40 Social Media Marketing Tips Every Marketer Needs to Know

Ever feel like social media marketing can be, well, overwhelming?

Believe us, we get it.

It’s a fast-moving industry, and with so much to learn and do, it’s easy to feel like you’re falling behind.

That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of our top 40 social media marketing tips.

It’s your easily skimmable go-to guide that’s full of actionable advice you can implement right now.

Plus, we’ve included 12 free templates, guides, and infographics to help you put this advice into action.

Add this page to your bookmarks and start learning!

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Get Your Social Media Marketing Template Bundle

Get more done with 12 free different templates! Here’s everything your bundle includes:

  • Social Media Content Calendar Template: Keep track of every social media post your team needs to publish.
  • Best Times to Post on Social Media Infographic with the best times to post on every channel.
  • Guide To LinkedIn Marketing Infographic: Packed full of stats about your favorite networking channel.
  • Social Media Budget Template: To disperse and keep track of funding.
  • Social Media ROI Report Template: that will walk you through how to use Google Analytics to find out how much money you’re making for every post you publish.
  • Facebook Marketing Strategy Template: To break down how you’re going to use one of the world’s most popular social networks.
  • Social Media Competitive Analysis Template: To observe and record your competitor’s strategies.
  • Social Media Report Template: To track and prove how well your team’s efforts are working.
  • Social Media Proposal Template: To help you format your services and convince clients to work with your team.
  • Social Media Strategy Guide: To help your team develop a plan of action for your social networks.
  • How Often to Post on Social Media Infographic: that breaks down the best practices for publishing content on each social channels.
  • Social Media Policy Template: To help outline social network expectations for your employees and deal with an emergency situation.

Effective Facebook Marketing Tips

1. Optimize Your Profile Picture and Cover Photo

The first step for any marketing team using Facebook is creating an optimized profile picture and cover photo.

Your profile picture should be:

  • A high-resolution photo of your company’s logo.
  • Sized down to a 180px x 180px square.
  • Still be recognizable viewing it on a mobile or tablet device. Remember your profile picture is the first thing that your audience sees in their newsfeed. Your logo should still be distinguishable in a small size.

Your cover photo should be:

  • Within the same theme as your profile picture.
  • Should tell a more comprehensive story about who your organization is. This could be through taglines, product photos & more.
  • Sized correctly to allow your audience to see the full photo. Right now the optimum size for a cover photo (or video) on Facebook is 815px x 215px.

Recommended Image Sizes for Facebook

2. Fill Out Your Facebook Bio

There are no shortcuts when it comes to your social media marketing. That means you need to fill out your Facebook bio.

A business’s Facebook bio is broken into multiple parts including:

About Section

The first part of your Facebook profile is easy to fill out. It should include your company name, when your organization was founded, a phone number and email for people to contact you and a link to your website.

Additional Information

There is a section in your Facebook profile that will allow you to give your audience more information about your organization. This part of your bio should include a short “About Us” paragraph, a founding date, and information about the products and services your company offers.

You can also add information on your privacy policy and any awards your company has received:

Story Section

The final part of your bio should include a story.

The story section allows you to go in-depth about what makes your organization tick. You can break down product information, go deeper into how your company got started or add anything else that you think your audience needs to know when they’re first learning about your organization:

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3. Set a Consistent Posting Schedule

Consistently posting to your Facebook page helps get your audience into a rhythm. If they see that you share new content on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at noon, it will help remind them to check in.

According to 14 different studies, you should be posting to Facebook at least once per day:

How Often Should You Post on Facebook?

4. Schedule Your Posts at the Optimum Time

Facebook’s algorithm makes it difficult for companies to reach their full audience because newsfeeds are continually reshuffling content and limiting the organic reach of your company’s post.

To maximize the life of your content, you should schedule your posts to publish at the best time.

