Posted 08.14.2022 by Tomori Uriel
Social media amplification is that “extra” that you add to social media marketing to see extraordinary results.
Sharing content on your social media pages is still crucial to your growth. But with dwindling organic reach, it’s not enough to see big gains.
That’s where amplifying your social media strategies with advocates, influencers, and paid media comes in.
We’ve prepared this comprehensive guide to help you understand social media amplification.
You will learn:
Want to reach a wider audience? With social media amplification, you have options – with a variety of price scales.
You know organic has limits. So what are your options? The power of advocates!
Organic social media amplification requires a committed group of people to promote and distribute your content. These people could be your employees or brand advocates.
That’s because people trust people. People form relationships with people. People listen to people.
Organic amplification is cost-effective. You don’t have to spend money to platforms to make it work.
There are two key ways to go about organic social media amplification:
Employee advocacy involves leveraging your team’s social media presence to promote your company’s brand messaging, social media posts, and content.
Employee advocacy humanizes your brand. It connects a faceless corporate business to real people with names and faces, which makes businesses more trustworthy.
How do you implement an employee advocacy program?
Each of your employees has personal networks with friends, former colleagues, and other like-minded professionals, so making these connections is an easy way to leverage your social media reach.
A real-life example of an effective employee-focused program is IBM’s employee advocacy. According to Amber Armstrong, IBM’s VP and CMO of AI Applications and Blockchain and Marketing Social Business Program Director, IBM’s employee advocacy program drove 50,000 new registrations to IBM Verse in the first two weeks of launch.
Employee advocacy positively impacts three major areas of your business. They are:
Another good example of an employee advocacy program comes from Shopify.
Shopify’s employee advocacy program shares content from their employees at all levels — and the content includes everything from low-commitment employee features on the company’s social media page to employee-written blogs that highlight expertise to reshared high-level executive content.
What are the benefits of an employee advocacy program?
An effective employee advocacy strategy will:
Brand advocates are customers who have used your product, are familiar with it, and are happy to talk about it.
They leave positive reviews about your product and refer new customers. Sometimes they’ll even create content like how-to guides and content illustrating features about your product.
Tapping your employees to reach out to your audience is a form of brand advocacy, but not all brand advocates are employees. Some of your brand advocates are also customers or partners that support your company’s growth.
Like your employees, your other brand advocates are important sources of organic social media amplification. That’s because 92% of customers seek social recommendations about a product before buying.
SocialToaster found that, on average, one advocate is connected to around 600 people. Imagine the power of 100 of them sharing your content? Brand advocacy is an extremely cost-effective social media marketing strategy if you’re on a tight budget.
A tried and true example at work was Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign.
The concept was simple — Apple asked users to upload their images captured with their iPhones, and to use a specific hashtag. The company then chose the pictures it liked most and used them in its marketing. The campaign even extended to OOH — like billboards and public transits. You’ve probably seen them!
Apple chose shots from 77 people from 24 countries. But there were 25,971,572 posts submitted on Instagram alone as of August 2022.
Influencer marketing can bring brands 11x more annual ROI than other, more traditional methods.
Influencers are social media users who are considered “leaders” in an industry. When they endorse a product, their followers are more likely to buy it.
You may think one person can’t expand your reach and drive considerable web traffic. But it’s quite achievable if you work with the right influencers.
Instead of relying on your own employees who may not individually have meaningful reach, just one relevant influencer can get you in front of tens or hundreds of thousands more people. And amplifying your social media is even more effective when you collaborate with a niche influencer.
Because these influencers have the trustworthiness and engagement rate needed to get your content in front of your target audience. Your influencer must fit the right niche. HubSpot, Intuit, Shopify, and American Express (#AmexAmbassadors) are among the many B2B brands that are crushing it with influencer marketing.
What if you plan to execute a social media campaign that’s awareness based? Then consider an example like Microsoft’s #MakeWhatsNext Campaign, where they partnered with National Geographic for International Women’s Day.
Most social media networks have paid advertising features. Paid social ads are beneficial because they are precisely targeted. Usually, you can define preferences, age, location, gender, device, and so on. You can also target your existing audiences, followers, website visitors, and those on your CRM list.
LinkedIn, in particular, allows you to dig deeper into more granular professional data, such as employer, seniority, education, and job titles. It’s a powerful and effective way to amplify your content, posts, and brand messages.
