Google the phrase “social media tips” and you instantly get inundated with things you should and shouldn’t be doing across your platforms. But how do you know which advice to listen to? We’ve collected 25 top social media marketing tips from some of the industry’s finest: Neil Patel shares how you can create more meaningful engagement with your followers; Jon Loomer offers advice on how to jazz up your Facebook ads, and Adam Singer shows you how you can make the most of social media reporting. 2019 is set to be the year to cultivate relationships with your customers, build a strategy that increases your ROI, and automate processes that carve out more time to spend on other areas of your business. So, without further ado… Humanize Your Brand Automate Reporting Prioritize Generation Z Upcycle Your Content Chatbots Are the Future Build a Brand Advocate Program Create Original Content Consider High-Level Media Objectives Publish a Mix of Videos Use Variation in Your Ad Creatives Steer Clear of Influencer Marketing Continuous Demographic Research Integrate Your Location Create a Content Cadence Ensure Consistency Create Your “Set of 50” Go Behind-the-Scenes Split Your Posts Collaborate With Like-Minded Businesses Post Engaging and Informational Content Make the Most of IGTV Tap into Voice Search Trends 1. Humanize Your Brand to Create Deeper Connections – Neil Patel, Social Media Expert at NeilPatel.com “Social media marketing gives you the chance to ‘humanize’ your brand. Social media is powerful because it gives you the chance to connect with people, in a personal way. You should take advantage of this and communicate with people on your social network via a media campaign as a brand representative, rather than a faceless company. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people, even if you are in the B2B sector. If you make your social network interactions personal, you’ll get better results, whilst increasing your social media presence.” Saving time on scheduling and tagging with Sked will leave you with more time for humanizing your content and get involved in conversations. Learn more about how Sked can save you time. 2. Automate Reporting to Save Time and Get More Productive Insights – Adam Singer, ex-Google employee and founder of the FutureBuzz “Automate your reporting so you can spend more time asking questions about data and less time doing repeat work Updating custom dashboards, spreadsheets, and reports manually is a time-consuming process. It’s also one no one really enjoys doing. Sure, it’s quicker to do it once, but over time, automation will save you a lot of effort, effort which is better spent asking questions of your data to tease out meaningful insights to inform your marketing.” Sked’s built-in Instagram analytics let you dig deep into your followers’ data so you can provide better, more engaging content. Read more about Sked’s analytics feature here. Instagram Story Metrics Made Easy Grab our ebook Your Guide to Instagram Stories: Measuring What Matters to take Your Instagram Stories game up a notch! 3. Prioritize Generation Z – Kim Smith, Content Marketing Manager at GoodFirms “Make Generation Z your priority, as they have now started entering the workforce, that means they have money to spend. And the best place to find them is Social Media. Many start-ups have had successful conversions on a very high percentage on social media platforms itself generating revenue. And hence, they continue to promote their products on social media and in-turn the social media channels are providing a smooth buying experience with customized ads. The year 2019 is about to see a very high rise in social e-commerce.” 4. Upcycle Your Content to Add Value – Donna Moritz, Social Media Educator, and Storyteller at Socially Sorted “When it comes to creating social videos at scale, upcycling is my new favorite buzzword. Using the upcycling approach, you can create dozens of pieces of video content without putting extra effort into the video creation. The upcycling strategy is the concept of taking one piece of content and converting it from one format to another. The idea behind it is to add value and repurpose existing content to bring it into circulation again.” (We wrote an ultimate guide to scheduling your instagram posts, click here to read it.) 5. Chatbots Are the Future – Emil Kristensen, Chief Marketing Officer at Sleeknote “Chatbots are popping up more often as consumers get more comfortable with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and virtual reality. These things used to sound “sci-fi” to most people but are now as mainstream as the iPhone. Now, e-commerce retailers can use chatbots to increase sales and provide customer service around the clock. Chatbots sound complicated, but the best part is you don’t even need coding knowledge to use them. You can create a Facebook chatbot to do just about anything. Whether it’s order/shipment tracking, customer service, order taking, customer surveys, or finding products–there’s a chatbot that can do each of these, and help you make sales on autopilot while still providing a personalized service to your customers.” Free Ebook: Social Media Planning for professionals Carve hours out of your social media workflow. Read the Advanced Guide to Social Media Planning Success. 6. Build a Brand Advocate Program – Michelle LeBlanc, Head of Social Media at Fuseideas “Building a brand advocate program often starts with identifying your most passionate supporters and finding a way to appeal to their existing habits, interests, and motivations — then building content programs that put those goals at the forefront. Marketing campaigns featuring paid influencers can be fun and can certainly achieve rapid awareness and reach, but they will never be able to counter the lasting value of an authentic advocate, particularly when it comes to countering criticism or improving the perceived status of your brand or industry.” 