When we were researching for this article, one of the common search engine phrases for social media was “is social media worth it.” It’s a fair question to ask for new business owners and long-time social media entrepreneurs alike as the face of social media changes exponentially week by week. Our answer is obviously, “YES!” It’s not only worth it, but it’s necessary to invest strategically in your social media strategy this year. We’ll take a dive into why that is in this blog post.
As we kick off the year in full planning mode, we’ve put together the best social media tips for businesses to apply in 2023. We worked to share a combination of specific hacks and tricks paired with broad strategies and concepts.
1: Start with a long-term plan
You know by now that social media requires ALOT of work. Watching trends, storyboarding content ideas, capturing photos and videos, editing the content, posting the content, engaging with followers, adjusting based on results, and so much more go into a successful social media strategy. We recommend making a minimum of a 3-month content marketing plan. Ideally, you can get up to 12 months down on paper to review with your team. That allows you to consider annual events and milestones, organize the content you made last year that you can use again, and look at celebratory calendar days to take advantage of.
2: Invest in a UGC Strategy
User-Generated Content is a smart social media strategy for several reasons when it comes to leveling up your social media strategy. First, it helps you fill your content library. If you post four times a week on your social media accounts, you need 208 images and videos to make it happen. Working with influencers and your customers will help you meet these demands. You can also use these images on your website and in advertisements (as long as you have permission). Secondly, influencers and customers will provide new ways of looking at your products and experiences. This will add depth and trust to your brand. Finally, UGC allows customers an opportunity to participate in your brand’s growth, which fuels long-term brand loyalty and affinity. Everyone thrives when they feel they are part of something greater than themselves.
Pro tip: Have a photo release form easily accessible for influencers and customers to sign to ensure you can legally use their images for whatever you need.
3: Don’t Leave Hashtags Behind – They Still Make a Difference
I will start with a real-life example–a social media post from my personal blog’s Instagram account. One of my most popular posts earned 10,546 impressions and 9,199 of those were from users finding Sweet Sauce via hashtags used in the post. That return rate is crazy! There are a few strategies to using hashtags, but one we adhere to the most: choose hashtags with lower reach, around or under 100k. Anything higher will ensure your posts are buried in a sea of the most-used hashtags. Additionally, narrow down your hashtag creation by sticking to hashtags related to your specific niche. Go narrow before you go broad.
Pro tip: Keep a document with relevant hashtags at the ready to add to all posts. Group them by category for extra ease.
4: Cut the Video Content Shorter
“I suggest ramping up your visual content production if you want to compete in 2023’s information space, and more generally, in a world with increasingly shorter attention spans — currently at about only 8.25 seconds,” writes one Entrepnuer reporter. This short content is best used for reels and TikToks.
Pro tip: Shoot videos in a way that they can be cropped for different formats–vertical, square, and horizontal–to get the most out of your shoot days. Better yet, have two videographers (one camera and one phone) shooting at the same time.
5: And Then Make Some Longer Videos…
We KNOW. It’s so confusing. But, long-form video is HERE. In 2022 we saw short-form videos take over every single platform, even LinkedIn. If you are looking to stand out and really position yourself as a serious business owner, start doing longer-form content. This allows viewers a deeper look into what makes YOU different. Whether you’re selling shoes or a vacation destination, YOU are still what makes that “product” different and unique. This is an excellent way to deepen connections with customers and turn them into loyal costumes who will choose you over your competitors.
6: Social Media Is the New SEO
As you would focus on using key SEO words on your website to increase searchability, do the same in your social media posts. In 2022, younger users are “now often turning to apps like Instagram and TikTok instead of Google Search or Maps for discovery purposes.” In fact, 40% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok and Instagram for search over Google, according to this Tech Crunch article. A new bonus: Google is working to index TikTok and Instagram videos, meaning they can also turn up in search engine results if you play it right.
Pro tip: Add key search terms into your caption seamlessly or drop key terms at the bottom of your caption separated by commas.
7: Share Content Across All Platforms
This is the hack of all hacks. We shared in #4 that you should try to capture all visual content for multiple dimensions so you can turn a reel into a pin, an Instagram post into a LinkedIn graphic, a website image into a Facebook post, and so on. Many of our social media clients have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest. Use your time wisely when creating content. How can you make one piece go farther?
