Over the past few years, businesses have devised and employed different ways of realizing growth through social media marketing hacks. Social media has become the gateway for brands to reach out to their target audience, owing to the growing number of social media users being witnessed every year.
As of early 2020, social media giants like Facebook has 2.5 Billion Monthly Active Users (MAU) and 1.63 Billion Daily Active Users (DAU). YouTube has 2 Billion monthly logged-in users, while Instagram has 1 Billion MAU!
As a result, most businesses whether large or small are desperate to achieve marketing growth through social media because more likely than not, their audiences are using these platforms every single day.
In this era, marketers and business owners like yourself are recognizing the capacity of social media in terms of engaging the audience about your products or services. Realizing social media growth is beyond just posting your content to different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
As a marketer, you need to post captivating and relevant content to be able to create a rapport with your audience by providing value. Today, marketers are discovering different (and clever) hacks at a rapid speed!
Here are 13 social media marketing growth hacks that are part of my list of “30 Social Media Marketing Growth Hacks Playbook”. If you’d like to receive the 30 growth hacks, feel free to download it below!
13 Easy And Actionable Social Media Growth Hacks
Did you know that users under 25-years old use Instagram 32 times in a day. While on average, Facebook has 1.63 billion people logging into their platform daily!Click To Tweet
There are certain times during the day in which social media users are mostly online and active. The more you engage with your audience, the more they become accustomed to your brand and products or services. Eventually, you will be able to establish a large community across all the social media sites.
As a social media marketer, it is important to take advantage of these times to engage with the audience. Take note that different industries will have different times for the highest amount of engagement.
But in general, for Facebook, the highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1pm to 3 pm. Facebook posts at 7pm will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8pm. You have the potential to reach more consumers and drive higher traffic to your site during peak usage times, but people may be more likely to be more engaged in the evenings. On Thursdays and Fridays, engagement is usually 18% higher compared to the rest of the days in the week.
On the other hand, for Instagram, the highest traffic usually occurs between 2pm to 3pm, on Tuesdays to Fridays.
Not sure what times & days are best for your business on Instagram?
If you’ve created a business account, use Instagram Insights!
Under Insights, go to the “Audience” tab and look for the “Followers” section. Here you can find out the Hours and Days your audience are active on Instagram.
Try publishing 6 to 7 posts during the peak times and days stated above for 2 weeks. Measure the amount of engagement you received along with other important metrics and compare it with your current data.
Creating online movements or campaigns using hashtags has become one of the important social media growth hacks for many businesses. In order to get your content visible in front of a wider audience on social media, using hashtags has proven to be one of the best methods.
You can use over 30 hashtags on a single Instagram post! Usually, what I would do is to use my branded hashtag (e.g. #matinwallister, #plexxie) and other relatable hashtags as part of my caption. After the post is published, I would immediately include a comment with all the other hashtags which would total up the entire post to have 30 hashtags.
Try and test it!
Once you publish your posts and applied the hashtags on them, you should check if your posts are receiving impressions via this hashtags. To do this, go to your latest post and tap on view insights. Scroll down and you’ll see the Discovery section. Look at the numbers for Impressions From Hashtags.
Compile at least 40 hashtags, including your own branded hashtags that you will use for your subsequent posts. To learn how to research and compile hashtags, go to Hack #4.
Apply the hashtags on all your upcoming posts.
Stories are available on most social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and of course, Snapchat. Instagram Stories was launched in 2016 and today, over 500 million users use this feature daily.
Why use stories? It gives users a channel to share their everyday moments without actually having to keep the content on their profile. This is also a great opportunity for businesses to increase their visibility.
Over one-third of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses! And to further improve visibility, you can use up to 10 hashtags per story.
Many brands find using hashtags (or too many hashtags) in their stories distracting as it might look visually “noisy”.
Here’s another tip!
Use stickers like GIFs to hide your hashtags. Just ensure that the hashtags are small enough to be covered behind the stickers.
With the hashtags, you have researched and compiled hashtags from Hack #4, create a new story (image or video) and select up to 10 relatable hashtags to insert into your story post.
Then, choose a sticker and place it on top of the hashtags so that the hashtags will not be seen by your audience.
What are you waiting for? Start posting!
By this point, you should have recognised how much hashtags can boost your brand visibility on social media organically.