7. Create Original Content to Get More Eyeballs on Your Channels – David Meerman Scott, Speaker, and Author at DavidMeermanScott.com “As social media took off in popularity over the past decade, many people predicted the demise of blogs and websites. Why create original content, people said, when you can be active in the social “conversation”? That strategy may work for some, but if you are marketing a product or service, you still need original content that educates and informs. You still need to share your expertise with the world. Even for those people and organizations who are making good use of social media, potential customers still want somewhere they can go to learn more. That’s where your original content comes in.” 8. Consider Your High-Level Media Objectives – Rebekah Radice, Marketing Performance Expert at RebekahRadice.com “Start out by writing down your top three social media objectives. Remember that these should support your main business objectives. They should also challenge and inspire you. One of the best ways to check whether you’ve set the right goals is to ask yourself: “Is this something that, when achieved, would blow my mind?” All of your objectives should get a resounding “YES!” to this question.” G’day, nice to meet you! Discover Sked Social: the leading Instagram (and more!) scheduling tool for over 10,000 visual-first agencies and brands. Start your free trial 9. Publish a Mix of Videos to Increase Engagement – Mari Smith, Keynote Speaker, and Social Media Trainer at MariSmith.com “Publish a mix of videos you create professionally + your Facebook Live broadcasts. Live gets six times the engagement than recorded on Facebook. Consider going Live and/or uploading recorded videos on the same day and time each week so you have episodic content as a potential show on the Watch platform. Watch is currently in private beta in the US only.” Make sharing videos a part of your social media schedule with the Sked video publishing feature. 10. Use Variation in Your Ad Creatives – Jon Loomer, Facebook Marketing Expert at JonLoomer.com “When you have highly similar creatives across your campaign, multiple exposures of the same imagery/copy (high frequency) can be an issue for your audience. When there is a larger variation between creatives, the high frequency can be less of a problem. If you have a low budget, it’s rarely worthwhile to create multiple ads while watering down the results. Facebook’s Dynamic Creative allows the advertiser to submit up to 30 creative assets, and Facebook then mixes and matches to find what performs best.” Your creatives should align with the different channels your ads are on. For example, your Instagram Story ads should look different to your regular Instagram ads or Facebook ads. 11. Steer Clear of Influencer Marketing – Eileen Brown, Social Media Manager at ZDNet Despite the noise around influencer marketing, it might not be appropriate depending on who you’re trying to target: “If brands want to use influencers as a form of content marketing, and move further up search rankings, influencers are the worst way to spend their budget. Whether or not influencers can boost brand awareness, companies need to consider whether the huge budget needed for influencers can validate the investment needed to adjust their site ranking. As the audience becomes savvier, marketers need to smarten up too — so that they do not throw their scarce marketing budget away on channels that do not work for them.” 12. Carry Out Continuous Demographic Research – Aaron Lee, Social Media Expert at AskAaronLee.com “Conduct research into your demographic; this is an absolute must for every format of marketing out there. New words, new common phrases, new trends – all of these can change on a yearly or even weekly basis. Without knowing how your demographic acts with each other, you cannot create authentic and engaging content that they will relate to. This research could also give you key insight into upcoming trends that you can then cash in on before your competition.” 13. Integrate Your Location to Expand Your Customer-Base – Peg Fitzpatrick, Visual Marketing Specialist at PegFitzpatrick.com “This is less important for those of you that operate entirely online, but as a local small business, it is crucial that you tag your location so that people know where to find you. As a local business, it can be assumed you’re only trying to draw sales from your local community. You’d be surprised, however, at how many people would be willing to patronize your business, if they only knew where it was!” Sked lets you tag your location on Instagram when scheduling posts – a tip that can increase engagement by 29%. 14. Create a Content Cadence to Establish Trust – Dustin Hawley, Content Manager at Viral Nation “The idea revolves around book-ending your promotional posts with content that is not sales driven in its intent, while also engaging your audience with content that appeals to them. You then can begin to build a deeper relationship with your audience and establish trust, so those sales promotions are both more effective and better received.” 