Episode 35: 8 Beginner Social Media Marketing Tips, with Jessica Reilly
In this episode, you will learn about the best social media tips from Jessica Reilly, Associate Consultant, at Break The Ice Media.
Working on social media for clients is a natural for Jessica. At any one time, she’ll be working on 3 – 6 client social media channels. She loves analytics — they help get more “eyes on the brand,” increasing awareness in a way the client couldn’t do before. At BTI, Jessica assists Rhonda Vaccaro in sales for group tours. She also does prep work, follow up, base research, updates the database, itinerary planning and creation. And she helps with press releases, creation for podcasts, and proofreading. You’ll also find her at FAMs and trade shows. It’s a good thing she’s got so much positive energy.
Jess, I’m looking forward to hearing your tips on social media. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the basics, a beginners course, so to speak. I’m really looking forward to it, and thank you for joining us today.
Thanks for having me, Nicole. I’m excited to be here.
That’s really awesome. I know social media has been around for a while now, but still, you’re out talking to clients and meeting new people, maybe, at conferences and trade shows. There’s so bit of a mystery around social media and how it fits in the marketing plan and basically, even how do you get started and what are the things you should think about. I’d really love to hear about your social media marketing tips. I know you’ve got several. I think our listeners really benefit from that.
Yeah. Absolutely. I’ll just dive right in with my first tip, which I think is absolutely the most important. Keep it short. Social media can be very overwhelming with all the platforms and people and brand all trying to talk at once. Long paragraph and big descriptions, you just get glazed right over. If it’s short and to the point, you keep people interested. Each post should have a focus. Like in journalism, don’t bury the lead. Make it the first line. Make it big and bold so people know what you’re talking about.
“Keep social media posts short.” – @jessica_reills #Podcast Click To Tweet
Secondly, going along with the attention span, make it visual. I heard at a conference I attended in the spring, more than just eye catching, social media needs to be thumb stopping.
Lots of people are going through their channels on their phone and you want your content to be visual enough and enticing enough that people stop scrolling and read what you have to say. You want to have good photography of your destination or your attraction. You don’t want shaky, low light, low resolution photo. You want beautiful photos that showcase your destination or attraction so people know what to expect and they’re excited. If you don’t have these photos, you can always crowdsource and repost. People like when brands and destinations approach them and ask to use their photos. It’s flattering, it’s good exposure for them. It’s great for the brand because these types of photos come free of charge. It’s very quick, very easy.
According to a recent study, when people read information, they’re likely to only remember about 10% of that information three days later. However, if that information is paired with a relevant and eye-catching image, people can retain up to 65% of the information. It really goes to show just how important being visual is in social media.
“A relevant and eye-catching image increases reader retention by 55%.” – @jessica_reills #Podcast Click To Tweet
Thirdly, you really have to know your audience. You have to know who is following each page and who is interested in your brand or destination or attraction. You can’t just throw things at a wall and see what sticks, but you also don’t want to make it too specific. People have very specific habits when it comes to social media and it’s important for brands to know this so that they know what their followers want to see and will engage with. Platforms like Facebook make it really easy to find this information under their Insights tab. They’ll tell you when your audience is online, what time is best for posting, which of your posts did the best, which one garnered the most likes or comments or shares. It makes it really easy for you to see what your audience likes and interacts with and engages with and for you to do more of that.
Another really important point in this is to have a call to action in each of your posts. When your audience sees your post, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to like your page or your photo or click on your sale? Do you want them to take a survey or vote in a contest? People don’t just automatically know what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Source: Pexels“Put a call to action in all of your social posts.” – @jessica_reills #Podcast Click To Tweet
Those are some really great tips. I love the whole idea of making a visual and this idea of crowdsourcing photos and the ability to ask people if you can use the photos and not to be shy about that because that really does make people feel good about themselves and they like to be asked to do that. I think that’s really, really great advice. The whole idea of having a call to action, that’s advertising 101 when you’re talking about traditional advertising but perhaps, you don’t really think about that when they’re looking at their social media marketing. I think that’s just really great advice. I know that you have some more tips to share, Jess. What might those be?
