8 Best Practices to Get the Most ROI From Social Media

You already know that social media is a key part of a modern marketing strategy — but when you’re just starting out, how do you make sure the time and effort you invest in social media yields results? 

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn have the capacity to be powerful sales tools … when used effectively. Here are our top tips to get the most from your social media efforts. 

1. Craft Your Strategy

Setting SMART goals can help you stay on track as you dive into social media marketing. As you begin leveraging social media, think about the results you’re hoping to achieve. 

  • Do you want to raise awareness of your business? 

  • Are you looking to connect more with your customers?

  • Do you need to drive more traffic to your website?

  • Are you promoting a new product line or promotion?

Getting clear about your goals will help you to determine every step of your campaign, from picking the right platforms to crafting your content and message. 

Remember, your social media goals should be linking back to your overall business strategy. Focus on how your efforts can drive traffic to your website, your e-commerce store or blog.

2. Look to Your Competitors

Take a look at how other businesses are using social media. What posts are receiving likes, shares and comments? What appeals to you… and what makes you click away? Make a list of each type to incorporate into your social media strategy so you know what you want to do and not do. 

Especially if you’re just getting started on a new platform and don’t have your own data to analyze, paying attention to your competitor’s positing patterns, content and strategy can give you insights on how to get started. 

3. Be Consistent

Posting on a regular schedule builds engagement, trust and keeps you top of mind for your customers. 

You’re looking for a sweet spot when it comes to how often you post: Enough that you remain visible, not so much that you become a nuisance. Rules of thumb vary by platform, too: Posting or resharing once a day is considered a best practice when it comes to Facebook and LinkedIn, whereas up to 15 tweets a day is considered the optimal range for Twitter. 

It can also vary by type of content. For example, one Instagram post every two to three days is standard practice, but you can also post five or more Instagram Stories every day if you have valuable content to be shared. 

Of course, what works best for your business will depend on your followers — and you should never post content just for the sake of it. The best schedule is one you can maintain consistently while providing high-quality content that your audience engages with regularly.  

As you get more comfortable with managing your social media presence, you can also dig into your business page analytics to find out if there’s a certain time of day or day of the week when posts tend to perform best. This should, in turn, shape your posting strategy. 

4. Create a Content Calendar

A big part of staying consistent is having content ready to go. That’s where a content calendar comes into play. 

A content calendar lets you plan ahead for the content you will share across your platforms over the longer term. This means you can be strategic, not just reactive. 

How do you plan your content in advance?

  • Map content to major events in the year: new product lines launching, sales periods, holidays, etc. 

  • Study your analytics to see what content has been successful for you in the past or go back to your competitor analysis to identify popular post types.

  • Identify your audience and their interests.

  • Mix it up with different types of content (i.e. how-to-videos, infographics, product spotlights, behind the scenes photos or footage, design inspiration, interactive content, blogs or articles, etc.).

5. Engage With Your Followers

When you have your social media channels up and running, remember that your pages are a great showcase for your customer service. This means you should take the opportunity to engage and respond to your followers. 

When people respond to your posts, comment back. When you receive messages asking for information, respond in a timely fashion. Thank people for their compliments, and respond to any complaints fast before they snowball.   

6. Harness Paid Social Media Ads 

There’s power in using organic and user-generated content in your social media. But at some point, you may want to explore paid social media ads. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube and Twitter… all the major social platforms offer online ad options. 

With online ads, you can target your audience with laser precision, reaching specific demographics, testing different messaging for different groups and reaching new customers where they’re already spending their time.

7. Create Great Content

It may sound obvious, but putting the time and effort into your content is key to winning the social media game. 

The number one rule here? Think about your customers. 

Let’s take a look at two posts from Smokeguard’s Facebook page

In this post, we publish a “spot the code violation” post. The intention here isn’t to sell anything, or at least not directly. It’s fun and quick content designed to get people to stop and engage.

In this second post, we are actively highlighting our curtain systems. But the video addresses our customer’s problems rather than making a hard sell or simply listing product features.

Different posts, but both focus on being relevant and interesting to our customers and followers. 

Engaging your followers also means remembering that social media is inherently visual: sharing high-quality images and videos is a surefire way to boost engagement. Almost every post on the Smokeguard’s Facebook page includes an image or video. 

Remember video isn’t just for your YouTube channel. 90% of consumers say that video helps them when making a purchasing decision, so it can pay to incorporate video across your platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

8. Track and Learn 

Social media platforms are a gold mine for rich data about your customers, their interests and what makes them tick. As you continue to use social media, make sure you’re tracking data, whether you use the in-built analytics functions of the platforms themselves or a tool like Google Analytics (or both!). 

Tracking will help you identify whether your current efforts have been helping you reach your goals, discover what works and learn how to up your game for future campaigns. 

With more social media platforms than ever, getting things right can seem overwhelming. But investing some time and money in social media can drive great ROI, even if you focus on just one platform to start. 

Once you’ve honed your strategy using one channel, it only gets easier to identify opportunities. 

Looking to broaden your social media reach? Get inspired by our post on using your personal LinkedIn to grow sales.