5 Action Items for Social Marketers in 2018
Social marketers typically serve as a hub within a company, fielding one-off requests and meeting external needs while attempting to maintain their own campaigns and content calendars with social-specific goals.
No big deal, right?
Creative Campaign Booster Kit
Just kidding. Here are five ways you can take action in 2018 and beyond to gift yourself a little more success and sanity. I’ve taken into account the latest social network developments and organizational thought leadership. I hope this helps.
1. Shift Your Facebook Strategy Pronto
In Q4 2017, Facebook made algorithm changes to surface less viral video content in an effort to reduce “time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.” Citing the recent division and anxiety in our world, Mark Zuckerberg announced his intention to make sure Facebook is beneficial “for people’s well-being and for society overall.” This means the following:
- “You will now see more content from friends, family, and groups that lead you to interact with people, and less public content that leads to more overall time spent.” This means that Facebook users are more likely to see user—not brand—content (which sparks comments and conversation), rather than branded videos (which receive a ton of likes or views).
- What you can do about it: Start a Facebook group around your brand, or a challenge that your brand has organized for its devotees, like a fitness challenge. Add this component to your next integrated campaign, and don’t use it as a sales tool—use it as an audience development tool.
Throw your influencer program into overdrive, and interact with these influencers regularly on Facebook, whether that’s in the form of a Facebook Live or the influencer’s comment section. Community management, emphasis on community, is more important on Facebook than ever.
Finally, use an employee advocacy platform like Bambu to share stories that will amplify your brand.
- “Make sure the information you see on Facebook comes from broadly trusted and high-quality sources, in order to counter misinformation and polarization.” Facebook wants to prevent false news, hate speech, and other abuse.
- What you can do about it: You don’t have to do anything, unless you’re conducting one of the activities mentioned above. In which case…stop.
- “Over the next three years, we know video will continue to grow, so our job is to build video experiences that help people connect with friends, family, and groups. That’s why I’m excited about Watch as a place to connect with people who have similar interests, and it’s why we launched Watch Party, where friends can watch a show together.” Facebook isn’t giving up on video, but it’s pushing viewers towards a specific part of the platform where they can watch and interact.
- What you can do about it: Whether you’ve already got a robust video strategy or are in the initial stages of building yours out, invest here.
- “We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds as the most common way people share across all social apps.” But we’ve been saying that for a while now.
- What you can do about it: Don’t have an Instagram Stories plan? As I said, we’re here to help.
2. Build Your Deck
Build a template for your presentation deck now, so you can simply plug and play as the year unfolds. I suggest this reporting cadence:
Obviously, you do not need a deck template for your daily analysis, but I recommend having a short-deck template for your weekly reporting to your immediate team, a medium-length template for your entire team/C-suite, and a longer template for your quarterly or yearly content audit and analysis. Simply swap out screenshots from your favorite social analytics solution and social profiles, as well as your bullet-point takeaways.
For each of these decks, follow a format like:
- Slide 1: Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant to Your Business, and Time-bound)
- Slide 2: Plan
- Slide 3: Results
- Slide 4: Lessons Learned
- Slide 5: Moving Forward
3. Lead with Authenticity
Consumers are no longer interested in only seeing the latest and greatest products and prices, but they also want to connect with a business on a personal level.
o m g b e c k y. I just paid off my culinary school loans in full, on my own. I quote my mother, 2005- "Candice, you can't cook for a living, you can cook for your friends." That's right, my Tiger🐯Mom came down on me hard– when I went from college +my lucrative modeling gigs to enroll myself in culinary school. I did it for myself to learn more skills. I'll never forget how hard it was stepping away from high paying fashion to be in food. My clients were pissed. I cried, but I never regret getting into food so young. I did it for myself. I self funded my own way, I paid all my own bills. I ran my own biz from LA to NY– modeling taught me how to hustle like a bozzz.⚡️🦄💵 along the way I had to save, get small business loans and work hard, mostly unpaid. Survival meant being a smart girl, with skill and tenacity. I never had rich parents or an investor, so I learned skills: cooking, producing, directing, shooting + writing. Some actionable advice on how to make it financially- & I mean on your own: 1️⃣-you are entitled to nothing: if you want something you will have to work for it. That includes titles. 2️⃣-pay your bills + taxes on time. All of them, in full as often as possible. 3️⃣-keep good credit. Do not rack up debt on your credit card. Get that shit under control. 4️⃣- look for a credit union for all small biz loans. They tend to have the lowest APR rates. 5️⃣-refinance & consolidate loans, your credit union can help! Look to a CPA you trust to help you manage your business + finances. 6️⃣-minimize: you don't need 12 bottles of shampoo, you need one. Sell your good shit on #ebay, trust, you don't need it. 7️⃣- who you roll with, matters. Be careful in who you do biz with. Do not trust everyone, trust is earned over time. There are some shady + wannabe mf's out there. 8️⃣- overall, manage your finances by monitoring, pay your staff on time & communicate with them. Be good to them. Show, don't tell. 9️⃣-if something isn't working, re-assess, rework, & rediscover. If it's not paying your bills, have a rethink + a side hustle . . 🔟-The less stress you have with finances the more FUN you can have. xxx 💵💵💵💵💵💵 make stacks ⚡️respek #selfmade
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An authentic voice is critical, now more than ever—not only for social marketers, but for the entire marketing industry.
"My journey starts Feb 17, 2015. I decided to put soda and fast food down and make a health change. So far I've lost 125 lbs with diet and exercise. As time went by over the last 2.5 years I set my goal to get a Trifecta. And after I completed it, my local gym sponsored me to go to Iceland to do the Ultra Beast. I never thought I'd be doing this coming from a past of no physical activity and not growing up playing any active sports. Now I get to teach a children's Spartan class at our local gym. This past September, we were able to have 17 kids come and compete in a 1-mile race in Fayetteville, NC and next season we will do more races with more children. I'm a father of 2 and husband to an amazing nurse for the last 14 years … Getting this weight off was a dream come true." 📸: Brook McCabe #tranformationtuesday
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The messages we produce have to reach our customers where they are, remain genuine, and still align with our brand principles.
4. Focus on the User, Not the Buyer
I recently read this Harvard Business Review article about digital brands vs. non-digital brands, and it really shifted my thinking:
A joint study by SAP, Siegel+Gale, and Shift Thinking suggests that digital brands don’t just do things differently; they also think differently. Where traditional brands focus on positioning their brands in the minds of their customers, digital brands focus on positioning their brands in the lives of their customers. Furthermore, they engage customers more as users than as buyers, shifting their investments from pre-purchase promotion and sales to post-purchase renewal and advocacy.
This is a process we think about a lot as social marketers, since we tend to take a wide-lens view and have access to buyers at every stage of the journey.
Because of the public, always-on nature of social, your job doesn’t end when the purchase or consumption happens—it continues throughout the entire buyer’s journey.
For this action item, I encourage you to think about where your strategy is focused today. Awareness? Consideration? Decision-Making? This will help you understand which gaps you need to fill and which metrics you should be focusing on to track and prove growth.
5. Audit Your Content
Identify your best-performing content and most popular channels so that you can build future content that caters to the interests of your audience and share your content in the most effective way.
Using Simply Measured Social Analytics, you can compare the performance of all of your social channels side by side. We can identify Twitter and Instagram as our two most-engaged social channels, and then dive deeper to determine why engagement was so successful.
An audit of your 2017 content will surely provide you with some actionable next steps.
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I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.