Here are a few categories of hashtags you should have in your arsenal:
1. Geolocation Tags
Geolocations are gathered from the physical location of your mobile device, which allows users to store or tag their content to those coordinates. Keep in mind, this only applies if you tell Instagram to publicize your location.
2. Branded Hashtags
A hashtag that is specifically for your brand, campaigns, promotions, product launches or contests. Branded hashtags allow your audience to join an existing conversation or community, improving your brand awareness and visibility. I strongly recommend for you to include a brand hashtag on every single one of your post!
3. Category Hashtags
Hashtags that are formed around a community, an idea, interests, object… basically anything.
4. Location+Category Hashtags
That’s just what it is. Take a category and a location you’re targeting and put it together. For example, you’re in the “Technology” industry and you’re based in “Singapore”, you can use “#TechSingapore, #TechSG, #SGtechnology, #SGtech, etc.”
Now that you know the variety of hashtags you can use, it’s time to research on which hashtags you should use for your posts. I suggest having a list of 50 hashtags with varying degree of popularity. What do I mean by that?
In our book, popular hashtags are categorised as having more than 500,000 user-generated posts while less popular hashtags have between 10,000 to 490,000 user-generated posts. This allows you to be competitive in pursuing the top/trending posts spot in the hashtag pages.
I implore you to look for hashtags manually instead of using auto-generated hashtags available all over the internet. By doing this, you will be able to understand and look through the posts in every hashtag. Here’s Plexxie’s way of conducting hashtag research.
Plexxie’s 4 Steps Hashtag Research For Instagram
Step 1: Go to the Explore page (magnifying glass icon)
Step 2: Go to the “Tags” tab and type in the first hashtag that you’d like to use. Tap the hashtag to open the hashtag page.
Step 3: Write down the number of posts already tagged with the hashtag. Look through the posts and see if the content available is similar to yours. Find out the similarities the “Top” content has. You can copy some of their strategies for your next posts.
Step 4: Look at the “Related” hashtags Instagram recommended to you. Tap on one of the recommended hashtag and repeat Step 3 and Step 4.
Use Plexxie’s 4 Steps Hashtag Research For Instagram to carefully cluster and select 50 appropriate hashtags. Add these hashtags into your list of 50 hashtags. For every post from today, carefully select and include 30 hashtags from your list of 50, that are most relatable to the content. You should also include at least 1 “Branded Hashtag” and 1 “Location+Category Hashtag” in every single one of your future posts.
Additionally, you can also look at what hashtags your competitors are using and leverage on them.
You can look at Hack #20, by downloading my “30 Social Media Marketing Growth Hacks Playbook” below, to know more about what you can look out for from your competitors social media profiles!
There’s a particular action I refer to as “Post & Ghost”, where I see brands using social media only to post their content and not engage with their audience. And it’s funny how they start wondering why they’re not getting any engagement on their posts.
This hack is simple and straightforward. For every comment you receive on your posts, reply to them promptly. Even though you know it’s a “generic, copy & paste” comment, reply to them. What you’re doing is to show your audience you do care when it comes to replying or listening to what they have to say. Plus, when replying comments, you’re increasing your own engagement rate for your posts as well!
Once you’re done replying to comments, interact with your target audience by leaving comments on their posts. You can comment on posts that use similar hashtags to you. Just remember to leave a thoughtful comment related to their content! For example, if they posted an infographic on “How To Save Money”, you can discuss certain points of the infographic in the comments section.
Here’s a two-step approach you should do daily!
- Reply to at least 10 comments on your old or new posts
- Leave a thoughtful and relatable comment on at least 5 posts, from 3 different hashtag pages.
Unless you’re a globally recognised brand, you should reduce the frequency of posting content that shouts “Me, Me, Me” all the time. Posting too much content that showcases nothing but your products and services and promoting them will get repetitive and boring for your audience. In a matter of time, they will probably be engaging and following your brand.
It is not a bad idea to post self-centred content, but too much of it can be problematic especially if you want to achieve growth on social media platforms. This can be counter-productive. Proper content helps in establishing the context in which the audience can consume your content.
Our strongest advice that always works for our clients is to provide value first. There’s a ton of other types of content you can create that will benefit your audience.
This includes creating content that consists of:
- Tips & tricks
- Memes & GIFs
- Curated articles
- User-generated content you found via your branded hashtag
Your content needs to be informative, unbiased and customer-centric. When creating all these content, remember to include a watermark with your Business Name/Logo & Instagram, Facebook or Twitter handle on every content.
