Think of your strategy as a machine made up of various bits and pieces, all working towards one goal.
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Finding a strategy that improves social media engagement and conversion rates and aligns with business goals is a common challenge for marketers. There are many solutions out there to improve social metrics and business ROI, but no part of a digital marketing plan works in isolation, and social media engagement and conversion rates are a perfect example. Although they are at different levels of the marketing funnel, they can improve at the same time. Here are six steps you can take to achieve this.
Step 1: raise your social proof
Coined by Robert Cialdini, social proof is a psychological concept in which individuals tend to mimic the actions of others when faced with an ambiguous situation. According to PwC's Global Consumer Insights study, social networks topped a list (37 percent) of where online shoppers look for inspiration. To improve your social proof, consider the following:
Publish User Generated Content (UGC). Track and post positive feedback from customers – the more visual the better. Choose high-quality pictures with a product visible and posts that have captions mentioning your brand name or account.
Related: The ROI Of Social Media (Infographic)
Step 2: Create calls to action
Optimizing your social media profile will improve credibility for viewers and search engines. On networks like Instagram, where links are not allowed in individual posts, you can get creative with your bio: change fonts, use special characters, or give emoji a little ease. You can also use verbs like "click", "subscribe", or "shop". Down arrows are especially effective. Everyone is working to spice up an otherwise simple Instagram bio and get people to give your profile a second look while promoting your link.
Related: Make These Changes To Your Social Media Bio And Get More Followers
Step 3: create the right incentives
According to the 2018 Sprout Social Index, 73 percent of respondents wanted to see posts about discounts and sales, and 59 percent wanted to see posts that taught something. On the flip side, 61 percent of social marketers prioritize educational posts, 58 percent focus on storytelling, and 53 percent focus on inspiring.
People in different population groups consume social media content differently. In a recent study of how people over 50 use technology, 66 percent said they use social media to stay up to date on news and current events. 27 percent say it takes too much time.
When planning social media content, consider both content settings and behavior. Give your audience what they want. Create simple, eye-catching graphics to target the population that matters most to you. Announcement of sales and promotions – Bonus points when the promotion is announced on social channels only.
Related: 6 Ways To Build A Bond With Customers
Step 4: run contests or freebies
Just like how exclusive social advertising works, limiting competition to social media is a great way to increase engagement and conversions. But competitions take more time and preparation. Approach it like a campaign. Draw critical dates on your content calendar, prepare all promotional materials in advance, and be prepared for any questions interested users may ask. Take your preps to the next level with programs like Vyper to manage all of the competition components in one place.
Don't forget to do your due diligence. Running US-wide essay contests, the We're All About Cats team says, "Running a contest isn't as easy as opening a call for entries. Check out the online contest guidelines in your state or country. Make it explicitly clear what you need from entrants and what they can expect in return. Then include the full contest guidelines in the caption of your announcement post or on the contest landing pages. "
See Also: 3 Minute Guide to Running a Profitable Social Media Contest (Video)
Step 5: optimize your content for each platform
Give your audience a seamless browsing experience. Reuse and reuse photos and link previews across platforms. This saves time and effort and frees you up for other tasks. However, make an effort to optimize the content for the platform on which you are posting. Here's a quick guide to key image sizes on social media:
FacebookPost picture: 1200 x 630Link preview picture: 1200 x 628TwitterHeader picture: 1500 x 500Timeline picture: 440 x 220InstagramSquare photos: 1080 x 1080Videos: 1080 pixels wideInstagram stories: at least 600 x 1067LinkedInImage post: 350 pixels wideShare Link preview: 180 x 110
Use a photo or video editor to create multiple variations of posts while maintaining quality and aesthetics. Programs like Canva, Adobe Photoshop Express, Instasize, and GIMP are popular with marketers.
Related: 3 Easy Ways to Get More Stocks on Facebook
Step 6: Make data-driven decisions
Have you been doing social media for a while but want better results? It is your responsibility to optimize your strategy in a data-driven manner. Run regular analytical reports to review the performance of each piece of content. This allows you to evaluate similarities between successful posts. If you can see all the data in one place and easily relate to what has happened over the past few months, you can get better engagement and conversions.
How do you set the first standards or try something completely new? Do research. There are tons of free resources online. So take time every day and week to catch up on new and exciting developments.