An introduction to social media marketing management and automation.
After all, we’re all trying to hack our way into growing traffic, Everest-high engagement, and preferably, money-making social media marketing!
What is social media growth hacking?
One thing is certain: social media users are not only using the plethora of channels for communication, they also explore this realm in the search for relevant information. Brands of all sizes and of every imaginable industry, recognize the potential of social media marketing.
Once a rarity, now became the norm – people use social media for communication and to make purchase decisions. As the matter of fact, the largest percentage (over 70%) of buying decisions are influenced by social media posts every day!
Companies need to be where their potential customers are.
But, it is not enough to merely exist on social media. Without proper growth hacking strategies set in place, a common scenario happens. Your social media channels might experience sudden audience increase. Then, as suddenly as the rise appeared, the performance might drop (or steadily stagnate).
Growth hacking prevents this rollercoaster-like situations from happening.
The simplest way to explain this term is – you can growth hack your social media marketing by:
- Devising the strategy, which will enable you to…
- … get the most out of each campaign, and…
- … by laser-focusing on your ideal customer persona…
- … to fail-proof the growth and keep attracting new leads (hopefully, customers) in months/years to come.
Growth hacking, as you’ll see, brings clarity, order, and the possibly unstoppable improvement. These methods bring out the best outcome, fully utilizing the profitable potential of social media.
Who can benefit the most from growth hacking on social channels?
Here are some of the professionals that could benefit vastly from growth hacking strategies for social media:
- Heavy social media users;
- (Online) business owners;
- Marketing/advertising agencies;
- PR agencies;
- Influencers, etc.
Therefore, literally anyone who uses social media platforms for business:
- to generate more leads,
- make sales,
- create partnerships,
- raise the awareness on various topics, or perhaps,
- grow a brand’s presence online.
The basics of social media growth hacking
Before you dive deep into the world of growth-boosting hacks and techniques, there’s one factor that needs to be set in stone.
The implementation of growth hacking methods works the best when it is based on quality content. No matter the social media channel you’ll be using, make sure to educate your audience through content that inspires, engages, and always adds value.
Once the foundation is created, these processes will become easier:
- Increasing the visibility of your business pages and profiles;
- Building the trust between a brand (you) and your possible customers.
Know that a business cannot strive on social media if it is not visible, meaning – easy to find. And the best way to become memorable is by helping people through highest-quality content. Think of guides, manuals, reviews, lessons, case studies, any form of either visual or textual content that can solve a problem your potential customers have. Begin (and continue) within that, serving mindset.
There are too many growth hacking methods appearing on social media these days. Chances are you got tired of all those shiny new techniques and wins-in-every-situation tips.
By shaping your growth hacks on the excellent content, you’ll be a couple of steps ahead of your confused competition. Remember, social media users show no mercy for useless content. And the beginning of the exciting, business-growing story begins with happy users.
How much innovation is too much?
Each and every brand on social media follows the trends and tries to keep up with them. Rules of engagement, visibility, and profitability on social channels change all the time.
How could you stay in track with changing strategies, while not losing the sight of what truly matters: building a strong, long-term brand reputation online, which will bring new leads and new loyal customers?
We are not the advocates of apply-every-strategy approach. The overwhelm caused by too many tactics on social media is seen often among marketing professionals (and enthusiasts).
But the truth is, algorithms change and one has to stay informed. Therefore, feel free to test and optimize your social media efforts. But keep in mind that this is the winning combination, no matter the industry/target audience is always:
Useful content + Solid strategy
The best way to approach social media is through authentic, consistent posting. What growth hacking brings to the table is stability, meaning – stable growth. So, it surely is possible to grow your social presence to certain extent without these hacks, but putting them into practice brings continuous advancement.
Now, what are those hacks exactly and could you use them right away? Stay tuned.
Best social media growth hacks you can start using today
Almost every day we hear about various struggling social media strategies, based on mere copying of huge brands and their behaviour online. Simply said, most of us do not have the resources, team talents, or years-long experience of trial-and-error management those giant corporations have.
Accordingly, trying to follow the footsteps of those big players simply doesn’t pay off.
What pays off in social media marketing?
What does move the needle in social media growth is applying smart strategies, and doing so consistently. Exercise the freedom to experiment once in awhile, but when you discover what works for your unique business and social media presence, stick to it.
