7 Tips to Develop an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing is arguably much more important today than TV ads or billboards. It has become a powerhouse for businesses looking to reach their target market. But it’s not as simple as just posting pictures of your products and hoping it drives traffic to your page. There are some specific tricks and techniques that can make your brand stand out on these digital platforms. Today, we’ll be taking you through 7 tips to craft a killer social media marketing strategy.

Social media is all about what catches the eye. Your posts should be so visually appealing that they stop people from mindlessly swiping and instantly grab their attention.

First and foremost, understand the rules of visual hierarchy. Use size, color, and positioning to guide viewers’ eyes to the focal point of your content. That ensures that the most crucial elements take center stage, preventing your visuals from becoming overwhelming.

Speaking of overwhelming, avoid the pitfall of clutter. Less is more when it comes to creating visuals that engage and resonate with your audience. It helps emphasize your content and makes it easier to digest.

Most importantly, use high-quality images. Whether creating YouTube thumbnails or Instagram carousel posts, using sharp, vibrant photos is absolutely necessary. And you don’t need a fancy DSLR camera or have to have taken a photography course to achieve this. There are a ton of stock photos available online. No matter your niche, you’ll find plenty of options, from breathtaking landscapes for your travel agency to adorable dog pictures for your pet clinic. These stock photos are ready-made to make your content pop, so don’t hesitate to explore and incorporate them into your social media strategy.

  • Be Consistent

Consistency is critical to maintaining a solid online presence. Find what works with your audience and stick to it. Try incorporating your brand colors into your posts to create a cohesive and instantly recognizable look. Maintain a singular visual identity across all platforms. This isn’t a new strategy, mind you; it’s a tried and tested means of communicating your brand’s message and identity at first glance. 

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Think of companies like Nike and Adidas. They’re both distinct in terms of how they market themselves, but they still have their own consistent styles and identities. That’s the kind of consistency you need to be aiming for in your marketing strategies. Whether you’d like to be humorous or straightforward, as long as you’re consistent, you’re more likely to attract and retain an audience that knows what to expect from your business.

  • Special Dates Call For Something Special

Special dates on the calendar aren’t just an excuse for cake and confetti; they’re also a golden opportunity to unleash your creativity and gain new followers on social media. Dish out some 4th of July discounts. Craft spooky Halloween ads for October. Or join the prank party on April Fool’s Day with faux product ads. Heinz made one for Chocolate Mayonnaise, and Burger King did one for Whopper Toothpaste, and the fans loved them.

A more recent example of capitalizing on a notable date comes from Toblerone. On Valentine’s Day 2023, they dropped a limited-edition “Love Insurance” Toblerone bar. The twist? If love goes sour and a couple’s relationship ends, they can register the purchase with @TobleroneUK on Instagram and receive a voucher for a free Toblerone bar. The clever campaign boosted their social media engagement and sent their sales skyrocketing as fans rushed to grab their sweet insurance policy.

So, if you’re looking to get a quick boost to your customer base, try and make the most out of a special date and have a promotional event accompanied by creative, relevant marketing.

  • Tell Stories

Psychology has confirmed that humans are hardwired to connect to stories. It’s not just a preference; it’s in our very nature. A good story makes you feel something. It transcends cultures and languages, speaking to our shared human experience. It encourages interaction, sparking conversations and forming communities around shared narratives.

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Take a look at the “Dear Apple” campaign by Apple. It tells real stories of real people – a man saved after falling into a frozen river while ice skating, a high school senior’s escape from a bear, and a family’s miraculous rescue from a plane crash miles away from civilization – all thanks to their Apple Watch.  Even if you’re not a die-hard Apple enthusiast, these stories resonate. They tap into the universal themes of empathy and gratitude. They make you feel something, and in doing so, they create a bridge between you and the brand. 

That’s what all businesses should strive to do with their marketing: tell stories that showcase what makes their brand special. Whether it’s about the business’ roots or what the business has been and is doing, relating a story to an audience will definitely capture their attention.

  • Two-Way Communication

In social media marketing, posting content is just one-half of the equation. The other equally vital half is engaging with your audience. Take the time to reply to comments, answer questions, and actively participate in industry-related conversations. Put up polls and Q&A stickers on your Instagram Stories, and host live AMAs on Facebook. 

A shining example of this two-way engagement is Starbucks. They don’t just use social media to broadcast their message; they actively listen and engage. They repost random tweets about their brand on Twitter, respond to top comments on their Instagram posts, and cater to customer feedback on their social media channels. By embracing this interactive approach, Starbucks has fostered a culture of community and loyalty among its followers. 

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There’s no doubt that any company that adopts a similar policy would likewise establish a strong community of followers. And with that comes increased customer retention, as well as potential new customers being reached through word-of-mouth.

  • Let the People Do the Marketing For You

User-generated content, or UGC, can add a genuine, authentic touch to your brand’s identity if incorporated into official content. The best thing about it is that you won’t incur any additional costs for marketing if you opt to use it.

A stellar example of UGC in action comes from PlayStation. They run a weekly theme on their Instagram, which can be anything from noir to heartwarming. Their followers enthusiastically share screenshots from their games that fit the theme. The best screenshots are then featured on PlayStation’s Instagram account. That not only generates engaging content but also celebrates the creativity of their gaming community.

Clearly, tapping into your follower base can help amass a treasure trove of creative content and solidify brand loyalty. It can send a really powerful message to prospective customers – your brand isn’t just a bunch of products or services; it’s a big part of people’s lives. 

  • Get Verified

If you’re managing a brand’s social media account, that coveted checkmark next to your handle is more than just a status symbol; it lets people know you’re legitimate.

Being verified can also boost your account’s visibility. Verified profiles often appear toward the top of search results and in the suggested accounts stack, increasing the likelihood of attracting new followers and potential customers.

Social media algorithms favor content posted by verified accounts. This means your posts may receive a visibility and engagement boost, potentially reaching a wider audience and garnering more likes, comments, and shares.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have even introduced paid verification badges, making verification more accessible and streamlined. Now, smaller brands and influencers can also pursue verification and enjoy its benefits.