Social Media on a Budget: The Right Post Rises (in the Newsfeed)

We’ve heard the legend too many times to count. The lone social media marketer, clicking away at their phone keyboard deep into the night. They are essential, but your company – and that lone wolf – deserves more.

To all the coffeepot-ed crusaders out there, we salute you. We know running a successful social media campaign can be challenging, especially if you have to go it alone.

For some reason, a lot of companies don’t truly understand the exorbitant amount of time and work that goes into developing and running a successful social media strategy.

Just because Facebook accounts are free, doesn’t mean social media marketing is.

While Bruce Wayne might be able to single-handedly clean up the streets of Gotham, a social media team of one (no matter how tragic their backstory) won’t be making any significant headway on the interwebs – even with stellar content.

The current perception about social media marketing might be criminal, but we’re going to crack the case for better social media practices wide open. 

The Deep Freeze

How unbelievably evil! It’s diabolical. It’s repugnant. It’s…actually a pretty smart marketing ploy on their part.

No, we’re not talking about a supervillain’s plan for world domination (although some people might see it that way). We’re talking about Facebook’s algorithm change to make it virtually impossible for businesses to engage in organic marketing with their customers. According to Facebook, content from family and friends is prioritized in the newsfeed over content from public pages and businesses. And Zuckerberg was recently quoted, saying: “Publishers and marketers may find themselves rethinking their social strategy or scale it back altogether.”

As expected, this has had a rather chilling effect on how simple posts on social media translate to exposure or conversion for many brands. Of course, that’s the point. Facebook really wants you to fork over the big bucks to participate in their Facebook advertising program or to boost your posts. Either way, it means using social media is technically no longer free for businesses.

If you’re a Fortune 500 company, or a subsidiary of Kellogg’s or Coke, you can walk it off no problem. But if you’re a small fish in a big pond, or just starting out, you may not have Wayne Enterprises’ levels of dough needed to throw at your social campaigns.

Not to worry! There is a way to trick the system, per se. But you’re not going to like it…

The Bane of Algorithms

The best way to use social media to your company’s advantage is to perfect the art of storytelling. Story-centric posts seem more natural, are more appealing to customers, and can sneak by Facebook’s rigorous ad detection algorithms.

This approach requires you to spend more time and effort when crafting your posts. You can’t just throw up a link to your deals page anymore. You need to create content that will encourage your consumers to engage with you.

Here’s the catch: Excessive linking to websites, calls to action and comments are out.

We said you weren’t going to like it.

Facebook has decided to take the internet back, and give it to the people. But in the process, they’ve quashed what they term “Engagement Bait.” So links, CTAs, and requests to like, comment and share will tip off the Facebook ad police, and your posts will get banished to the land of eternal under-exposure.

In the story-driven content approach, the story is your ad. So make sure the stuff you’re posting is interesting enough to make people interact with you in a more natural way.

Denny’s Twitter feed is the poster child of this strategy. Notice how they don’t link to their website in every post, or continuously nag you to go buy food from them (although they do make you want to go buy food).

Learn from them; be molded by their experience. Don’t merely adopt the story. Become the story.

Riddle Me This

What’s free, only requires a Facebook account and a phone to use, and is something you’re currently not doing? Two words: Facebook Live.

More and more of social media is starting to move towards live interactions. Whether it’s gamers on Twitch, YouTubers doing charity live streams or celebrities showing events in real-time on Periscope, the answer to more effective social media usage has never been clearer.

And when data shows that live posts get six times the interaction as other posts and rank higher in customer newsfeeds, there’s really no question: You should be live streaming.

This method is both cost effective and simple to use.

It does require a little more day-to-day planning and dedication, but you can’t argue with results!

For more tips on how to incorporate live streaming into your business, check out our other post. 

Don’t Call Us Jokers; We’re Serious

If you’re part of a small social media department, chances are your company doesn’t have the time or resources to plan out your social media strategy. But this is no laughing matter.

It’s amazing the difference something as simple as creating a content schedule that supports your social media, marketing and overarching business strategies can make.

Scheduling a brief meeting every once in a while to brainstorm content ideas that support your defined strategy and putting them on the calendar is all it takes to set yourself up to keep an active – and consistent – feed across multiple platforms.

Whether it’s tips and tricks on your blog, numbered lists of dos and don’ts on LinkedIn, or email drip campaigns with news and updates, taking time to plan out your themes for the year for your social media accounts, and crafting monthly editorial calendars ensures you always have something to say that’s on point, on brand and supports your business, marketing and social media strategies.

So stop clowning around, and get planning! You really have no excuse.

Still feel like a social media marketing vigilante? Have no fear! Stealth is always here to back you up.

We offer social media strategy development, editorial calendar creation, and execution, monitoring and reporting of social media. We also have a successful track record with creation and implementation of consumer interactive opportunities.

Want to learn more? While the Stealth Signal is in the shop, you’ll have to drop us a line the old fashioned way. Stay tuned for more great tips from Stealth next time we go Off the Radar.