Now, there are certain techniques that many small businesses, solopreneurs, agencies, and marketers tried out and highlighted as successful. Why wouldn’t you skip the (often painful) exploration phase, and give these a try yourself?
Hand-picked growth hacks for any social media platform
Whatever the growth tactic of choice might be, keep your eyes on your business’s uniqueness. Even if tested a thousand times, a hack might not make sense for your brand. The growth hack must fit into your content, capabilities, and business goals.
Can you use more than one of following hacks in your social media marketing? Definitely, each of these tips can be combined into a seriously impactful strategy (while they stay perfectly aligned with your business).
We’re glad that’s sorted out, now let’s move on to beautiful social media growth hacks you can start using – today!
“The Influencer” hack
Especially if you’re a newbie in the vast (and insanely competitive) universe of social media, you’ll struggle to acquire new followers. We’re all aware that merely having a large base of followers doesn’t mean a dime on social. How can you grow a business if your audience is enormous, but not relevant to your industry in any way, nor interested in your offers?
Shed no tear, because there’s a way to both grow your fan base, while focusing on perfect customer persona only.
As a beginner, embrace the power of social media influencers. The essence of this growth hack is to draw the attention of these highly visible individuals with large audiences on your promising business.
But Amplifr, there are literally millions brands online trying to get influencers’ attention, how can I pull that off?
We hear you. And yes, a healthy dose of creativity is needed for these and similar hacks. Begin with the following steps and modify accordingly:
- Remember, influencers are human beings (though often mystified by fans) and they respond the best to honest, direct, win-win communication;
- When posting, focus on content that is both relevant to your audience and influencer’s audience too – make sure to find the connection and curate the best content that will attract their attention;
- A smaller part of content (but equally important) you’ll be posting needs to be your own, original and extremely valuable content.
The idea behind this hack is to make influencers (related to your business, always related to your business) take notice. With a fine balance between curated and original, high-value content, the goal is to inspire these game-changers to share your posts. By doing so, they’ll expose your brand to large audiences interested in the same niche.
Probably one of the most straightforward social media growth hacks, yet so underestimated among marketing pros.
The entire philosophy behind CTAs (calls to action) is – if you want people to take action, tell them what to do.
Sounds too simple? Oh, you’d be surprised how often business masterminds tend to forget about this while running their social media strategies!
We’re sure you also saw those wonderfully looking and nicely optimized social media profiles, filled with compelling visuals and overall quality content. Yet, the engagement on those channels ends with likes or just views. No clicks, sign-ups, sales, conversions of any kind. Why does this happen? Well, there’s no real ROI because users have no idea what they should do next!
Do not miss out on the endless possibilities social media holds, for dramatic, long-term business growth. Tell your audience what they can/should do.
- Openly ask your followers to spread the word, share or retweet the content;
- Inspire comments by asking questions or expressing your own (brand’s) opinion on the topic;
- Clearly point out what people are getting out of certain action (the benefit, value, advantage);
- Make your CTAa visually appealing and instantly noticeable;
- Consider adding a sense of urgency (limited time offer, and similar).
By all means, this hack doesn’t include any form of aggressiveness. Continue posting high-quality, useful, helpful, truly valuable content at all times. But don’t be afraid to openly communicate about what the next step of your fan should be.
Captivating images are the core of every lucrative social media game plan.
Without extraordinary images (and visual content in general), striving and growing in the social jungle is difficult, almost impossible.
Consequently, posting of eye-catching images deserves a special place in the category of best growth hacking methods. But, how to execute this hack properly?
Carefully select as many high-quality, attractive and/or provocative images.
— Make sure you’ve covered various types of visual content:
- Behind-the-scenes images;
- Charts, etc.
— Pair these visual content pieces with popular, yet always relevant captions, hashtags and mentions (take a look at our extensive guides on best social media practices); — Plan out your content schedule so the majority of posts is based on visuals; — Make sure that every image is in proper, platform-friendly format and size; — Enrich your textual content with eye-pleasing visuals; — Merge the industry-relevant stats and useful information into visual content (infographics per se are a highly popular content form); — Consider adding a humorous note with “Caption this” invitation for your followers; — Encourage your company’s audience to share the content and/or interact in any way; — Pick the suitable style and maintain it throughout the posting; — Discreetly, but consistently use your brand’s main elements, such as a logo and website information in the visual content.
