UK marketers are spending 15.97% of their marketing budgets on social media.
This is expected to rise to 27.1% over the next five years.
When asked how much the use of social media had contributed to company performance during 2021, 91.8% of responding marketing leaders acknowledged at least some contribution. Responses sat on a scale from 1 to 7, with 7 meaning “very highly”.
37% went for a 5, 6, or 7.
And, just to hammer it home, 24% of UK B2C marketers consider social media to be the most promising marketing channel in terms of growth potential over the next three years.
So, there’s no denying that:
- Social media marketing is here to stay
- Your prospects are using social media
- Harness it effectively and you’re onto a winner.
Sign me up! Where do I start?
Without us having a chat, I can’t tell you where your ideal clients are hanging out online. Indeed, beware any marketing “gurus” categorically claiming [insert social media platform here] is the place to be.
As we all know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If I had to speak generally, I’d say:
Young clients? TikTok and Instagram. Old clients? Facebook. Somewhere in the middle? Chuck LinkedIn and Twitter in the ring too, and take your pick.
But there’s really no substitute for putting in the time to really find out where your clients spend their screen time.
Once you’ve picked your platform, you could do with a tailored checklist of proven tips and tricks for success.
What are the chances, eh?
So, in the first of this series, we’re taking a(nother) deep dive into my favourite.
Here’s 50 ways to stand out from the crowd, and make it work for you.
- Use your profile URL effectively. Ideally, go for your name combined with your business name, separated by hyphens.
- Scrap the standard banner image. It’s prime “show off your business” real estate.
- Upload a clear, professional profile picture of yourself. LinkedIn says you’ll receive 21 times more profile views than those without.
- Change your name. Phil’s name is Phil Bray – Financial Services Marketing Specialist so, when someone tags him in a comment, anyone who reads it knows who he is and what he does. (It’s a real mouthful when one of us across the office needs him.)
- Make your headline pop. What do you do? Who do you do it for? Why do people work with you? Bonus points if you can squeeze some social proof into those 220 characters.
- Don’t assume Creator Mode is the way to go. Do your research before jumping on the bandwagon. We’re not convinced yet.
- Turn off the People Also Viewed feature. It’s LinkedIn’s version of a big neon sign on your profile that says, “If you like the look of me, you’ll love my competitors!”
- Write a powerful hook. As David Ogilvy said, “When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” Whether your reader hits “See more” or scrolls is down to your opening line.
- Watch your formatting. Get the text to white space ratio right, add emojis for visual diversity, and optimise for mobile.
- Use at least 80% of your posts to add value and position you as a go-to expert in your field. Learn to say one thing 1000 ways.
- Repurpose content. Promotion > production.
- Post links in the comments, not the post itself. Your click-through-rate will be up to 4 times higher. And, soon, you’ll be able to pin a comment to the top of the thread, keeping your all important link right where you want it.
- Have a personality. Personality trait + professional niche = winning strategy. There’s thousands of financial advisers/planners on LinkedIn. But how many financial advisers/planners also go bouldering every weekend?
- Learn how to tell stories. Authentic, genuine, relevant stories.
- Post at the right time for your audience. Experiment with days and times, review the data, and implement. Broadly, we’ve found Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 7am and 9am work.
- Post at the same time on the same days. Once you’ve found your schedule, stick with it. You want your audience to expect your posts. Phil’s #neronuggets, anyone?
- Poke the algorithm before you post. By that, we mean responding to comments and engaging with other content in your feed. It’s been proven to improve the reach of your post.
- Don’t just sell, sell, sell. See #10.
- Encourage engagement. Ask questions, invite comments, spark a dialogue with your online audience. Phil has been seeing fantastic results from polls recently.
- Vary your content. Google will agree: including pictures and videos improves the reach of your posts. We’ve written about videos ourselves.
- Don’t edit your posts.
- Successfully navigate the spam filter. Avoid bad grammar, multiple links, tagging 5+ people, posting too regularly, and hashtags such as #comment, #like or #follow.
- Once your post has made it past the filter, capitalise on your golden hour – the 60 minutes after sharing your post. If you get 10 comments in that time, it’s odds on that you’ll reach 1,000+ views in 24 hours.
- Selfies = engagement. If appropriate, put a face to the post. Trust me, it works.
- Buy Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.
- Rewrite useful content from leaders in your field with big followings. Tag them. It’s valuable for your audience and, if they respond, your impressions will skyrocket.
- When writing a list, start with the longest item and work your way down to the shortest. No fancy algorithm hacks, it just looks better!
- UGC (User Generated Content) is a gold mine. If your clients are happy for you to share photos of how you’ve changed their lives, you’ve hit the jackpot.
- Even without UGC, social proof should be a major feature of your posting strategy.
- Set numeric goals personal to your profile. If you’re not sure what impression figures you should be aiming for, drop me a line and we’ll work it out.
- Avoid paralysis by analysis. Data is your friend, but you can have too much of a good thing.
- Community building is (arguably) more important than the figures. 1,457 impressions aren’t going to pay the bills. “Hi, could we arrange an initial call?” popping up in your DMs is moving in the right direction.
- Add a signature to posts on company pages, tagging the business and sharing your strapline. It’s subtle, but repeated exposure = greater retention.
- Include a note when you send connection requests. In an experiment we did, it increased acceptance rates by 146% when compared with no note.
- If you find a valuable engagement pod, consider getting involved. They’re groups of people who agree to engage with each other’s posts to boost reach. They get a bad rep, hence the word valuable.
- Grow your network in a meaningful way. Use the various search filters, the “Alumni” section of university pages, or the “Employee” area of business pages to find your ideal clients (or recruitment candidates). No scattergun approach, please.
- Building a relationship > an attempt at a quick sale.
- Take offline networking online. Met someone at an event? Send a request. Attended an online webinar and rated the host? Send a request. Read a blog about LinkedIn and thought it was the bees’ knees? Why, thank you.
- Add all your current clients on LinkedIn. This is useful in so many ways.
- Don’t send too many connection requests in a short period of time. A restriction could be heading your way.
- Clear pending requests that haven’t been accepted within two weeks. Hundreds pending = a red flag = more chance of account restriction.
- Do. Not. Share. Posts. Comments > reactions > shares.
- Comments (of more than five words) are king.
- Have an engagement strategy. Pick three to five leaders in your field and engage with their content every week. It develops your knowledge, pushes relevant content out to your audience, and reinforces your position as a clued-up expert. Win win win.
- Get your colleagues involved. Start a social media super group of willing and committed people within your business who can engage with your content regularly.
- Don’t be afraid of direct outreach in the right circumstances. “I’ve seen your recent posts and thought X might be of interest” is unlikely to get anyone’s back up.
- Reply to comments. Especially within the golden hour.
- Invite opinions on your posts and trending content. Someone you admire, a colleague, a friend. Tag them in the comments to start a conversation.
- Don’t leave emojis as a comment. “????” isn’t helping anyone.
- Celebrate special occasions. Send congratulations for a new job, share birthday wishes, and comment on business milestones.
Get in touch
If outsourcing your social media strategy sounds like a weight off your shoulders, you know where we are.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0115 8965 300, or jump on live chat using that pop-up on the bottom right of your screen.
So, which platform should we cover next?