What Are Social Media Marketing Essentials in 2017?
Social media marketing can be a challenging aspect of marketing for some companies, both in terms of valuing this channel and using it effectively. While social media can be one of your best tools for connecting with customers and building strong relationships, not all businesses take advantage of their social media profiles the way they should. You can’t just put content out there anymore. Each post needs to have a definitive purpose.
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If you want your social media marketing to bring in new customers, convince them to make a purchase and keep them coming back for more, you need to try a bit harder. Consider the fact that 81 percent of millennials check their Twitter at least once a day. Sharing your new site content increases its exposure among your target audience (although first you need to figure out who your target audience is and what they care about), and overall lead generation.
Can you make sure your posts reach your target audience at least once a day? Before you schedule your first social media posts, here are a few essentials for any social media marketing strategy in 2017.
1. Personality in Each Post
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make with their social media marketing is setting up an automation tool and leaving it alone. While automation tools can save companies loads of time and ensure they stay on schedule, posts that appear too automated can seem robotic. If your posts don’t seem genuine, your audience will become disinterested.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) March 13, 2017
Wendy’s is one of the best companies for showing personality on their social media. As a company with a varied audience, Wendy’s keeps a fun and relatable attitude in each of their posts.
Other companies that do a great job at portraying their brand on social media include Charmin, Netflix, and Nike.
2. Deliver Value
Your audience won’t follow you if you’re just going to provide them with poorly thought-out posts and links to your blogs or products. Although sharing links to blog posts, landing pages and products or services is encouraged, you need to provide some kind of value with the post.
If you browse through Simply Measured’s Twitter account, you’ll notice that many of their posts ask their audience to engage with the post and click through. The wording is enticing and the visuals are strong, This is a powerful combination which drives followers to learn more and complete the brand’s goal: driving web traffic and, ultimately, conversions.
Other companies that always bring value to their content include Buffer, Cosmopolitan, and SoFi.
3. Look for Opportunities to Engage
Your friends, fans, and followers will connect with you because they want to engage with you. If you’re simply posting content and then ignoring responses or mentions, your audience will quickly turn around and engage with a competitor that doesn’t ignore their contact. You should acknowledge every reach-out.
Airlines are well-versed in responding on social media, both for customer service queries and more conversational engagement. Delta Airlines uses social media as a form of customer service, quick to respond to questions and concerns from traveling customers, but also uses the channel as a way to create a human bond with customers who mention the airline.
4. Always Include a Visual
Social media feeds are constantly moving, and your followers are bombarded by branded content at every turn. To get the most attention from your audience, include content that will make you stand out.
High-resolution images, videos, and GIFs make your audience stop scrolling and read your post.
Dove uses videos frequently throughout their social media posts. This particular post generated almost 2 million views. Keep in mind that 80 percent of users remember a video they watched in the past month. Make sure you identify exactly who the video is for and what you want your audience to take away from it.
If your business is interested in creating several videos, consider creating a publishing schedule and evaluating the duration of each one. If the videos are part of a series, it’s best to have all of the videos shorter and similar lengths. SpaceX, Walmart and Apple are also big players in using video in their social media strategies.
5. Take Advantage of Different Platforms
If you want the best opportunity to connect with your ideal audience, consider exploring a new platform.
In addition to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, GE has also invested heavily in a perhaps unlikely platform: Pinterest, which features over 100 million food and 146 million fashion boards to date.
By sharing brand-relevant images and links on Pinterest, GE gets their content and brand in front of a whole new audience: predominantly female, at major life stages, such as planning weddings, buying, and/or decorating homes.
With boards covering everything from cool machines to kitchen ideas, GE is generating awareness with a whole new world using their Pinterest page.
6. Post Frequently
While you don’t want to overwhelm your audience, you do want to publish enough (quality) content to remain top-of-mind. The amount you share will depend on your audience: how often they engage, and when they’re active.
Canva posts every couple of hours on Twitter.
Because the Twitter timeline can move so quickly and is so full of content, this is a pretty standard amount of time between posts. Other platforms, such as Instagram, may only need to be updated every couple of days. Frequent-but-meaty posters to learn from include BuzzFeed, Wayfair, and Lilly Pulitzer.
Social media can be one of your strongest marketing tools for 2017, but only if you’re using it appropriately. If you’re not taking the time to truly listen to your audience, provide them with the content they’re looking for, and deliver it in a consistent, efficient way, you’re only wasting time.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your social impact in 2017, take these essentials into account. With a well-strategized approach, relatable voice, and dedication to providing quality content, your social media campaigns can start driving greater value to your business.
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Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has a cup in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.