In 2022, there’s no denying that social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have become an integral part of the marketing strategy for podcasts, YouTube channels, and other small businesses. These platforms are an ideal place to increase brand awareness, make sales, and create lasting relationships with your target audience. But with so many social media platforms and types of content to choose from, getting started can feel daunting. Read on for some social media best practices that can help you create an effective social media strategy.
Social Media Marketing Tips to Fine-Tune Your Strategy
8 social media marketing tips
To develop and hone a successful social media marketing strategy for your podcast, video channel, or any other brand, you’ve got to find your audience, set some measurable goals, and create the right content to hit your objectives. Here are some tips for using social media to boost your online presence.
1. Meet your audience where they are
Between Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, not to mention all of the other up-and-coming social media networks, it’s easy to spread your efforts too thin trying to keep up with multiple platforms. Instead of indiscriminately hopping on every opportunity, social media expert and Descript Community Manager Christiana Cromer encourages you to meet your audience where they are. “Posting on the right platform is more important than posting on every platform,” Cromer says.
This means you should concentrate your efforts on the social media platforms where your target audience spends the most time. This means you have to figure out a few things about them. Here’s how you can hone in on the right platform for your audience:
- Consider demographics. If your listeners usually belong to a specific sex, age group, or other key demographic, you can use data to find out which social media platforms they’re most likely to use. For example, if you’re trying to connect with a female audience, you might want curate a Pinterest board. If they also happen to be over the age of 50, you can set up a Facebook too. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have an audience comprised of mostly younger people, Instagram and TikTok are where you need to be.
- Notice where your competitors do well. Take a look at podcasts with an audience similar to your own. You can check out Spotify under “popular with listeners of [your podcast]” or just make a list out shows that are comparable to yours in terms of tone or subject matter. If these other shows have large followings and significant engagement on particular platforms, your business probably has the potential to do well there too. Just be sure that your presence sets you apart from the competition. (Taking inspiration from your fellow podcasters can be great, but be careful to avoid mimicking them.)
- Ask your audience. When possible, it can be extremely valuable to go straight to the source. Using email or an existing social platform, survey your listeners to find out which social media platforms they use and where they’d most like to hear from you. Then you can use the data collected straight from your most loyal listeners to inform your social media strategy.
2. Set objectives with measurable goals
Your goal might be to “get more followers,” but how are you going to do that — and by when? Once you’ve determined a couple of key objectives, you can create measurable and attainable goals to gauge your success in these areas using the SMART framework (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Timely). It’s a helpful way to both set goals and prioritize the best milestones for meeting them.
A more specific goal would be to increase your followers by 200%, which is measurable — you can track how many followers you’re getting each month. Getting there might take a while, though, so an attainable goal might be to increase followers by 10% each month, with a set, timely end date (perhaps 18 months) to reach that number. The relevance piece depends on your brand or business. A podcast about celebrity gossip, for example, will probably gain more traction on Instagram or Twitter than it would on LinkedIn.
3. Optimize your strategy for each platform
Reposting something you made for one platform (say, Instagram) across all of your other channels (like Twitter and Facebook) might seem like a tempting time-saver, but Cromer suggests developing separate strategies for each platform. “Social media platforms are not one-size-fits-all,” she says. You should vary your post frequency, tone, and type of content based on what’s best suited for each channel. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest are highly visual, which means graphic photos and attention-grabbing videos perform do great on those channels — whereas screenshots of entire blog posts might not. On the other hand, those blog posts captures might perform really well on Facebook, a platform that reaches a wide audience and lends itself well to news items and longer articles.
4. Cross-promote your content
While you do want to optimize your strategy and content for each individual platform, that doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch with every single social media post. Content can (and should) be repurposed for sharing across multiple platforms. For example, you could tweet an amazing quote from a podcast guest to promote that episode, take a screenshot of the tweet, add the audio clip from the podcast to it, and post that as a video on Instagram. This type of cross-promotion leads to better engagement across all of your platforms (and hopefully drives more traffic to whatever it is you’re promoting).
5. Keep values consistent across platforms
Employing different strategies and types of content for each social network is important for optimization, but Cromer also encourages social media managers to aim for some continuity across platforms. “Make sure your values and brand are clear and consistent across your social channels,” she says. When developing campaigns and posts, the tone and message should fit into your big-picture marketing strategy, no matter where you plan to share the content.
Keep yourself on track by using a style guide, where you track decisions about grammar, voice, tone, and anything that helps you maintain consistency across all of your accounts. Here are a couple of pointers to get started.
- Tone. If you host a comedy podcast, humor is probably a must on social. But you need to take it a step further, and develop guidelines about what humor means to your brand. Are you snarky? Sarcastic? Or witty yet compassionate? On the other end of the spectrum, a daily news show would likely use a more formal voice across social posts.
- Grammar. Deciding whether or not to use the oxford comma is just the beginning. Do you use the first person in your posts? Will you always tweet in full sentences, or are fragments okay? Will you be using slang or internet-speak? Answering these types of questions will help you lay out style guidelines that your entire team can reference, to help keep a consistent brand voice across any content you produce.
6. Don’t skip videos
On social media, the competition to capture users’ attention is hot. That means you’ve got to create eye-catching visual content that will make potential customers stop scrolling. Usually, video is your best bet to gain traction, because it takes viewers an extra few seconds to process what they’re seeing. If you don't know where to start, Cromer suggests looking back at your written or audio content and thinking about how you could repurpose it into video content. (Hint: Descript’s Audiogram tool makes it super easy to create eye-catching videos with your podcast audio.)
7. Use trends to your advantage
Keeping your finger on the pulse of internet culture is an important part of social media management, but hopping on every trend would be exhausting. That’s why Cromer recommends choosing wisely. “Social media moves fast, and trends can be an awesome way to grow your audience. What creator doesn’t want to go viral?” she says. “Still, remember that keeping on top of every trend is hard work — not to mention time-consuming. Instead, keep your eye out for trends that make sense for your social media content or brand, and participate in what speaks to you and your audience.” If you see a lot of your followers participating in a trend, that’s a good sign they’re interested in it.
8. Use the right social media tools
The successful execution of your social media strategy will depend, in large part, on the tools you. Content creation tools like Photoshop (for image editing) and Descript (for audio and video editing) are important for producing high-quality work to share.
You’ll also need tools to stay organized. Minimally, a social media calendar is essential for keeping track of all those posts going out across multiple platforms. If you deploy modest to large volumes of content, try scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social. Both allow you to schedule posts in the future, so you don’t have to push each post live manually.
How to use each social media platform
Each social media channel has its strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few of the most popular platforms and what they’re best for.
- Facebook has the widest reach of any social media platform, especially among older users. It’s a site where you can share almost any type of content, but, compared to some of its top competitors, it’s particularly great for sharing articles and blog posts.
- Twitter’s brief format is good for real-time news and customer service interactions.
- Instagram is a highly visual platform that’s great for sharing images and videos (but less so for sharing links, especially in the main feed). It offers many different tools for engaging with your audience and is good for building a brand’s identity.
- LinkedIn is a professional network for business-oriented content.
- TikTok is a video-only platform that’s popular mainly among younger users. It’s a good place for brands to participate in trends and internet culture.
The whole point of being on social media (whether you’re a business, podcast, or an individual person) is to connect. Cromer urges social media managers to value this point of contact with their audience. “Growing your following is important, but don't forget to engage with the followers you already have,” she says. “If done well, each interaction will strengthen your connections and keep your followers around for the long haul!”
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