Social media sites generate more traffic each day. As one of the fastest-growing areas of interaction on the internet, businesses that invest in a social media presence are usually rewarded with a vast user base.
Just like other marketing methodologies, social media has popular techniques and others that are less used but just as useful. Since the medium is driven toward trends, social media gurus spend a lot of their time determining what the “next big thing” will be. As a result, functional social media techniques are quickly forgotten by businesses choosing to follow the crowd.
Below, 15 experts from Forbes Agency Council discuss underutilized social media strategies that still show promise, but aren’t used nearly as much as they should be.
1. Optimize Your Social Platform For Search
In today’s landscape, social platforms are playing a traditional search role, but the content isn’t optimized to be found. How can marketers fix that? Identify top-level content to support every stage of the search journey, determine which social platforms to utilize based on consumer behavior and targeting capabilities, and ensure content on every platform is optimized for search. – Donna Robinson, Nina Hale – Digital Marketing Agency
2. Humanize Your Brand
Social media is for people, not brands. Every CEO, marketing and advertising professional must understand this basic truth and redefine their social media strategy based on it. Having a presence and posting irrelevant content to people’s news feed is a waste of time and probably money. This is why most brands aren’t getting anything but likes. – Charles Mazzini, Hyperlinks Media, LLC
3. Set Specific, Trackable Goals
Businesses often overlook setting a specific, trackable goal for their social media. Even a general goal like “gain more followers,” needs parameters and a plan. Are you hoping to attract a new or wider audience? And if so, how do they differ from your current followers? Ask yourself how each social media campaign will contribute to your goal, and your content will be more focused and productive. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
4. Use Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking allows you to reach viewers on various social media platforms outside of Facebook and Instagram. It should also have an indirect SEO benefit as traffic from multiple sources will be a positive signal to Google. Social bookmarking is submitting your site to sites such as Reddit, Mix.com and many more. – Tom La Vecchia, MBA, X Factor Media
5. Use Social Media To Promote Others
Most businesses continue to use social media as a means to promote themselves. There is some value in doing that, but if businesses want to get the most value social media has to offer they need to promote others. Promoting others is how businesses can truly connect with their customers — instead of shouting about their products, they should engage and participate in the space authentically. – Starr Million Baker, INK
6. Write To The Audience
If you’re a business that touches both business-to-business and business-to-consumer, make sure you’re writing unique posts for your social channels. That Facebook post with the cute dog meme ain’t gonna work on LinkedIn. That data-heavy LinkedIn post you’re publishing will cause Facebook eyes to glaze over. Take an extra five minutes to write to your audience and give them engaging, useful posts. – David Farinella, Farinella LLC
7. Use Social As A Data Channel
Too many brands focus on social platforms as advertising channels or community management platforms while underutilizing a wealth of customer data and analytics. Beyond your LinkedIn page analytics, B2B brands using the free LinkedIn insights tag can give you detailed information about their website visitors that happen to be signed into LinkedIn (which is most of them). – Dan Golden, Be Found Online
8. Focus On Social Selling
Social selling — using social media to find and nurture prospects and customers — is underutilized, and all individuals, not just executives, should be doing it. Trailblazing organizations that encourage employees to take a sales-forward approach to engaging with their social networks reap the benefits. – Natalie Nathanson, Magnetude Consulting
9. Invest In Video
Like it or not, it’s altogether possible that video is starting to replace the written word. The one strategy smart marketers can adopt is to think more in visuals and less in words. Video should be at the top of your social media food chain and you no longer have to stage a Hollywood production to be successful at it. Short, bite-sized videos will engage and keep your social media audience. – Danica Kombol, Everywhere Agency
10. Add Brand Mentions To Instagram Story Highlights
Using Instagram story highlights to save brand mentions (both from everyday consumers and influencers) requires zero budget and next to no time. Additionally, it is an easy way to extend the lifespan of those glowing reviews. – Jason Pampell, HireInfluence, Inc.
11. Build Community With Facebook And LinkedIn Groups
Groups are an amazing way to engage and activate your core fans. Groups build community and connection to your brand, and leading a group with valuable insight and conversation creates a deeper brand connection. Set clear goals for your group, community guidelines and a content plan that will foster that engagement further. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing + Partnerships
12. Publish More Content On LinkedIn
In 2018 we analyzed the LinkedIn presence of nearly 100 mid-size professional service firms. Only about 5% of leaders at these firms had ever published an article on LinkedIn. These same leaders worry about differentiation — even though they don’t take advantage of a free resource that would position them as thought leaders to create differentiation. This is a huge missed opportunity. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group
13. Step Up Your Social Media Advertising Game
Advertising on social media is still underutilized by many of our clients. They hear the word Facebook and their ears turn off. Facebook and Instagram have a robust advertising platform. You are hunting with the rifle for customers. You can run ads within a two-mile radius and specify gender, age and multiple interests. You can also target people that have visited your website. The cost per click is much lower, too. – T. Maxwell, eMaximize
14. Respond To Paid Social Media Ad Comments
Structured social media content plans and detailed expectations around paid social advertising campaigns are rarely ignored, but often brands fail to leverage opportunities by responding to comments on their ads. By prioritizing the conversations with their audience, brands can improve their return on ad spend, build more loyal relationships with customers, and make more informed decisions on their offering(s). – Amanda Ellis Stein, Logical Position
15. Target Wi-Fi For Experiential Offerings
When retargeting on Facebook, one little-known technique is to create a retargeting ad set that only reaches people while they are on Wi-Fi. Assuming you have a higher-ticket product or experiential service, people are more likely to make these larger purchases while they are in a stationary place, say at home or at work, versus making those decisions while in line at the grocery store. – Ryan Sprance, Kaihatsu Media