As the world of mainstream social media enters its second decade—and at a time when global attention is understandably fixated on coronavirus-related content—many social marketers are finding themselves at a loss. Similar to the mid-2010’s "death of organic," tried-and-true social media tactics may not be having the same impact as in years previous.
Still, there is no better time than the present to start experimenting with new features, so we asked several social media communicators to recommend the features they see as overlooked or missed opportunities for brands.
Third-party Instagram tools. Tom Garruto, director of operations at New York-based social media firm The Social Edge, likes third-party Instagram tools that allow for more than one link in an Instagram bio. This functionality allows his team to balance multiple priorities for clients’ outbound traffic. He calls this flexibility "a big win for brands that promote diverse and varied initiatives."
Garruto’s top picks include:
- Linktree, which allows for a text-based menu popup from the link in your bio. Garruto likes Linktree’s analytics offering.
- The Shop Grid feature on Buffer. Shop Grid is more visually appealing than Linktree, Garruto says, given it pulls up a grid that emulates your feed where you can click on images to go to a specific site. (His team also uses Buffer for scheduling.)
LinkedIn Live. For Kelly Stone, senior director of global social media at IT certification nonprofit CompTIA, LinkedIn Live has changed the game. "Since my organization got approved this spring, we've seen our company page numbers skyrocket and engagement on videos as high as 95 percent while we're live," Stone says. Live video has also helped her team cut through the noise of pandemic-related marketing.
Perhaps best of all, that increased engagement is organic. Live video has given Stone’s CompTIA team "a huge advantage in the marketplace." By weaving live video into a social good campaign, the organization saw conversion rates close to 30 percent on the organic traffic it created.
Despite LinkedIn’s early reputation as a staid, corporate platform, Stone has experimented with informal work-from-home content. "I created a LinkedIn Live video from my kitchen that generated double the signups organically in 36 hours as a paid campaign we ran for a month," she shares.
LinkedIn advertising. Outside of the breadth of organic social, "we also revisited LinkedIn advertising and found InMail to be an excellent way to engage our b2b audience," Stone says.
LinkedIn employee notifications. FINN Partners’ director of social media Justin Buchbinder is surprised by how few social marketers are leveraging LinkedIn’s "Notify Employees of This Post" feature. "It’s one of the greatest on-platform features I've come across on the b2b network," he says. Buchbinder notes that once every 24 hours, LinkedIn business accounts have the opportunity to push a notification of a post to everyone who identifies as an employee of the company on the platform. "It's a powerful 'hack' to bring employees' attention to the page, as well as drum up organic engagement on an important piece of content," he says. Buchbinder advises those new to the feature to "click the three dots on the top right of a company page post, and give it a go!"
Facebook Insights. While many have fled Facebook for shinier new platforms, Stone reminds social media communicators that Facebook analytics are a great way to get objective data on audience behavior "for a song." Using a customer email list or building a custom target audience, Stone tests how each audience reacts to different images, value propositions and calls to action. "These insights help us make sound business decisions that are driven by data," she says.
Pinterest. Stone encourages marketers to "revisit social media tactics they may have written off when the economy and user habits looked different," like Pinterest, which Stone’s team started exploring in recent months. "I was pleasantly surprised at the ROI of traffic-generating activities there," she adds.