15. Ensure Consistency Across All Channels – Rosie Gladden, Digital Marketer at ImageX Media “Brand consistency is key across all areas of marketing, although none more so than social media. Retaining consistency across your social channels will work to elevate brand recognition, driving customer perception and engagement. Ultimately through which you will see results and ROI.” 16. Create Your “Set of 50” for Speedy Scheduling – Nicole Knobel, Social Media Expert at the Pinnergrammer “Working out your perfect set of 50+ interchangeable hashtags to grow your account is critical. Researching hashtags that are not banned (like #desk or #beautyblogger) and collecting up a set of laddered hashtags that can create a really good niche for growth for your account. To research #’s that work for your account the best, the best place to start is to see what the competition using and tweak it to see what works for you!” In the Sked dashboard, you can quickly and easily add hashtags to your scheduled posts so your content can be discovered by the right people. 17. Go Behind-the-Scenes – Zoe Vega, Digital Marketing Manager at CNG Digital Marketing “Give audiences a peek inside the inner workings of your brand. Our social media followers eat up behind-the-scenes content. This is a theme that consistently receives positive attention and engagement because it feeds curiosity for how brands operate and become successful. If you’re the tire manufacturing business, show us how you mix raw materials; if you’re a local brewery brand, let’s see your malting process; if you’re in the custom T-Shirt design trade, I want to see how you bring concepts to life.” 18. Split Your Posts to Increase Engagement – Stacy Caprio, Digital Marketer at Accelerated Growth Marketing “A great way to get your post shown to as many followers as possible is to get very high engagement from everyone who sees your post. Engagement includes likes, comments, follows, tags, and shares. To increase the likes and comments specifically, which will increase your post engagement and help the post be shown to many more followers, you can make a split post. A split post is a post with one photo on the left half and one on the right where you say in your description, “like for the left photo, comment for the right photo”.” Create split posts in Sked with the Visual Planner feature. This lets you see what your Instagram grid will look like before you hit publish so you can move images around and quickly create comparisons of side-by-side pictures. 19. Collaborate With Like-Minded Businesses – Diana Briceno, Social Media Expert at Diana Gets Social “You can only accomplish so much all on your own. The best way to grow your audience relatively fast and intelligently is by collaborating. You do not want to collaborate with just anyone though, it will be tempting! Reach out to people and brands that make sense for the values you have, the type of page you wish to have and the type of followers you want to acquire. Do not sacrifice your integrity, slow and steady wins the race.” 20. Post a Mix of Engaging and Informational Content – Brian Basilico, Best-Selling Author “There are two types of posts you should consider… Engagement posts and Informational posts. Engagement posts will appeal to a very broad audience, and help you grow your presence. The more engagement, the more your content shows up in feeds. Examples of these can be quotes, memes, or videos of a more viral style nature. The goal here is likes, comments, and shares. Informational posts should be crafted to each of your target audiences (people who could buy from you). These should offer more value and info. This could include blogs, podcasts, and short training videos. They also work best when you can get them out of the social media sandbox and onto your playground (your website and ultimately join your mailing list).” You may also like: 5 Sked Features that Make Managing Multiple Accounts Easy How Airbnb ‘Experiences’ Took Over Instagram 12 Awe-Inspiring Agency Accounts How to Increase E-Commerce Sales For Your Business With Instagram 10 Instagram Metrics That Matter (And How To Track Them) 21. Make the Most of IGTV to Reach More People – Jenn Herman, Social Media Expert at Jenn’s Trends “A secret success tip is to add hashtags to your video description. Like Instagram posts, you can add up to 30 hashtags in your description – which means your IGTV video will actually appear in regular hashtag searches. If you want to get found by new people and grow your channel, this is a tactic you must employ.” Here are some ways you can use IGTV to grow your business. 22. Tap Into the Latest Voice Search Trends – Canada’s leading social media firm, EngageQ “Social media is already being incorporated into voice-controlled personal assistants. For example, Alexa can read out your Twitter feed so you don’t have to stop to check your phone while making dinner. If your current social media posts include cryptic online lingo and shortened phrases, it’s time to optimize them for voice-controlled assistants by being more conversational. Twitter even doubled their word limit so there are no excuses now. As mentioned above, people are now searching by asking questions. A social media strategy to combat this is to create content that clearly answers “who,” “what,” “where,” “why,” and “how” questions. That way, a voice-controlled assistant can easily find the answer to the user’s question and deliver the correct information about your business.” Social Media Tips to Skyrocket Your 2019 Now you know the social media tips of the pros, you can start working on your strategy for 2019. The new year brings new opportunities and, with this great advice from the experts, you can make every single post count over the next year. Maybe you’ll start posting more videos, integrate chatbots into your social channels, or give customers a look behind the scenes of your business. Whichever of these social media tips you plan to take on board, it’s time to starting thinking about your strategy for the next twelve months. Are you ready? If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.