Every brand seems to be obsessed with social media ROI nowadays, but achieving fast-track growth on social networks is often a Herculean task for many business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs.
“Post good content on social media and they will come” is a myth. In reality, you need to engineer your social media success by employing smart strategies rooted in research, data, creativity and testing.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
Moreover, the philosophy of growth on social media involves designing a process that is scalable and repeatable so that you can be on multiple social networks at once, building and engaging disperse communities at scale and compounding performance.
This round-up of pro social media hacks comes from fourteen hard-hitting social media pros. Use these 15 helpful and actionable social optimization tricks to boost your engagement, productivity, revenue, and following.
I use Crystal to make better introductions
CrystalKnows.com is a web tool and GMail plug-in that analyzes public information (LinkedIn, media quotes, blogs, etc.) written by or about an individual and help you better communicate with them by using algorithms to determine personality, communication style and more.
The tool gives you insights like “it comes naturally to this person to trust quickly,” and the GMail plug-in analyzes your emails to give you personalized and actionable tips like “be more brief” or “use emoticons.” With Crystal, you’ll be making better introductions, deeper connections, faster meetings and more.
Melanie Deziel (@mdeziel), Creative Strategist at Time Inc.
I use IFTTT to automate content sharing
One of my favorite IFTTT recipes is to save articles on Feedly and have them sent to my Buffer account. I find a bunch of things I want to share, save them all, and head over to Buffer to clean up the tweets. The automation saves a lot of cut-and-paste time and lets me focus on reading the articles I may want to share.
I also use IFTTT to share my Instagram photos to Twitter as native Twitter photos so they show up in-stream. I have a few other IFTTT recipes that are time-savers, but I can’t give away all my secrets, now, can I?
I use Grammarly to check my writing
If you’re working in the social media industry you know that any social media or digital marketing role comes with a big creative writing component. If you weren’t a writing major making sure you have perfect spelling and grammar while answering fans on the fly can be a tad time-consuming. Enter Grammarly.
This browser plug-in is free, easy to install and checks your writing across the Web. It’s taken my post proofreading to a new level and enabled me to speed up and improve my responses to fans. Now if only I could plug it into my Outlook account!
Gabrielle Archambault, Senior Manager Social Media & Community, eos Products
I use Boomerang to schedule follow-up messages
If you’re trying to connect with someone prominent, they’re often extremely busy. Under those circumstances, “I’m swamped right now, but try me again in three weeks” is the best possible response you can hope for, because they’re not shutting the door and are inviting you to contact them again to set up a meeting.
This technique, which I’ve also sometimes used when receiving meeting requests, is a good vetting device; most people will forget to follow up and you’ll be off the hook. But when someone tells me this, I’ll immediately write a follow-up message on Boomerang (a Gmail plugin) and schedule it to send three weeks later.
That way, I don’t have to specifically remember to circle back, but I will have done so and kept the conversation alive.
Use reply’ button to create threads on Twitter for engagement growth and hacking the character limit.
I use Tweetfull to get high quality traffic from Twitter
Tweets only last 24 minutes and you need 24 hours of content flowing from your Twitter account. Tweetfull lets you select keywords and hashtags and it will retweet popular content based on sentiment analysis. This helps to keep your Twitter account engaged and always flowing with content. Don’t abuse it, keep it lite on your usage and you will see lots of engagement and account growth.
I use Instagram tags to build targeted stories
My favorite social media hack is to create stories through tagging on Instagram. We all know that the only live link available to Instagram users is the one in your profile. However, with clever design and planning, you can create visual assets on multiple branded profiles that allow a user to pick and choose the path of engagement with your company.
It does take time to build every path seamlessly, but it can be a great and memorable way to connect with people.
I use Flutter-App to get more followers and traffic
One of the best ways to get more Twitter followers is to follow more people on Twitter. Flutter makes it easy to follow relevant people who are likely to follow you back. Following people is also a great way to get traffic, because when you follow someone, they get a notification, and can see your profile where you have a link to your website. To make it even easier to get more Twitter followers, and traffic from Twitter, I have my virtual assistant use Flutter for me.
Build custom, user-profiled Facebook ads
Stop! Don’t boost that Facebook post. If you want the most bang for your buck, use Facebook’s ad platform to build your ad instead of just clicking “boost” on your Page. You’ll get more targeting options, A/B testing for graphical elements, and powerful reporting to help you drive down cost and drive up engagement! If you’ve got high-performing content that you’ve posted, use it as a base for your new ad, then add thoughtful targeting.
“Lookalike” audiences allow Facebook to do the heavy lifting, and are often a good place to start if you don’t have specific demographic research to rely on.
I use Twitter to make quick, meaningful connections
When things get really busy and I don’t have a ton of time to craft a specific email introduction, I often just link the two people using their twitter handle and suggesting they connect. I also do this when someone mentions a need they have. I mention both people in the tweet and suggest they chat about the problem. It leads to notoriety for both people and chance for them to meet.
I use third party apps to optimize Pinterest performance
Third party apps, such as Piqora, Curalate, and Buffer, make it incredibly easy to track top-performing posts on Pinterest. You can see which images get the most repins, clicks, and comments, thus informing how you proceed with selecting and positioning content. Also, keeping an eye on your personal — not business — feed is exceptionally educational in terms of learning how non-media people use Pinterest and what they actually want to see.
Julie Bogen (@JaBogen), Associate Social Media Editor at Refinery29
I use ScheduGram to manage Instagram scheduling
This tool is a game changer for the brands who have evergreen content on Instagram that they know they want to go out on a certain day or when there is a post that you want to go out at a certain time, but know you will be busy at that time – now you can schedule it. In your account you can have multiple brands and we all know we are still waiting for Instagram to get on the multiple logins train. Using ScheduGram you don’t have to login, logout, login, logout.
Insider tip: Be sure to make good use of the first comment tool by adding relevant hashtags there and not in your caption.
I use Rapportive for Gmail to scale social connections
Rapportive shows me other places to connect with contacts who email me. In seconds I can see if we’re already connected online. And if we’re not connected, I can follow them on Twitter, or send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn directly from inside the email — all without leaving Gmail.
I use Buffer to scale my use of social media to spend more time interacting
Buffer allows me to quickly and easily pull my content and the content of others from across the web into a queue for sharing later in the day, week or month. This way it is easy for me to spend time on what really matters on social media: engaging with others, building relationships, consuming content, finding new people and businesses to source ideas and content from etc. Anything that saves me time to focus on the worthwhile processes on social media is worth the investment.
Brian Honigman (@BrianHonigman), CEO of Honigman Media
Image credit: Shutterstock
Read next: The hidden power of ‘I don’t know'