When was the last time you logged onto Myspace? Better yet, when was the last time you even thought of Myspace? Exactly, Facebook is in and Myspace is out.
The world of social media is constantly evolving, and just when you think you have it cornered, BAM! A new player comes into town and switches things up. Not to say that some things don’t stay year after year, but it’s always good to keep an eye out for any new developments.
That being said, let’s backtrack a little and think of why social media is so important in today’s business world:
● 2.34 billion people around the world use social media
● Almost 23% of the world’s population uses Facebook
● 79% of American Internet users use Facebook, 32% use Instagram, 31% use Pinterest, 29% use LinkedIn, and 24% use Twitter.
From this we can see that A LOT of people are on social media. And for this very reason, you need to be on social media. In other words, if you want your business to grow, you need to increase your audience. And to increase your audience, you need to be able to connect with your current audience and forge new connections.
To this end, we turn to the experts:
Tip from the Experts
Who better to ask for help on social media best practices than an expert, right?
1: Want to be heard? Be Unique
“The deficit of attention means content creators and social marketers will needs to be massively more unique, more valuable, and earn more loyalty from their audience in order to maintain or grow their presence.” : Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz.
There’s a lot of noise in the Internet and you’re basically an ant trying to get a giant’s attention. What are you to do to stand out? As Rand points out, be unique. Find where your audience is, what they need, and go from there. It makes no sense to do what everyone else is doing. Yes, they’re doing it and are (maybe) getting results, but that doesn’t mean that you should too. Why should your audience turn to you if they’re already getting what they want from someone else? Exactly, what you want is to be what others are not.
2: Humans are Visual Creatures, Create Content They’ll Like
“List posts and infographics receive more average shares than any other content types. Some possible reasons: Lists give the readers an exact idea on what to expect (i.e.: 10 ways to do something), they’re also skim-friendly, and easy to read on the run. Similarly, infographics make it easy to digest a huge amount of information in a visually appealing way.” : Noah Kagan, Founder of AppSumo
This one’s a two partner. First, we’re very visual and enjoy imagery. Most people are more likely to remember a picture they saw than a 3-page article they read. Because of this, it’s best to shake things up and churn out content of all types, not just blogs and articles. As Noah said, infographics offer such an option. With them your audience will not only be engaged with your Brand (visual content is more engaging), but they’re also more likely to remember what they saw.
Second, create content your audience will like. Not everyone will like infographics, your challenge is to find what your audience responds to and use it to your advantage.
3: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
“It’s better to be amazing at one or two social platforms than to suck on five or six.” : Peg Fitzpatrick, Author, Speaker and Social Media Strategist.
One of the worst mistakes marketers make is to try to be a superstar in every social channel. DO NOT do this. Yes, it’s good to have a presence everywhere, but devoting too much or too little attention to a particular channel can be detrimental. For example, if the majority of your audience is on Facebook and almost no one is on Google+, it makes no sense to devote equal time and attention to both channels.
For starters, who’s your audience and where are they? Some groups are more likely to be on Facebook, others on Twitter, some on Instagram, and so on. Focus on the one or two platforms that your audience favors and devote the vast majority of your efforts there.
To summarize, don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Instead, be a master of one (or two).
4: Focus on Results
“Focus on results, not what’s ‘cool’ or what everyone is talking about. Do what works. Focus on that which brings the greatest returns. Move past the rest.” : Marcus Sheridan, Keynote Speaker and President of The Sales Lion.
Trends are important, but at times it’s best to look past them and focus on what works. For example, Snapchat is big right now, but that doesn’t mean that you have to partake. Snapchat makes sense if you’re a fashion brand with a new line you want to show off, but not if you’re a finance firm in Wall Street.
5: Don’t Neglect the Trends
“Keep an eye on content trends and test emerging networks like Snapchat, Instagram stories and Live streaming.” : Jeff Bullas, CEO at Jeffbullas.com.
This tip seems in variance with the previous one, but stay with me. While it’s important to do what works, it’s also important to keep an eye out for trends that you can use to your advantage. Summarizing, the previous tip was to do what works, this tip is to so what works while keeping an eye out for new things. For some help on that front, take a look at this article with some digital trends you’re sure to see.
6: Live Video… Enough Said
“Live video: The most personal and human way to share your story and engage with your audience in real time.” : Chris Del Grande, Founder of Valued Merchant.
If you were doing what the previous tip suggested, to keep an eye out for emerging trends, you’d know that live video is big right now. Some things you can do are combining a livestream with influencer marketing for more engagement, hosting interactive Q&A sessions and interviews, showing off new products with live demos, educating your users with a webinar, and a lot more. The beauty of live video is that it gives your audience a behind-the-scenes look into how you operate. Even better, it personalizes and humanizes your Brand by attaching a face to it.
7: Learn from the ‘Big Guys’ and Improve
“To paraphrase Picasso: Good marketers copy; great marketers steal. The easiest way to scale a social strategy from scratch is to learn from the big players in your industry.” : Kara Burney, Director of Content, TrackMaven.
Before we delve deeper, this tip is not suggesting to plagiarize or steal from your competition. What it is suggesting, though, is to take what your competitors are doing right and improve on it. Rewinding a little, our first tip was to not do what others are doing. This still stands, but now we’re amending it so say that you should go beyond what others are doing. As such, if Brand A is doing X, you should do X, Y and Z.
8: More is Not Always Better
“Quantity is NOT quality, more is NOT better.” : Jess Ostroff, Manager of Calm at Don’t Panic Management.
What’s the point of posting daily if no one’s reading or sharing what you write? Exactly, there’s no point. Go back to the drawing room and tailor your content for your audience. Figure out what problems they have and write about how you can solve them.
9: Engagement is Key to Success
“Don’t go for large follower counts. Focus on engagement. If you have extremely high engagement for the number of followers you have, your content is much more likely to spread virally.” –Neil Patel, Cofounder of KISSmetrics and CrazyEgg.
Followers mean nothing if they’re not engaged. Sure, you can have a couple thousand followers, but if they’re just scrolling past your posts without giving them a second thought, why are you posting? Your goal should be to create engagement. Once your audience is engaged, they’ll be more likely to like and share what you create. You want reactions, likes and shares.
10: It’s All About the Customer
“Give them what they want and need, not just what you’re willing to give them.” : Heather Taylor, Director of Creative Strategy at The Economist.
Closing this list comes something everyone should know: it’s all about what the customer wants. If you haven’t heard that then you’ve probably heard of the age-old adage, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. In other words, if you offer what your audience wants, they’ll come.
Your audience isn’t interested in every single thing you offer; focus on what they want and need and use that to bring them in. As a side note, you can always tell them what they want. This is known as demand generation and is extremely useful if you want to increase ROI.
Did you get all of that? If not, here it is again:
1. Want to be heard? Be unique
2. Don’t spread yourself too thin
3. Humans are visual creatures, create content they’ll like
4. Focus on results
5. Don’t neglect the trends
6. Live video… Enough said
7. Learn from the ‘big guys’ and improve
8. More is not always better
9. Engagement is key to success
10. It’s all about the customer
Best of luck!