Images are your friends in the demanding game of social media marketing. Use the best of them and stick to practices that work the best for your unique business.
“Friends & family” hack
Yes, you read that right.
Another often underestimated social media tactic is similar to “The Influencer” one, but much more simpler (and cheaper) to conduct.
This growth method also consists out of asking. In this case, you’ll ask the people (either already influential on social media or not) to start a conversation on your social post of choice.
Of course, keep the communication friendly, non-aggressive and do not over-use this hack. When done right, though, it will significantly raise the engagement in your growing social media empire. How can you complete this task successfully?
- After you’ve posted an amazing update (always make sure that the content you’re posting is relevant, value-filled, simply – the kind of content you’d gladly share), ask four-five familiar people to take action on it;
- Perhaps a mere like would do in some situations, but sometimes their effort is better directed to commenting or sharing, so be clear when stating what you want;
- (Optional) offer something in return, maybe a similar (but not in a too obvious or intrusive manner) favor for promotional purposes.
Once someone you know starts a comment thread, as an example, anyone who’s been hesitating to react would readily jump in.
Please note that there is a catch in this hack. Many social media beginners tend to use this method while starting out their marketing journey. And while there’s nothing wrong with the approach itself, it may hit you in the (digital) head as a boomerang if any of these situations happen:
- When the hack is used for too long (after the initial phase of social media presence on any channel);
- If too many people you know are pitched to contribute, turning the hack into spamming, which is probably the largest no-no of marketing in general;
- In the case that the asking itself is too aggressive and conducted too often (again, this practice falls into the field of spam and should be avoided).
So, keep the balance, always show your gratitude and do not cling to this hack as your social media channels grow.
Though it is similar to our visual strategy from the point three, this hack deserves an exclusive spot on this list.
If the visual content is the king of the content in general, then video rules the visuals in particular. Meaning, when you’re deciding on what type of content to use, pick a visual form in most cases. And when choosing the best visual, go for videos!
The most common downside of video content is the investment needed for its creation. As a business owner or representative, you’ll usually have to invest the time, money, resources, and a lot of creative thinking into the making of any video.
Needless to say, the required investment commonly pays off when it comes to social media growth! Everyone enjoys a quality video, believe us.
Whether you choose live or pre-recorded versions of videos, try incorporating them into your growth strategy. Keep in mind that the flourishing businesses post from 15 to 18 (and more) videos per month (you’ve probably noticed this as well, take a brief look at your feed). Trends come and go, but social media users still adore video content.
Fill yours with practical tips, interesting data, popular behind-the-scenes presentations or industry-relevant stats, and enjoy the growth boost they’ll bring. Love the video, and it’ll love you back.
The fact hiding behind all main growth hacks
Do you see it? Can you guess what it might be?
There’s an invisible thread connecting each of the previously mentioned social media growth hacks. Whether you choose one of them or all of them, you’ll meet this fact. And it doesn’t only apply to social media, it dances along with every truly successful and ethically clean marketing strategy.
That fact is:
We guess you’re probably tired of aforementioned statement. Everywhere you look: into business guides, marketing tutorials, any educational material imaginable, you’ll encounter the same principle, the exact same logic.
In the case of social media growth hacking, you will still spend significantly less (money) than with other marketing methods. But, the time, patience, consistency, quality, engagement, enthusiasm, creativity, resources, planning – all of these elements need to fit into the grand puzzle and is it all worth it?
Anyone who’ve experienced the full power of social media and how it could grow a business will yell: YES!
Social media marketing and SEO
The two currently hottest marketing terms merged into one headline: social media and SEO. As the cold sweat covers our foreheads, the long line of practical tips and hacks awaits to be presented.
Without further ado, let’s jump straight into the explanation: how social media marketing can influence your SEO efforts, and vice versa.
The basics of social media + SEO relationship
Even the birds on trees know that online marketing, with SEO and social media included, is a mandatory part of every business plan. But, how do these two correlate and where do their paths cross?
In the heart of online marketing strategy, lies content, or precisely, strategic content curation. As we’ve already pointed out before, quality content drives the marketing engines in a right direction. And therefore, well-executed SEO practices rely on it too.
