Social media is changing for businesses, and if you don’t know how to navigate those changes, it could be frustrating and costly. The larger social media platforms (like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram) are constantly updating their algorithms to allow users to see more friends and family content and less business content. Twitter is on its own journey to clean up its feed and remove bots and fake accounts, which sounds nice and is for many, but a significant drop in followers overnight can hurt your Twitter business profile.
With these constant changes, some businesses are ready to throw in the towel on their social media marketing attempts - but not so fast. With knowledge of these ever-changing digital marketing platforms and a solid strategy, there’s no need to take yourself out of the social media marketing game and we’d recommend you don’t.
Here are some tips on staying in (and winning) the game:
1. Tell your story
Let’s face it. It’s hard to stand out on social media today. With all the noise your audience takes in on a daily (heck, even hourly!) basis, it’s a huge challenge to get and then keep your reader’s attention. That’s why storytelling needs to be a key component of your social strategy. How do you tell your story on social media? Think of it like a story you read in a book – create a beginning, middle and end. Your brand needs to take the reader on a journey through short, genuine social media stories. And remember, your customer always needs to be the hero of your story. You are the guide. By approaching much of your social content with this in mind, you’re taking the cliché marketing language out of your posts, and giving your readers a breath of fresh air in an overly ad-saturated market.
2. Focus on engagement
Odds are people aren’t going to buy something from you or enlist your services if they’ve never engaged with your brand before. Sure, there is a slight possibility someone would land on your website for the first time and convert, but research shows the chances are very slim. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on engagement with your audience. Some easy ways to add this into your social strategy? Host a social media giveaway, ask your audience questions to learn more about them and find out their interests, use hashtags, tag influencers and certainly engage with influencer profiles with comments, shares and likes. So stop selling on social and start having a conversation.
3. Consider social media advertising
Majority of the social platforms are making it quite the challenge to have your content seen unless you’re putting money behind your posts. But don’t let the idea of having to pay for exposure intimidate you. You don’t need a hefty social media budget to play in the social media advertising game. You can start out spending very little to test the waters and see what type of ads work with your audience. One thing to note – later in the year, Facebook will be limiting your control over your ad set budget only letting you set minimum and maximum budgets. You can see Facebook’s announcement here. Changes like these happen often in social media marketing, so it’s important to work with a marketing team that can keep you informed and adjusts your strategy accordingly when these changes occur.
4. Think outside the box and go niche
Everyone is familiar with the major social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, but it’s important to think outside of the traditional social media platforms when communicating with your audience. And you may not have to cover all of them. Sometimes using one platform really well is all you need. Studies suggest that some demographics aren’t engaging on the large social media platforms as much and are migrating towards more niche or private social media platforms such as forums and online communities. For example, if you’re looking to penetrate the entrepreneurial and small business community, consider joining online group like Start Up Nation or Small Business Bonfire. This is great for news for companies looking to increase engagement with their target audience while avoiding the noise of the social media big players.
5. Have patience
Even the most well-planned social strategies take time to show the fruits of its labor. It takes time to build a social media presence. It’s important to stay consistent and not give up. Social media marketing is an extremely useful tool that offers a strong ROI when done right. Virality doesn’t have a formula for a reason but observing and leverage what works gets you closer to the big wins.
If you’re interested in establishing a solid social media strategy while staying ahead of the ever-changing industry, we’d love to help. Shoot us a message and let’s chat.