Until a few years ago companies could be comfortable in the social media scene just with their regular presence and a good social media marketing strategy. Not anymore in 2018. With more and more of millennials saying they engage with a brand on social platforms at least once a quarter, brands need to invest fully on regular communication with customers and focus on building engagement on social media. If you are not engaged completely you will soon lose out on real customers.
It does not matter whether you are starting out, or that you do not sell anything online or that you are a well-established business with good sales and have relied on word of mouth for decades. There are still several reasons why your business needs a well-designed and professional website. Despite everything that you can do on social media or an excellent client base if you want to grow your business and have a steady stream of customers coming in your business will need a website that is professionally designed and developed, is up-to-date and mobile-friendly.
The next most important thing to do is to have a social media goal.
You need to know what exactly you want out of your social media marketing – higher quality sales, brand awareness, creating a fan base or just to understand the pulse of the industry. Once you know your goals it becomes easier to identify the target audience and choose the channels. Never take on each and every social media channel. Choose the channels that have the most importance based on your brand’s goals. Choose channels your target audience uses most frequently.
2018 has been a year of mammoth changes in social media. Let’s have a look at the new rules of the social media world.
Facebook News Feed Changes
Over the years every social media manger could feel that organic outreach of business pages in Facebook has been shrinking but the real shocker was when Mark Zuckerberg in January, announced that Facebook would no more favour brand content in news feeds and more significance would be given to content from “friends and family.” Many recent surveys has also shown that more and more young people are abandoning Facebook in favor of more private networks like Snapchat and Instagram.
Changes in Twitters Bulk Posting
With the spread of fake news and condemnation on how easily spammers and bots were using Twitter to push hate agendas and garner political gains Twitter announced on July 2018 that users and third-party apps can longer be able to post the same post to multiple accounts. Twitter has also come down heavily on auto-engagements such as mass-liking or retweeting posts.
Social Sharing Decline
As per a data published by social media metrics company Buzzsumo the overall social shares per post had declined by half in 2017 compared to 2015. The study also shows that in this new era volume of content published continues to increase, and new topic areas get rapidly saturated with content. However there has been a steady rise in personal sharing. A recent report by Business Insider shows that the use of private social messaging apps has surpassed use of public social networks. GetSocial research claims that this so called “dark social” sharing (sharing that takes place outside of public spaces) was more than double of all other social sharing combined in 2017.
Fix a Budget- Paid is No Longer Optional
With the recent algorithm changes organic reach has declined drastically. Free of course is attractive but if you want to be sure that you are reaching your target audience you need to pay for sponsored ads and boosted posts. In most of the platforms you need to pay to promote content that resonates with your audience. This will increase your follower base and also help in reaching out to more people with organic content in future. However here one thing must be remembered that even for paid campaigns you need great content or else it will trigger ad blindness, where the customers will simply overlook your ads and boosted posts. When the content is good and is boosted you can target the messages to exactly the right people and very convincingly remarket it to customers who had already shown interest.
Use Influencers But Cautiously
With the decline in organic reach influencers have gained value. But be cautious while using an influencer or thought leaders as recently there has been some notorious scandals wherein it was exposed that many influencers did not really have the reach or influence they claimed and much of their following were purchased followers or bots. These influencers can do more damage than good to the brand. Responsible influencers are hard to convince and don’t sell out. They promote what they like or believe in. Of course you need to pay then but not at the cost of losing credibility. Always work with influencers who can identify with your brand.
Build and Curate Engaging Content
Yes this is something everyone knows but still many times the social media managers seem to overlook this very basic fact. Quality matters the most now. What you want to convey does not have much value, try and understand what the audience wants to hear. Listen, understand and then create. Quality content means any message that is useful and relevant to your audience. To get shares and be followed your audience needs to see something they actually enjoy or find useful.
Keep it engaging with stories, videos, infographics, images and blogs and post consistently. Posting regularly keeps you fresh on the users mind and soon they get used to seeing your posts and make you a part of their experience and expectations. Social algorithms too work in favour of the pages that are regular, updated and engaging.
In the end, Social Media is not dead it’s just changed and we need to adapt to these changes at the earliest to survive and surge ahead.