Social media is the number one daily online activity among Americans, and it has even surpassed the time spent on email and Google. In a 2015 survey by Clutch, it was revealed that only 53 percent of small businesses use social to actively market their business. Hence, there is a tremendous scope of improvement in the manner you reach your audiences using social media. But wait! If you are still selling on social media then you need to stop right now! Using social platforms simply for selling purposes is the biggest mistake that the brands are making today. Social media should be used as an introductory platform where the brands should not shout but instead provide value to the audiences. It should lure the visitor to your website or to the email list but it should never be the first and last step to selling products. Even with companies still catering to local audiences, businesses will inevitably have to scale and expand. Looking to gain traction across a global audience, your business will need to effectively market across social media in order to engage a better and bigger audience. Here are the top 5 hacks to drastically improve your social media marketing efforts: #1. Scale up Posting While Maintaining the Optimal Frequency Regular posting across all your social channels is extremely important. I have personally been following this posting frequency across the social channels: Twitter: 12 times per day, seven days a week, from midnight to 10:00 p.m. On weekends, I decrease the frequency and keep it to around five to six posts per day. Facebook: two to three times per day, seven days a week, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. LinkedIn: twice per day, from Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Google+: two to three times per day, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., no weekends. Another crucial point to remember is that whenever you scale up your social media marketing efforts, you will need to ensure that your infrastructure is responsive enough to ensure fast access, especially when your social shares go viral across a global audience. Deploying a content delivery network like Incapsula will ensure that your network topology covers as wide an area possible, to ensure best turnaround time even for users in remote regions. Scattered CDN #2. Analyze Your Post and Interaction History It is important to understand the audience behavior before you re-strategize. One of the best ways to do that is by using tools that let you understand the past audience behavior. Some of the top tools that you can use are Iconosquare, Buffer, Viralwoot, Tailwind, Quintly, Klout, Riffle, etc. These tools will let you know the social score and past audience engagement history that will let you know which tweets and posts have generated the maximum audience engagement and when. Iconosquare dashboard for tracking engagement history #3. Customize What You Share with Whom Facebook custom audience is a great way to reach potential audiences in order to increase visibility and reach. For example, you can create a custom audience of everyone who recently purchased a specific product or service, and then target this audience with upsells. Here are the content types that are popular on specific social media channels: Twitter: Most of the people follow breaking news on Twitter. It is also the channel where sports fans and news junkies engage by sharing their opinions. Facebook: Posts that provoke a personal sentiment in your fans receives the maximum engagement. Also, images are going to get you more likes, clicks, comments, and shares. LinkedIn: Posts that are more focused and match a specific niche, such as health care, big data or public relations are more successful. Hence, it is important to pick a specific niche you’re familiar with and write consistent, compelling content around topics in that niche. Google Plus: Your Google+ cover image is an excellent marketing and branding tool so make sure you utilize this image to the maximum. Posts that have images and provide an exclusive insight get the desired engagement. #4. Use “if this, then that” Tool – The Secret Recipe for Social Success IFTTT is a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called “recipes”. Simply create an account and hook up all of your social profiles, blogs, cell phone numbers, etc. As for example, you can create a recipe like sending a message to your audience if the IFTTT user tweets using a certain hashtag. Or, if the user is tagged by someone on Facebook, then that photo will be added to the user’s cloud-based photo archive. If you are looking to instantly boost up your marketing efforts using IFTTT but are short of time to create customized recipes then here is the big list of IFTTT recipes provided by Buffer which you can instantly try out for yourself. Popular Facebook recipes on IFTTT #5. Use Image Recognition Marketing Tools The future of the web is visual. It is time you take a plunge into image recognition marketing. Sites like Pinterest, focuses on visual search functionality, machine learning and image recognition to enable users to leverage the power of visual marketing. Moreover, visual commerce platforms like Curalate goes a step further and connects pictures, people and products. Popular brands like Gap and Target are already utilizing image recognition technology to enhance the overall shopping experiences of the users. Nowadays, a person’s digital image and profile plays an important role and there are opportunities for even greater personalization and relevancy. Curalate dashboard displaying brand activity. I am a great fan of Curalate’s like2buy product that turns the one link in a brand’s Instagram profile into a gateway to buy products from any of their Instagram posts. Other services you can make use of include fan reel, visual insights, reveal and ads. Reaching a global audience requires patience, creativity and analysis. Getting a little focused and utilizing just a few hours per month, you can reach out to customers without forcing them to buy your products. Are you currently using any out of the box social media promotion strategy that you would like to share with our audience? Please let me know in your comments below. Images: ” Author’s Own“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. 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