Social media
January 18, 2024

Mastering social media growth: A 2024 guide for businesses

Rupert Mason
Author

In 2024, social media has become an indispensable tool for businesses looking to thrive and expand their reach. Whilst glossy TV ads are still the spots to earn credibility, you can reach a similar audience online at a fraction of the cost and with the added analytics thrown in. With billions of users worldwide, platforms like Tiktok, Meta, Twitter (X),Youtube and LinkedIn offer unparalleled opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to connect with their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales. In this guide, we'll explore effective strategies and key tools that businesses can leverage to grow and succeed in the ever-expanding jungle of social content.

1. Create a rock solid social media strategy

It can be hard to resist rushing ahead and just plastering content about your product or brand, but taking the time to really understand who you're speaking to and the best way to communicate your product to them will go a long, long way. It's best to target the lowest hanging fruit first - your 'super users'. These are the die-hard customers that require the least convincing. Once you have an idea of who they are and their persona then you can plan out a strategy for the type of content that will resonate with them.

Tiktok is the new Google

Many Tiktok users are using the platform much like a search tool, like Google or Bing. This means that many users, especially Gen-Z are wanting search results in the form of short videos. So rather than digesting an entire page of food recipes in their browser (boring) they can more easily consume the same info in the form of a short, snappy video...

Not so Secret Weapon

To find out what every other brand on the planet is doing you can go to Facebook Ad Manager and type in their name to see what ads they're currently running on Meta. Get inspired and use this to see what's likely working and then build on that to find out how you can differentiate. It's quite likely that the ads wouldn't be running if they weren't performing, but just remember that isn't always the case.

Developing a comprehensive strategy is the foundation of successful online growth. So, start by defining your goals, identifying your target audience, and choosing the platforms that align with your business objectives. Tailor your content to each platform, keeping in mind the unique demographics and user behaviours on each. For example; if you offer a B2B SaaS tool then you might utilise platforms like Linkedin, but if you're a FMCG brand then you might want influencers to create lo-fi video content and rave about your product on Tiktok.

The last little nugget to think about is whether you want to play the short or the long game. Short term social media thinking means that you pay a little more for your ads to get in front of the right person. You need sales NOW and so you drive customers to a clear CTA encouraging them to download or buy the product. The long term social media thinking requires patience and promoting more organic content to encourage likes and shares (memes are a great example) - it's an indirect way of selling. This means that you establish a community and then once you've gained their trust, THEN, you can start advertising your product or service and you can do this with incredibly subtle product placement. If you're highly skilled then they might not even notice that you're advertising to them!

2. Leverage video content

In 2024, video content is king (and queen, and everything in-between). Video continues to dominate social media. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube shorts provide businesses with an entertaining, dopamine depleting way to connect with their audience. Your challenge is to create captivating and shareable videos that showcase your product(s), share behind-the-scenes glimpses, and highlight customer testimonials. Storytelling can really help to forge a deeper connection with your audience... This agency Sidekick Studios usually do quite a good job, wink wink.

Short cut, not Final Cut

Another fact that you may of may not know is that you can edit a lot of your content directly within the platform, especially with Instagram and Tiktok. These tools are getting pretty nifty at providing in-app editing features. You can even cut out the background of a video clip and swap for a flying unicorn... or anything else that you or AI can conceive. We'll be publishing a blog post about our fave AI image generators, so watch this space. Gone are the days where you need to invest in the Adobe video editing suite. Social platforms are wanted to be a one-stop-shop for all your social needs.

3 Second rule

Ironically social media the cause of our diminishing attention spans. As you may know, with video you need to hook your audience in those all-important first 3 seconds. There's a whole array of tactics out there for how to grab your audience's attention, so experiment and have fun!

3. Utilise influencer marketing

Collaborating with influencers is a powerful way to extend your brand's reach. You can find a plethora of Influencer platforms out there that cut out the middle man and offer you easy access to a library of talent. But, before reaching out it's worth identifying influencers who align with your brand values and have a substantial following in your target demographic. Influencers can create authentic content that resonates with their audience, providing your business with valuable social proof.

4. Engage with your audience

Building a strong social media presence involves more than just posting content. Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, asking questions, and participating in conversations. This not only strengthens your brand's community but also boosts the visibility of your content in social media algorithms.

5. Harness the power of user-generated content

If you give them a net... then they can fish for you! Encourage your customers to create and share content featuring your products or services. User-generated content serves as authentic endorsements, fostering trust among potential customers. Run contests, challenges, or campaigns that motivate your audience to showcase their experiences with your brand. This should all be wrapped up in your marvellous social media plan.

6. Optimise for mobile users

This might sound a little bit obvious, but you'd be amazed at how many websites, let-alone ads, aren't mobile friendly. With the majority of social media users accessing platforms via mobile devices, it's crucial to ensure that your content is mobile-friendly so optimised for different formats like 1:1, 9:16 and 16:9. Our wonderful mobile devices have shaped the way we view content and so your brand needs to fit the same view port. Optimise images and videos for smaller screens, and ensure that your website is responsive for a seamless user experience and that your titles are clear to read!

7. Explore emerging platforms

Stay ahead of the curve by exploring emerging social media platforms. We may have even written a little tiny blog post on this. Keep an eye on trends and be willing to experiment with new features. Early adoption of a rising platform can give your business a competitive edge and open up new opportunities for growth.

8. Invest in social media advertising

While organic reach is valuable, social media advertising allows businesses to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviours. Invest in paid campaigns on platforms like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and LinkedIn Ads to amplify your reach and drive targeted traffic. Unless you're one of those 1/1,000,000,000 who hit a viral wave with 0 spend, prepare to spend money to be seen. More often than not, brands think that by posting and posting, users will flock to them, but sadly it just ain't the case. You will need to reserve a little kitty to get your ads seen by the right people and then you can start to predict and optimise your CPC (cost per click) or CPA (cost per acquisition). This is then exciting news for investors as they can forecast how many users you'll get per $$$ pumped into the business, so you can really start to level up, once you've got your ad pipeline working.

9. Use Analytics to Refine Your Strategy

Last but not least, all this talk of content is great, but if you can't understand what performs best and how your audience are behaving then you might just be treading water. There are a load of useful tools for analysing your marketing data. You'll need to regularly analyse the performance of your social media efforts an split test different creatives using analytics tools provided by the various platforms. Monitor key metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversions. Use this data to refine your strategy, focusing on what resonates most with your audience.

Conclusion

Businesses that use these platforms strategically can achieve remarkable growth. By creating a robust social media strategy, embracing video content, leveraging influencers, engaging with the audience, and staying abreast of emerging trends, businesses can not only survive but thrive in the competitive digital landscape. As you navigate the ever-evolving world of social media, remember that consistency, authenticity, and innovation are key to sustained growth.

If you want to get some advice with your social content strategy then you can pop us an email here. Go forth and create!

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