As a social media strategist, you never want to be at a loss to help your clients. Should they want to try something new or expand their reach to new audiences, you need to have new ideas ready to brainstorm.
And social media marketing is about so much more than just posting interesting content or nice-looking pictures. You need to have solid strategies in place so you can know how to accomplish specific results that your brand or your client is looking for.
Let’s take a look at 16 tried-and-true examples of social media strategies that can help you drive real results.
Why You Should Never Take a Single Strategy Approach
It’s nearly impossible at this stage of the social media game to focus on a single strategy and stay successful. Some brands remain entirely focused on growth or engagement to the point that they fail to recognise how these can all be interconnected, never mind that businesses rarely need to achieve just one metric. They want a larger engaged audience that buys more, not just a bigger audience that does nothing or only succeeds in getting their existing audience to comment more. You need all the rungs.
Here we’ll outline a few different ideas you can keep on hand so that you can create a diverse, expansive, and increasingly effective social media marketing strategy . Note that there will be plenty of overlap between the strategies, so some may serve more than one purpose.
4 Examples of Growth Strategies for Social Media
Growth strategies are a must for any social media campaign, but not in isolation. How can you grow your following and help them along to the next stage of the sales funnel?
These four examples of social media strategies for growth are a solid start.
1. Social Media Contests
Social media contests are obviously great for engagement and growth, but they also go a long way towards attracting new followers and motivating them to not just follow but engage.
You have a number of software options for running your contest, like Shortstack, Wishpond, or Vyper. They can help you not only capture user engagement with things like photo submissions, but you can get their email addresses, too. It’s an effective social growth and lead generation strategies.
You can require people to follow your accounts in order to enter the contest, which can help growth.
You can also encourage users to submit their own photo or caption a picture and share it on their social media, tagging your accounts. This method ensures that even more people see it through their friend’s socials, which can also help your accounts grow further.
2. Partnering With Other Brands
Partnerships with beloved brands often make for the most engaging growth strategies because it forces both brands to get creative for an eye catching contest.
Partnering up with known brands gives you instant credibility with your partner’s audience, builds trust in not just their audience but also your existing one.
Small businesses can take advantage of this strategy, too, even if they aren’t widely known. They likely have local followings, and promoting both products and brands at once (and potentially selling them together, like one brand’s delicious cookies that pair with another’s excellent drinks!) can drive social media follower boosts for both.
3. Host “Account Takeovers”
The account takeover is a very popular growth strategy. It involves someone not directly related to the brand (typically an influencer or partner brand) who creates content that you post on their behalf to your account in a “takeover.”
It should be specified in the agreement that the individual will promote the takeover on their accounts, and they create content to post on your accounts for a set period around a certain theme.
These are especially great for behind-the-scenes type events or “A Day in the Life of” campaigns. Takeovers are not only a great way to grow your brand, but also breathe new life into a social media feed or fill a lull in your brand’s programming or employee’s vacation time. It doesn’t hurt that your own team gets to take a day off from creating content, too!
4. Being Search- & Discoverability-Friendly
This might seem obvious, but remaining search-friendly and discoverable can sometimes be an afterthought rather than part of your strategy as a whole. You don’t want this to be the case, because it can prevent you from capturing low-hanging fruit in terms of audience members who are actively searching for you.
Be sure to consider the key phrases people might use to find brands like yours on Facebook and YouTube specifically. People tend to employ slightly different search terms or phrasing depending on the platform, so adjust accordingly. And remember to collect Facebook reviews; it can help with search visibility.
Content on Instagram, especially Reels, also has amazing discoverability features. If your brand is only posting on its main Feed and not Stories or Reels, there’s a whole world of new audiences you might be missing.
You can also use popular or trending hashtags on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter; evergreen hashtags for general topics and seasonal, event, or holiday-specific hashtags to catch the moments. A great element of a social media strategy is always to create content that brings users to you through their questions.
