5 ways to improve your social media strategy instantly

Every now and then it’s good to take stock of what’s working and what’s not, and try something new. In the ever changing landscape of social media your strategy needs to evolve and flow to keep pace. With that in mind we’ve borrowed some great ideas from Buffer’s latest ebook, which outlines 25 social media strategies to implement, from which we’ve picked and shared (in our own words) our favourite five.

1 Share the same piece of content multiple times

Social media feeds are busy places. So much content is already shared by family and friends, that brands are vying for very limited attention in a crowded place. This, coupled with the fact that many posts only reach a small percentage of your audience (it can be as little as 1%), means it’s important to repost your content multiple times to reach the people who missed it the first time. Buffer says: “Change your message: alternate the headline, grab a pull-quote, share an image, etc. so that you have something new to share (and can learn what resonates most by checking analytics after). And final step: Come up with some sort of sharing schedule.”

2 Use current events to boost your Facebook post’s visibility

By flicking through the BuzzFeed news pages or looking at your industry’s most influential publication will give you a flavour of what people are talking about today. This can give you an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon to create a post relating to that topic. But be warned, only do this if your brand is relevant to the discussion. Malaysian social media entrepreneur Aaron Lee is a big proponent of aligning your content with the trends. Why? As Aaron tells it, "The main reason is that trends are the stories your fans are already talking about!" Here're the three categories Aaron thinks of when sharing timely content. 1. Holidays 2. Special events. 3. Special interest.

3 Use BuzzSumo to see who is sharing your content

Finding and influencing the influencers on social media could be the difference between your post going viral or your post being buried amongst the rest. To find the influencers you can use the clever social media service, BuzzSumo.com. Once there, put your site’s URL into its search function and then click over to “View Sharers” on the search results page. From there, you can refine and sort the sharers by page authority, domain authority, number of followers, the retweet ratio (i.e. the percentage of the user’s tweets that are retweets), the reply ratio (i.e. the percentage of the user’s tweets that are replies), and the average retweets the user gets. BuzzSumo can also be used as a tool for finding and researching content ideas. Type a keyword into BuzzSumo and see what types of content are most popular on that subject.

4 Always include an image in your Tweets

US’ HighFiveMedia’s marketing strategist Noland Hoshino has likened Tweets to sitting looking out of a train. He’s said: “Twitter is like looking out the window of a fast moving train. If you insert a “billboard” (photo or graphic image) tweet, people will notice it.” Buffer said its seen up to ​double the engagement using this strategy.​ And looking at the data behind millions of Buffer updates, it found that tweets with images consistently outperformed tweets without. Buffer has handily built a tool called Pablo that allows you to create a Twitter image to accompany your post that takes 30 seconds or less to make.

5 Get your employees to share your messages on their social channels

Employee advocacy is a growing trend and a simple and easy way to spread your message, especially as it takes time to grow fans and followers. Even if everyone in the team only had a couple of hundred followers as individuals, collectively you could reach into the thousands. Kevan Lee from Buffer explains how it works: “The way advocacy works is that you can tap your team to help you spread your social media updates.​ If you've got a new announcement or blog post to share, you and your team can all share it and ramp up the spread and reach of the content. This can happen organically by building a team that loves sharing and loves your content or strategically by notifying the team when you've got new stuff.”

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