How to Win at Social Media on a Tight Budget

If you’re a new brand like us, you probably struggle with brand awareness. “Who are you? What do you stand for? How is your product or service different?” With a crowded marketplace and a frenetic consumer, brand awareness must be a top priority. But how do you earn the attention of your target consumer?

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Producing consistent and relevant content will keep your brand top of mind and build brand affinity. The costs of developing said content can be quite expensive‒photoshoots, video production, and editing‒but it’s only as expensive as you make it. Because of social media, small brands have the same opportunity to reach and engage consumers at the scale of larger brands. All it takes is a solid vision and a heavy dose of time and dedication to craft a winning social media strategy.

In this article, I’ll share the approach we’ve taken to craft content for Avantūr, along with some quick tips to consider.

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Facebook

I might be the only one who will tell you this, but Facebook should not be your top priority if you don’t have an ad budget to promote content. You might ask, “But since everyone’s on Facebook, shouldn’t I also be there?” Yes, you should absolutely have a presence on Facebook, but if you don’t have an ad budget, don’t develop content specifically for this channel. Due to changes in Facebook’s algorithm over the past year, less than 1% of your fans are likely to see your content unless you promote it with media. Instead, I would recommend repurposing content from other channels, enabling you to keep your page updated and show the brand is still active.

[ctt tweet=”“Facebook generates more than 3 billion video views each day.” @WeiTsay @Makersrow” coverup=”dasHx”]

If you do have the budget for advertising, know that Facebook has prioritized video products, ensuring that video is seen in newsfeeds. In fact, Facebook generates more than 3 billion video views each day.

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Quick tips:

  1. Videos should grab the viewer’s attention in the first 3 seconds or they’ll keep scrolling.
  2. Videos autoplay on mute, so consider ways to keep the viewer’s attention without sound.
  3. Experiment with various lengths of video, but remember the content itself is most important.

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Instagram

Visual storytelling is one of the surest ways to create an emotional connection with your audience. With the prevalence of smartphones and cameras, Instagram is an open opportunity with a low barrier to entry. Instagram is a versatile tool in that it allows you to create video and images, engaging with the viewer in different ways. To date, we’ve used our Instagram account to tell the story of our brand, show behind-the-scenes moments, release new products and regram design inspiration. Because Instagram fulfills the need to create and syndicate content, it’s one of the most efficient places to focus.

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Instagram treats newsfeed content equally as it shows content in order of the post time instead of using an algorithm that affects ranking. That said, it’s important to post at least once a day, and if you have the volume of content to do so, post more than once. Most users don’t scroll all the way back through their feed to see every image, which limits your opportunity to catch their attention if you haven’t recently posted.

Quick tips:

  1. Try various formats of content – test and learn with images, videos and GIFs to see what your fans engage with.
  2. Use multiple hashtags as a discovery mechanism – searching for hashtags is the most common way for people to discover relevant content.
  3. Regram when appropriate – it serves as a compliment to the original Instagrammer, and it strengthens the connection of brand affinities.
  4. Develop an aesthetic identity – while it’s okay to experiment with different filters, it’s important for people to know it’s your brand’s content even if they haven’t seen your name/logo. Our favorite apps for color corrections and editing include Snapseed, ArtStudio. and VSCOcam.
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Twitter

Twitter is best for quick content that doesn’t need to be edited – it’s highly fleeting and conversational, so it shouldn’t take as much time to create tweets. For most, the lifespan of a tweet is only a few minutes, and sometimes only a few seconds. “Content” on Twitter doesn’t even need to be video or images, it can simply exist as copy. For us, Twitter has been a way of engaging with partners, influencers and media outlets.

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Quick tips:

  1. Follow and engage with people you want to build a relationship with.
  2. Retweet content that helps to showcase the personality of your brand.
  3. Hashtag relevant keywords to help your tweet surface. Twitter recommends a max of two hashtags per tweet.

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Pinterest

The shelf life of content on Pinterest is much longer than that of Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. In fact, some studies show that the majority of engagement with pins occurs months later. Thus, it’s important that any content you post to Pinterest be evergreen. Pinterest should be used to show how your brand integrates with your target’s lifestyle. Inspire them with ways to use or style your product and link them to a destination where they can learn more. A new fan should be able to look at your collection of Pinterest boards and immediately understand your brand persona.

[ctt tweet=”“A new fan should be able to look at your collection of Pinterest boards and immediately understand your brand persona.” @WeiTsay @Makersrow” coverup=”3sV4c”]

Concerned that you don’t have content to pin? Try repurposing some of the images from your Instagram account. You’ll reach new audiences and extend the life of existing content.

Quick tips:

  1. Move your most relevant boards to the top of your profile, as these will be the first that visitors see.
  2. Update links often – it’s easy to set it and forget it but nothing ruins a user experience more than when a link isn’t the right one.
  3. Use vertical images to take up more room in the user’s feed.
  4. Use timeless copy that will still be relevant months from when first pinned. Be specific and descriptive so that the pin shows up in search.
  5. Organize pins by interest by using different boards. Remember, it’s okay to pin the same piece of content to numerous boards.
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Periscope

Periscope is Twitter’s new app that allows anyone to live stream and show what they’re seeing to the entire world. Although very new, Periscope could amass incredible awareness for fashion brands. Periscope doesn’t allow editing because videos are streamed in real-time – if you’re seeing it, that means it’s happening now.

[ctt tweet=”“#Periscope could amass incredible awareness for fashion brands.” @WeiTsay @Makersrow” coverup=”Ys6Px”]

Quick Tips:

  1. Use a catchy title to entice someone to click and tune-in.
  2. Pay attention to the questions and comments on screen and respond accordingly – this will keep viewers engaged and encourages them to stay tuned in.
  3. Use Twitter to tell others when you are broadcasting.
  4. Enable the geolocation function so that others can see where you are – this helps with discovery.

Think about some of your favorite brands on social—when was the last time you actually bought from one of those brands? Maybe you recently bought or maybe you didn’t, but I’ll bet that their social content helped keep them top of mind. It all starts with that first post so don’t be afraid to test and learn to see what works for you.

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