8: Speaking of Pinterest, It’s Booming
Pinterest is the fastest social networking site in history, with 431 million users. For many of us, it was our first social media account outside of a personal Facebook page when Pinterest launched growing to 10,00 users in just 9 months after its launch in 2010. Guess what? We still use it. Its staying power is very real and its potential to grow your business in 2023 should be a serious consideration of yours. People go to Pinterest when they want to make a purchase decision. And the ability to be discovered as the product they are looking for is high: About 67% of Pinterest users say that they discover a brand from business content on Pinterest and around 77% of pinners find new products every week on Pinterest, according to this Social Champ article.
Trend alert: If you want to reach a global audience, Pinterest is working hard to make sure your content is seen around the world in 2023.
9: Use Instagram Features Early On
We couldn’t possibly go over all of Instagram’s new features and hacks in this social media tips blog post. That’s because there are always new ones! That being said, don’t get overwhelmed. Stay on top of new trends and app features to try out. For those new Instagram features that seem manageable to your team, challenge yourself to test them out early on. It’s well documented by many creators that the Instagram algorithm will push content using its new features to make them stick. That means, more people should see your content if you execute it well. This all goes back to the algorithm’s preference to show original content. You can’t get more original than new content using a new feature!
Pro tip: Follow the Instagram Creators account for the last features and updates.
10: Consider Bringing your Followers to In-person Events to Deepen the Connection
Social media is all about connection. There’s no reason why you can’t bring that energy to YOU. People worldwide are yearning for unique experiences. In fact, searches for events on Eventbrite were up 53% in 2022. This year will be a great opportunity to leverage your social media efforts to bring people together in more intimate ways to foster trust, loyalty, conversion, and ultimately retention (repeat customers!). Challenge yourself to create a new event to bring followers together this year.
Idea: What was some of your most engaging content on social media last year? How can you turn that into a meaningful in-person experience?
11: Try Going Live on Instagram
Piggybacking on this idea of creating a community, bring your life/brand/process straight to the people, with no filters, no editing, and real-time conversations. It will help leverage you as an expert in your field. It’s also an effective way to get new followers and let your current followers know you exist, according to our social media expert Brandy Jones. Keep it simple and interactive. Showcase a new product release, take followers BTS with you, or break down an industry trend. Even if 10 people tune in, that’s 10 highly engaged potential customers!
Pro tip: As you set up a live video, be sure to check out the lighting, sound, and background area. Be seen, heard, and represented clearly and on-brand.
12: Think Less and Post More
I meet so many business owners who want to level up social media and have held back until they figure it all out to do it well. From a full-time creator, you’ll never know it all! The only way to learn is to DO. It’s scary to put yourself, your ideas, and your baby (your business!) out there. Forget being perfect and just start! You’ll learn something new every time you post, we promise. The more you post, the most at ease you will be when it comes time. You’ll also learn about your audience, what they respond to and get new ideas every time you login. Adjust your strategy accordingly.
Inspiration: It’s okay to change courses. Social media is a great place to learn more about where you want your brand to go. It’s natural it inspired evolution.
13: Use Everyday Moments to Connect with Followers
Everything is content! Typing at the computer, shopping at your favorite local business, a coffee date with a client, a view that inspired you–it’s all fair game. All you need are 5 seconds to get on your followers’ feeds. Add text, share an industry insight, or showcase how you use your own products.
14: Review your Analytics Monthly
All social media platforms have analytics tools for business owners to assess their social media strategy. Make a point of reviewing your social media analytics across all platforms each month. Don’t just do it alone–involve your team. Everyone contributes in some way to your social media content. Keep them inspired, motivated, and creative to keep sharing images, videos, and ideas. Adjust your strategy for the coming months of you discover something. Look at posts that encouraged the most engagement and do more posts like that in the future. Trim the fat on posts that aren’t bringing in results.
Pro Tip: Just because one piece of content didn’t perform well doesn’t mean scrapping it completely. Sometimes it takes a few times to stick.
15: Collaborate With Other Businesses
A guaranteed way to get new followers and customers is to introduce yourself to new audiences. Make a list of your regular collaborators. These business collaborators could be suppliers, vendors, event partners, industry friends, and more. Explore ways you can create a small batch of content together. Make a list of content to create, create a posting schedule, and provide each other with the right talking points to share about each other.
Pro Tip: This is also a great public relations strategy. What businesses can you team up with to pitch stories to the media?