Of course, it’s smarter to boost social media posts already performing well. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t boost other content. If the post is relevant to your audience, amplify it to ensure people see it. Taking these steps makes conversions easier.
Paid and organic strategies complement each other and produce better results when used together.
There are different ways to do paid social media ads for more reach. Key options include:
It’s important to track your paid efforts using analytics tools to confirm whether your ads are generating the desired results and whether you’re meeting your targets.
Analytics will provide insight on how to improve in the future and how your organic social media amplification compares to paid social media amplification.
If you’re not new to social media marketing, then you know everything begins with a plan. But before you jump into how to amplify your social media, there are important things to do.
The first step to amplifying your social media is identifying what you want from it. Primarily, you want to boost visibility to a wider audience interested in your brand and its products or services.
But beyond that, what else do you want?
Remember — IBM’s advocacy program successfully drove nearly 50,000 new registrations.
Understanding the reason behind amplifying your social media strategies will help you measure the success of your campaigns.
The next step in amplification is to create an actionable plan that works. Your plan lays out what you want to do and why you want to do it.
You can increase visibility through organic strategies.
Some possibilities are:
On the other hand, sponsored content and influencer marketing are two options if you want to explore paid amplification. Your actionable plan can combine both strategies.
Keep your social media amplification strategies time-bound.
A timeframe for a new initiative will allow you to gauge if your amplification is successful. It also helps you measure improvement periodically. To reach your target in six months, you must monitor changes in chronological order.
If you want your content in front of new people but are not ready to partner with an influencer, then paid ads are great. Paid ads create new ways for businesses to interact with audiences who may be unaware of them. Up to 61% of marketers use pay-per-click (PPC) ads for social media content distribution.
Paid ads support the organic content and messages you’ve already shared to your social media pages — helpful posts with high-converting potential. But you need to do social media advertising right.
As a marketer, you need to know what social media platforms are best for your business model and the most effective strategies.
Following are the best social networks for social media advertising:
LinkedIn is largely viewed as the most effective social media tool for B2B companies.
According to LinkedIn’s own statistics, 89% of marketers use LinkedIn for lead generation.
LinkedIn has different ad options that can significantly amplify your organic social media marketing, including sponsored posts.
Whether you want to target your audience based on industry, experience, or business size, LinkedIn offers over 200 targeting characteristics to ensure your campaigns are seen by the right people.
Here’s a tip: When creating LinkedIn ads to amplify your social media marketing, prioritize Linkedin Groups in your targeting options. LinkedIn describes their groups as “a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance, and build valuable connections.”
So advertising in a relevant group means it’s almost sure your posts and content will be seen by a wider audience interested in your brand. And finding relevant groups is easy — just type the associated keywords into the “what group you want to target” section.
A good example of a brand success with LinkedIn is HubSpot.
HubSpot collects social media campaign engagement data (namely early audience engagement metrics) which they leverage to target early leads who see their content along with more traditional ads.
HubSpot uses LinkedIn’s early audience targeting to drastically lower the CPL (cost per lead) from LinkedIn ads. LinkedIn’s audience targeting also offers a great deal of information about the target audience’s content consumption.
Twitter is also an effective social network for marketing.
It not only has more than 300 million users — it’s also the most popular network among B2B marketers after LinkedIn. Twitter is a great place to engage with buyers in real time, and it’s a place to educate them about your products or services. Advertising on Twitter is more about amplifying useful tweets that are already doing well organically. Find already engaging tweets, and then boost their reach and engagement with ad spend.
Regarding ad spend, it’s important to point out that Twitter is more cost-effective than other social networks. According to the platform, Twitter has the lowest cost per click (CPC) among the major social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
One smart way to save even more on Twitter ads is by setting a manual bid instead of an automatic bid. Automatic bidding may offer more wins, but they often come at a higher cost.
If your goal is to reach an exact audience, Twitter is for you. Twitter’s ad targeting is so specific that it’s sometimes referred to as “no one else but…” But beyond targeting location and other specific demographics, you can also target the followers of any account, including your competitors’ accounts.
The logic behind this is simple — if a user is following one of your competitors, chances are they’re interested in their content. And if they’re interested in your competitor’s content, they’ll likely be interested in yours, too.
If you offer something better, you can amplify a post that describes what your brand is about and what you offer.
You can also promote your account in Twitter’s “Who to Follow” list and have your tweet shown at the top of a feed. (This includes showing at the top of a particular hashtag search.)
