Our client understood the importance of social media, but didn’t have the time or resource to post consistently. Here are three ways we boosted Facebook engagement and brought more referral traffic to their website.

3 must-haves for a winning social media strategy

sep
4
min.
to read
sep

Industry: Travel & Real Estate
Content: Social media, blog posts
Highlights:A lifestyle-focused Facebook strategy resulted in 50% more referral traffic in one quarter

Navigating social media is a challenge if you’re not immersed in it daily.

Some of the top considerations include:

  • How often, where (and what!) to post
  • The ever-changing algorithms for visibility
  • Your audience’s preferences
  • How to measure for success

…It’s tricky and there’s no doubt about that. On top of these factors, you need to have your brand’s voice on lock, and the creativity to set your posts apart from an already saturated newsfeed.

Take our client in the real estate industry. This travel accommodations brand has wide variety of vacation rentals that range from affordable apartments to luxury homes. While the target audience is vacation veterans looking for a less touristy experience, the brand has a model that accommodates individuals, families and large business groups.

Problem:

  • Our client understood the importance of social media, but didn’t have the time or resource to post consistently.
  • The company had exciting rentals, but couldn’t capture the benefits in “micro posts” for social.
  • Despite a large following, growth was slow and engagement was low.

Content:

  • Blog content
  • Social media

Social Strategy:

  • Increase to 2 Facebook posts per day.
  • Focus more on leisure and vacation than rental prices and logistics.
  • Use weekly themed hashtags and @mention affiliated FB pages.
  • Showcasing blog posts, encouraging fans to visit website
  • Combine promotional links (used sparingly) with appealing images.

Results:

  • Referral traffic from social media increased nearly 50 percent (49.7%) in one quarter

Here’s a closer look at the three areas Brafton focused on to create a winning social media strategy:

Consistency

Green_TimePosting too little – or too often – can break your social strategy. If someone checks out your social page and notices you haven’t shared an update in several months, the likelihood of  that person following you is pretty slim.

At Brafton, our social strategists stay ahead of the game by creating a social media calendars in advance and schedule posts ahead of time using Sprout Social.   

But brands aren’t guaranteed a spot in users’ timelines just by distributing content frequently. More Facebook posting does not necessarily mean more success. News Feed algorithm updates have made quality and relevance far more important than post quantity. We recommend two posts per day on Facebook for our client because they’re trying to ramp up and engage a moderately large audience (25,000+).

Better visuals

Facebook Strategy for VisualsBetter visuals are becoming a Facebook standard with brand Pages publishing 40 percent fewer standard “link posts” in Q1 2015 than in Q4 2014. Meanwhile, the volume of video and photo posts stayed relatively the same – but engagement for both formats saw a major lift.

Real estate and travel brands have it extremely easy when it comes to visuals. People want to see every nook and cranny of the rental space they’ll be staying in before they book it, and when you’re showing off the best tourist destinations for a place like Hawaii, it’s an easy sell.

Case in point: This client’s most-liked post from this quarter was a stunning image of a sunset, taken from one of the rental properties. It boasted both hundreds of likes and shares.

Learn more: Writing for social media: Visual topic nets thousands of shares

Less promotion

If you know someone with wanderlust, you know he’s always planning his next trip – whether it’s next month or in two years. No matter the industry and length of your buying cycle, a social media presence is the perfect opportunity to get on a person’s radar early in the game, so when they do go to make a purchase, they’re familiar with your brand.

That said, it’s going to be unlikely that someone will want to engage with a brand that’s only talking about their latest deals – especially on Facebook. Last year, the social network cracked down and started decreasing visibility for brands with posts that only push people to buy a specific product or download an app.

Through a combination of  hashtags, quotes and images that cater to weekly themes (think #TuesdayTravel and #WanderlustWednesday), fun facts (#DidYouKnow), and some promotional posts – like images of their rentals with links to learn more – we’ve set out with a well rounded strategy. Not all posts link directly back to the website, but instead some link and @mention local attractions partnered with the company. This makes their posts appear on other Facebook pages as well, broadening reach.

To appeal to readers who aren’t close to a sale, we went with a simple approach – posting images from the islands.  The images aren’t ‘branded’ and don’t always have a link attached – but it’s a strategy that’s proven successful.

Keep reading: How to tell if your content strategy is TOO promotional

Molly Buccini
Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.

Thoughts?

  • http://ethanjhulbert.org/ Ethan J Hulbert

    Cool article. There was a lot in that social strategy that could have impacted the (great) results; do you have any insights onto which components were most and least useful? Will there be further tests run on this in the future?