Growth Strategies Not to Use
We’ve all heard some of these ideas, and sometimes a client will throw it out there as something they’ve heard will increase growth quickly and easily. It’s up to us to calmly explain why these strategies are outdated or were never good plans to begin with:
- Follow for follow. This doesn’t actually work in most cases, and if it does you’re only getting followers from people who care about their own follower account and not your content. They won’t engage, and will likely stop following you shortly after you reciprocate. It also signals to other users that your following may be less than legit.
- Buying followers. It’s fairly easy for a mildly social media-savvy customer to suss out a brand that buys followers. A quick scroll shows few fleshed-out profiles and engagements will always remain low. Whereas in the early days of social media, buying followers might have been part of a strategy, nowadays it’s just a sign that you aren’t as genuine as you might seem.
- Using “follower” software to grow. Most of the time, the followers you might gain from such software will stand out as bought followers for the reasons outlined above. But primarily, you don’t want your brand to engage in such practices because it looks bad if anyone takes a close look, shows a disingenuity with your brand, and the short-term payoff is never as good as the long-term, more organic growth you could focus on instead.
4 Examples of Engagement Strategies for Social Media
Visibility algorithms depend heavily on engagement, and an engaged follower is more likely to convert to a paid customer and is more likely to see your content moving forward. Keep these ideas handy during your strategy meetings to ensure you include all of the foundations for excellent brand engagement.
1. Create Valuable Resources
It’s tried and true in the social media world: give people the information they need and you’ll get saves; present it in an easy to read infographic, and your audience will reward you with shares.
Present your brand as the go-to palace for helpful hacks around your product to create content people need, their friends love, and they will engage.
2. Ask for Follower Opinions
People love to tell you their opinion, and even better if it’s multiple choice. That could be why polls are such a popular social media engagement strategy. Even something as simple as ”what do you think” about x will spark someone’s imagination and encourage them to engage. Polls are available on a number of different platforms, including Twitter and Instagram Stories.
You can capture user feedback by asking “What do you love, Grey walls or bright walls?” or “what’s your favourite flavour?” Opinions are such an easy way to build engagement fast that you’ll want to integrate it regularly into your strategy.
Make sure that you’re testing how your audience responds to open-ended questions like “What’s your favourite flavour” vs “this or that” questions like “Grey or bright walls” so you can create stronger engagement-focused posts in the future.
3. Engage With Your Audience
The best way to invite engagement is to engage yourself, even when replying to negative comments (this is important in its own right).
Keep the conversation going.
And as a bonus, some platforms like Facebook will show when someone’s friend engages on a Page’s feed, which can help with growth and brand awareness.
4. Go Live
Facebook has a live video feature that does insanely well; considering that 80% of Facebook users say they prefer a live video to reading a blog post, it should absolutely be part of your engagement and growth strategy.
You can schedule the live ahead of time, tie it to a Facebook Event, promote and boost it, and get started! People love getting to ask questions in real time, and once it’s over, you can share the video and promote it all over again.
Engagement Strategies Not to Use
If it makes you cringe when someone does it to you, it’s probably not a great engagement strategy.
Here are two of our peeves when it comes to Engagement don'ts:
- Tagging people in pictures or posts where it’s not relevant to them. Engagement doesn’t work when it’s not targeted well; we aren’t throwing spaghetti at the wall here. Tagging people unnecessarily is an excellent way to get your brand’s Page muted.
- Asking people to tag their friends in pictures that have nothing to do with them. This just translates to spam nowadays, and even if people take you up on it, there’s no better way to lose any organic influence than by taking part in such antics.
4 Examples of Brand Awareness Strategies for Social Media
Brand awareness and growth obviously can be connected, but this section will focus on what you can do to specifically introduce and grow familiarity with your brand.
1. Tell Your Brand’s Story Through Video
It’s no secret that video can tell a story faster and pack more information into a smaller amount of time than any text or even still image.
It’s a great way to introduce your audience to aspects of your brand they don’t normally get to witness, as the example above illustrates. Think of fun ways to use video and feature it prominently on your Page (and in ads!) to tell different aspects of your brand’s story
2. Add Brand Logos or Use Brand Colors In Images
One visual way to imprint your brand onto everything the customer sees is to lean on brand colours in your posts, and always add a thumbnail of your brand logo to every image, especially when it’s shareable. Make use of the Instagram “themed” colour galleries, so it’s easy to create such templates across the brand. A visually pleasing image is for your cover photos to match the brand colours, especially in YouTube cover art.
