1. Unique Content for Channels
Not all social media channels are the same and people are on each social channel for a unique reason. Your content should reflect this. For example, Instagram posts do not allow the use of links, but let you include up to 30 hashtags. Your post on Twitter about the same topic will be vastly different, due to channel limitations alone. Create a unique plan for each channel you intend to be a part of in 2017.
2. Post Less Advertising
According to a recent survey conducted by Sprout Social, the number one reason people unfollow brands on social media is due to posting too many promotions. We’re all for promoting your products and services on social media, that’s the whole point in having a presence in the first place right? The key is finding a happy medium.
3. Talk More about Yourself
So if you’re not going to talk about your products, what will you talk about? Talk about your process for creating your products. Talk about the passion that drives your brand. Talk about the company culture you have fostered. Talk about the reasons you do what it is that you do. Social media is a chance to connect with your customers and share a glimpse into the inner workings of your company.
4. Pick a Focus Channel
No one has time to post on all of the social channels, all of the time, especially with new platforms being introduced every minute. If you are fortunate enough to have a marketing budget, you can hire an agency to help with your social media strategy. You can then be a little more liberal with where and when you post. Not all companies have this luxury though, and not every company needs to be on all the channels. When we launched our new website we decided to focus on our Instagram account as our primary social media channel. We like taking photos and think it’s more interesting to give a glimpse into our agency life, instead of just posting articles on Facebook. We keep our other channels active, we’re just spending more time on Instagram. Choose a channel that makes sense for your company and focus on it.
5. Try a New Channel
If the idea of choosing a focus channel doesn’t appeal to you, try a new channel and see if it’s a good fit for your company. Already tried Snapchat and Periscope? Check out this list of 7 Cool New Social Media Networks, Apps & Tools to Check Out in 2016 from SEO Chat. It’s good to try new things.
6. Find the Right Tools
The more social media channels you are active on, the more time it’s going to take to manage. There are lots of tools out there to help simplify this process. We use (and love) Sprout Social, but don’t take our word for it. Find the tool that works best for you, and coincides with your social media plan and goals. Working with the right social media management tools will make your life a lot easier.
7. Create a Social Media Budget
Nowadays if you want to gain fans, you probably want to invest in your social media strategy. We boost nearly all of our Facebook posts for clients, and run ads alongside those posts to help with channel growth. Your budget doesn’t have to be in the thousands (or even hundreds) if you don’t have the money for it. Want to spend $5 to show 35 year old men in Alaska with an interest in salmon fishing and craft beers your new invention? That’s fine, and that’s the beauty of advertising today! Advertising on social media helps you get your products in front of exactly who you’re trying to target.
8. Monitor, Analyze, Test, and Repeat
Advertising? Posting? Commenting? Whatever it is you’re doing on your social channels, you should be monitoring, analyzing your data, testing new approaches, and then doing it all over again. Does your post or ad do better when you use a serious tone? A fun and approachable tone? Does it do better when you use the word “bae?” (The answer to the last question is no, just so you know). You need to keep an eye on all of your channels, and testing new strategies is always worth it.
9. Have a Conversation
One simple thing to keep in mind about social media is being, well… social. That is literally the reason these platforms were created after all. Not for brands to sell their products on, but for people to connect with one another and be… social. That doesn’t mean delete your accounts, it just means know the reality of being a brand on social media. Most people aren’t on Facebook because they wanted to see some ads and do some shopping. They’re on there to see what their mom has been up to lately, or to crush some candy maybe. Give people a reason to interact with your company. Ask questions, hold contests, reply to post about your products, simply put…have a conversation.
10. Create a Community
Not every company can accomplish something as grand as creating an entire community, but it’s 2017, and we’re thinking ambitiously here. Create a reason for people to share your content. Create a reason for people to find your pages through search. Create a reason for people to come back, and most importantly create a reason for people to form a community around your brand. Need help getting started? Say hello.
Here’s wishing you and your brand social media success in 2017!