Providing an amazing product or service is no longer enough to grow your business.
As almost every industry evolves and spreads to social networks, it’s becoming more difficult to stand out from the competition.
At the same time, the killer marketing strategy across different social networks offers numerous benefits, from increased brand awareness and website traffic to generate more sales. 75 percent of marketers say their social media efforts have resulted in increased site traffic. At the same time, more than 50 percent of marketers see social media as a driver of increased sales. In other words, the benefits are endless with a well-executed social media strategy.
How to draw up an excellent growth plan when every social network requires its own set of best practices? If you’ve already googled something like ‘social media strategy’, you understand that all of this information can be incredibly overwhelming. Different post types, thorough posting time and frequency and everything in between don’t help you get nearer to explaining what you actually should do.
The best solution here is to start by analyzing companies who crush competitors on social media. Learn from these social media leaders what helps them win on social networks. And then, use this knowledge to build your own marketing strategy. That not only will help you be more productive but also help you achieve your business objectives faster.
Here are the best social media practices that Innocent, a company that specializes in making healthy drinks, uses to beat the competition and take the lead. Take them as a step-by-step guide to boost your social media strategy.
Establish your brand
Differentiating your company from business rivals in a crowded market place starts with your brand. A strong brand builds trust and loyalty in the long run. Also, having your own brand for your company makes it easier for prospects to remember you. As a result, they will find you faster when they are ready to purchase.
The ground elements of every brand is a business name and logo. Use your brand name and logo on all of your social media accounts. Remember that from the website to social networks, your online presence should be consistent.
Create captivating social media profiles
Your business accounts on social networks are an opportunity to present your brand and message in a real and relatable way. They also can rank on the search engines, so it’s a good idea to discover how prospective clients are searching for you when online.
Considering that, utilize every bit of your profiles on each social network. There are a few examples of how Innocent rocks their social media profiles and bio:
Give potential customers a more intimate look into your business
Take people on your journey and share who you are. Your team’s everyday routine is a goldmine of great marketing ideas and stories in your company. People do want to engage with the brands they love. Providing your loyal followers with an exclusive, inside peek at how your company operates is a proven method to make them feel like they’re part of your team.
Cut the number of hashtags
Hashtags are great if you want to surf social networks: you can click on a specific hashtag and all social media posts for a certain event pop up. But not everyone knows about the risks of using hashtags. The recent research has discovered that the more hashtags you use, the less engagement you get. Social media posts that use more than two hashtags show a 17 percent drop in engagement.
Remember all these posts with an endless list of hashtags? Let’s face the truth: using too many hashtags make people annoyed. To avoid that, use only two or three keywords per post on your social media channels. What’s more, the absence of keywords may not affect the engagement of your posts at all.
Make great content and focus on visual assets
Why invest in social media content creation? Nearly 70 percent of companies cite high-quality visual content as a very important part of their marketing strategy. With engaging social media content, you can not only reach prospects but also create a conversion pipeline.
And it makes sense in a way: in the world of Instagram Stories and YouTube explainers, visual content (videos, photos, GIFs and infographics) perform exceptionally well and capture a huge share of online attention. This shouldn’t be surprising: well-crafted visual assets create an emotional bond between brand and followers and convey a lot of information in a concise format.
Let’s dive deeper into the types of visual content you should test out in your social accounts.
Add videos ASAP
You know how powerful video content has become. Especially in the world of social networks that are mainly visual-focused. Researchers predict that more than 80 percent of all traffic will be from video content by 2021. What’s more, Google love videos too: embedding videos into your website increases views and improve your ranking:
There are literally thousands of different ways to use video content in your social media accounts and market to prospects with snappy, unique content. We’ll cover the types of video content you may want to incorporate into your marketing strategy in a few following sections.
Think about a GIF format
Well-known GIF files are a great way to give content a distinctive aesthetic. What’s more, content in the GIF format may add value to your business because they are easily shareable, display the fun side of your company and add more context and emotions in a short message.
The best part is that you don’t need any specific skills to craft GIFs on your own. to create your own GIFs. With online resources like Giphy, ezgif, makeagif and Gifmaker.me you can easily make a GIF by uploading your images.
Mix up your content and tailor it to each platform
Nobody wants to see social media posts that are all devoted to your company and products. Posting too many promotional items, you will lose half of your followers and show that you care more about your company than about communicating with people. To avoid that, mix it up with different topics like company culture posts, community and industry news, valuable blog posts, etc. If you take a look at Innocent’s social accounts, you’ll find no salesy posts:
Having a comprehensive content strategy, tailor your posts to each platform to take advantage of their features (a live video on Instagram or Facebook, a curated collection on Pinterest, etc.). The good place to start is to analyze the data from Instagram Insights and Facebook Audience Insights, which offer details on audience location, age, gender, etc. That’ll help you shape buyer personas and adjust your messaging.