Instagram is a goldmine for paid amplification. You can leverage several different ads to amplify your social media strategies. It’s almost like using multiple channels in one social network. And it’s also a lot cheaper than LinkedIn.
You can use Image ads, Video ads, Stories ads, Carousel ads, Explore ads, and Reels ads to amplify your content.
The array of choices means you can choose what works best for your brand and the audience you want to reach.
You can find inspiration from the following examples of brands doing Instagram ads right:
Influencer marketing means identifying social media users with loud voices and potential enthusiasm for your brand, product, service, or market. Influencer marketing has a high ROI. Every dollar spent on influencer marketing generates a $6.50 return, on average (Tomoson), and as much as an $18 return.
But the effects go beyond sales. Besides having a larger social following than the average social media user, influencers have established a reputation as a reliable source of information. More importantly, their followers typically use the influencer as a content source for their feeds.
It’s important to find an influencer with a presence in the market you want to reach. With that said, influencers don’t have to be individuals. They can also be brands — especially those which use your product and have a large audience.
As a company, you’ll likely want to work with a company rather than an individual.
You need to keep in mind the following essential practices while working with an influencer:
If influencer marketing sounds like something that will work for you, here are recommended steps to start influencer marketing:
Organic social amplification can start from within your organization — most often, your employees and other business partners are the most effective brand advocates to have (one example is Cisco’s #CiscoPartner). On average, employees have 10x more followers than their company’s official page.
You can create an employee advocacy program that encourages employees and brand partners to share brand messages, posts, and content socially. Nearly half of company CMOs claim that employee advocacy is their best-performing initiative.
Here are some tips for a successful employee advocacy program:
Employee advocacy can get your business in front of thousands of new eyes and give your audience a personalized experience with nothing more than organic content.
But beyond amplifying your social media strategies, employee advocacy builds trust, breeds committed and engaged employees, facilitates social selling, and ultimately improves revenue.
It sounds good, right? Here’s how to amplify your social media marketing strategies with the help of your company team:
There’s no better way to get the word out about your marketing and content than in a place filled with your target audience and like-minded individuals.
But you don’t want to spam communities with your content. If you aren’t authentic, no one will take you seriously.
It’s essential to first and foremost be a useful contributor to the community. Be helpful and let members get familiar with you. Community members are more likely to be responsive to your content when you’re useful and helpful. That’s because, in a way, you’ve become an influencer in the community.
Don’t ignore communities — they are crucial to your efforts.
A smart hashtag strategy can help amplify your content, posts, and messages.
Hashtags have numerous benefits for brands — such as helping you increase and track engagements, garner impressions, and boost your brand’s share of voice or awareness in a particular industry or conversation.
Having a unique hashtag for each social media campaign is also important. Unique hashtags help you track and measure the success of your organic amplification. Incorporating branded hashtags can make it easier for buyers to discover your content, page, posts, products, and services.
Leveraging social media trends is a great way to humanize your brand.
Doing this shows your audience that humans are the core of your business, and they’re keeping up with change. Plus, creating on-theme content for trends breaks the monotony of self-promotional posts.
And leveraging trends gets you seen. One drawback, however, is that when you jump on trends, you can’t choose the audience that sees your post — yet, you’re still exposing your brand to a wider audience.
You can leverage industry-related trends to amplify your social media strategies to your ideal audience.
An example of this is async collaboration and remote work for a brand like Confluence.
Other conventional trends that are trending in the “now” can make your posts fun and boost your content to a wider audience.
Engaging other brands is another fun way to make your social media content promotion. At the same time, you’ll be amplifying your brand’s account to the other brand’s audience. When you interact with other brands on social media, you’re promoting your content, products, posts, services, and accounts to their followers.
Interacting with other brands on social media can also lead to future partnerships.
While opinions and studies vary here, some claim it takes at least 8 touchpoints before a buyer decides to make a purchase.
So, while posting organically is useful, connecting with your target audience and converting will take more than that. You need to leverage the most suitable platforms to amplify your social media.
It’s okay if you don’t have a presence on all major social media platforms starting out.
But consider expanding to others once you’ve established traction and a process for your primary platforms. Whether that’s YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook.
If it works for your needs, consider using community-based platforms like:
Each platform has its own advantages, so each will work best for specific objectives. Choose wisely!
Regardless of the business model, social media amplification is important for every brand.
