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Social Media Strategy: 9 Free Tactics That Will Boost Your Brand

Social media is everywhere -- it connects us to our family, friends, and the world around us. And a good social media strategy can help your brand, not just to reach your audience, but also to wow and excite them.

What makes social media such a game-changer for businesses?

My number one answer would be the audience potential. Social media collects all of your target audience (and then some) in one, easy-to-access place. Think of Facebook, a long-time player on the social media field, which has 2.85 billion active users! Or Instagram, which has nearly 1 billion active users.

So is social media a sure bet for your brand?

It can be.

Why do I add the “can”?

Well, a lot depends on how you use it. If you have a skeleton profile set up for your brand and hardly log on, your ROI will be $0. But if you put the effort in, hustle a little, and know how to work the social media system, your ROI is limitless!

So what can you do to truly get the most out of your social media account? Let’s talk about a few of my top recommendations, all completely free, which will help you score big in your social media strategy.

9 Free and Powerful Tactics for Your Social Media Strategy

1. Choose Your Networks Wisely

Think about how many social networks exist out there at any given time -- I can think of at least 10 right now. Of course, there are the big ones like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But there are also other networks with smaller user numbers but incredible audience engagement.

Many brands make the mistake of signing up for every social network under the sun. But instead of empowering your brand, this tactic will most likely sap your resources. It’s impossible, especially if you’re a small brand, to be present and engaged on every social network.

Instead, focus on a few networks (2 or 3 at most) where your brand can truly shine. Do your research to see what networks your audience uses the most. Look at the features that each network has and think seriously about what strategies you want to pursue on social media. The answers to these questions will help you narrow down which network will best fit your brand.

2. Complete Your Profile

Your profile is your storefront on social media. If you want people to take you seriously as a brand on any social network, you need to create a storefront worthy of New York’s 5th Avenue, so to speak.

And this is something that is completely within your power. No brand should have incomplete information or generic image placeholders.

Start with uploading your brand’s logo. This will be the easiest way for people to recognize you. And choose a banner photo that represents your brand -- it might be a photo of your team, your physical storefront, or something else that tells people what your business does.

Then fill in all of your contact information. You should have a phone number, email address, physical address if applicable, and a link to your website.

Finally, write up a description of your business. What do you do and why should people care? In some social networks, you’ll have more space to talk in-depth about your brand, while in others, you will be limited to a set number of characters. Short or long, make every character count.

3. Use Video

Almost every network offers video uploads -- and even live video -- to its users. Sure, video takes more work, but it’s also completely worth it! Consider a few statistics on social media video

  • Posts with videos generate 1200% more shares than text and image posts combined.
  • When watching a video, consumers retain 95% of the information as opposed to 10% of the information when they read a post.
  • 86% of people would like to see more videos from brands.

The evidence is clear: If you want to make a splash with your audience and keep them engaged, then you need to incorporate video in your strategy.

I know video can sound daunting in the beginning. But it doesn’t have to be. If you are camera-shy by nature, then there are plenty of video solutions that will be perfect for you!

Consider Lumen5, where you can simply upload content from one of your blog posts. Lumen5 will then take parts of your post and overlay text onto their stock videos, which you can then edit to make sure it’s just the way you want.

Another great video option is Doodly, where you create an animated video and then dub it with your voice to explain everything that you need. This can be great to explain complicated subjects or answer frequently asked questions that you get from your audience.

4. Leverage Live Video When You Can

I know, I know, I just finished telling you that you don’t have to be in front of a camera. But just hear me out… Ever since it first came out as a feature on Facebook, Live video has seen massive success with audiences. So if you’re feeling brave, I definitely recommend looking for ways to include live video in your strategy.

Live video allows for a more authentic experience -- no edits or cut-outs -- and gives your audience a chance to participate.

Save live video for exciting situations that you know your audience will love. This might include an announcement about a new product, an interview with a renowned expert, or even fun interviews with members of your team. Whatever the case may be, make these videos as fun and spontaneous as possible.

Here are some tips to make your live video the best it can be:

  • Practice ahead of time.
  • Use notes, but don’t have everything you want to say written out -- after all, you don’t want to be tied to your notes the entire time.
  • Prepare your interviewees so they know what questions you will ask.
  • Choose an environment where you’re comfortable.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff -- little mistakes will make the experience feel more authentic and genuine to your audience.

5. Engage

This probably feels like a no-brainer. Of course, you need to engage on social media! But you would be surprised at how many people set up their accounts, post occasionally, and otherwise ignore their social media.

Remember, social media is a give and take. The more you want out of it, the more you have to invest (timewise, I mean...these are free tactics, after all).

Go on social media and post your content. But also, take the time to see what other people are posting. Like, comment on, and share other people’s posts, when appropriate. When people comment on your posts, be ready with a reply. If someone shares your content, reach out and thank them.

The more present you are on social media, the more you will get out of it.

6. Join Groups

Social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook leverage groups that can be valuable to your strategy. These groups attract people from all over the world who have a common interest.

Perhaps you are a travel or tour agency. There are groups for adventure travel, island travel, European travel, even Disney travel.

Perhaps you are a fitness instructor. There are groups for those beginning their fitness journey, new mommies, and bodybuilders.

Don’t see a lot of groups for your particular industry? Consider creating your own!

The point of being in these groups is not to sell your products and services. Your purpose is to participate meaningfully with the group -- share content, give advice and even tell stories. Let people click through if they want to know about your brand.

7. Be Human

The emphasis here is on the social part of social media. People on social media. don’t want to connect with cold, distant brands. They want to know the people behind the brand. Who are you? What makes you tick? What are your core values? What is your personality? Weave the answers to these questions throughout your posts and engagement.

How do you do this?

You might share photos of your team along with backstories. You could share posts on social issues that you’re passionate about. You might even share customer reviews and experiences that highlight how it is to work with you as a brand.

8. Build Relationships

Relationship building is the cornerstone of a successful strategy on social media. And with any relationship, it takes time to build it up.

To that end, engage with your audience as you would a friend. When they ask a question, don’t rush to prepare a sales pitch -- simply answer as a person. Don’t push products in your posts -- share content that you truly believe your audience will enjoy. Educate them. Make them laugh. Heck, make them cry. The more genuine engagement you offer, the more solid the bond will be between you and your audience.

Over time, your audience will feel comfortable with you and will trust you with their business.

9. Test Everything

All social networks give brands powerful analytics, so you can see exactly how your posts are doing and what is happening on your profile.

These are more than just numbers. These analytics help you to see what strategies are working and what is tanking. When you see certain campaigns or posts tanking, look at what components might be causing it -- is it the post itself, your hashtags, or maybe even the language you use doesn’t resonate with your audience the way you thought it would.

With that knowledge, you can now tweak that post or your future posts until you find a strategy that works best for your brand.

Those are my 9 free tactics for building a successful social media strategy. I hope they help you with your own brand’s strategy!

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