Harness the power of user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) has gained significant traction. Companies look for ways to increase social media engagement and UGC perfectly addresses this challenge, raising engagement up to 28 percent. Why? The answer lies in the very heart of UGC — it’s any form of content such as photo and video, created by consumers on social media and publicly available to other prospects.
What’s more, UGC communicates with prospects more effectively than traditional branded commercials because people tend to trust online recommendations more than traditional advertising messages. And not to mention that user-generated content is a low-cost alternative to creating social media posts on your own. Here you can find Instagram user-generated posts devoted to Innocent:
Create your own BGC
Now, what is a BGC? BGC is short for brand-generated content. How does it differ from usual professional content, created by companies for their marketing needs? BGC is created by a brand as well, but with the intent to capture the ‘I could have taken that photo’ feeling. When a customer feels that, that builds an emotional connection with that company:
But since you can never predict if your clients generate UGC on their social media channels, you should generate BGC that looks similar to UGC.
Listen for mentions of your brand
Social networks have changed the face of customer service. Nowadays people prefer to post positive and negative reviews on social media with an intention to gain an immediate reaction from the company they refer to.
Monitoring social media channels with tools like Mention and capturing mentions of your brand, competitors, products and relevant keywords will help you build trust around your brand, serve your customers and gain valuable business insights.
Share the experiences of customers on social media which helps to gain trust from social media audiences. This brand action creates a positive impact on the social media audience by depicting that you take care of the customers on a real-time basis and that you are very proactive thereby crushing competition.
With the help of social listening, Innocent handles negativity with grace. Creating sincere messages to harsh comments can be difficult, but this company brilliantly faces the challenge:
One more thing Innocent remains steadfast in is his approach to being personal with followers on social media.
Innocent’s SMM managers actively reply to people and respond to someone’s questions in real-time. And that’s a smart plan: people want a more personal touch from brands. That’s how Innocent forms a loyal following and nurtures relationships that can turn into sales over time.
The truth is that nobody wants to see an endless feed of pitches on their Instagram or Facebook accounts. Numbers confirm that 60 percent of people find salesy and pushy social media posts annoying.
The era of intrusive marketing has ended. Social networks’ users want to consume engaging and interesting things that they connect with. They want to establish emotional connections and friendly relationships with brands.
Let’s take a look at Innocent’s social accounts one more time. There you can find the secret sauce to getting the audience to trust them — Innocent’s SMM managers don’t post promotions! Alternatively, they craft entertaining content that their followers do want to consume.
Test paid ads
Nowadays you need to pay for greater reach on social networks, especially when running a business account. Considering that, social media advertising should be a part of your winning marketing strategy.
Facebook and Google give you access to a large audience of people who can become your social media followers or even customers. With the help of the Facebook Ads Manager, you can promote your company and services on Facebook itself and Instagram. Having a Google Ads account, you can create advertising messages for YouTube. Nowadays, advertising is heavily emphasized by automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. As a result, you can allow Facebook and Google to choose the best advertising configuration instead of you.
As a result, now ad campaigns require less monitoring and let you concentrate on the main message of your commercials. For your inspiration, here is the link to Innocent’s YouTube playlist that features their ads archive.
Showcase your values
Strong brands are not just about revenue, physical products, and sales pitches. First and foremost, strong brands tell a story by communicating their values and beliefs.
Innocent mastered this lesson perfectly. Besides paying attention to environmental problems, they have one more area of responsibility: their social conscious campaign called ‘The Innocent Big Knit’ raises money for Age UK, the UK’s largest charity for older people.
Be positive, sincere and have fun
Besides all the above-mentioned social media tricks which Innocent uses, there is one main ‘weapon’ — their social media accounts are full of humor, fun, love and the belief in the importance of their work. Although Innocent’s principles are quite obvious, they have never attacked or criticized others.
This doesn’t mean every post needs to be happy. Chances are, one day you will need to comment on earth-shuttering or take a stand on something important to your company.
Nevertheless, to build a truly engaged fan base around your brand on social media, the ultimate goal of your posts is to excite and inspire the followers.
A thorough social media strategy is a crucial part of your overall marketing plan. In this article, we’ve put together the best practices shown by Innocent, the brand that crushes competitors on social media. Evidence of this is a great number of followers, likes, comments, and shares of their posts.
To sum up, Innocent’s social media activities mainly consist of great content and engaging communication with followers. That will fit every business. Considering that, don’t hesitate to inject these tested-and-tried tactics into your own social media strategy.
The only thing to remember is that you should consistently measure the performance of your social media activities and adjust accordingly. After that, let us know how useful Innocent’s strategies have been for you. If you’ve already tested out some of them, share your insights in the comments below.