According to our research, we found that scheduling your posts at 9 am, 1 pm and 3 pm will give your content the best chance at attracting more eyeballs:

Best Posting Times for Facebook

You can either manually schedule your social media posts to send at the best times, or you can use the Best Time Scheduling feature in CoSchedule to publish your posts at the best time automatically:

To use Best Time Scheduling, craft a social post in your CoSchedule calendar:

Then scroll down to the bottom of your post and select Best Time from the drop-down menu:

It’s that easy.

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5. Use Video To Attract Your Audience

Tons of advice try and tell you what the best content type is for posting on Facebook. It ranges between images, videos, and links. Here’s the truth.

As of 2017 videos are the most reliable type of content that your team can publish. Why? Because the current Facebook algorithm pushes them to the top of your audience’s newsfeed.

Let’s not forget Facebook just launched “Facebook Watch” a host platform that allows users to upload video series instead of only stand-alone videos:

Introducing Watch

Posted by Facebook on Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In a nutshell, your team needs to:

  • Start with a big idea: What topic are your videos going to be centered around?
  • Plan your shooting schedule and write your script.
  • Create a video distribution schedule.
  • Define your publishing and promotion schedule.

6. Use Facebook Advertising To Boost The Reach of Your Posts

If you want to guarantee you’ll have eyeballs on your content you need to use Facebook advertising and boosted posts.

Those eyeballs don’t come cheap, and it’s up to your social team to determine how much money you’re willing to spend to get your posts in front of people.

Check out this video from Hubspot to see how Facebook advertising works:

If your team decides that Facebook advertising is the way to go, you’ll need to:

7. Target The Right Audience Using Facebook’s In-App Targeting Features

Did you know that you can control who sees your ads based on their demographics?

Facebook offers a feature that allows you to create a target demographic and push your content onto their feeds.

Before this feature, you used to have to manually create your targeted ad demographics every time you wanted to publish a new ad. Now you can segment your audience and deliver the right content and the right time to help drive your customers deeper into your marketing funnel.

Here’s a quick video that walks you through how to set up your audiences:

You can also use CoSchedule to create custom target audiences straight from the app. To do this start by creating a Facebook message in your calendar by clicking the sign inside a date and select Social Message:

Click the target in the lower left-hand corner and begin selecting the demographics that you want your intended audience to be filtered by:

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Save your target audience to use on future posts by selecting +Save Current As Preset. Title your target audience sample and click apply:

CoSchedule will take care of the rest.

Use These Twitter Marketing Tips To Get More Done

8. How To Use Hashtags On Twitter Correctly

Hashtags make it easier for your audience to find your content and since Twitter is the birthplace of hashtags, you’ll want to use them correctly.

Hashtags fall into three categories:

  • Branded: These are hashtags that are specific to your organization.
  • Industry: These hashtags focus on industry topics and trends.
  • Trending: These hashtags are centered around news related topics and will change quickly.

Our advice? Mix up the types of hashtags you use in your posts and stick to using 1–2 hashtags per tweet.

Best Number of Hashtags for Twitter

If you’re looking to do some hashtag research check out these sources:

  1. Hashtags.org
  2. Twubs.com
  3. Tagdef.com
  4. Hashtagify

9. Keep Your Messages Short

Twitter may have just extended the length of a tweet to 280 characters but just because you have that space doesn’t mean you should use it.

According to our research, the best length for a tweet is 103 characters. However, this research was conducted before Twitter expanded its character limit. That means that your posts should be:

  • Concise: Get straight to the point of what you want to say.
  • Clear: Does what you’re trying to say make sense?
  • Conversational: Your tweets should encourage your audience to engage with you.

Here are some other tips to follow when you’re crafting your Twitter messages:

How to Write for Twitter

>10. Don’t Automate Your Direct Messages (Ever)

My biggest pet peeve is when I follow someone on Twitter, and almost immediately my inbox goes off, and a canned message appears thanking me for following said person.

Automated direct messages come across as impersonal, annoying and lazy. You don’t want your organization to be any of those things.

If you want to reach out to a new Twitter follower, be sincere about it. Try using this template to start:

“Hi, [Username]. We noticed that you just started following us on Twitter. We wanted to say thank you. If you need anything, reach out and let us know.”

