The only constant in social media is change. At SocialB, we live and breathe social media and see these changes on an almost daily basis, watching to see the significance and impact they have. We monitor how they affect social media and ultimately the way we move forward and utilise social media for our clients and our own business.
So what are the big trends coming up next? Here are some essential social media tips for success in 2018 and should definitely be on your to-do list.
1. Video marketing
Sure, text is important, and blogging is still as valuable as ever, but in 2018 creating and marketing videos is a ‘must do’, not a ‘nice to do’ part of social media. With the massive amount of social media content out there, videos are quicker and easier for users to digest and grabbing their attention is the aim of the game.
Be more visual and create original and engaging videos from tutorials, storytelling, funny content, or turn a blog post into a video.
2. Make your images unique
With easy to use and free design tools such as Canva, creating and designing unique imagery and content has never been easier. The easy-to-use features and functionality mean that anyone can create a variety of engaging content to share through social media channels.
Having great images to go along with your posts is key and by adding simple design tweaks or your branding can make free stock images more memorable, exciting and engaging.
3. Connect with industry influencers
Sometimes we’re so focused on reaching our potential customers on social media that we forget other key people. We’ve seen a huge increase with our clients wanting to reach out to industry influencers.
People like industry influencers such as journalists or bloggers can be very valuable to your social media success. Influencer marketing is a hot topic for 2018. Start by looking for them, engaging and creating strong relationships. They can help you reach a wider audience by sharing your content, getting you more followers and kudos.
4. Review your metric tools
We cannot stress enough how important it is to measure your social media efforts so you know what is working and not working. You won’t be able to connect your social media results with your business goals if you don’t measure your social media.
There are many free analytic tools available, with more options and new features, so reviewing the ones you use is as important as reviewing your social media strategy to keep up with changes and developments.
When thinking about measuring social media efforts, it’s not only on quantitative terms, but you can and should also measure social media in qualitative terms. Establishing new relationships with influencers, identifying new brand advocates or getting a mention from a reputable industry magazine that leads to more followers are all qualitative metrics.
By analysing your social media stats, you’ll get to understand the type of content that receives more engagement for your industry. For example, if you’ve had a very successful blog post named “The top ten summer holiday places in 2017” that has many likes and shares and driven leads to your website, consider writing a similar post for 2018.
5. Energise your social media strategy
Not looked at your strategy for a while, don’t worry, we understand and you’re not alone. Social media encompasses a huge amount of content today, taking time and effort to continually keep it up-to-date and fresh. Whether you work within a marketing team or there’s just you, talking to other departments and employees to get their take and ideas on your organisation’s social media can help. Being creative, witty and interesting on social media, while managing your limited time is not always the easiest of jobs.
Utilising tools such as an editorial calendar or using a social media management tool like Hootsuite will help you get focused and stay on track. Relevance is key when trying to engage people with your content, always be on the lookout for industry news, blogs or thought-provoking images or articles to give you some inspiration.
6. What to avoid on social media
It’s just as easy in 2018 for businesses to fall foul when it comes to social media, and there are some common social media mistakes we see which are simple to avoid.
Whilst social selling is growing, which is a natural and positive move, only focusing on selling and giving the hard sell on social doesn’t work well. People have to fall in love with your business and products before they’ll start spending, you need to talk to them and build trust and a rapport first. Once you’ve done, you could have a customer for life and repeat business via social selling gets easier.
It always has been and always will be important to engage with your followers. Sounds simple but you’d be surprised at how many businesses still don’t interact with customers. You need to talk to them like a person, not a business. Ask questions, opinions, share information – not just about your products.
Delivering customer service through your social media channels is another essential. Make sure that if a customer asks a question, makes a complaint or leaves a comment on social that you reply as quickly as you can. Leaving questions unanswered makes it look like you don’t care about customer service.
7. How much is too much
Social media needs to be treated like any part of the marketing mix and that means you need to be consistent. We still regularly get asked how often an organisation should post on their social media channels. Our advice is, of course, reply to any messages as they come in but think about a social media strategy. Assign some time where you just concentrate on looking at what other people have been posting. You can then spend some time engaging people in conversations. You should also use your editorial calendar and create a schedule for posting things like videos, offers, and links.
A good rule of thumb is not to crowd the timeline with too many posts but make sure you are around enough that no one forgets about you. Measuring your social media success will help to point you in the right direction with this too, along with prioritising social media networks. This is why analytics tools are important – monitor which networks work best for your business and put those networks higher up on your social media management schedule.
8. Enjoy it
Social media is just that – social. It gives your business a voice and opens up opportunities for you to communicate with your clients, promote your brand and potentially sell your products. Whatever industry you are in or type of business be it small or a multi-national company, social media has changed the way we market and communicate to customers forever, so make the most of it!