Every year as the clock strikes midnight and we enter a new year, almost immediately following are blogs focused on the social media trends of 20-whatever year it is. In 2016, live video products and the increased use of emojis were just a few trends on the social radar of marketing and communications professionals.
Fast-forward to 2017: live streaming video continues to emerge; the fight against “fake news” is stronger than ever; silent video with pre-written and embedded captions are everywhere; and paid content continues to reign supreme. While these trends MUST be on the minds of marketers, too often do I see social channels lacking the fundamental basics of social media marketing and communications. Don’t forget: social is not only a place to promote and ultimately sell your company’s goods and services; these social platforms also serve as a 24/7 customer service arm of your organization.
- Content – We’ve all probably heard the now-overused phrase “Content is King.” But this cliché could not be more accurate. Why is content king? Easiest answer is “why not?” Content and content marketing are why social media is so successful. Whether it’s news, sales, or celebrity and foodie pics, we bend our necks forward to take in that content nearly every day. Content increase search engine optimization (SEO), adds value to your product or service, drives traffic and increases engagement. If you or your team are managing your social media channels, add content! Don’t let your channels become a desolate ghost town.
- Engagement – Speaking of engagement, I know it makes me feel warm and fuzzy when a Twitter user I follow responds to my tweet or a highly-followed Instagram account shares my latest amateur photograph. What’s that have to do with engagement? Communicate with the social user (aka real people) who are commenting on your latest Facebook post, reviewing your company or tweeting about your goods and services. It’s not time-consuming but can lead to increased brand loyalty. Make the sharing of your content easy, too, as this will also increase engagement throughout your multiple channels.
- Strategy – As in most areas of your business, you need to approach social with a plan. What are you trying to achieve? Who is your target audience? Do you have a brand message? These are a few questions you must first answer to develop a strong social media plan. Of course, a bad tweet about your product or a poor review may serve as a temporary speed bump in the plan, but don’t forget to bring yourself back to your plan and back your brand voice. Draft the plan, and stick to it.
Again, the latest trends and buzzwords are fun. After all, everyone is attracted to the new, bright and shiny object. But don’t forget about the reasons social media exists. Take your time and get back to the basics to maintain a successful social media presence.
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