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How to cook up a best-selling social media strategy

Are your social media marketing strategies producing poor results? Maybe you’re “cooking” and “serving” your content wrong.


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Have you always loved visiting restaurants for the best food finds? Are you on the lookout for culinary bestsellers? For foodies, the perfect fusion of the right ingredients in a dish is what appeals to their taste buds and drives them to dine out. Imagine your social media channels as dishes. Are they appealing enough to the tastes of your audience?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building your online presence, read on to discover the essential ingredients needed for a best-selling social media strategy.

Content

The content is the key ingredient in your social media marketing recipe. T&S Web Design describes it best as Promotional, Informational and Entertaining (P.I.E.).

Promotional content should include content about your website, company events, products and services, awards, customer reviews and feedback, as well as newsletter subscription invitations.

Informational content should focus on your target audience and be useful and valuable to them. This content may come in the form of blog articles, videos, ebooks, infographics, studies, trivia and news.

Entertaining content is needed to balance and spice things up. Make it memorable with quotes by prominent personalities, jokes, holidays, memes, etc.

The right mixture of this P.I.E. varies depending on your brand, according to T&S Web Design. You might be information-heavy or entertainment-heavy depending on your audience; it’s important to remember to avoid too much “P” in your content. Do not try to sell in every post.

Besides being P.I.E., your content has to be well-written and self-promoting. Well-written content naturally encourages visibility, shares and engagement. It is also useful. “Useful” content = engaging, valuable, passionate and giving.

  • Engaging: Engaging content is written and designed to retain the reader’s attention. People enjoy informative posts that are presented in an entertaining and quirky way.
  • Valuable: Content becomes valuable if it provides information, instruction and knowledge, answers your readers’ questions and offers real solutions to their problems.
  • Passionate: When your readers sense passion oozing from your content, they’ll be excited to read it.
  • Giving: When you focus on giving useful information to your audience, the number of readers and followers will automatically follow.

Timing

Timing is important in anything. You can’t serve snacks during lunch time -- people won’t be satisfied. The same goes with your social media marketing strategy. You have to strategically schedule when to post your content to make sure your readers notice and engage with it.

Serve your visitors and followers during the specific hours they are most present on social media sites to encourage engagement, gain more shares and drive more traffic. Check out this timing guide on the best times to post on social media to cater to the largest audiences.

Visuals

Like sauces and garnishes to dishes, visuals add zing and appeal to your content. Our brains process visuals faster than spoken or written text. Adding visuals to your social media marketing strategy can result in a stronger impact in your social media circle.

Videos, interactive polls, infographics, images, comics, memes and visual guides are only a few of the different types of visuals you can include in your social media posts. However, bear in mind this is not a one-size-fits-all process. Remember to customize your images and videos by size and shape for each platform you use to make the strongest impression.

Squeeze your creative juices and channel your inner designer to create appealing visuals that inspire likes and shares. Add catchy captions that are informative, relatable and entertainin. Visit Ben & Jerry’s social media pages for great inspiration and ideas. Also, see other great examples from Whole Food’s Facebook page, Coca-Cola’s Tumblr page, Starbucks’ Instagram page and Home Depot’s Vine profile.

Hashtags

The hashtag, or #, is an add-on that can help your content reach a wider audience. The hashtag can connect you to a wide range of social media users and makes finding relevant content from other people and brands a breeze.

Think of hashtags as keyword generators that help you discover people and businesses of the same interest, and thus, increase your connections. You can also use hashtags to participate in trends and news as long as you’re adding substance to the conversation. Zero in on strong hashtag keywords to make a good and lasting impressions on a much bigger social media audience.

To ensure you are using just the right amount of hashtags, here are a few good guidelines to follow:

  • Create relevant and unbranded hashtags. Come up with a movement that followers and non-followers alike can participate in. Just take a look at Herschel Supply’s #welltravelled hashtag. It's used by Herschel followers and employees to share travel photos that feature their products. When non-followers caught on and participated in #welltravelled, Herschel gained more Instagram followers.
  • Keep hashtags short, simple, and specific. They are meant to make information easier to find, so keep them short, uncomplicated and specifically geared toward your audience.
  • Don’t go overboard. Using too many hashtags in every post often attracts the wrong kind of followers -- spammers and those who only want to be followed back. Don’t hashtag everything. Use hashtags on an as-needed basis.

Rewards

Review your social media pages, and take note of the loyal customers and followers who regularly engage with your brand by leaving comments, participating in discussions and writing reviews or feedback. Reward them with gift cards, freebies and treats to make them feel valued and appreciated.

As you reward your loyal followers, more people will be encouraged to support and appreciate your brand. This, in turn, will also help drive new followers and customers to your social media accounts and e-commerce sites while improving your brand’s value and overall appeal.

Now that you know the basic recipe and ingredients to a best-selling social media strategy, get out there, fiddle around, make substitutions and alter your measurements to create an irresistible social media content recipe. When served up right, your social media content can be so appealing that your audience craves more of it!

Japs Buidon is a Social Media Specialist and SEO from Always Open Commerce, an Orlando e-commerce development company.