Sharing an image? Add your logo at the bottom. Creating a very shareable infographic? Make sure your logo is part of the graphic so no one can just crop it out; get brand credit for your work while building awareness!
3. Run UGC Campaigns
UGC (User Generated Content) is often your bread and butter of engagement. Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories are always a great place to share your UCG regularly and as often as you receive it.
If you want influencers and fans to start creating and sharing UGC, send them specific instructions for what you want to see users do; brands can publish this in their bios or create posts that have CTAs explaining what to do.
Examples of UGC you ask for might include unboxing, sharing how they use the final product, and more. When you provide instructions, people are more likely to follow through by creating content and sharing it with you.
4. Create a Branded Hashtag
One way to generate threads of UCG you can then share is to create a hashtag specific to your brand and encourage others to use it. This strategy is particularly valuable on Instagram but great for TikTok and Twitter, too. If your hashtag is one that people can also respond to and remix on TikTok, even better.
Branded hashtags like #LoveLoft and #chipotlehacks are the way to go. Use the branded hashtag on your posts and encourage your followers to use it, too, to create threads of UGC and branded content that build brand awareness and recognition
4 Examples of Selling Strategies for Social Media
Last but not least, we’ve got social selling. Who doesn’t want to drive more sales thanks to their hard work on social media?
These four examples of strategies for social media selling will get you off to a good start.
1. Encouraging Wish List Creation
Tieks ballet flats hold a highly successful annual holiday contest where they encourage users to build a wishlist and send it to friends and family; after sending it, you can win part of your wishlist! It’s a solid selling strategy that creates a high-intent action you also share with your friends, spawning more potential engagement.
Even if you don’t want your wishlist creation to be attached to a contest, it’s a high-intent action that can drive sales. It gets people on your site and thinking about what they’d like to purchase.
You can also offer 10% off with the creation of a wishlist, or just remind users to add items to it.
2. Offering Exclusive Access to Sales & New Products
Consumers love a deal, and even better if it's exclusive to a small group. That's why brands might offer their Facebook group members special access to purchase new products first, or special links to share with friends.
Instagram Stories is the perfect way to share a coupon code that’s only good for 24 hours. The limited offer is sure to generate some serious urgency and excitement that can yield a near-immediate purchase.
There are lots of options here so get creative and try to leverage both scarcity and urgency by offering exclusive discounts to different groups of followers on social media.
3. Setting Up Shoppable Features On Each Platform
A thrilling addition to social media platforms is the shoppable features, where customers can make purchases either on-site or as directly as possible.
You’ll want to take a look at the following:
- Facebook’s shopping features makes it much easier to sell items directly on the platform, even allowing your brand to tag your posts appropriately.
- Instagram shopping features works much the same way, using Instagram Posts and Stories to reach more of those 130 million users who tap an Instagram Shop post every month.
- Similarly, Buyable Pins connect products connected to your Pinterest search and links you directly to the checkout page on the product’s e-commerce website.
- YouTube isn’t quite as direct, but you can now add a Donate button, Membership button, and Merchandise hub, but they’re testing a direct link to purchase products mentioned in a YouTube video, to affiliates’ joy.
4. Use Pinterest
Pinterest is often deeply neglected, but it can stand alone as a selling strategy, particularly for eCommerce brands.
Whether you target those who make vision boards, collect research, or just like to scroll through Pinterest’s Boards and Collections, it’s the closest experience to window shopping we have on social media. Connect, pin with partners, and allow your customers the easiest way to indulge in your product.
As you can see, brands are at no loss for interesting methods of aligning growth, engagement, and sales. Choose the methods that work best for you and that you believe will be most effective with your target audience.
All of these strategies can be customised and adapted, scaled up or down. There’s endless flexibility, which is why they’re 16 of the strongest social media strategies you can start with.