This is where social media might greatly help out!
The fact is, these two realms of marketing dance together harmoniously. They’re intertwined in many ways, but usually SMM (social media marketing) empowers SEO (search engine optimization). How?
A secret lies in combined efforts, which merge social media and SEO, so they can work together with one common goal – growing a business. Despite the fact that social media performance cannot influence site ranking in a direct way, there’s another side of the coin.
You see, when the power of social media is fully utilized, SEO benefits as well!
Is social media engagement connected to SEO?
Surely, when you’re using mentioned growth hacking techniques on your business’ social channels, they’ll evolve in many ways. First, the engagement increases, then traffic follows the trend, and lastly, conversions emerge out of a loyal, growing audience.
Throughout this marketing journey, people will be directed to your website (hi, SEO). Whether you’re leading social media users to your article, sales or landing page, or any other content/offer on your website, that traffic travels from one point to another.
Meaning, sharing relevant content on various social media platforms encourages engagement, but the story doesn’t end there. Social media posting (when done properly) grows your site’s traffic! Do you see the beauty of social + SEO dance now?
Let’s see what happens next, when new potential customers are lead from social media channels to your company’s site:
- Visibility of your website increases;
- SEO metrics improve, most probably influencing how Google sees your site.
What about social links and search rank?
That sounds like a dream come true. Just imagine: a post goes viral on social media and Google acknowledges each link as a backlink, thus improving the ranking.
But how does this work in reality? Most marketers agree on the fact that social media popularity influences site’s credibility in a certain way. The logic that popular content is strong content, which positions its “owner” in a better way does make sense.
Once the content (which originates from a website, not an stand-alone image posted on social, as an example) is intensely shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (in particular), LinkedIn or any other major social media platform, search engines start seeing it differently. Social media engagement and sharing in particular, can boost website’s credibility and ergo, perhaps improve the ranking.
Wait, could a strong social media profile itself influence search engines in any way? Or the ranking positioning depends on social links mainly?
Social media profile and search engines
Raise your hands in the air if you ever Googled yourself! Good, so we’re not alone.
Chances are huge that among the first couple of results, your social media profiles appeared. The same principle stands for business profiles as well. While marketers argue on the topic of social shares and search positioning, profiles undoubtedly impact Google (and other engines) results.
You don’t believe us? Conduct a small experiment. Pick any company (including your own) and observe how results from social media pages appear in the initial part of the search results.
This, among many other reasons, proves how important it is to maintain an unique and overall impressive presence on social media. Take time to optimize your business profiles and pages, because the majority of potential customers/users will see them. If your social profile doesn’t appear in the search results, most people will manually search for it to feed the natural curiosity.
A social profile that carries the special (search) weight
When it comes to search results, SEO and general authority online, one social media platform is particularly important for businesses.
This giant is often neglected by marketing pros, entrepreneurs, business owners, agencies, and social users across the world wide web. It goes hand in hand with beloved Google, as one of its crucial parts and therefore, shouldn’t be missed in a social media + SEO strategy.
Obviously, we’re talking about Google+.
Make sure that your brand’s information is up to date and your content compelling on this platform. Despite the fact that flourishing Google+ engagement doesn’t guarantee the flood of sales, it can definitely boost your visibility. Do not miss out on such a chance.
Hacking the growth of social media + SEO
Besides the obvious benefit of having an admirable Google+ business profile, are there any other steps you could undertake to hack the growth of both your social media and SEO efforts?
We have some great news: yes, of course you can!
Mastering the frequency of posting
Firstly, the mindset of consistency has proven to be highly useful for both SEO and social media marketing strategies. As frequent posting on social channels increases the engagement, so does the consistent activity in the means of SEO.
As you’ve learned from previous lines, social media popularity can affect your SEO in many ways. And certainly, audience growth is closely connected to regular posting of quality content on social media channel of choice.
Everything is interconnected (thankfully).
Especially if you’re a blogger, consistent posting of fresh, relevant content on your websites sounds like the sweetest tune to Google and other search engines. So, stay active, while keeping the quality and value-factor of your content ridiculously high. In time, you’ll see how business pages on social media and SEO work hand in hand to grow your brand’s online presence.
Ensuring a solid social proof
It’s honesty time (again). How often do you share an article on social media, but without actually reading through it?
