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social media marketing 2016

10 Social Media Marketing Hacks You Need to Try

By Rease Kirchner (@IndecisiveRease)

Looking to up your social media marketing game? These 10 hacks will help you take your social media skills to the next level, not to mention get you greater reach, better engagement, and more followers.

1. Use Images

This one may seem obvious, but it’s not just about using images, it’s about how to use them on each specific platform. Did you know there is an image size that works best on Facebook and that it’s totally different from Instagram or Twitter? For example 1200 x 630 images show up best on a Facebook timeline, while an ideal Instagram post is 1080 x 1080.

Twitter is often overlooked when it comes to images, because they weren’t always supported. However, Twitter now allows images to show up directly in stream. The recommended dimensions are 506 x 253. Adding an image to your Tweet does eat into your already small 140 characters a bit, but the loss is worth the gain. Adding an image makes your Tweet stand out much better as people scroll through their feed. You can also add text to the image if you have a bit more to say than your limited characters allow.

Bonus Tip: YouTube videos can be embedded to make them playable directly on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. That means you can draw people in with a visual and rack up some views on your video, all while keeping people on the social media platform.

2. Post Blogs on LinkedIn

This is a rarely used but very valuable feature. When you write a blog post, you can also publish it directly on LinkedIn, getting it in front of the eyes of people who are connected to you and thus have a higher probability of being interested in the subject matter you are covering. You can link the post back to your site as well, giving you a chance to grab some more traffic. You’ll also have a chance to be featured through LinkedIn Pulse, which is an aggregate of all the best content published on LinkedIn in a single day. If you snag a featured spot, you could easily gain hundreds of views.

3. Use IFTTT recipes

IFTTT, or If This Then That is an amazing tool that lets you set up “recipes” that basically add up to “if this happens, then this happens” So, for example, if you often peruse the internet for great articles but never remember to share them when social media marketing, you can set up an IFTTT recipe that automatically sends those articles to a queue on a scheduling platform such as Buffer. That way, the next time you login to Buffer, you’ll have plenty of content to choose from for scheduling posts.

Another great IFTTT recipe is to use your Instagram photos more effectively. Instagram allows you to auto-post to several platforms directly through the app, but as we said in tip #1, optimal image sizes differ across platforms. Instagram photos also show up as a link, not an image, on Twitter, which is not nearly as eye-catching. IFTTT allows you to set up a recipe to share Instagram posts through different platforms, so your beautiful photo can show up as an in-stream photo on platforms like Twitter, instead a link that has a pretty low likelihood of being clicked.

4. Use Grammarly

Is there anything more embarrassing than using “their” when you should have used “there” or messing up a perfectly witty tweet with a typo? Whether you are simply not a master of grammar or you just have a tendency to think faster than you type, Grammarly can help. Think of this browser plug-in as a helpful grammar nerd that peeks over your shoulder as you compose posts and alerts you to any grammatical or spelling errors.

5. Use Iconosquare

While many people think of Instagram as a platform to share photos instantly and in the moment, that’s not a great strategy if you are looking for high engagement numbers. Generally, users only scroll through Instagram for so long before they get bored of double tapping photos, so if your photo isn’t posted during active times, it’s not likely to be seen at all. Enter Iconosqaure. This handy tool analyzes your followers and past engagements and gives you the optimal times to post for every day of the week. Once you start posting photos when your followers are actually active, you are likely to see a nice boost in likes and comments.

6. Highlight text before clicking “Pin it”

This is such a simple trick that will save you time and effort. Before clicking “Pin It” on an image, highlight any relevant text from the website. When you click “Pin It,” the highlighted text will automatically be added to description box. So simple, yet so useful.

7. Clean up your Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr with “Friend or Follow”

Social media sites are full of people who follow users in mass in hopes of getting followed back. Days or even weeks later, those mass-followers do a purge and unfollow in mass as well. Rude.

Luckily, Friend or Follow can help you weed out these people. This tool will show you everyone you follow and let you know if they are following back. You can unfollow in mass or pick and choose who is worthy of your unrequited follow.

8. Surf LinkedIn Anonymously

The LinkedIn “Profile Viewed By” feature is either incredibly helpful or super annoying, depending on which side of it you are on. If you are looking to search profiles without worrying about users knowing you were reading up on them, try using LinkedIn anonymously. Simply go to “Privacy & Settings” on your profile then choose “Privacy Controls.” From there you can choose “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” and you will be given an option to be completely anonymous. This is a total win if you are doing research and don’t necessarily want the subjects to know who you are, or perfect for some light internet stalking.

9. Create a Printable Resume directly from LinkedIn

Have you ever looked at your perfectly crafted LinkedIn profile and wished you could just send prospective employers to your profile page instead of providing them with a resume? Well, you can have the next best thing. By using LinkedIn’s ResumeBuilder, you can take your LinkedIn profile and turn it into a printable resume within minutes. Boom. Updated resume, locked and loaded, no formatting requiring.

10. Join Social Buzz Club

This “club” is basically an online community that lets you earn shares by sharing other users’ posts. You can pick and choose the content you share, so you can still keep content relevant to your audience’s interests. Every time you share another member’s content, you earn “shares” that you can then use to have other users share your content on their social media profiles. It’s a great way to gain traction for content without spending any actual money.

So which one of these social media marketing hacks are you dying to try? Let us know if any of these totally changed your social media game!