In optimizing your social media strategy in 2023, you must first consider your sales cycle and the goals you set for your business as a whole in 2023. And, while you can sell through new platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace or even open a store on the platform, most firms might still want to focus their efforts on selling through a website. Using a website to convert buyers offers:
- Complete control over the user experience
- The ability to remarket and lead generation so you can follow up on interested consumers who don’t convert immediately
- You keep all the revenue rather than sharing revenue with another company
So, I don’t recommend to clients that they sell on social media. But, there are still lots of ways to use social media to increase revenue. Here are my five favs.
Strategies for optimizing your social media strategy in 2023
Search engine optimization or SEO creates visibility for your website on search platforms like Google. Since Google accounts for over 90% of all online searches, I focus your attention on ways to hack the search algorithm on that platform. As you can see below, the ROI (return on investment) for ROI important especially for e-commerce firms.
Unfortunately, Google tweaks its algorithm constantly, with major updates every year or so. Some of these factors involve technical SEO, which may require a developer or SEO expert, while other factors are on-page factors that any knowledgeable marketer can manage. Currently, here are the major on-page factors that impact your rank in search:
- Content, including content shared on social media. Tweets and Facebook posts are searchable so good quality content on these platforms ranks in search results (SERPs). TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram reels show up in video search, as well. High-quality content that creates value and is fresh improves the rank of your content in search. If you consistently publish high-quality content that engages your social media following, you will see your rank improve over time. Scraping content from other websites, using ChatGPT or another AI tool, or duplicating content can all earn you a penalty from search engines.
- Social proof, since search engines can’t determine quality. Examples of social proof include the number of backlinks to your content, engagement on social platforms (such as likes, shares, and comments), click-through rate, time on site, and other indicators that your target market values your content.
- Keywords, although this term reflects back to when users entered a single word to prompt a search. Today, when we say keyword, we mean a keyword phrase, better known as a long-tailed keyword comprised of three to five words. Search engines use keywords to determine whether your content shows up in a particular user’s query. The closer the match between your keyword and what the user wanted, the more likely your content will show near the top of the user’s search, all things being equal. Use your keyword in your post title, meta description, once every 200 words of text, and in headings or subheadings on your website. Use them in a similar fashion on social media to rank well. Don’t overuse your keyword or use it unnaturally in the content, something called keyword stuffing.
- Local SEO is a great tool for businesses that sell in the local market. Local search results offer great placement when your keywords match a user’s query (shown below).
- Research. Research is another indicator that the content you provide has value. By hyperlinking to high-authority websites, especially ones with a .gov or .edu, you demonstrate your commitment to sharing from experts not just your own insights.
- Usability is a big factor not only to achieve a higher search rank but to help your efforts to convert visitors to your website. If your website content or that published on social media isn’t usable, visitors don’t click through to your website or to the next step in the conversion process. All content must look great on a mobile device, since most users, especially younger ones, use their mobile more than a computer. You don’t need a theater-quality video or images that come from a trained graphic designer but users shouldn’t have trouble viewing the content on a mobile device. Ensure your buttons are easily clicked and far enough apart to avoid accidental clicks. Your text should be readable so test it out on various screen sizes and operating systems.
- Page load speed and Core Web Vitals are more issues of technical SEO. After emphasizing these factors in its ranking algorithm a few years ago, Google reduced the impact of these factors in its newest releases.
In the early days of social media, social media drove a lot of traffic to your website or helped promote your business in other ways. We talked about paid, earned, and owned media, with organic traffic representing owned media (your page or profile). Today, organic traffic is a trickle as more social media platforms need to make money to pay employees, grow their business, and keep investors happy. On Facebook, for instance, organic reach hovers around 5%, which doesn’t bode well if this is your main promotional strategy for your business (in contrast, organic reach from search is over 50%). As you can see below, the conversion rate, arguably the most important metric for a business) is highest for organic search in consumer markets. But paid social offers a great tool for increasing revenue, especially in B2B markets.
Another great advantage of social media advertising is the ability to target the audience that offers the best opportunity for increasing sales. You can even micro-target ads on social media to match your ad to the audience with great precision. You can also use remarketing, which involves selectively displaying ads to social media users who visited your website on a prior occasion. The conversion rate from remarketing is much higher, 70% higher than regular ads on social media.
3. Choosing the right social media platforms
It doesn’t help to spend time and other resources posting to platforms unless your target market hangs out on the platform. It also doesn’t help to dabble in a bunch of platforms unless you can maintain a consistent presence on all the platforms you choose. For most companies, that means choosing a few social platforms and optimizing your efforts on those platforms.
Below is some guidance to help you choose the right platforms for your business.
Of course, using this information requires that you understand your target market, often termed a market persona in today’s marketing where we have psychographic information in addition to just the demographic and geographic information displayed above. Personas also often include the types of media consumed by each target market group.
After choosing which social media platforms fit your needs, it’s time to create content that meets the needs of your target market on each platform. Sometimes the platforms themselves dictate what types of content to publish. For instance, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram Reels require video content. In other cases, the norms of the group determine how you should construct posts. Some platforms support hashtags while others don’t use them for any practical purpose, so including hashtags in a Facebook post just looks like you were lazy and published the same post on both Facebook and Instagram. Across all platforms, even Twitter, posts with visual content outperform those comprised solely of text.
Publishing content on a consistent basis is key to optimizing your social media strategy. Below you can see the optimal schedule for each platform.
Maintaining this consistency isn’t easy. That’s where a content marketing calendar really helps, as it means you don’t forget, face a blank screen with writer’s block, and scramble at the last minute for post content, which leads to mistakes. To help, I developed a content marketing calendar template you can download for free.
Another important tool for maintaining consistency is a marketing automation tool like Hubspot or Buffer. Using these tools, you can easily schedule a month or a week of content for each social media platform in an afternoon. This means you can spread out your content posts without interrupting your day over and over again to actually post the content. While these tools don’t really help with content creation, although many now offer some form of AI to help craft content using a prompt, they’re indispensable when it comes to sticking to a schedule. Many marketing automation tools also offer insights on performance to help you by optimizing your social media strategy through the identification of higher and lower-performing posts and suggesting the best time to post based on past performance.
Just as with every marketing strategy, optimizing your social media strategy relies on analyzing data to develop insights that guide future actions. But, don’t stop with viewing the metrics offered by your social media platform or your marketing automation tool. After all, you want the cash register to ring not just build more awareness of your brand (which is also important and available through the social media platform). You want to, ultimately, track clicks from social media to determine the success of your social media strategy in driving up sales.
Google Analytics is a great place to start as you can track the performance of various traffic sources to calculate the conversion rate for each source. However, by tagging the links shared so you know exactly which piece of content generated a sale, you have a much more nuanced view of how the content shared on your social platforms (as well as other marketing sources) contributes to your success.
Another great option within Google Analytics is to conduct an analysis called multi-channel attribution, which apportions the value of a sale between all the traffic sources that contributed to the sale since visitors often visit a few times before actually buying a product.
Obviously, there’s a lot more to optimizing your social media strategy than I could cover in a single post, even one as long as this. If you want to learn more about how to optimize your social media marketing, you can read more on this site by choosing the Social Media Marketing category where you’ll find nearly 200 posts to help you regardless of your experience level or the type of business you run.
In addition, I’d love to have you share your insights with the rest of my community. You can do that in the comments below or by joining my Facebook group.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.