Yeah, absolutely. One really important thing to do across all channels is, monitor them. Keep an eye on your channels, particularly after you post something but also, just on a day-to-day basis. If you’ve just started an ad, keep an eye on its relevancy score and see if it’s doing really well or if it needs a couple tweaks. Pay attention to reviews on your Facebook page and see if people are commenting because they’re really happy or maybe because they’re not so happy. See who was responding to your tweets and commenting on your Instagram post and really make sure that you have a pulse on why people are coming to your page. Maybe they’re really happy, maybe they’re not so pleased. That’s something that’s important for you to know as a brand, which ties right into my next point.
Source: Pexels“Pay close attention to your social media channels to see how they're performing.” – @jessica_reills Click To Tweet
After you know why people are coming to your page, engage with them. If they’re taking the time out of their day to comment, or to like, or to share something that you’ve posted, engage with them. Thank them for a great comment. Thank them for a great review or respond to a review that you want to improve on. Ask questions about their experience and let them know that there’s a real person on the other end of the Facebook page or Instagram page or Twitter page who cares about their experiences.
As you mentioned earlier, social media can feel super confusing and overwhelming. Even though it’s an integral part of everybody’s PR or marketing plan, it’s important to be flexible. Social media is 24/7, 365 days a year. Even the best made plans can fail when things change on a dime. Having a plan is important, but so is being comfortable with deviating from that plan. Take regular stock of your channels and figure out which post are doing the best and which post your audience isn’t as fond of. Maybe you really like posting about deals and specials, but your audience likes to see photos at sunsets. It’s important to know that so you can continue to engage with your audience in the way that they want you to engage with them. They can surprise you from time to time as well. A/B testing like for an ad — running two different versions of an ad — is a really good way to gauge reaction.
My last tip is to just have fun with it. Social media can be a lot of work. It can be very time consuming, and it can be frustrating at times, but if you’re not having fun with your social media channels, your audience isn’t going to have fun with them either. They don’t want to follow people or a brand or destinations that they don’t feel are fun. It’s important to be creative and even a little silly with your posts, and your contests, and your photos. People like to laugh. They like to smile. They like to have a good time. It’s important that your posts are fun and can connect with them in that way. Social media is an unprecedented way to be able to reach a very specific audience and to be right on that level and to be able to interact with them almost face-to-face, but it’s really important not to lose that fun aspect of it. Nobody wants to be business 24/7. Your customers like to have fun, and they like when they can have fun with your brand or destination or attraction too.
“If you don't have fun with social media, your audience won't either.” – @jessica_reills #Podcast Click To Tweet
Those are some really great tips. I think, even though we said this is a beginner social media 101, I think that you really gave some really good guidelines even for the most seasoned professional, even as reminders. Let’s run back through on these eight tips; keep it short and concise, make it visual, know your audience, have a call to action, monitor and engage with your audience. I loved what you said about having a plan and having a plan is so important but also needing that flexibility and then the whole idea of having fun. You’re right, social media, the very nature of why it’s called social, socializing is fun. That’s what people like to do. Keeping it fun and making sure that you’re enjoying it, and that that comes across in your social media channels is really important as well. I think those were just fantastic tips. I really appreciate you sharing those with us. Do you have any final thoughts for our listeners before we sign off, Jess?
Don’t be intimidated by social media. With a little bit of research, you’ll know exactly what’s right for your brand. You’ll know where your audience is and what the best way to engage with them is. Every brand or destination does not need every channel. You shouldn’t add a channel just to add it. Cultivate the channels you do have and really make your audience feel important and engaged and you’ll see success.
Really awesome parting words. I really appreciate you being with us today. I know we’ll have you on again in the future teamcast to share more of your social media wisdom with our listeners. Thanks again, Jess.
Absolutely, Nicole. Thanks so much for having me.