11. Use GIFs Wisely

The latest “thing” that companies are creating to get people to interact with them is to write a random relatable quote and slap a GIF on it.

While that may have worked the first five times, now every company out there is trying it and when you’re already trying to stand out in a crowded feed, following what everyone else is doing will get you nowhere.

If your team decides that GIFs will be a part of your Twitter strategy do the following:

  • Decide what types of posts need to have a GIF.
  • What types of GIFs are appropriate for your organization to use.
  • How often your teams can use GIFs per day.
  • When using a GIF is appropriate.

12. Post At The Best Times On Twitter

The lifespan of a tweet is about 18 minutes. That means you have an 18-minute window to gather the most views on your content. How do you do that?

You want to post at the times when your followers are on.

Best Times to Post on Twitter

Here is when to tweet in general to increase retweets and click-throughs:

  1. Around 5–6 p.m.
  2. Noon specifically
  3. 3 p.m.

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13. Use Twitter Lists To Help Curate Content

Want to know one of the hacks to keeping up a steady stream of Twitter content? Curate content from your Twitter lists.

A Twitter list is a list of users that a person has added into a specific group that will generate a feed of content from only those selected accounts.

These are great for when you’re following a bunch of thought leaders in your industry and need some awesome content to share in a hurry.

If you want to learn how to create a Twitter list check out this video:

Once you’ve created your lists you can scroll through those select feeds and begin to curate content. However, don’t just read a headline and add the article or video to your publishing schedule.

Follow these three steps before you add any content to your publishing schedule:

  1. Read the entire article. A headline does not tell you all the information that is included in the content. Take the time to actually read the content before you share it.
  2. Check to make sure that the information referenced is coming from a reliable source. It’s easy to skim content and share it but if they information that you share with your followers isn’t accurate it can damage your own creditability, so share wisely.
  3. Give credit to the content owners. No one likes having their worked swiped from them so be sure to give credit where credit is due.

14. Use Images To Grab People’s Attention On Twitter

Adding images and graphics to your tweets will get you 18% more clicks.

When tweeting a link to your latest blog post, use one of the images from the post to help drive more clicks on the shared link. The image should relate directly to the subject of your blog post, which should help incentivize people to click.

Recommended Image Sizes for Twitter

Here are some general guidelines for using images on Twitter:

  1. Make sure you use images in every tweet.
  2. Stick to using images that are 440 x 220px

Google+ Marketing Tips That Will Help You Get More Done

15. Create Headlines For Your Posts

The more users notice your Google+ posts, the more likely they are to engage.

Not only does adding a headline help your post stand out, but Google uses the first words of your Google + post to help it stand out in the Google searches.

Adding the right headline can help your post stand out in search results, and can greatly influence the number of people who both notice and click through to your content. –Cyrus Shepard, formerly of Moz

Here is an example of a Google+ headline:

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 12.25.40 PM 1

16. Use Big Images To Capture Your Audience’s Attention

Over at Quicksprout, Neil Patel said this about images:

The bigger, the better! Take advantage of the technology in web design and monitors and use big and bold images.

That’s one great thing about Google +. You can take advantage of those big pictures.

Recommended Image Sizes on Google+

Here are a couple of general tips for using images effectively on Google+:

  1. Use images with the .png format rather than the .jpg format to make sure you have high clarity.
  2. Stick to using images that are 426 x 255px.

17. Post At The Best Times On Google+

You are completely missing out on traffic to your content if you aren’t posting at the best times for click-throughs.

Here is when to post on Google+ for more click-throughs:

  1. 9 a.m.
  2. 11 a.m.
  3. 12–1 p.m.

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18. Use Communities To Build Traffic

Blogger Tips Tricks said, “Google Plus has highly active, close-knit communities which can give you massive exposure. Some of these groups have more than 100K members and have high chances of getting significant traffic if you post valuable posts.”

So, if you aren’t on Google+ Communities with a significant amount of members, you’re missing out.

