By Julia McCoy
It’s 2017, and the time for social media success is now, but how do you set yourself up for a win? If you’re confused about how to succeed on social, you’re not alone. Lots of people aren’t quite sure where to start with this expansive and ever-changing platform. Luckily, all you need to do is follow these 10 tips:
10 Smart Social Tips for 2017
Whether you’re a big brand with an ongoing social presence or a small company looking to make a splash this year, here are 10 sure-fire tips for success:
1. Develop A Plan
Every long journey requires a map, and social media is no exception. To boost your chances for success, develop a social media marketing plan. What are your goals? How will you reach them? Which platforms are smartest for you to pursue? Answering these questions early prevents you from wasting your efforts flailing around and helps you make sure your goals are specific and actionable.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Are you sick of hearing this tip yet? The reason it pops up in every content “how to” is because it’s just that important. The more you know your audience, the more likely you are to be able to speak to them directly. If you haven’t developed a target persona yet, do it now. This will serve as a foundation to guide your social efforts and ensure your time is well-spent on the platforms you choose to pursue.
3. Use Videos In Your Social Media Marketing
Video is a massive tool for successful social media marketing right now, and you can’t afford to ignore it. Invisia.com reports that video consumption rises 100 percent on YouTube annually, and that 39 percent of customers call a vendor after watching a marketing video. With this in mind, hire a professional to create some beautiful marketing videos for your brand, and share them across your social accounts. The ROI will be huge and your followers will thank you.
4. Develop Customized Content
Your customers aren’t a dime a dozen, and you shouldn’t treat them like they are! Today, customized content is more critical than it’s ever been, and creating more of it is a great way to succeed on social. From segmenting your e-mail lists and developing different templates to doing your research and producing high-quality, customized blog content that will appeal to your target audiences, there are dozens of ways to excel at custom content this year.
5. Consider Paid Ads
Depending on what your advertising budget looks like, 2017 might be the year to consider placing some paid ads on your favorite social platform. Paid advertising opportunities have opened up in recent years, and platforms like Instagram and Facebook now offer spots.
If you’re going to run ads, be sure that you’re very specific about your range, demographics, and spending levels before you launch the ad. Not only will this prevent you from overspending, but it will also make it easier to enjoy productive social placements.
6. Start Live Streaming
If you were just wrapping your head around the concept of producing video for your social media content, get ready for another jump: live streams. Today, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are making it possible for their users to live-stream events, and hopping on the bandwagon might be the best thing you do this year.
In their recent “Social Media in 2017” webinar, HubSpot predicted that live-stream video would be a major marketing tool this year. They also reported that engagement on live Facebook videos is 10x higher than engagement for pre-recorded videos.
Scared of the concept of livestreaming? Don’t be – the process is simple and you likely won’t need any equipment to get started that you don’t already have.
7. Use Messaging Apps for Customer Service
In a world increasingly focused on expedience, brands across the country are turning to messaging apps like Facebook Messenger to provide their customers with rapid service. Brands like Hyatt have already become famous for offering 24-hour customer service via Facebook Messenger and others are following suit.
The only downside of this approach? You need to have someone staffing your messaging apps to respond to queries. For best results, turn the responsibility over to your CX team, or outsource it to a specialist.
8. Create Buyable Posts
Use Instagram or Pinterest? Don’t miss the opportunity to create and share buyable posts. Buyable posts are posts that allow viewers to purchase a product without ever leaving the app, and they’re becoming increasingly more popular. Aimia reports that 31 percent of customers use social media specifically to find items to purchase, so chances are good that your buyable posts will fetch a positive ROI.
9. Tell Your Story On Instagram
Instagram Stories have become a popular way for brands to reap many of the benefits of Snapchat, without using Snapchat. And since many marketers are already using Instagram, it’s a short leap into a new method. Instagram currently has about 600 million users, so sharing stories on the platform can be a great way to reach new audiences. To tell your story, look for the “your story” icon at the top of the home page of the mobile app.
10. Narrow your Social Focus
If you’ve been guilty of trying to participate on every social platform out there, it’s time to narrow your focus. As much as you’d like to be, you can’t be everything to everyone, and focusing only on the platforms that are productive for you is a much smarter approach.