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What Social Marketers Can Do to Prepare for 2018

We wanted to create a space where social marketers can dig deeper into trending topics and learn a little more each week, so we decided to host a weekly Twitter chat. Last week at #SimplyChat, we discussed how to prepare for an audit, keep a pulse on what’s trending, implement what you’ve learned, and understand the importance of organization.

Q1: How are you preparing for 2018?

Takeaway: As we begin planning our 2018 strategy, the best thing social marketers can do is audit what happened in 2017. To improve something, you need to know what is or isn’t working. This is where auditing comes in. When you audit your social strategy, you’ll be able to:

    • Find gaps in your marketing strategy. Compare 2017 social results with goals and/or competitors to see where your strategy fell short. Address these gaps in 2018.
    • Discover which pieces of content can be repurposed, and which should not be promoted anymore. Repurposed content is information that is still useful, but needs to be edited and reformatted to stay relevant. For example, we could repurpose our Holiday Campaign Planning Guide next year because marketers will still need to create this type of campaign, but to make sure it’s relevant, we’ll have to make changes based on key events next year—there will probably be new features on each social channel by then.

 

  • Which channels, campaigns, and months performed the best and worst, and why. Yearly audits are a chance to step back and look at the bigger picture. When you’re trying to get a sense of what your audience responds well to, the more data you have, the clearer the picture.

 

Q2: How do you keep a pulse on trends in your industry?

Takeaway: There are many ways to keep up with trends in your industry. The best thing you can do is find what works for you and fits best into your lifestyle. We’ve got a lot on our plates; there’s no need to make things harder.

For example, my favorite method is to subscribe to email newsletters. I love reading my emails while having breakfast or sitting on the bus. If you hate reading emails, this method isn’t for you. You might try using social media by creating Twitter lists of thought leaders or influencers, and reading through them in your spare time. You can also listen to what your audiences say across all channels with a listening tool. You’d be surprised to find that they are telling you exactly what they want to hear.

Q3: How do you implement what you’ve learned? Examples welcome!

Takeaway: Dip your toes in the water to decide if the water is the right temperature. If it is, take a few steps back and cannonball in.

For example, I dipped my toes in the water when Instagram polls came out. I wanted to know if our audience would actually participate. So I posted a picture of two mugs. One had coffee and the other had tea. The question was “What’s in your cup this morning?” Almost everyone who viewed the story voted. I didn’t use the feature again because I couldn’t find a way to make it relevant to our brand. In other words, I couldn’t decide if the water was the right temperature—until preparing for our Data & Drinks event. The copy I’d been using for Data & Drinks had two questions that required a yes or no answer. I took a few steps back and cannonballed in with these photos and saw a 200% increase in link clicks from our bio.

Q4: What’s the #1 thing you’ll do to be a more successful social marketer in 2018?

Takeaway: This will obviously be different for every social marketer, but the way we get to this answer is the same. Remember how we talked about gaps in our strategies in the first question? Well, in order to answer this question, we have to know what is missing. For example, my #1 goal in 2018 is producing and pushing out more videos across all channels. The reason for this is because not only is video a trending topic in our industry, but our data also tells us that video is more well-received with our audience.

Q5: What role does organization have in being a successful social marketer?

Takeaway: Organization is key, especially when social isn’t working in a silo, because there are a lot of moving parts. For example, I work with lead gen to promote webinars, and I work with our content marketing manager to promote blog posts; I also work with our graphic designer, who creates most of the images we share on social. This involves keeping track of all of those teams’ calendars. Without organization, I’d be in danger of promoting webinars and blog posts before they are ready, or not requesting images far enough in advance.

If you like what you read here and want to be a part of the conversation, join us Thursday at 11 AM PST for a chat on how social marketers can prepare for 2018! These are the questions we’ll be asking:

Q1. What is a social marketing audit?
Q2. What can you learn from auditing your 2017 social strategy?
Q3. What do you need to do to prepare for a social strategy audit?
Q4: Which metrics do you look at during your social audit?
Q5. Will you only be looking at your own social strategy? Or will you be taking a look at how/what competitors did?

Laurie Anne Nilo

I'm the Social Media Manager here at Simply Measured. I love all things wellness, coffee, watercolor, and travel.

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