This thorough step-by-step video will help when looking for Google+ Communities:

19. Create Circles With Your Connections

Creating Circles with other people is a super easy way to grow your Google+ following base and bring traffic to your content. You can create circles for your work, groups you are a part of, location, industry, and even for your niche.

Say you want to add someone to a circle. Press follow:

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 11.42.25 AM

You’ll be able to pick which circle you want to add them to:

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 11.44.23 AM

Having connections in your circles will help you grow traffic by creating relationships.

20. Create Collections To Help People Find Your Content Easier

Having collections makes it easy to organize all your content. You can share your collections publicly, or you can keep them private.

When you create your first few collections, you’ll see this:

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 11.48.45 AM

Click Create a collection. Name your collection here.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 11.50.28 AM

After naming your collection, press Create:

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Then you will be brought here:

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 11.55.23 AM

When you click on the pen icon, you will be able to write up your collection post, add a link, image, and even a video.

Collections give your audience an excellent way to find more content on the topics they love.

Instagram Marketing Tips To Boost Your Strategy

21. Switch Over to a Business Profile

If your organization’s Instagram profile isn’t a business profile yet, you are missing out on potential data.

Instagram business profiles allow your team to optimize your profile, add contact information and your website into the bio section making it much easier for your audience to interact and connect with you.

To switch over to a business profile, click the setting on your Instagram page:

Scroll down to Switch to Business Profile:

Flip the switch, and you’re done.

22. Keep Your Photos Styled Within One Color Scheme

Keep your Instagram profile uniform by keeping your photos within one color scheme. Not only does keeping them in this palette make it easier for fans to recognize your photos it creates a more cohesive profile.

From my own experiences, I can tell you that your photo IS important but so is the look of your Instagram feed as a whole. Creating a cohesive feed helps bring the tone of your brand across without having to say a word (literally).

How do you know what type of color scheme to use?

Use the color scheme that is consistent with your brand. That means that you can pull colors from your logo or other branding materials.

You may need to pull out your branding book or talk with your designers to find out what those colors are.

If you don’t have your branding developed yet think about the tone that you want your brand to convey. If you’re a fashion and style brand use bold bright colors like Instagram user @rclayton:

Her fashion-forward feed is full of bright, electric colors that complement bold fashion choices. Together those colors convey a sense of confidence which is on point with her personal brand.

23. Choose One Filter and Stick With It

Like we’ve already mentioned, consistency in your content is key to a successful Instagram feed. Another way to keep your feed consistent is picking one filter and sticking with it.

If you have a design team at your disposal, you may not even need a filter.

If you do decide to choose a filter the first thing that you need to do is determine the aesthetic of your brand.

Do you want your photos to have more of a grunge feel or a light and airy feel?

Using your branding guide, look for the keywords that describe your brand.

Bundle them into a group of three and experiment with different filters to find the one that you and your team believe best convey’s the intended aesthetic.

24. Include an Optimal Number of Hashtags

Hashtags are a big part of Instagram’s posts because it allows photos and video content to become searchable on the channel.

Unlike Twitter, your Instagram post has a lot more room to breath, but that doesn’t mean you should go hashtag happy on every post.

Too much of something is not always a good thing.

Our research found that 11 is the optimum number of hashtags that you should add to a post to help encourage people to interact with it:

How to Write For Instagram

If you’re struggling to figure out what types of hashtags to add to your post try a different mix of industry, branded and trending (when applicable) hashtags.

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25. Experiment With Your Posting Times

Ask anyone about the best times to post on Instagram, and you’ll probably get a variety of answers from 2 in the morning to later in the evening around 5 pm.

What if we told you it was all of them? Active hours for your audience will vary so experiment with your posting times to see when you can garner the most reactions.

Our research suggests trying:

  • 2 am. (Unless you like sleep in which case, sleep).
  • Between 8 am and 9 am.
  • After 5 pm.

Best Times to Post on Instagram

26. Utilize The Multi-Image Feature To Stand Out In A Crowd

As of February 2017, Instagram added: “Instagram Albums” or the ability to upload more than one photo to a post. Why is adding more than one photo such a game changer?

