Social media often feels like a maze for most business owners.
The multitude of strategies and platforms out there can be difficult to wrap your head around.
Social media marketing is a great way to create new leads and ultimately increase ROI.
However, the world of social media doesn’t stand still.
Our social media marketing strategy should be aware of emerging trends.
The most obvious is that social media has fast become just another paid media.
Over the last several years social media has been transformed into a digital marketing media. This has made social media platforms the primary focus for brands to market themselves.
Earning attention in a digital world was straight forward at first. You increased sales simply by growing your Twitter and Facebook following.
This has changed.
Nowadays it’s getting extremely difficult for your posts to show up on people’s timelines unless you pull out your credit card.
As big enterprises move into the social landscape it has become a high stakes game. The more money you have to spend on ads the more visibility you brand will receive.
Due to this trend social startups struggle to break through the clutter.
One of the best ways to improve your chances is by having a solid social media marketing plan.
Don’t assume that what you are currently doing will continue to work.
To ensure success in 2017, you may want to start thinking about your social media marketing plan for the next 12 months now.
Here are some simple, effective, and smart social media marketing tips to help you maximize your presence and drive sales.
Create a Marketing Calendar
Social media is all about posting regularly to your pages and constantly engaging with your audience.
Social media marketing calendars simply help you publish your posts consistently.
Regular posts increase the chances that your content will reach your audience and prompt engagement.
Publishing quality content consistently over time is ultimately the Winning Social Media Strategy.
The best way to achieve your goals on social media is to approach publishing content strategically.
That means that your social media marketing calendar should ideally be compliment your overall editorial calendar.
For your social media efforts to succeed you need to distribute your message where your audience spends their time.
Choose which platforms you want to prioritize your efforts on and write them down.
Be sure to have a purpose for being on each social network you choose, perhaps it’s to connect with like-minded people, connect with similar business’ within your niche or connect with influencers.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile: A must for every business
If you have not considered the mobile experience of your users, frankly you are going to have a problem.
Over half of Facebook users access the service from their mobile devices, to be exact that is 1.49 billion people. This figure goes up year on year.
Pinterest users are 92% mobile and Twitter users are 86% mobile just to mention a few.
Chances are all your fans, customers and followers use a mobile device to view your content on social media. Regardless of whether it’s paid or organic.
The last thing you want to do as a business owner is direct traffic to a website that simply is not optimized for mobile.
Consumers expect a seamless transition not only from one social platform to the next but from one mobile device to the next.
It’s therefore, important for you as a marketer and business owner to recognize the importance of delivering social media messaging that caters to and targets mobile device users.
Use Video Posts To Increase Awareness
If you thought video was big in 2016, well it’s predicted to even be bigger this year.
Video is perhaps the single most important strategy in content marketing today.
Whether it’s Facebook Live, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram Live, the content you are thinking of creating and marketing this year for social media for your business should probably be video.
It’s quite understandable that not everyone can be comfortable in front of camera, I would say give it a try, you might surprise yourself.
I learned recently from John Lee Dumas’s Podacst EOFIRE that video is not about you.
You might not find this surprising but nobody cares about you. People watch your video to help them achieve their goal, whether it’s entertainment, education, tutorials etc.
The best approach to video just like other forms of digital marketing is to approach your video thinking of ways you can educate your potential customer.
People want to do business with people they like and trust and video is one of the best ways to achieve this.
Understand Your Customers Path To Purchase
Your customer’s path to purchase is no longer a linear path. They don’t come in the top and out through the bottom.
There are very many ways your consumers can learn about your product which has drastically changed the marketplace.
Customers expect social media interaction, emails, and mobile alerts to be relevant to their interests. This means custom information and offers.
The best way to achieve this is to start by understanding your audience.
The beauty about social media marketing is the heaps of data out here that helps you understand more about your audience.
Through analytics, you can tell the demographics (age and gender) and even move past and predict patterns and behaviors.
The reality is the customer’s path to purchase is moving closer towards mobile.
Your company must be mobile friendly.
Match Your Ad Objectives To Your Business Objectives
The biggest mistake business owners make is to set a budget first, and then select the tactics that best fit that budget.
I would take the opposite approach. Establish your business objectives first, then determine the budget that fits that strategy.
Every piece of your social media marketing strategy serves the goals you set.
Look closely at your company’s overall needs and decide how you want to use social media to contribute to reaching them.
To budget to social media marketing, look at the tactics you’ve chosen to achieve your business goals and objectives.
If execution of your strategy costs you more that you had initially budgeted, prioritize your tactics according to their ROI timeframe.
ROI timeframe examples are social shares, likes, engagement etc. In short, because they generate instant profit for your business.
You can later decide to invest on long-term tactics such as content marketing, customer acquisition or long-term engagement.
Use Facebook Audience Insights To Understand Your Consumer Interests
When diving into social media marketing campaigns you need to lay the groundwork in order to successfully arrive at your destination.
Success on social media requires that you know your audience.
A successful social media marketing campaign needs you to:
- Define your target audience
- Define your marketing strategy
- Identify your business goal and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
- Outline a step by step process to achieve your goals
Facebook Audience Insights is a free tool that helps you to better understand your target audience.
This will help you to better plan and scale your campaigns, leading to the more efficient use of your social -media budget.
Take Advantage of Current Trends
Social media is an industry that evolves and changes almost every single day.
Understanding the latest trends and insights in social media marketing will help you stay ahead of your competition.
Facebook chat bots is an example of one such emerging trend.
Chatbots are a conversational agent that are designed to stimulate intelligent conversation without a human being present.
It simply means that they can answer most queries placed by customers without human intervention.
They offer flexibility in order to automate tasks and assist in retrieving data.
In April 2016, Mark Zuckerberg announced that third parties could use the messenger platform to create their own personal chatbot.
Chotu, is an Al robot on Facebook messenger that has the potential to be your 24*7 customer service.
The Al robot provides all the needed information from your messages itself by accelerating customer information acquisition through Facebook messages.
In 2017 and beyond it’s close to impossible for your business to really thrive on the internet without churning out your content on social media.
It’s also getting increasingly difficult for organic social media content to get any visibility unless you actually take out your credit card.
That being said it is possible for your content to be amplified on social media without spending money, yes I just said that. This will take an incredible amount of hustle and time on
This will take an incredible amount of hustle and time and a great deal of understanding that great content when boosted in a subtle way can be unbelievably effective.
One way of doing this is the proper use of hashtags on Instagram and Twitter will help you get discovered over time.
As the owner of a small business, the ultimate winning social media marketing tip is to create valuable content, (and a lot of it).