Social media marketing is becoming saturated so it’s more important than ever to make yourself stand out from your competitor’s and here are 9 easy to implement tips that you can try for yourself.
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Yes, I know that it is a pain typing in hashtags on your phone but you can cut and paste them in from this handy website:
Delete some of them that aren’t relevant and make sure that you include local areas such as #Westmeath, #Mullingar and other local towns and villages because on Instagram people follow hashtags so your posts have a chance of appearing in their news feeds.
Also, make sure that you mix the hashtags up and don’t cut and paste the same hashtags for every post because the Instagram algorithm will think that you are putting up spammy posts so it will show all your content to fewer people.
Link your Facebook Page to your Instagram Page
You can do this by logging into your Instagram account on your phone by :
> Clicking on the hamburger icon (3 lines) in the top right-hand side
> Linked Accounts
> Facebook & follow the prompts
The main advantage of doing this is that you get more functionality such as useful stats about your followers.
Plus, you have to link both of these together to use Instagram on 3rd party scheduler tools.
Also, anyone that is following your Instagram page will get notification from Facebook to follow your Facebook page too.
Original Images or Graphics
It is tempting to repost the same images but all social media algorithms see this as spam and will show your posts further down people’s news feeds.
It is the same on websites too, so try to avoid free stock photography whenever you can.
Scheduling Posts in Advance
Check out this short video on my Facebook Page that shows you how to use Facebook’s Creator Studio to schedule posts here.
Pros – If you schedule your posts using Creator Studio your posts will appear higher up in people’s news feeds compared to using third-party scheduling tools such as UniClix.
Cons – You can’t see at a glance what posts are scheduled to go out on both Instagram or Facebook pages like you can on UniClix.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
There are free schedulers such as Hootsuite and Buffer that I have used on and off for years. But you are limited to the number of free posts; Hootsuite has 30 and Buffer has 20. That might sound enough but when you have 3 or 4 social media accounts it really isn’t.
For my clients, I tend to do a month’s worth of scheduled posts in 1 go and I use Agorapulse. It has unlimited posts and the reporting is excellent as I can print off a PDF and show it to them that saves me time.
Here are my recommendations for scheduling posts for Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn:
Free – Use Creator Studio to post on Facebook and Instagram & sign up to Hootsuite to schedule posts on Linkedin. You can also schedule posts for all 3 social media accounts using Hootsuite and you can see everything that is scheduled to go out on 1 page. Very convenient and free but the reach will be less.
€11 euro pcm – Open up an UniClix account and you have unlimited posts for all 3 social media accounts and you see everything that is scheduled to go out on 1 page. This is very handy as you can sit down 1 weekend and have most of your social media posts done for the year, yes year.
You can repeat posts too if you choose by spreading out the same post to be repeated every 3 months as people won’t remember. This will save you tons of time but again, the reach won’t be as high.
Post Natively – This means posting from either Creator Studio or Linkedin itself. It is time-consuming but you will reach more people. So the compromise is to post any important LinkedIn posts natively and schedule the rest.
Best Times to Post
This is important as you want to post when your followers are online so this is where schedulers come in handy.
Linkedin – 10am – 11am on a Tuesday is the best time to post throughout the week. If you are going to post more than once per week 10am – 11am on a Thursday followed by the same time on a Wednesday. If you are going post 5 times a week well, yeah you’ve guessed it’s 10am – 11am Monday to Friday.
So a social media scheduling tool is practical to do this as you need to be really organised to post natively during these times.
Out of office hours is a bad time to post on Linkedin as it really is a 9-5 platform.
Facebook – The best time to post on Facebook during the Covid19 pandemic is around 1pm according to Facebook because that is when most people tend to be online. Normally it would be 9pm.
Below is a screenshot of a typical day during the pandemic for my own Facebook Page:
But remember it will revert back to 9pm when the pandemic is over.
Instagram – This varies from page to page.
So the easiest way of finding this out is to click on the hamburger icon (3 lines) in the top right-hand side of your Instagram page on your phone. Then click on > insights and then > audience and scroll down to the very bottom and there is a graph that will indicate what times your followers are using the platform and what days your followers are most active on.
Then just make sure that your posts goes out then.
Interact with your followers
So many businesses just churn out content but building up online relationships by interacting with your followers is worth it.
I follow as many local businesses as I can find on Instagram as people tend to look for web designers and digital marketers locally.
So make sure to comment on your follower’s posts in a sincere not spammy way and you will stand out to them and they will be more inclined to work with you in the future.
I spend more time doing this than posting and it has paid off as over the last 2 months I have tendered for 3 websites with this method:
- I am currently building a website for a beauty salon because I interacted with their posts on Instagram and as a result of that their posts appear in my newsfeed, so when I saw them reach out for a recommendation for a web designer I made contact and the rest is history. If I never interacted with them in the first place their post would never have appeared in my news feed.
- I tendered for another website for a local business after commenting on their Facebook post. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that one, but it is a tactic that I still use.
- Today I was chatting to someone about a new eCommerce website and that came about by me commenting on their Instagram posts. Then a month or so later they got in touch and I will be submitting my quotation tomorrow.
How to Grow your Instagram Followers
I have saved this tip until last because this is my favourite and best tip and it’s so easy to do that you will wonder why you never thought of this before.
This tactic also works really well on Twitter too.
Find local competitors and just simply follow all of their followers, that’s it. You’ll find that some will automatically follow you back.
Only follow 30 or so per day because Instagram will stop you if you follow too many in a short space of time.
So if they are interested in your competitor’s content, well they are exactly the followers that you want.
But if you have the time go on to each of these followers pages and like 3 old posts because they will get notifications that you liked them and that will make you stand out as a potential good follower, so they will be even more likely to follow you back.
BONUS – Links in Facebook or Linkedin Posts
When your website is live you will probably want to put a link to a blog post to encourage your social media followers to visit your website. But the likes of Facebook & Linkedin don’t want to encourage their users to leave their platform so they will show these types of posts further down in user’s news feeds.
But there is a way around this by putting up a post, adding an image and mention something like read more about this by clicking the link in the comments section:
I picked up all of these tactics over the last few years working on some established local social media pages such as Mullingar.ie, Fagans Toymasters, Mullingar Christmas Market to name a few.
I have also attended various courses to brush up on this constantly changing digital space.
So check out the social media courses with Westmeath LEO as I have taken a few of them over the years and they are really good. I recently attended an Instagram course and Facebook ads course as these platforms are constantly evolving.
Currently, these courses are free as they are online but they are usually held in County Buildings in Mullingar in a classroom environment. But after Covid19 there will be a mixture of both.
Find out more here:
So if social media marketing is part of digital marketing strategy you need to be up to date with it.
If you have any queries regarding social media marketing or digital marketing in general, get in touch.
Gary is a website designer and has been building websites since 2010. He is a certified digital marketing strategist with the Digital Marketing Institute and he holds a 2019 BSc Degree in Digital Technology & Design (Distinction)