How to Win at Social Media Marketing: Awesome Hacks Across 4 Major Platforms

May 3, 2016 Rachel Riley

social-media-marketing-hacks

Social media marketing is a fun, challenging, and demanding task—one that saavy marketers are always looking to scale and hack. With so many platforms and so many different ways to try (and fail!) at effectively promoting your business across social media, who wouldn’t want a simple list of proven ways to maximize your efforts without overexerting yourself or your team?

Well, we’ve created such a list, and we’re sharing it here so you can benefit, too. Below, we share awesome social media marketing hacks that will help you win on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Twitter Hacks to Try

Twitter is a social media network that keeps marketers constantly on their toes. From Twitter Polls to the platform’s recently proposed 10,000-character count tweets, the people at Twitter are always coming out with new features that marketers can take advantage of to entice audience engagement and convert viewers into leads. Stay creative with your Twitter campaigns, and try these hacks:

Add Twitter Cards to Your Site. Twitter Cards are an underutilized hack that allow you to turn shares of your content links into rich media posts. We’ve used them ourselves since last year and have seen our number of tweet engagements and shares soar. Here’s an example Card:

twitter card

You can add Twitter Cards that drive traffic and clicks to your intended website, app, or content offer simply by adding a few lines of HTML to your webpage. There are also a variety of different Card options available—including Summary Card, App Card, and Player Card—each designed with a specific goal in mind. Our previous blog post includes a total breakdown of these Card types, including how to add Twitter Cards to your site.

Find and Engage Influencers. Many marketers feel that the power of Twitter lies not in your ability to engage your own followers but in the potential of reaching the followers of your industry influencers. It’s important to find and engage these influencers so that you can ultimately reach their vast audience.

But who are they? Industry influencers are usually very active on social media themselves, and have an active blog with lots of reader engagement in the form of comments and shares. If their followers are so engaged with their insight on topics you’re already an expert on, there’s no reason they wouldn’t be as engaged with yours. The Keeper has a great guide on targeting Twitter influencers and getting them to share your content.

Use a Link Shortener. This is a best practice that, if you’re not using it already, you’ve likely been exposed to and subconsciously responded to. Across most social media sites, users engage more with posts including links that have been shortened rather than those that are copied and pasted as is. It could be the aesthetically unappealing ellipses that accompany unshortened links that users dislike, or perhaps they’re responding well to the fun link names you can customize using shortening tools—whatever it is, it works.

Below are two tweets of ours promoting blog posts on similar topics, both PPC-related, that also include almost the same hashtags:

 twitter hashtags 1 twitter hashtags 2

As you can see, the tweet with the shortened link received a lot more likes and retweets than the one without. Frankly, if improved audience engagement is as simple as shortening a link, why not give it a try?

We recommend and use owl.y ourselves, as Hootsuite is our social media calendar and bulk scheduling tool of choice, but bitly is another great tried-and-true option.

Facebook Hacks to Try

Facebook boasts a massive 400 million global users and counting, and over 100 million of those users are from the United States. The sheer amount of potential customers alone is compelling enough for most businesses to create an account, but few take it to the next level and optimize their strategies to drive conversions and sales. Use the following Facebook hacks to funnel in the likes and maximize your use of the site:

Leverage Native Video. Marketers are constantly looking for engaging formats and new ways through which to interact with their audience and develop relationships with potential customers. Native video content—videos that are uploaded to or created on social networks—is an excellent way to drive brand awareness, boost social shares, and extend the reach of your content. Why? Because videos are compelling and engage a viewer both visually and aurally. It’s easy to see why marketing professionals around the world name video as the content type with the biggest ROI.

Source- Facebook

Source: Facebook

Short video content is perfect for social media sites—in fact, Facebook native video receives more than double the interactions that YouTube or other videos do. You can even add a CTA to the end of your Facebook video—such as Learn More, Watch More (featured above), or Shop Now—providing followers with the very “next step” that could convert them into your customer. Check out our previous blog post to discover how to successfully leverage native video content across Facebook.

Crowdsource your content marketing. One Facebook hack that many businesses fail to take advantage of is actually very simple—let your followers tell you the topics they want to see on their newsfeeds. This will not only engage your current followers but will also lead to improved audience interaction with your posts down the road, as you’ll accumulate new (but similarly interested) followers who will appreciate that you’re creating content for their benefit.

