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Why Your Approach to Social Media Needs to Change: 15 Helpful Hacks in 2021

Social media management has gone through significant changes throughout the COVID-19 crisis and the increase in online business. For instance, findings from The CMO Survey’s 2020...

Anissa Maligat
Anissa Maligat August 17, 2021

Social media management has gone through significant changes throughout the COVID-19 crisis and the increase in online business. For instance, findings from The CMO Survey’s 2020 research show that businesses have spent 74% more on social media marketing during the pandemic. But at the same time, the survey found that social media has helped companies perform 24% better since February 2020.

Social media platforms have introduced new ways of buying products, as well. For example, it’s now possible to shop through posts, stories, and live streams, making consumer purchases much easier. 

As social media continues to open up new ways to make virtual purchases, shopping has never been more convenient. Customers are also free to engage with their favorite brands on social media, giving businesses more opportunities to build lasting relationships.

As social media evolves, keeping up with these emerging trends entails taking a new approach to social media marketing. With the right approach, you can make your small business grow and expand its online reach. 

That said, take a closer look at these 15 helpful hacks to make the most of your social media campaigns.

Choose the Right Platform

Each social media platform caters to specific audiences, which makes targeting the right platform and people easier. 

Let’s take Twitter and Instagram as examples. As of Q1 2021, Twitter has 199 million daily active users and Instagram, one billion monthly active users. This makes them ideal platforms for businesses that want to focus on reaching bigger audiences. 

Facebook, on the other hand, is the platform of choice for older adults. This means you can reach this demographic group if you plan to set up your own Facebook shop.

However, the details above won’t tell you the exact audiences that you should reach. So make sure you come up with a buyer persona that will identify your target audience and tell you their age, gender, education level, income level. From there, it’s much easier to choose the right platform and create a social media marketing strategy that resonates with your target audience.

Post Content on the Right Channels

People on social media love looking and consuming various entertaining and useful content. But some content formats — like photos or videos — can be a hit or a miss. Real success lies in sharing the right type of content on the right channel. 

If you explore different social media networks, you’ll find that users on those platforms consume specific content types.

So post the right content on the right channel for the best results.

Share Your Most Popular Content

Since we’re on the topic of content, consider what’s popular. Conduct an audit to gain insights about what makes your most popular posts shareable. Ask yourself: are they seasonal content or address a specific pain point? 

But a word of caution once again, though: make sure that your most popular content is appropriate for your preferred social media platform. For example, if you’re posting video reviews, YouTube is the best platform. Blog post links, on the other hand, are ideal for posting on Twitter or Facebook.

Talk About What’s Trending

Share trending content on your social media accounts whenever possible. Consider the 70-20-10 rule for social media posts. In a nutshell, this means that:

Keeping up with what’s trending is a great way to keep your audience engaged. If you can come up with a way to make your posts more promotional and personal on top of being relevant, then you just might get more people flocking to your business.

Stay On Topic

Social media engagement and website or blog engagement are two different things. Most of the time, your target customers go to your website for solutions to their pain points or needs. Thus, sharing relevant visual or written content is your best bet.

When crafting social media posts, be sure that those posts don’t stray from the topics you talk about on your website or blog. Off-topic posts can decrease your number of likes (or followers), limit your reach, or even lead to spam reports.

Ahrefs is an SEO software suite that offers tools for link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, site audits, and more. One look at its Facebook page and you’ll see that the company is passionate about SEO and content. It never passes up an opportunity to share great insights from its blog as well as helpful online courses.

Ahrefs posting its guide to organic searches on Facebook (pictured above) is a perfect example of how it stays relevant and on-topic. 

Post Visual Content

Did you know that 81% of people love seeing video content on their social media feeds? So spark interest with more visual content! 

Using eye-catching visuals shows your message to users directly, especially those who can absorb images better than words. As you create your social media marketing strategy, try to see which visual content formats will resonate with your followers. Visual content can come in the following types:

Google’s Twitter account used visual content to promote Umami Land, an interactive page about Japanese dishes. In the 15-second video, followers get a sneak peek of the Umami Land page with real-life photos and hand-drawn, animated clips. The video’s top-notch imagery is enough to boost interest and encourage people to visit Umami Land.

Use Compelling, High-Resolution Photos

Using high-resolution images is another helpful social media hack to consider. See that the images you share show what your business is all about while catching your audience’s eye. A few seconds is all you have to send your message and keep consumer attention hooked.

Ready to post high-quality, eye-catching images on your social media accounts? Some of the top social media platforms have specific photo size guidelines for you to follow. Here’s a look at the recommended image sizes for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter:

Facebook Photo Sizes

Twitter Image Sizes

Instagram Photo Sizes

Use the Stories Feature

You might’ve seen this feature on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and wondered what it’s all about. Stories are photos or videos that appear on top of social media apps and disappear after 24 hours.

