Henry McIntosh is the founder of commercial collaboration agency Twenty One Twelve Marketing and took some time out to share with The Industry Leaders the best tactics to grow your business with social media.
Can you give our readers some background on the main social platforms you use to grow your business?
Predominantly LinkedIn and a bit of Instagram. Simply because most of the commercial collaborations we create are B2B, even if they are for a B2C brand.
Can you share a memorable example of how you leveraged social media to achieve significant business growth or a specific marketing objective?
I think if you're focusing on making a single post go viral you're thinking about it the wrong way. Instead, take a campaign-based approach where you join the dots between your different marketing channels. Let me give you an example of how we gained a new UK mortgage broker 15,000 new email subscribers, 1200 Instagram followers and a healthy pipeline of sales qualified leads in just three months following the brand's launch.
We achieved this by partnering the new brand (FOMO Mortgages) with a highly well-known and trusted brand in the UK - lastminute.com and running a competition alongside them. Our brand gained instant awareness and trust among lastminute.com's audience huge audience by virtue of being partnered with them and many entered to win the amazing prize - an all inclusive holiday worth £2k +.
Competition data can be very poor, to ensure this wasn't the case we made entrants take a series of actions including answering a quiz on their housing status. This allowed us to segment the audience to personalise follow up messages accordingly, this resulted in a good volume of quality leads during and after the competition ended.
We also now have reusable assets - namely a strong email database and a decent enough social media following to push our next activations even further!
What strategies or tactics have you found successful in building and engaging your social media audience?
Our favourite tactics include:
- Collaborating with influencers who have access to your ideal audience
- Co-creating content with complementary but different brands and individuals
- Engaging with other people's content regularly (they will reciprocate!)
- Creating truly original, thought-leadership content
- Creating content that elicites emotion
- Facts tell, stories sell: use storytelling to engage your audience
Are there any quick fixes that anyone can make to instantly improve their personal or business social profile?
- Professional photography for your posts and profile picture
- Playing on your point of difference as a brand or business
- Ensuring you've used all the available sections on your profile (especially on LinkedIn)
- Doing what your competitors aren't: this might mean video content
Is there any one tactic you'd recommend to people who want to grow their business using social media?
Most people will say post daily. My best advice? Collaborate with people who already have the trust of your ideal customer. This might be a complementary business e.g. if you're a wealth manager consider collaborating with a complementary law firm. You could collaborate on an article, a series of videos, an event or a webinar. Whatever it is, by working together you can reach each other's audiences. You can go further (and faster) together. You also don't need to pay for this collaboration as it's win/win.
Are there any accounts you follow to find inspiration for your own content?
Too many to mention but some favourites include the people who aren't just rehashing truisms:
- Tom Goodwin (LinkedIn)
- Jade Bonacolta (LinkedIn)
- Alex Hormozi (Podcast, YouTube)
- Steven Bartlett (Podcast, LinkedIn)
- Marc Randolph (LinkedIn)
Can you share any insights on creating compelling and shareable content on social media that resonates with your target audience?
Centre it around a focal point i.e. put a lot of effort into creating a piece or series of content that is truly original and engaging. Often, we do this by centering our content around a 'hook' be it a thought-leadership piece of content or an event. We can take these hooks and break them up into many, different micro-posts which are engaging from:
- Invites to an event
- Learnings from an event
- Imagery and video from an event: including interviews with notable guests
- Event recap
How do you measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts and how often do you do this?
There are a lot of vanity metrics. We do measure followers and engagement on our posts, but really we want to know what role social media plays in the buyer's journey i.e. during the sales process did the prospect interact with us via social media and what did they interact with? This makes you much more commercially focused - I would rather have 100 followers who all repeatedly buy from me than 10,000 followers who never purchase anything.
Finally, looking ahead, what emerging trends or changes do you foresee in the social media landscape, and how do you plan to adapt your social strategy to meet them?
AI is massively changing the game already, in regard to the amount of content you can produce both written and visual. The question is, can you add real value using AI tools like Midjourney, ChatGPT or will you just add to the noise and be ignored?
Finally, I foresee a lot of longer form, feature length content being produced by influencers as people want more and more content from them and more insight into their daily lives.