Not only does crowdsourcing content topics help ensure improved audience engagement, it also makes your job easier! No longer will you and your team have to spend the time and effort scouring analytics to determine quality topics, and the best part is that this is an effective strategy across all social media networks. Effective ways to crowdsource topics across top platforms include:

  • Facebook/LinkedIn: Ask via update that followers comment with a problem that they’re experiencing (related to your services) that they want solved in your next post. To entice more people to engage, let your followers know that you’ll be rewarding the top 3 comments with a free consultation or a small prize.
  • Twitter: Use a Twitter Poll to ask followers which topic they’d prefer to read a post about. The only set-back with this crowdsourcing strategy is you can include just two options for followers to choose from in your poll—so choose wisely. For more tips, check out our previous post on using Twitter Polls.

Pinterest Hacks to Try

Pinterest is a relatively newer social network making a huge name for themselves. A visual pinboard, Pinterest has over 100 million monthly active users who use the site to become inspired, source new trends, and plan their purchases. Pinterest provides an especially large opportunity for ecommerce businesses who can use the site to promote their products in a compelling and visually-appealing way. Read on to learn how you can hack Pinterest:

Optimize for search engines: Most marketers have at least a secret goal of getting their content pieces ranked on the first page of search engine results, and Pinterest can help you get there. However, to optimize your content for search, you can’t just stuff keywords into your pins. Instead, add them naturally to your profile and product descriptions, and cleverly insert them into the names of your boards. In our previous blog post, we share even more tips on improving your Pinterest search visibility.

Highlight text to use as your pin description: For this hack, you’ll first need to install the Pin It button from Pinterest (which is, perhaps, it’s own hack). If you’re a frequent pinner looking to expedite the pinning process, this trick allows you to automatically input a pin description.

pinterest hacks

The Pin it button on a Chrome browser

The hack works as follows: Highlight the title of the post or the descriptive text that you would like to use for your pin’s description (you can use up to 500 characters) before clicking the Pin It button. Then, click the button and the highlighted text will become your description! This is a simple hack, but one that can vastly improve the productivity of marketers using Pinterest.

Use Your Competitors to Gain Followers. If you’re looking to grow your account and accumulate more followers, you know by now (from the Twitter section above) that engaging influencers is a great strategy. On Pinterest, finding these influencers is easy—you just have to know who your competitors are.

To get started, just input your competitor’s website into the following URL: pinterest.com/source/[competitor’swebsite.com]. There, you’ll find the most recent pins from your competitor’s site and can begin to assess who the most powerful Pinners are. Once you’ve determined the influential Pinners whom you want to target, connect with them and begin letting them know how awesome your business is.

LinkedIn Hacks to Try

LinkedIn is a widely-used professional network that is an essential social marketing channel for B2B companies looking to promote their products and services. From your company profile to LinkedIn Lead Accelerator, many aspects of the site can be customized and optimized to facilitate audience engagement and lead generation. We share our LinkedIn-specific hacks, below:

Create a Showcase Page. LinkedIn Showcase Pages are extensions of your company page designed to highlight your specific products and services. You can create up to 10 Showcase Pages, and big brands like Microsoft and Adobe are already using them successfully to generate interest in their many offerings.

linkedin hacks

If you decide to create Showcase Pages on LinkedIn, make sure that you also commit to optimizing it to drive results. Spend time developing unique page content, as you don’t want to be hit with any search engine penalties. For best practices and a walk-through, check out our previous blog post on creating a stellar Showcase Page for your business.

Leverage Thought Leadership

In 2015, we saw the rise of thought leadership content, and audiences loved it. Publishing via Pulse—LinkedIn’s long-form content publishing platform—became increasingly popular, and now over 130,000 unique pieces of content are posted there each week.

To hack your LinkedIn content marketing, get high-level employees within your organization involved. A whopping 60 percent of LinkedIn’s members state that they are most interested in reading about industry insights, so take advantage of the expertise you have within your own network and ask executives to create a post or contribute to one you’re working on. Convince those who claim they don’t have the time by reminding them of the 380 million members who use the platform—those users are also Pulse readers who could turn into potential customers for your company.

We hope these social media marketing hacks will inspire your next campaign and lead to more clicks and conversions for your business.

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