The reason why you’re doing this is to first gain their trust, and then sell to them.
Create 3 different content that gives away exciting and compelling information about the industry you’re in. Post it within the next 2 weeks. Don’t forget to include relatable hashtags in your post captions!
Did you know that because Facebook is moving towards being a “Pay-To-Play” platform, only 5% to 7% of your current audience (AKA the people who follow you) see your posts organically?
Many brands are posting amazing contents, but the mistake they’re making is that they’re only posting it once. With an increase in the number of content being posted on a daily basis coupled with the high number of active social media users, consistent posting and re-posting heightens the chances of your posts being seen by your audience.
Make the effort to create more Evergreen content that you can post 2/3 times every month. By doing so, you’ll reduce the amount of effort to create new content. At the same time, you’ll constantly have content to publish onto your social media profiles. That particular content will now be able to reach its full potential as it’s reaching out to more people in your audience.
Create 3 Evergreen content and publish it throughout the month on various social media platforms. Use free social media management tools like Buffer to schedule your posts throughout the month.
Or, if you’re using Instagram, you can start off with Hack #9.
Similar to Hack #7, you’ll use existing content that you spent a lot of effort and energy creating, and repurpose it by presenting the content in a different format.
For example, let’s say you wrote a 1000 words article on ‘Different Types Of Tea”. Instead of posting the article as a link on Facebook and Twitter again, you can create an infographic on the topic. This time around, since it’s an image, you can post it up to Facebook, Twitter and of course, Instagram!
If you have written an article before: Create an infographic based on the data of your latest article and publish it on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
If you have not written an article before: Find an article online on a topic that will resonate with your audience. Create an infographic based on the data of that article and publish it on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
Download my “30 Social Media Marketing Growth Hacks Playbook” below!
Remember how I mentioned to post your content again, and again, and again?
Well, use this trick on Instagram! After sharing your content on your Instagram feed, share that post on your Instagram story. This is a neat trick to always have something to post on your stories when you feel that you do not have anything else to share.
I strongly advice you to post daily on Instagram stories as it’s a way to constantly put your brand in-front of your audience. As of 2019, 500 million Instagram users use stories. In most cases, they use it to enhance their daily posts.
Don’t have a new post on that day? You can use someone else’s posts (something that your audience might find interesting of course) to share it on your stories!
After posting on your Instagram feed, wait for 2 to 3 hours and do the following:
Step 1: Go to the recent post
Step 2: Tap on the Share icon
Step 3: Tap on “Add post to your story”
Step 4: Apply Hack #3 for your Instagram Story
User-Generated Content (UGC) is content created and shared by your community around your brand, your products or services, or your message. Your community’s content about you is probably a hundred times worth compared to yours. If used correctly, you can harness the power of UGC.Marketers should always understand their audience’s passions and talents, and find ways to share them. Click To Tweet
How do you find your user-generated content? The easiest way is to search via hashtags.
Remember how I told you to create a branded hashtag early on? This is one of the reasons why you need to create one. So that you can publish the best of your community’s content on your feed.
Another method is to find their content via your tagged posts. If someone tags you on their post, feel free to share it onto your feed.
Usually, you should ask for their permission to use their content. But more often than not, users are fine with you publishing their content on your feed as long as you give them their due credit. Meaning, be sure to tag them in your post and give them the credits.
Look at my company’s Instagram page – It’s MOSTLY made up of user-generated content, and we managed to build a community out of it! Posting our UGC also generated one of the highest engagement for our profile.
What type of content should you share? Don’t overthink it! Find content from the community in your industry that is valuable and informative, but not boring or visually unappealing.
Find 3 user-generated content that is visually appealing, informative and/or has an interesting story behind it. Publish it within the next 2 weeks.
How do you find user-generated content on Instagram?
Method 1: Go to the explore page and search for your branded hashtag. Select 3 posts.
Method 2: Go to your profile and select the “Tagged” section. Select 3 posts.
And if you do not find any appealing content via your branded hashtag or your tagged posts…
Method 3: Go to the explore page and search for hashtags that are relatable to your brand. Select 3 posts.
Neil Patel, a fellow digital marketer, has written a blog post on why using emojis (or emoticons) is important and how you can apply them as part of your marketing strategy. He found that 92% of the online population use emojis, and companies are using this information to connect with their audiences on a more human level.