16: Sync Up Your Advertising Campaigns with Your Social Content
Are you running digital ads on Google or social media? Bring the two houses together. A strong content strategy will ensure that your ads are echoed by the organic content featured on your social media. If you’re running an ad for a spring vacation experience, make sure your social media posts tie back to the ad. Oftentimes, you can break down your ad concepts into multiple social media posts to make it simple for your audience to visit your profile to take action.
Pro Tip: Always include a Call To Action (CTA) in your social media posts. Make sure viewers know where to go to make the purchase.
17: Showcase your Media Features
Working hard to get placed in magazines, newspapers, and other publications? That’s fresh content! Use it. Take a photo of your article in a magazine, shoe behind the scenes of a TV interview, or use a pull quote from an article you were featured in. It’s bonafide engaging content and also bolsters your reputation as an expert in your field.
Great example: We recorded BTS of interviews with news reporters for the Richmond Tattoo, Art, & Music Festival. We added captions, and bam, we had several reels worthy of the feed.
18: Use Multi-image or “Carousel” Posts
We’ve evaluated social accounts month after month this past year. Outside of reels, multi-image social media posts were the most engaging forms of content across our client accounts. On Instagram, you can post up to 10 images. On Facebook, the limit doesn’t exist (as far as we know). Post a carousel of images of all new products, post pictures of one product from all angles, post graphics with text that explain a concept, post a series of customer photos, and so on.
Pro Tip: The first image shows up in your Instagram feed, so make sure that one is on-brand.
19: Focus Your Engagement
According to Instagram, the algorithm focuses on three main key activities: Whose posts are you interacting with, what type of content do you engage with, and when you engage. That means if you want your content to show up to the people interested in your product or service, then you should be engaging with accounts in your niche. That doesn’t just mean engaging with similar businesses, it also means engaging with customers, prospects, and adjacent industry accounts.
20: Leverage Customer Reviews
It’s all about trust, baby. For many years, we marketing professionals called this “third-party endorsement.” You can confidently share information about your services all day on social media, but hearing from someone other than you increases consumer confidence in your business. That, turns into conversions. According to this Big Commerce article, “92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 72% of them say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.” And the real stat to focus on: reviews generate 62% more revenue per viewer.
Ideas: Pull right from your website reviews, share glowing social media posts, ask your most loyal customers to answer more in-depth questions or participate in a video review campaign. Always make sure you have permission and offer them something to say “thank you!”
21: Make Sure Your Bio is Optimized
Every social media account has a bio component. Make sure your bios have a clear description of what you offer, links to take action, and keywords to show up in the right searches. Bring some of your simple SEO knowledge to your social media profile bios. Make it easy for them to learn more, make a purchase, or decide to follow you for more.
22: YouTube Shorts are GROWING.
Step aside Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok…just kidding, we still love you. But, we do think you should take a trip to Youtube and learn more about YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts are featured on a short-form section of the YouTube website. These videos have a maximum length of 60 seconds, which should seem familiar to you if you’re on TikTok or already creating Instagram reels. Shorts have collectively earned more than 5 trillion views since the platform was made available to the public. In addition, starting February 1st, 2023, you can earn income from your YouTube shorts from ads that are viewed between videos in the Shorts Feed. The more views you get, the more money you can earn! Making money from just talking about your brand sounds like a pretty smart way to open up a new income stream in 2023 to use.
23: Reuse Your Old Content
As much as we like to think everyone is keeping tabs of each of our social media posts, our followers are not. Nearly 4.5 billion people currently use social media worldwide, which means we’re all consuming ALOT of content from ALOT of people. Don’t worry about replaying your content, especially if it’s good. Strong content will perform well again and again. If you stick to your marketing plan, you’ll find ways to repurpose content you made last year for a similar campaign or project. Work less, achieve more!
Another approach: What content performed well that you can recreate with a new message or call to action?
Bonus Tip: Organize Your Socia Media Content
Many of the social media tips for business we shared here will be best accomplished if you have an organized system to save the content you make. We use DropBox for most of our client content organization needs. It’s easily accessible on the phone, can be synced to your desktop so you can grab files locally, and has endless opportunities to create a folder system that make it easy to find the photo, graphic, or video you need. In addition, if you create a lot of content on your phone, consider creating albums for different product or service categories. At the end of every year, go through it all to reorganize and add anything that didn’t make it the first time. You’ll discover all sorts of usable content as well as gaps in content that you need to secure more of.
Looking for more help?
Send me an email at [email protected] and we’ll get you the answers and direction you need!