Although social media has only been around for about ten years, it has made a HUGE impact on the marketing world. From inbound marketing to content marketing, using social media is impacting better content distribution, community building, and nurtured community engagement.
But you may be asking yourself, what do I need to know specifically about social media in 2016 that will help my online presence? How can I build a socially engaged community with today’s audiences especially with all the innumerable amounts of social platforms out there? And do my x amount of followers, likes, shares, and other engagement analytics really matter towards my overall marketing goals?
As a marketing manager or business owner, it is your job to develop a highly-engaged community, which are the center of your content marketing and inbound marketing efforts. But with all that noise on social media, how can you feel the noise, take it lessons and use it for your own marketing strategy? Well, in today’s blog, we’re giving you the inside scoop on how to have a successful social media marketing strategy for your business in 2016.
These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.—Aaron Lee
It can’t be denied that social media is influencing our fast-paced and ever-changing world. From global events like the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to political movements like Black Lives Matter, social media is plugging us into what is currently happening and trending in our day-to-day world.
So in order to achieve social media success in 2016, you must first understand how and why social media distribution is so important, how to develop a content community around your specific content topics, and how to set goals in order to measure your overall social performance.
You may have heard that likes, retweets, comments, shares, and favorites are the cash cow of social marketing. In the past, social platforms rewarded pages and profiles that had the most participation and engagement solely based on the number of ‘qualified engagement’. But, these days, it’s a bit more complicated.
Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “built it”, nurture it, engage them, and they may come & stay.—Seth Godin
For each social platform, the algorithm is a bit different, but we have found that some concepts are all the same. Review and apply the following tips to any product or service or any piece of content that you are marketing in order to extend your reach on any social platform:
- Have a plan: Have a clear and concise plan of action for each social community individually, i.e., don’t mix your Twitter with your Instagram or your Snapchat with your LinkedIn. Your social community should have a different yet similar experience with your brand. So planning ahead to mix up your content to match your individual social communities is imperative.
- Define your goals: Make sure that you set clear goal in order to keep your content aligned. In fact, start by asking yourself these questions before you make a post:
- Do the emotions associated with your content assist in furthering your social media marketing goals?
- Does this add value to my community?
- Would I share this with my friends or family?
- Does this post help further your marketing goals?
- Plan your content: Plan your posts according to other content releases you have scheduled.
- Set a schedule: Set a posting schedule and STICK TO IT! This schedule can be good for both internal and external communication between you and your team as well as you and your audience. For example, if you have a specific series like Giveaway Wednesdays on Instagram or Q&A Tuesday on Facebook, you can not only hold yourself accountable internally with a weekly schedule but also externally with your audience by giving them valuable content at the same time.
- Post relevant content: Be sure your content is on-topic and relevant to your targeted audience. Don’t just add to the noise. Get personal and really engage with your audience through your content. A great way to find out your audience’s preferences as well as the overall social media landscape is through social listening. Because the more relevant your content is to the individuals within your community, the more likely they are to share with others.
- Be aware of your community: Understand the type of community you are trying to build. If you don’t know your audience and feel like you’re still casting a large net to the Internet fishes, narrow your focus by developing and/or revisiting your buyer personas. Build the community you want and need for your business by researching your ideal audience.
- Provide a call-to-action: Be sure you are giving a clear and concise call-to-action or little to no action will be taken.
There is a particular reason each member of your content community comes back for more. Look at social media engagement as a way to understand your customers and give them incentive to return again and again. As you get to know them better, you will see the results of your growing community.
Sell-sell-sell sales methods simply do not work on social media.—Kim Garst
Remember you don’t want to sell, sell, sell. You want to build, build, build. The best way to build is to listen and understand the needs, wants, likes, and pain points of your content community so you can better serve them.
Posting 40 tweets a day may raise your follower count little by little over time, but sending out 3 high-impact, visually appealing, and ultra-informative social updates per day is less of a spam blast and an excellent way to display the knowledge and professionalism of your brand.
Social media marketing allows you to build a strong community as well as grow your community by reaching individuals who might not have heard of your product or service. And for many business owners and marketing managers, social media helps drive website traffic and provides valuable insight on the people visiting your website in order for later marketing success.
The biggest tip to social media is something that you already have—being human.
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