On your posts, you can incorporate smileys, animals, hand gestures, faces, animals and even fruits & vegetables. The options are endless!
Think about it. When you communicate via messages, emails or when you’re using social media with someone you’re personally close with, you usually use emojis, don’t you? This is why many companies are applying this tactic. To further heighten their “close relationship” with their audience.
What’s more is that when you use emojis along with your texts, your post will be more eye-catching compared to a post that is text only!
Take a look at the graph below to find out the top 10 most-used emojis that has the best engagement.
Start using 2 to 3 emojis on your posts. Use emojis that can help to convey and express the message of your content further!
Many brands are already doing this. They create a piece of content for Instagram, and they share the same content on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Yes, you can do this for most content types! But do you know that some content types work better on certain social media platforms?
I’ll give you my recommendations below.
Apart from content types, I suggest many brands not to utilise too many social media platforms that they couldn’t manage or be consistent to engage on. As a digital marketer, it is important for you to identify which social media platforms will work best for your brand.
You shouldn’t always copy and paste their content across social media. Understand each network individually and create media that fits within those parameters.
Ask yourself these 3 things to identify a suitable social media platform:
- Is your audience using this social media platform? Are they using this platform during most of their time?
- Does the social media platform have the right tools to assist you in accomplishing your business goals?
- Does the social media platform have the right tools to convey the message and value of your brand?
Now let’s look at what content types work best on common social media platforms:
Facebook – Videos & Curated Content
YouTube – Videos & Stories
Instagram – High-res Photos, Quotes, Stories, Vertical Long-Form Videos
Twitter – News, Blog Posts, GIFs, Memes, Funny Videos
LinkedIn – Jobs, News, Professional Content
Similar to Actionable Step for Hack #7, use free social media management tools like Buffer to schedule your same post across your social media platforms. Remember to take note of what content works best on those platforms.
Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute, says: Make online friends with some of your top industry influencers by frequently sharing their content. Tweet, re-tweet and like their posts (on Twitter). With any luck, they will eventually notice you, follow you, and reciprocate your efforts by sharing your content with their audience. This increases your reach and may lead to more followers and potential customers.
Influencers are considered to be those individuals that have established a following across social media platforms and have a highly engaged community around them. There are a number of ways in which you can build relationships with influencers to be able to increase your reach.
I’m going to add-on to Joe’s words by stating that you should build relationships with MICRO influencers! For Instagram, micro influencers have anywhere between 1,000 to 10,000 followers with engagement ranging between 5% to 20% per post.
Here are a few advantages of working with micro influencers:
- 60% Higher Engagement
- Underpriced (6.7X more cost-efficient per engagement)
- Drive 22% more social buzz than the average consumer
- More Trusted – Opinions evoke a high degree of credibility and confidence from friends & followers
- Brand Relevant – High connection with the brand, their products/services, and brand-relevant topics
- There’s Many Of Them – Exist in greater numbers than mega or macro influencers, thus able to generate content at scale
- Loyal – The have positive brand affinity and high brand relevance and resonance
- Will Advocate – Will recommend publicly support brand and products
- Have Influence – Able to drive friends & followers to take a desired action
- Products or Services Motivated – Usually motivated by free products or services, unlike macro influencers who are usually motivated by money
Set a mission to research on 5 different micro influencers you should work with. Here are a few general guidelines you should look out for:
- Have at least 5000 Followers on their profile
- Has an engagement rate between 6% to 9%
- The influencer is relatable to your brand (thus sharing the same audience with your brand)
Once you have the a of 5 micro influencers, connect with them and offer them an opportunity to work together long-term.
Watch the first 6 Hacks in video!
In the era of social media, most marketers and business owners are becoming desperate to achieve social media growth within a limited time. Realistically, it is something you need to put more effort and resources into as it takes time to grow your reach organically. Over the years, there have been various social media growth hacks that have been proposed and utilized.
I hope these 13 social media marketing growth hacks will help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
If you’re looking to grow it further, you may download my “30 Social Media Marketing Growth Hacks Playbook” where I share 17 additional growth hacks on top of this list of 13 hacks. Download it below!
Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments section! Would love to know if you’ve tried any of these hacks before and if it actually worked for you.
Most importantly, have fun in doing what you do!