Social media is fun and addictive but when you are a business trying to reach your audience, these networks can be a pain to understand. Just when you think that you have it all figured out, they suddenly come up with new and exciting changes which usually put all your efforts and hard work down the drain.
It is because of these constant changes that growth hacking social media has become very popular. As an (often) free service, business owners and entrepreneurs can easily make use of its wide popularity in order to effectively reach out to its target audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.
But, while it is fun to experiment with different social hacks and figure out what works for your company’s target market, it is always a good idea to make use of concepts that the experts recommend.
Not sure where to start in social media growth hacking? Here are some very useful tips that might just work for your business:
1.) Go for genuine followers
Yes, having a large fan base is highly advantageous in social media but it should not be the end-all be-all in growth hacking. Numbers become useless when none of them engage with you or are the least bit interested in what you have to offer.
Engage with both new and old followers and reply to them personally instead of automating the process. Start a conversation and exchange tweets and comments. Doing so will not only add character and make your company personable, it also makes it more appealing to both old and new customers.
Growing your number of followers often start with following them first. One very important note to remember is to never follow a user just because you want to increase your numbers. Instead, be a genuine follower and connect only when you are really, truly interested in what they have to provide.
2.) Keep it simple and shareable
Online readers can be very lazy people. But, when they do find something that they love online, they will make sure to share it to every possible people in the entire web.
Creating viral content does not stop with putting value to your content. You have to make sure that your target market sees it – and that you make it extremely easy for them to spread the word about it.
Users want to make sure that everything is as easy for them as possible. Does your site require one to sign in or register to be able to share content? Although you probably have content that you only provide to an exclusive group, you would want to make sure that a majority of your posts are easily shareable. Requiring a handful of clicks just to do so is a major turn-off and can be a deterrent in your company’s online growth.
3.) The key is in the visuals
People have become very visual people online and are easily drawn in by large pictures with bold and bright colors.
One popular social hack that top digital marketers use is actually very simple: optimize your images for the particular social media platform. Make use of sharp and bright images with beautiful contrasts. Something as simple as adding text overlay on the picture can also do wonders in increasing reach and engagement, too.
Of course, visuals are not just limited to videos. You can also make use of videos, infographics GIFs and other similar content.
Facebook videos have become quite as popular, if not more, as YouTube videos. Sharing videos in Facebook has also proven to have a better reach and engagement – use the autoplay feature to your advantage and create a stunning video that is hard to miss.
4.) Listicles always win
Because people have become too busy these days, they want to make sure that every information that come their way comes in easily understandable and digestible chunks.
Why have listicles become a trend? People want to be able to get everything that they want and need by simply skimming through an article. Put in compelling headlines, sprinkle in some visuals and add a few sentences to get your point across. These types of content are a huge hit and it seems they won’t be going away anytime soon.
5.) Automate when you can
The addictive nature of social media networks make it hard even for the ones in business to get off of it. Want to make sure that you only spend the time that you have to on a particular social network? Automate!
There are already several automation tools that do not only help digital marketers increase their productivity but also help businesses increase their reach and engagement. Tools like Coschedule, Buffer, Hootsuite, Meet Edgar, Tailwind, Board Booster and the likes help make the life of a social media manager much easier.
6.) Build relationships when you share
Social media shares are among the biggest and most important secret in growth hacking. However, sharing does not just work one way – with fans spreading a company’s content all over the Internet.
Companies who share posts and articles on things that are relevant to their niche are well on their way in establishing a good reputation among their audience. In addition, sharing also helps in building relationships among other companies, brands and influencers.
Another social hack that should not be overlooked is to alert the people whose content you are sharing. It’s a pretty simple task to add to your usual routine that does not require much time. But, how do companies benefit from doing this?
Basically it allows other brands to take notice and possibly share your content or even collaborate with you. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities but the main thing is that it allows you to reach a bigger audience from a niche that is similar or complementary to yours.
