By Alexandra Zamfir

January 28th, 2016

Having a basic social media presence is insufficient for businesses looking to expand their global recognition. As competition for customer attention continues to grow, so too must your presence, or you risk losing ground to your competitors. 92% of marketers want to know which tactics are most effective, clearly demonstrating that social presence is seen as a distinct competitive advantage in the modern marketplace.

The problem with social media tactics is that there are no magic bullets. What works for other businesses may not work for yours. But there are some common factors that can be used to improve any engagement strategy. Here are five:

#1 – Ask for help

No one knows your products and services better than your own staff, making their insights for content creation invaluable. But at the same time, they already have their own jobs to do – can they really spare the time to produce content for your campaigns?

And can you cover every aspect of great content? You may have a team of excellent writers, but do they have the necessary design skills to turn copy into a visually appealing asset?

Intelligent outsourcing allows you to take advantage of expert content creation services without overburdening your employees. Partnering with a third party to provide assistance allows you to focus on your strengths, resulting in well-rounded content of the highest quality.

"There’s no shame in using third parties to assist with your content marketing efforts."

It’s important to remember that you will still need to set aside sufficient time and resources to properly brief your partner – otherwise, the outcomes will be less than optimal. In the early days of any outsourcing agreement, you may find that the time spent planning and briefing is significantly more than expected, as both parties learn to work together.

Also, never forget that there’s no shame in using third parties to assist with your content marketing efforts – especially when it helps improve in-house productivity and customer engagement.

#2 – Be proactive…and reactive

Your social media tactics need to cover a range of eventualities, particularly foreseeable future events like the annual Super Bowl. Planning well in advance allows you to create a range of content and gives you the time to get really creative, helping you stand out from the crowd. Social media is an integral part of a comprehensive campaign and needs to be given the same attention as all the other aspects.

Your social media tactics also need to leave some leeway to deal with less predictable occurrences. Being proactive in your planning makes it far easier to execute reactive campaigns – even at short notice.

#3 – Gate your content. Creatively.

Content must be creative if it is to resonate with your audience. But you can use that same creativity to better engage them too.

Why not provide teaser content, before asking readers to connect using their social account to read the rest of the article? If the content is of particularly high quality (and advertised with a compelling “hook”), few will begrudge a ‘like’ or a ‘follow’ in return.

Not only will you increase your social reach, but you’ll also gain access to additional social graph data that can inform future campaigns.

#4 – Use sponsored content wisely

Most social platforms provide the ability to promote content in the form of sponsored posts. However, just like with Google AdWords, poor targeting can end up wasting your budget very quickly.

Before shelling out for social promotion, make sure you understand who you want to target, and what they are actually interested in. Effective social media tactics involve deep analysis of the marketplace and the creation of buyer personas who you want to target. You can use these insights to better target prospects using the advertising tools available on each platform – or available via your social media management tool. Falcon Social (not that we’re biased, or anything) allows you to tap into the advertising budget by promoting content to your identified audience.

If you get this targeting wrong, your message will simply be ignored, and your ad spend will yield nothing in return.

#5 – Be present

Some reports suggest that people now spend nearly two hours each day using social media. And as we are all spending more time online these days, that represents a significant portion of our day.

In addition to posting regularly, your team needs to be available to handle queries as quickly as possible. Fast responses help to build a reputation as a brand that cares about its customers and that you are actively “looking out” for their interests.

KLM Social Media Tactics

Royal Dutch Airlines keeps their customers in the loop about their response time.

But the monitoring aspect of your social media tactics needs to go further still. In addition to responding to direct messages and mentions, you should also be on the constant look-out for conversations that involve your industry and in which you can get involved. This provides the opportunity to demonstrate your responsiveness and expertise to a wider audience who are not currently engaging with your brand.

Defining your own social media tactics

Aside from these pointers, you will also need to provide plenty of flexibility so that you can experiment to see what does, and does not, work for your brand. Ensure you have adequate monitoring and measurement tools in place to help assess engagement levels and provide the insight you need to deliver ever improving campaigns.

So over to you – what is your top tactic for improving social media ROI?

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