You’re not alone. As the matter of fact, the majority of social media users engage with content after only reading the headline or a couple of initial sentences.
While this fact might sound a bit sad to some, it is definitely a part of our online reality. On social media, the number of likes and shares is a relevancy-determining factor. Meanwhile, in search results, the highest-ranking results are perceived as most useful.
Luckily, you could use this situation to your business advantage. By growing the brand’s presence on social media, you’ll actually build a social proof. And this proof is created by people who support your business.
When solid, long-term relationships emerge out of mutually beneficial exchange on social media, your brand strengthens in various ways. Primarily, as an authority in a relevant industry, to which people turn to first. And how could you build such a relationship, if you’re not showing up? Furthermore, can you achieve it without the highest-quality content?
Yes, these two are the building blocks of ultimate growth, both with social media and SEO. Post value-packed content continuously. Then, engage with people if engagement is what you seek for. Magical things happen when these elements merge together in any marketing strategy.
The ever-changing search factors
A brief look over the shoulder into the history of Internet and it becomes clear: things change, and they change dramatically.
We witness the constant shifts in social media algorithms all the time. Every once in awhile, one of the major social media platforms announces how their rules changed. Updates of Google’s algorithm (usually named as animals) also follow the dynamics of user behaviour. In a quest for an ideal online experience and smooth operating, these giants adapt. And we need to adjust our marketing strategies accordingly.
Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Google+ Pages or Profiles to see yourself if posting there regularly will affect your search engine traffic.
But let’s get back to our social media + SEO story. The constant changes in both social and search algorithms might transform this relationship in the future. Here is what we mean by this hypothesis:
- Social signals themselves do not impact Google (search ranking) at this moment (December ‘17), but one day they might;
- Various social media networks are slowly becoming authorities, meaning people use them to evaluate a brand’s credibility alongside search engines;
- Link-building and similar marketing strategies are no longer a rarity and consequently, new ways to determine a true quality of a website are needed;
- In no time, search engines will turn to social media as a source of value-measurement (probably);
- Customer service systems are widely used on social media and as the voice of customers personally becomes more important, the digital eyes will turn to those unique experiences.
So, who knows, Facebook page might hold the same weight as any other site page, when it comes to ranking. Stay tuned!
1. Knowing what growth hacking truly is (especially for social media), empowers any business marketer to master its elements and fully leverage the power this method contains.
2. You can growth hack your social media marketing by:
- Devising the strategy, which will enable you to…
- … get the most out of each campaign, and…
- … by laser-focusing on your ideal customer persona…
- … to fail-proof the growth and keep attracting new leads (hopefully, customers) in months/years to come.
3. No matter the social media channel you’ll be using, make sure to educate your audience through content that inspires, engages, and always adds value.
4. Beautiful social media growth hacks you can start using – today:
— “The Influencer” hack As a beginner, embrace the power of social media influencers. The essence of this growth hack is to draw the attention of these highly visible individuals with large audiences on your promising business.
— “Call-to-action” hack The entire philosophy behind CTAs (calls to action) is – if you want people to take action, tell them what to do.
— “Super-images” hack Images are your friends in the demanding game of social media marketing. Use the best of them and stick to practices that work the best for your unique business.
— “Friends & family” hack This growth method also consists out of asking. In this case, you’ll ask the people (either already influential on social media or not) to start a conversation on your social post of choice.
— “Video” hack Meaning, when you’re deciding on what type of content to use, pick a visual form in most cases. And when choosing the best visual, go for videos!
5. If you want long-term, solid, continuously growing results, they don’t come overnight.
6. Social media + SEO
When new potential customers are lead from social media channels to your company’s site visibility of your website increases and SEO metrics improve, most probably influencing how Google sees your site.
7. Social profiles and SEO
Take time to optimize your business profiles and pages, because the majority of potential customers/users will see them. If your social profile doesn’t appear in the search results, most people will manually search for it to feed the natural curiosity.
8. Despite the fact that flourishing Google+ engagement doesn’t guarantee the flood of sales, it can definitely boost your visibility. Do not miss out on such a chance.
9. Post value-packed content continuously.
Then, engage with people if engagement is what you seek for. Magical things happen when these elements merge together in any marketing strategy.