Has the New Year brought a new focus to your social media marketing plan?
If you are sticking to the same-old 2017 social media marketing plan, than this blog post is for you! As the world wide web is constantly shifting and changing, so is social media. Some changes are little, some are big, but all should be paid close attention to if you want to keep your marketing strategy at the forefront. Read on for highlights from some of the major platform players and our recommendations.
Facebook – There will be a shift in the 2018 Facebook newsfeed to focus on organic posts that friends and family share to maximize “meaningful interaction” amongst users. Live streaming popularity will grow more. In terms of advertising, stricter “codes of conduct” were enforced in 2017 and will continue moving forward (Facebook hired more staff specifically for “content monitoring”).
Facebook Recommendation – If you are doing organic posting, keep it up. The more “spontaneous” and the less ad-like, the better. These types of “real life” posts tend to generate more “likes” and comments. Don’t be afraid to include questions to engage your audience. If you do not advertise with Facebook, consider it. As the Facebook feed begins to show more posts that are friends/family oriented, your business posts might get seen less. So the one way to get posts shown is to pay for them. In some cases, money does talk! Also, any ads that you pay for on Facebook will get shown on Instagram too. This is huge because Instagram is huge (see next point).
Instagram – Instagram announced that approximately 800 million people use Instagram every month. It is popular across the generations and not going away any time soon.
Instagram Recommendation – Keep your marketing up on Instagram. Post more frequently than you did in 2017 (which may be daily for some businesses or three times a week or four times a day; whatever you did last year, try to up it). Create a unique hashtag for your brand or business and use it on every post. Post a wide variety of content including videos, tips, quotes, and pictures (that you took, not stock photos). Utilize Instagram stories (which is more popular than Snapchat) to highlight photos or videos. These are highlighted at the top of the page in a bar that people can scroll through so they have great visibility and they expire after 24 hours, creating a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) which makes people “want” to view them.
Twitter – Twitter was the slowest growing social media platform in 2017 and will most likely continue to struggle. They increased the character count (to 280) but may switch things up in 2018 to get the audience excited again.
Twitter Recommendation – Keep an eye on Twitter but if funds or time is limited, focus more efforts elsewhere.
Google+ – Although not as widely popular as other platforms, it is a powerful search engine tool for companies because the content gets indexed and shows up in search results. Only 70% of companies have a Google+ profile.
Google+ Recommendation – Don’t have a Google+ profile? Get one! The benefit of indexing and appearing in search results in the world’s most popular search engine is worth it, even if your Google+ audience is small.
Pinterest – Pinterest has over 200 million monthly users and they have some unique features – such as Pinterest Lens, Buyable Pins, and Rich Pins – that keep users on Pinterest and, more importantly, keeps them coming back. 2018 will see more advancement in their in-stream buying options which makes it easy for users to move from a pin to a purchase without leaving the app.
Pinterest Recommendation – Keep your Pinterest account current and robust. Post to your account but also follow and re-pin content that is valuable to your brand or business. If you sell items online, try Buyable Pins. You have nothing to lose and only revenue to gain.
LinkedIn – Here’s a secret about LinkedIn. This platform is not just for connecting business people. Many businesses have a LinkedIn company page to increase their company’s visibility and credibility. Recent research shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter and members are 50% more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Recommendation – If your company does not have a LinkedIn page, you need to add this to your social media arsenal ASAP. Note that the LinkedIn page needs to be separate from your personal page. If you do have a LinkedIn company page, keep it current with advice, educational information, inspirational quotes, and updates on your company. Don’t forget to invite your LinkedIn connections to follow it.
Blog – A blog keeps your website “active” and provides useful up-to-date information to your readers. It also gives your brand or business a “voice” that is more intimate than the content on your website which can create (or further) relationships and trust within your audience.
Blog Recommendation – Some people find that it’s hard to write or hard to find the time to write something lengthy. All blog posts do not have to be novellas! If you are struggling with blog writing, develop a strategy that is easy to stick to (perhaps three posts a month to 1) promote a product 2) highlight an employee 3) post your favorite motivational quote). Or if blog writing consistently is too intimidating – or time consuming – hire someone who can do it best for you!
When you are planning your social media marketing plan, keep in mind:
The 5 top reasons people follow brands on social media are for:
- Promotions and discounts
- Information and updates
- Customer service
- Entertaining content
- Ability to offer feedback
Final recommendation – 2018 social media marketing is going “back to basics”. Posts should be more relatable on a personal level and less like an ad (unless you are paying for ads!).
We wish you happy, healthy marketing in 2018!