One of the biggest problems that many brands and individuals have with the whole concept of social media is that they worry about having to invest lots of time, energy and resources whilst  possibly seeing unimpressive return. In fact the great thing about social media is that you can be highly effective and succeed on social media without you or your team spending all day, every day planning and creating posts.

One thing is for certain though, you cannot make social media work if you are going to be lazy. It is not a magic solution that will instantly start bringing game-changing results to your marketing. Like with most things in life, unless you’re very lucky you do need to put in time and effort to be successful with social media, especially when you are starting out, in order to build a loyal fanbase. Simply having a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profile and YouTube channel with the odd post is not going to set the internet alight with excitement and you will see limited benefit to your brand to begin with. With dedication and the right tactics, you will almost certainly see increased interest after several weeks and more than likely, sales from your social media channels soon after.

More and more brands are now on social media, but many are still not using this amazing tool effectively and are wasting a lot of time. The following tactics can be used to save you from wasting this time while succeeding more on social media:

Schedule your Social Media posts

It is often just not realistic for members of your marketing team to spend time posting on social media all day long, with a variety of other tasks such as creating content, attending meetings or answering phone calls/emails competing for their time. When you have a larger marketing team it is easier to allocate social media to one or more people, but even then other tasks may take priority and it is sometimes difficult to juggle all of the different social media profiles your brand may have. This is especially difficult if you have a small team or you’re running your own brand. This is where we would definitely recommend scheduling your posts. What this means is you can add a variety of different posts that you want to see published on your Social platforms during the day, week or even month which will then be automatically published by the online tool you choose to use.

There are a number of different options, but one that we have used that is really great is Buffer which allows you to schedule, post and analyze all your posts in one place. Buffer works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus and has Android or iPhone apps so you can use it on the go. There is a basic free version, or if you pay a monthly subscription you can connect up to 10 social accounts at once. As well as saving you a significant amount of time, Buffer is also great because it allows you to monitor how your posts are doing based on engagement stats which means you can do more of what works and change what isn’t.

For an even better Buffer experience for your brand you can also upgrade to a “Buffer for Business” account which comes with a host of additional features. You can add up to 25 different team members for collaboration together, connect up to 150 social accounts and schedule 2,000 posts per profile!

Easily keep track of where and by who your brand is being Mentioned

One of the most important aspects of a successful social media strategy is to engage with your audience in order to start a conversation about your brand. Ideally this will lead to more interest in your product and increased sales. Whether you are part of it or not though, there is already likely to be a conversation about your brand especially as your company grows. It is important to be part of this conversation in order to capitalise on the positive commentary and to mitigate any negativity, especially if this is false.

Rather than having to spend hours everyday searching online though, you can use tools that can track where your brand is being mentioned. One of these is rather aptly named Mention. This allows you or your marketing team to easily monitor over 1 billion sources daily including social media, forums, blogs, and the rest of the web. This is a brilliant tool as you can see what people are saying about your brand online, even if they haven’t specifically tagged you. Other excellent features of Mention are that you can track your competitors and discover new Influencers to potentially work with.

Work with Influencers to help Boost your Brand Profile

It can be difficult to build a large presence online, especially when your brand is starting out on social media. That is why it is a great idea to work with influencers who already have a significant following on one or more social platforms. These don’t have to be major celebrities, who are often out of the price range of many companies, but can even have a small-medium size actively engaged following. The first step is to identify an influencer who is the right fit for your brand. For example for a hotel or resort company, it would be ideal to work with a travel blogger/vlogger with a strong following on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and/or Snapchat.

Once you have identified an influencer you want to work with you can reach out to them via social media or email and start a conversation about collaborating. In other instances influencers will reach out to your brand and inquire about working with you. Working with an influencer who fits with your brand image and product can be perfect because they very often have a highly engaged fan-base who view their social media posts on a daily basis.

I 💙 Cuba. There's something picturesque in every nook and cranny of #OldHavana. @fitlifecreation #influencerretreat

A post shared by Ashley Renne 💋 | Travel Lushes (@travellushes) on

An influencer can tap into a market that your brand may not yet have traction with, such as a younger audience, who are more likely to use social media. Your brand can therefore significantly widen its reach online without having to invest a great deal of extra time. This won’t always cost a lot extra either, as many influencers will take part payment in free product such as free room nights at a resort. Influencers have an audience and they understand the dynamics of social media and engaging with their fans online; just the push your brand may need!

Make your Posts more Effective and Stop Wasting Time

Being successful on social media requires you to be effective and make an impact which is more important than the amount of time spent each day posting, monitoring or engaging. An analogy for this could be those that work in an effective and focused way but for fewer hours, compared to workers who might be in the office all day but wasting a lot of that time.

Your audience or potential audience will easily be able to see if you are trying to cut corners with your brand social media such as automatically posting your Facebook or Instagram posts to Twitter, or putting little thought into what you are posting such as generic/boring posts that receive little engagement. There is a lot of competition on social media and your brand is competing for people’s attention which is becoming more and more limited. Your potential audience will not be prepared to waste their time engaging with your brand social media if they can see that your brand has not invested energy or effort.

Social Media has proven itself to be a hugely effective marketing tool for the smallest brands through to the biggest companies in the world, with almost every prediction suggesting that this importance is only set to grow. TV, Radio and Print advertising are still important to brands, but this is becoming less and less so as attention switches to mobile devices. If social media isn’t working for your brand, it is not the fault of social media but your content. You must grab people’s attention by creating content that is inspiring, useful or entertaining.

Ask questions and start conversations: People love to give their opinions especially if they know someone is listening. By asking questions in your posts, such as “What was your favourite experience while on holiday in ….?” you can get people interested and talking, and also gain some valuable marketing information about the people that follow your social channels.

Answer and Engage: Once people are talking about your brand, making comments, tagging your brand in photos or posts and sharing your content, this is a great way to then involve them in conversation. It shows your brand is listening and worth engaging with on social media. If you ignore these various interactions, then it will make your marketing team look lazy and will cause the public to be less likely to interact with your brand in the future which is a huge wasted opportunity.

Use hashtags effectively: While on some platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn, hashtags make little or no difference, on others such as Twitter and Instagram they can significantly increase engagement. If you miss out hashtags on these then you are undermining the potential of your Tweet or photo to be seen. On Twitter is has been shown that the optimum number of hashtags to use is two per Tweet, while on Instagram you can add up to 30 hashtags!

Add photos and videos to make your posts more interesting: Photos and especially videos are becoming increasingly important in the world of social media. This is the case on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and every other social media platform. Without images and videos your posts will generally not grab attention or stand out and will receive much less engagement. On Twitter for example it has been shown that Tweets with a photo or video gain far higher retweet levels, thus leading to greater exposure for your brand.

There are many other simple things you can do to make your social media posts stand out and gain more exposure for your brand. It just takes some research which is time well spent, as opposed to time wasted posting boring content that won’t lead to any great improvements for your brand and could actually hurt its image.

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