7.) Build your blog
Companies should never underestimate the power of a blog and the set of well-written articles that it is made up of. After all, what would your target market share about you (other than your products and services, which can get old and too sales-y after) if you do not have content to feed them?
Blogs provide many benefits to a growing online business.
For one, the content that has been written helps build authority. In a world full of businesses, you would want to make sure that you stand out in the crowd – and your compelling copy is what will lure your audience to you.
In addition, blogs also help in improving how search engines view you and your website. In the simplest terms, you would want to make sure that your web content contains all the right keywords that you want to rank in – or basically, the words that you would want people to be typing in the search bar if they want to get to you.
Search engine bots love scraping keywords in your site. They also love it when sites are constantly updated and the only way to legitimately do that, without being spammy, is by maintaining a blog.
8.) Build your email list
Although social media marketing is widely popular, it is important to remember that email marketing is still very much intact. But, they do not have to be separate from each other. In fact, you can make use of each of their functions to complement the other.
Growth hacking involves doing everything all in the hope of growing your business’s audience or customer base. Making use of the popularity of social media, you can simply install short forms in order to harvest email addresses from genuinely interested people.
How? Facebook allows newsletter apps to be installed as one of the tabs in a page. Of course, you can always go the simpler route and post a status update with a link to your newsletter signup form.
Several online business owners and entrepreneurs also use other innovative ways to grow their businesses and convince people to sign up to their list.
For example, one may create a long-form photo for Pinterest complete with bold and bright colors and a text overlay inviting people to sign up to get a freebie or join a course. Once the image has been uploaded to Pinterest, all the person has to do is link it to a landing page made specifically to capture a reader’s email.
It’s a pretty neat trick and extremely effective, too.
9.) Always go for value
Regardless of what your business is or what social media platform you focus in, one very effective way to ensure that your target audience keep coming back to you is value.
Whether it is in the product or service you provide or in the content that you create, making sure that everything you produce is of high value will never fail to attract people. Your audience will love it when you deliver so much more than what is expected of you.
What happens when you provide a high value content, product or service for free? You can expect people to be lining up for your paid services knowing that you provide so much information and knowledge to them even if you do not get anything in return.
10.) Viral and influencer marketing
Small business owners and entrepreneurs often think that they have to do all the grunt work by themselves. Not necessarily. In fact, you can always seek help from other people to help spread the word for you.
Among the most effective places to tap into are brands, businesses and influencers that complement your product or service. Doing so will not always involve money in a direct manner – you can always chat up to see if you could collaborate for a project, webinar, course or workshop that will be mutually beneficial. Spread the word on social media and it shouldn’t be long before everyone else catches up with the trend and shares it with the rest of the world.
Viral marketing is also another effective way of getting noticed by people. You can simply ride with the trends (such as post something related to your brand and the event, for example).
A lot of big companies often make use of viral marketing but it must be used with caution: this type of marketing draws in a huge audience and one simple mistake such as a typo error can create a negative image to your brand. Such mistakes can be hard to reverse and they can stay in the minds – and even hearts – of your audience for a very long time.
11.) Collaborate and integrate
Businesses and companies that are just starting up should always keep in mind this important growth hacking mindset: collaborate and integrate instead of compete.
With so much going on with technology, standing out can be difficult. But, instead of competing against the bigger companies that can easily drown you out, why not collaborate and make something even better instead?
Direct collaboration with huge social media networks is next to impossible. However, you can always integrate your new product with theirs. Sites and applications that allow registration using their social media accounts make it much easier to encourage customer sign-ups. Instead of pushing them away, why not find a way that to get them to you?
Growth hacking is one serious business. It does require a lot of trial and error procedures, especially when it involves social media, but it is also important to learn to measure and analyze what works and what doesn’t.
Some of the top social hacks that the experts recommend above may not be the best for your brand but you can always try it out and see how your audience reacts.
And one more thing: remember to prepare yourself and your business in case a surge of traffic and conversions come by. You certainly would not want to put all your efforts to a waste because your company could not accommodate the sudden growth.