Snapchat started it all, with its Stories feature allowing one-minute videos and multiple short videos or “Snaps.” Eventually, other social media platforms jumped on the Stories bandwagon after it soared in popularity. Twitter is the latest channel to offer its version of Stories ― a feature called “Fleet.”

With the Stories feature, your followers can vote in polls, go to websites with just a swipe, ask questions, and more. When you use Stories, you can connect with your target customers and reach more people.

McDonald’s, the fast food company we all know and love, recently published a Story that included a “Friendship Test.” The test encourages followers to think about what food their friends would order at McDonald’s and post them. People participating in the contest were free to tag their friends to see their guesses, and it was incredibly interactive thanks to the cute brand stickers available. 

Post Snackable Content

Snackable content is digestible content. Since attention spans have dwindled and now only last for eight seconds on average, you’ll need to keep your content short and sweet. These pieces of content can be around 30 seconds long or much shorter ― enough to get customer attention.

TikTok and Instagram are two platforms that leverage short-form content to the fullest. TikTok has attracted 689 million global users with digestible and fun short videos. Meanwhile, Instagram recently launched a “Reels” feature, which is the app’s answer to TikTok. Big brands have started using Reels for snackable content, proving that businesses can grab people’s attention with short videos.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Microsoft (@microsoft)

 

Microsoft is one company that has boarded the Instagram Reels train, with short videos about its products. This how-to video for the brand’s Excel software is snackable content gold: it shows you how to use a handy Excel shortcut without taking too much time (Instagram Reels can run up to 30 seconds, after all).

Use Hashtags

If you’re targeting the younger demographic, using hashtags on your posts is a great idea. You could go and sprinkle your post with more than one hashtag, especially the usual ones like #love, #tbt, or #l4l. But don’t just settle for those tags ― try sharing posts with niche or industry-specific hashtags to attract enthusiasts.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Clinique (@clinique)

Along with the common hashtags #beauty and #skincare, this Instagram post from Clinique uses specific tags like #parabenfree and #fragrancefree. It also has a brand-specific hashtag to help promote the brand’s moisturizer.

Hashtags are great for social media bios, too. By introducing your business with these tags, people can easily find your page and see your content. So far, Instagram is the only social media platform that lets you add hashtags to your business page.

Get Creative with Your CTAs

It’s time to get creative with your calls to action. Facebook now tags the usual CTAs like “Hit the Like button,” “Click Share,” or “Add your comment” as spam. That said, try crafting unique CTAs so more customers will engage with your post. Sharing offers or promotions is one way to do this, as those rewards can inspire more people to take action.

 

Instead of saying “Visit our website to find Galaxy deals,” Samsung Global came up with a more creative CTA. The brand’s CTA, “Discover Galaxy deals,” veers away from the CTAs we usually see while compelling people to visit their online store.

Share Posts at the Right Time

Determine the best time for posting on social media and stick to that schedule. If you’re on Facebook, for instance, posting between 1 to 3 PM on weekdays and on Saturdays is ideal. The platform also records peak user activity and engagement every Thursday and Friday.

But in the end, your industry or niche will help you choose the right time to post. You can share posts during any of the following timeframes:

Consider Automation

If you feel like you’ve been promoting your business on social media by yourself, give social media automation a try. It lets you share posts at the right time, automatically. Several tools can help you deliver social media posts any time you want, including:

By automating the process of posting on your social media platforms, you can spend more time managing the other important aspects of your brand. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your social media accounts running and hope for the best. Come back from time to time, and when you do, engage with your followers and see what people think of your business.

Set Up a Shop on Social Media

Before, businesses would advertise their products on social media and encourage people to buy from them on their websites. But shopping has changed since Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels have brought online shopping to their platforms. Through its shop feature, people can start shopping on their favorite social media sites.

Screenshot from Old Navy’s Instagram

Old Navy is one of many retailers with Facebook and Instagram shops. The clothing brand’s Instagram shop showcases its current range of products, from Olympics apparel to men’s clothing. After choosing a collection, you’ll see available products from that collection and buy the products.

Start Meaningful Conversations

Social media has allowed consumers to engage with businesses and express their concerns about how happy (or frustrated) they are with a certain product or service. If you want to keep your business relevant on social media, you’ll need to build on these interactions and encourage meaningful conversations. 

But what does this approach to social media marketing mean for your brand? You’ll need to:

Screenshot from SEPHORA’s Facebook

Chatbots are one way to spark worthwhile conversations on social media. Brands like SEPHORA are reaching out to customers through chatbots, with the option to contact a sales representative for any questions. By leveraging social media chatbots, you can connect with your target consumers and address their concerns right away.

It’s Time to Rethink Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing gets your brand closer to its ideal customers, which in turn fuels your own business growth. With our useful hacks, we hope you can get the best results and stay ahead of the competition.

Want to dive deeper into digital marketing? Head to our blog today for more helpful tips and insights.