Social media: these days, if your company is using its marketing dollars effectively, it's using social media to help spread the word and increase awareness. Chances are, you're using social media to tell stories, connect with customers, and get to know them better. According to a recent survey done by Sprout Social, 90% of marketing professionals see a direct impact to their revenue because of social media.
What Platforms are Companies Using?
By now, you likely know that it's almost impossible to keep up with every social media platform out there, especially if you are a small business owner or a small marketing department. Each social media platform remains its own investment, and in order to receive a full return on that investment, your company must devote time and effort to that platform: creating solid posts, keeping up a regular posting schedule, and actively interacting with your fans and followers on those platforms. The platform that works best for your company will vary; however, one of Sprout Social’s surveys offers a compelling glance into where other companies are directing their marketing efforts:
- 89% use Facebook
- 65% use Instagram
- 50% use Twitter
- 49% use YouTube
- 44% use Messenger
- 38% use LinkedIn
- 28% use Snapchat
- 28% use Pinterest
Ideally, you want your business to have a presence on the platforms your customers are already visiting on a regular basis. 66% of consumers choose to engage regularly with at least one brand page on their social media accounts--and to attract those followers, you need to be where they are. For example, approximately 83% of consumers are on Facebook. It's important to note, however, that where you find your followers will depend on who they are and what they are most interested in: while Generation X dominates on Facebook, with 77% of its population liking and following brands on the social media giant, Generation Z tends to be found on Instagram, where 69% of them like and follow brands. If you want to reach a younger audience, it's clear that Instagram is becoming increasingly critical for your marketing efforts.
Creating the Right Content
You can have a profile on every social media platform out there, but if you aren't taking advantage of those profiles to create engaging, useful content for your followers and fans, you're going to miss the mark with your social media marketing efforts. There are two key elements to take into consideration when choosing the content you create: the algorithm used by each social media platform to determine what content will be placed in front of the most viewers, and the type of content viewers are most likely to consume. By including both of these elements, you can create better content that is more likely to be seen, shared, and interacted with across social media accounts.
What are Consumers Looking For?
According to the same Sprout Social survey, consumers are looking for content they can engage with. Video content remains king--and with good reason. Consider, however, these other elements that help express what consumers are looking for in their content.
45% want to see more live video. Live video can be very intimidating for many brands, especially those that haven't chosen to engage with this platform before. Live video is raw, unedited, and often contains errors or shifts in concentration. It gives users a real look at the brands and personalities they've chosen to follow: a better grasp of what, exactly, the brand stands for and who is behind the brand. If you're considering live video for your brand, take advantage of the right areas to maximize your efforts.
- Consider posting a behind-the-scenes tour or giving a real look at what life is like in your business. Talk to real people. Don't put your employees on the spot, but do give them a chance to share a little of who they are and how their job helps your brand.
- Remember, "live" does not have to mean "unscripted." While you can certainly pick up a video camera or a phone and start talking, you can plan out or even script much of your live video ahead of time.
- Take the opportunity to interact with your audience. With a live video, your customers have the chance to communicate with you while you're filming. Engage with them. Talk to them. Answer their questions and respond to their comments. This can help build trust and loyalty to your brand as well as giving you a better idea of what your fans actually want from your brand.
24% want to see more user-generated content. User-generated content is content that, rather than being created directly by your marketing team, is created by them. Try some of these strategies:
- Hold a contest or other event. Reward the best content with prizes: discounts, coupons, or even merchandise that appeals to those users.
- Regularly invite users to share their images and their content. Give them something for their efforts, whether in terms of recognition or of what you offer them.
- Seek out user-generated content deliberately. Use hashtags to help you follow what users are posting.
24% want to see more Instagram Stories. These photos and videos are short-lived and must be consumed within 24 hours, or they disappear from view. You can make a game of it, holding contests for users who are able to view those brief snapshots of content, or use another method to help make it fun to check out what you're posting each day.
What Do Platforms Prioritize?
You can create stunning content that will fascinate your users, but if the platforms you use aren't rewarding it, you may fall short of your desired results. Instead of getting lost in the shuffle of posts, make sure you're posting content that will get noticed. Some tips:
- Most platforms are prioritizing video, pushing it higher in your followers' newsfeeds. Video is also more likely to be shared among users.
- Paid ads can help increase views of your content. Many social media ads are relatively inexpensive, but offer a big punch in terms of return.
- Customize your ads' audiences to ensure that they reach the right people. One ad in front of the right segment of your audience can have a larger return than multiple ads splashed across the general population.
Social media remains incredibly important to your brand. With this latest survey, you can learn more about the ins and outs of social media marketing, using the results to help inform your efforts and enable you to create better content.
Go to http://info.twinengine.com/brand-traffic-control-radar to take our Brand Traffic Control Radar to assess which other elements of your brand can use a boost.