It allows your team to expand on your initial post to tell a more extensive story.

A few examples that you could utilize Instagram Albums for are:

New Product Launches

Instead of trying to choose one perfect photo to showcase a new product now you can show multiple angles and even use cases.

Check out this example from Nike:

Event Recaps

Using Instagram Albums can be a great way to recap an event your organization hosted or attended.

Homecoming events are a great thing to recap in an album. Check out this example from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.:

We had to shut down all of 8th street to fit all of the Cobber pride! 🌽👏 #cordmn #rollcobbs

A post shared by Concordia College (@concordia_mn) on

27. Utilize Instagram Stories To Stand Out In The App

Instagram Stories is the Snapchat copycat that launched on the platform a little more than a year ago. These short ten second videos are broadcasted right to the top of your fan’s feed like this:

Instagram Stories can be used in a variety of different ways like:

  • Showing behind the scenes content.
  • Showcasing culture moments for your organization.
  • Live demonstrations of how to use your product.

The best part is that Instagram Stories go straight to the top of the app and you can add as many photos and videos as you want without having to worry about spamming your followers.

Here’s a quick video that shows you how to use Instagram Stories:

Pinterest Marketing Tips To Get Sh*t Done

28. Pin At The Best Times

Like Twitter, Pinterest is overflowing with content. That constant stream of content can make it hard to stand out which is why posting your pins at the right time will help them gain traction.

Our research has shown that the following times are the optimum  periods to publish pins:

  1. From 8–11 p.m. (There is a 9 p.m. peak!)
  2. Around 2–4 a.m. and from 2–4 p.m.
  3. And last but not least 1–3 p.m.

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29. Use Long Visuals On Pinterest To Capture Your Audience’s Attention

The most successful image size for Pinterest images and graphics are long visuals.

Here are a few tips for visuals on Pinterest:

  1. Make sure you link to content on your blog or website so you can convert the traffic.
  2. Stick to using images that are 600 x 1102px.
  3. Make sure that the content you add to the pin is easy to read and digest. These need to be skimmable images after all.

Recommended Image Sizes: Pinterest

30. Use Keywords In Your Pin Descriptions

Pinterest is a heavy keyword site meaning that if you target keywords in your pin descriptions, your pin will surface when that particular keyword is searched.

To start, consult your SEO content strategy. If you’ve centered your content around keywords that your audience is looking for you should already know the keywords to add to your content.

Pull the top ten keywords that your audience searches for and start to create content descriptions with those keywords.

It’s easier to think of your pin descriptions as mini meta-descriptions. In our research, we found that descriptions that were about 215 characters performed best:

How to Write for Pinterest

31. Pay Attention To What Is Trending On Pinterest To Bring In Traffic

Utilizing trending topics on Pinterest can help give your pins a little extra boost.

Click on the icon next to the search bar.

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Then trending topics will populate in the bar below:

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Although trending topics can be a great way to give your pins an extra boost, don’t throw your pins into a trending topic unless it makes sense for it to be there.

Let’s face it; it would be weird if your blog infographic showed up in a list of maternity photos.

32. Link Your Pins Back To Your Website

Linking your pins back to your website is important because without that backlink your audience can’t find you. Sure they could Google you, but people are lazy (myself included). Make it easy to find you.

You can check your Pins to make sure they lead back to a website page by hovering over your Pin.

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Scroll down to Website:

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If the website link is blank, you need to place a URL link there. Press Save.

This might seem like a small, time-consuming step, but it’s important to do a comprehensive sweep through your pinned content to make sure your pins are directing traffic to your blog or content elsewhere on the web.

33. Promote Your Pins

Let’s say your content is producing a ton of traffic and more than half is coming from Pinterest. Wouldn’t you want to boost that pin to gain even more traffic?

