Is your social media marketing in need of being taken up a notch?

If you’re only doing ‘just enough’ in the way of social media, you’re unlikely to see the gains everybody promised you would: increased traffic, increased brand awareness, more meaningful relationships, etc. At least not to the extent you hoped you would.

Brands – small businesses, especially – tend to go in fairly conservatively on social media. They’ll post the odd bit of content, follow a few industry influencers, and interact with a handful of users. It makes sense in lots of ways, except it doesn’t make any sense at all.

Sorry, that was a bit strong.

Sorry not sorry

It’s true, though! It’s only normal to not over-commit to a new endeavour, but social media marketing is not something that responds well to tentative investment.

Social media marketing requires you to get your brand out there with frequent posting, and continuous engagement with your customers. If you give your followers the impression it’s only a part-time thing, they’ll be less inclined to reply to posts and recommend you to their peers.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of consumers who receive a quick response from a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, research shows.

So, if you want to get people interested in your brand, to the point that they are talking about it to their friends and family, you’ve got to be a constant in their timelines, posting great content. Here’s how to achieve that:

1. Post content more frequently and more consistently

While you don’t want to bombard people with inane and irrelevant content, you do need to post often enough to get on users’ radars.

Upping the amount of posts you’re making on social media alone won’t increase your followers. But if you team that with the right hashtags and ensuring you’re posting at the times of the day your customers are most active, you should start to see the desired results before too long.

Consistency comes with scheduling a set number of posts each day: three posts on Twitter, two on Facebook and one on LinkedIn is a good starting point. That may well change based on what is trending, what is in the news, etc. but it acts as a decent bare minimum. Use Google’s keyword planner to check what your audience is looking for – this will serve to give your content some direction.

2. Create content based on what people are reading

When it comes to deciphering what it is our target audience are reading and searching, we can’t thank Google enough.

Thank you

Google trends shows us what stories are trending in the news now – in the UK, for instance, it’s all about Spotify’s attempts to take over Soundcloud at the moment – acting as some inspiration as to the type of content you should create.

Google analytics, meanwhile, reveals what blog pages are driving traffic to our website, which basically informs us what sort of content is hitting the spot with your target audience.

So, when you come to posting new content on social media, you stand a better chance of achieving some decent engagement.

3. Include unique and compelling visuals in every post

Ok, it might be a little unrealistic to create a unique visual for every single post, but you should definitely try to more often than not. Stock images are very handy, but they don’t always convey the message you’re trying to get across.

Users can also spot a stock image from a mile off, and they might have seen so many by now that their brains just refuse to take them in.

By creating your own images, you’re able to visualise your content more accurately and post a picture that really captures your followers’ attention. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images, Kissmetrics discovered.

The visual could even work as a piece of content in its own right if it’s an infographic or GIF, with people sharing your post on the strength of the visual. In fact, visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, according to Buffer.

All that’s left, then – once you’re up and running with more, relevant, visually-appealing content, is to get your employees, partners and friends share your posts on social media.

By making advocates of your personal and professional network, you will increase the credibility of your content and the messages that you broadcast. After all, social media is all about building trust.