Everyone does organic posts. They’re important, but saturation is an issue. To reach the right people on a wider scale, you need to amplify your content.
Here are the top benefits of social media amplification for businesses:
Share of voice (SOV) is a metric that compares your brand’s market share to that of your competitors. It measures your brand’s visibility as well as how much you influence the conversation in your market.
Social media amplification can help you dominate your market.
For example, amplifying your social media strategies by partnering with the influencers your target audience enjoys will help you break down engagement barriers.
It’s a great way to get their followers (your potential market) to engage with your account and content.
Once a bulk of the market starts engaging with your business, jumping on conversations, and making content about you, you’ll grow your brand’s SOV.
Amplifying your social media strategies gets the word out about your business.
When you post organically, only your followers will see your posts, unless a few of them share the content.
But amplifying your social media posts can get your business in front of millions of net new eyeballs.
LinkedIn ads reach 12% of the world’s population, for instance.
Earlier, we mentioned how employee advocacy will get you 561% more reach than your company’s page.
You can considerably boost your brand awareness and reach with organic amplifiers like hashtags and employee advocacy. CompareCamp found that Instagram profiles with less than 5,000 followers get an average 36.85% greater reach rate per post with hashtags as amplifiers. (Your results may vary.)
Whether organic or paid, social media amplification boosts your business’s leads and increases website traffic. And this can set you up for more conversions.
Leads developed through an organic amplification strategy like employee advocacy convert 7x more frequently than other leads.
Besides employee advocacy, other organic efforts, like using multiple social networks, can generate far more leads and website visits for your business.
For example, potential clients may see a helpful blog post through amplification tactics where they end up clicking through to read it on your website. Then, they spend more time on your website and go deeper down the buyers journey.
Essentially, the quality you offer will be what keeps them, but amplifying your posts brings them to you.
Check out these important stats that show you just how important social media amplification is to brand engagement:
When more of your target audience sees your content, posts, ads, and brand messages, you’re increasing the chance new people interact with your brand.
Social media amplification strategies like influencer marketing can help you earn the trust of your potential market.
For example, most fans consider the influencers they follow to be “experts” in their industry. Influencers get lots of traction because their followers reshare their content.
Studies from Sociabble show that 77% of customers are more likely to buy from a business after hearing about it from someone they trust. Partnering with an influencer may earn you some of that trust.
Although social media amplification is crucial, you can’t forget the basics.
Creating high-quality, engaging social media content is still the top priority. After amplifying your content and getting the desired traction, your content quality plays a huge role in converting your prospects. Combining shareable, relevant, and useful content with your amplification will lead to terrific results.
Here are some tips for creating engaging content on social media:
Your audience will only engage with your content if it’s relevant, useful, and adds value. There’s room for fun, but don’t stray from your industry.
Consider carousels, videos, and infographics to engage your audience. If you have an interesting or useful blog post, repurpose it or reshare it in visual form.
Everyone has different opinions. Use that to your advantage by creating a poll on industry-specific issues. LinkedIn, for example, embraces professional polls. Some examples from brands include this Dell LinkedIn Poll and the Olive Communications LinkedIn Poll.
Use popular hashtags to join the social media bandwagon. For example, Hashtags like #MondayMotivation, #ThrowbackTuesday, and many similar hashtags can help you get more engagements.
Running social media contests is a fast and reliable approach to growing your following and earning tons of engagement. You can ask users to tag their friends to join, like, or comment, or share user-generated content (UGC). For example, Adobe used #Adobe_Perspective to source and repost UGC from creators who used Adobe products to create stunning photographs and art. This allowed Adobe to showcase what its products can do while engaging with the community.
This not only gives you engagement, but can also help you get more conversions. (That’s because reviews are a form of social proof.)
Incentives, in this case, are otherwise known as giveaways. People love freebies, which is one of the fastest ways to increase engagement. Attaching giveaways to an action, such as tagging friends to follow, can help you gain more traction, and at the same time, increase your followers.
Social media amplification isn’t a substitute for hard work. But it helps you reach a broader audience in your market in less time. Remember that any content, strategy, or campaign you amplify needs to interest your audience and add value for them.
In closing, other ways you can amplify your business include hosting digital events, partnering with other brands, and using all features available on any social network you use. As a reminder, organic amplification works best when it complements paid social media ads. But you’ll see the best results with high-quality, relevant, and engaging content.
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