several in this case, but creating highly niche content while still using enticing photos and polarizing headlines means you’re at least defining the demographic that you’re catering to. What helps you sell is how well you resonate, not how many people you “kinda” resonate with.
Social Media Marketing Strategy That Works
Did you know that a study by Harvard Business School found that 79% of companies feel that they aren’t effectively able to utilize social media? This is for you to see that it’s ok to not be an effective social media marketing strategist. And hey, now you will be.
Here are the ways that actually work:
Get Your Website Organized
You’re probably wondering, “how is this a social media marketing strategy?”, right? Well, let’s say you own a store that sells comics and novels. Don’t you think you might want to segregate all the different categories as much as possible?
For example, the novel category should ramify into parameters like genre, date of arrival, written in, bestseller, etc. If someone opens the genre category, it should ideally be ramified into horror, comedy, romantic, etc.
The reason why you’d want to organize your website like that is so you’re able to match the social media groups to these specific categories, which means you’re able to target every demographic effectively.
For example, if there are horror novel fans in a Facebook group, you can promote the “horror” category on your website there, which brings me to my next point.
Find Raw Data
Where do you find people with common interests together? In groups and online forums. For example, if you look for the “horror” category on various social media platforms, this is what you’ll find:
A simple google search can help you find anything in any forum. Refer to the image below as to how you can do so:
Finding raw data means looking for people who are already interested in a certain topic. That’s why they’re in that social group in the first place. All you have to do is find a group that resonates with what you’re trying to sell.
Build a Database
A Google or an MS Excel sheet can come in handy when you’re laying all the names of the groups down that you find while mining raw data. For instance, look at the image below:
Here you have the basic details of the group like the group name, URL of the group, names of the admins, etc. There are certain columns that are more important than others. Let’s discuss them below:
- Popular discussed topics – You first try to understand what the general discussions in the group are about. Whether they talk about horror novels or romantic comics, you have to cater to the collective paradigm of that group.
- Interaction score – How much are people interacting instead of spamming the group with their links? This is a common sight in groups that are outrightly dedicated to service. You might want to avoid those.
- Conversation score – This is different from the interaction score. You have to observe whether the people in the group are actually having conversations or are just giving robotic feedback like “nice post” or “great”. The more conversational, the better.
- Knowledge score – How does your knowledge compare to the rest of the people in the group? Are you too smart for them, or are they too smart for you? The former is useful when you’d like to sell something; the latter when you’re seeking feedback on your work.
Don’t shy away from email marketing and advertising, they’re just as important as the above social media marketing strategy. While it’s important to determine who your base audience is and where you’re more likely to reach them, like the current debate of YouTube Vs TikTok for your business’s content marketing, it’s equally important to consider design. Design plays a crucial role in the reach of your social media posts. As such, software like Adobe Photoshop can come in super handy for creating visually appealing creatives for your social media posts.
You need to reach new people, and what better way to do that than advertising your product/service? Unless you have something completely different to offer to the market that it takes off on its own, you need your product to reach them organically as well as inorganically. The end goal is to get good at social selling.
Find a social media platform relevant to what you’re selling and advertise on it. For example, if you’re selling clothes, you can advertise on Facebook or Instagram, but not LinkedIn since it’s more B2B centric.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to make the most out of the above social media marketing strategy. As long as you follow through, you’re bound to succeed.