Promoted pins are easy to use. To promote a pin go to the left-hand side of your Pinterest profile and click Ads. You can select a variety of different ads depending on what you want your end goal to be:

For this example, we’re going to promote a pin that increases traffic. Click Create Campaign:

From there Pinterest will walk you through how to set up a pin including creating a target audience, choosing target keywords, setting ad spend and more:

Finally, you’ll select your pin, and your campaign will start running. Easy right?

34. Design Infographics That People Want To Read

Infographics are the heart and soul of Pinterest. They’re visually stimulating and highly informative which makes them a sharing goldmine. But, only if they’re done correctly.

3 Steps to Design an Infographic

There are seven steps that you need to follow in order to create Pinterest-worthy infographics:

How to Create and Promote a Pinterest-Worthy Infographic

Maximize Your Presence With These LinkedIn Marketing Tips

35. Make A Great First Impression With A Completed LinkedIn Profile

Your business wants to make a substantial first impression on LinkedIn. People are searching for a solution, and they shouldn’t have to go through the extra work of having to click to your website to find out more about you.

So what does a completed profile look like?

A Concise About Us Description

Your “About Us” description needs to be concise enough to skim but thorough enough to answer the question “What do you do and what can you do for me?”

List Need To Know Company Details

The next and last part of your bio should include details like where your company is located, a web address and specialties that your organization works in:

36. Build Traffic By Creating Your Own LinkedIn Group

Creating a group is another way to build traffic on LinkedIn. To form your group, you must:

Choose a niche and specialty category that you’d like to focus on.

 

Write up your group description. Be sure to include the name of your target market and your group’s category.

 

Monitor and manage your group.

You want your group to be a clean atmosphere for people in your industry to come and chat about what you all enjoy.

That means keeping a steady stream of content so be prepared to throw in articles, white papers, podcast links and more those first few weeks to keep the discussion going.

Beware of people who are sharing their content merely to get a few extra page views. If the content is relevant to the discussion, by all means, leave it in. However, you don’t want other group members to get spammed by content so monitor your page daily if you can.

37. Always Share Engaging Content To Build Trust

There are a bunch of things that go into writing engaging messages.

Make sure you have these in mind when you’re writing:

  1. Write about something your audience will enjoy.
  2. Get to the point.
  3. Share your content often.

When you share content filled with actionable and helpful information you are building trust with your audience.

…the next step is to stay top of mind by sharing great content that delivers on-going value to your audience. – JoAnne Funch

38. Capture The Attention Of Your Audience With Images

According to Neil Patel, attaching images to your content adds 98 comments.

By capturing the attention of your audience, you’re able to hook them into your content and engage with them.

Recommended Image Sizes for LinkedIn

Here are LinkedIn’s golden image rules:

  1. Do your images have a personal touch?
  2. Make sure your images are 531 px wide.

39. Post At The Best Times On LinkedIn

We’ve found that LinkedIn posts receive the bulk of their likes, comments and reach potential within 2 hours of it’s posting. To maximize that potential you need to post when your audience is online.

Best Times to Post on LinkedIn

When to post on LinkedIn for the most click-throughs:

  1. 5–6 p.m.
  2. 7–8 a.m.
  3. 12 p.m.

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40. Publish Content On LinkedIn Pulse To Get More Eyes On Your Content

Publish posts to LinkedIn Pulse by pressing Publish a post. (You may republish things you’ve published elsewhere as long as it is your original content that you own the rights to.)

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Add a headline:
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Once you publish your post, it will appear as a long-form post.

Sharing posts on LinkedIn will help build you engage with your audience and direct traffic back to your blog by including a strong CTA.

After you finish writing your post, put your bio at the bottom and link back to your website.

Now You’re Ready To Build Traffic With Social Media Marketing Tips

You now know the social media marketing tips it takes to build traffic to your blog, website, and social media profiles.

If you can take one of these 40 social media marketing tips and put it into practice, you’ve got what it takes to conquer the world when it comes to marketing on social media.

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This post was originally written by Devin Joubert and published on July 25, 2016. It was updated with new information and republished by Breonna Bergstrom on Dec. 12, 2017.]