Welcome to the ever-changing world of social media. Algorithms are tweaked, companies are acquired and new advertising tools are constantly being released. Follow these social media best practices to stay ahead of the game, keep your relationship with your followers and strengthen your social media in 2017.
Set Your Social Media Goals
A new year means new goals. Review your social media from 2016 and establish the objectives you want to achieve. Whether it’s brand awareness, community engagement or customer support, track 2016’s metrics to compare to 2017. Here are a few possible goals:
- Produce more content
- Increase your number of influencers
- Push more users to your website
Focus On More Than the Number of Likes You Have
Instead of gauging how many likes your brand has as success, focus on the outcomes you want to achieve through your social media.
The questions you need to be answering are:
- Are we reaching the right people? (Audience outcomes)
- Are we improving brand recall and perception through our media? (Brand outcomes)
- Are we driving revenue from our social efforts? (Sales outcomes)
As more precise data sets and machine learning continue to develop, targeting your audience will become more cost-effective through digital advertising. Investing time and money into understanding the connection between what you’re doing on social and your audience will provide more information about why and how customers are buying your products and services.
Social Media Character Count
Quick information consumption has become the name of the game in social media. Intense, multiple paragraph posts won’t cut it. Thanks to research from Buffer and SumAll, you can see in the infographic below that lower character counts that convey the message concisely perform better.
Social Media Focuses on Video
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have all made huge pushes into video content. This should be the number one medium you add to your efforts in the next year. Time and resources can be tight, but the organic reach of video content cannot be ignored. Users are looking to video first and photos second, and they perform better organically. Plan your video ahead of time. Find your title and then begin outlining the storyboard and shots you want before assembling the team and capturing footage.
But what about live video? Live video has become a huge component of Facebook and recently introduced to Twitter and Instagram. Its usage will increase as Facebook has reported users watch live videos more often and for longer periods of time than non-live videos. Your followers are seeking a genuine approach to communication, but remember they are looking for timely, quality information.
Test & Measure
Each brand has a niche audience that develops over time. What you did in 2016 may not necessarily perform as well in 2017. Constantly testing new ideas is critical in staying relevant to your audience.
Measuring the success of these tests will show whether or not these new ideas are resonating on an individual level. It’s ok to fail. Remember they’re only tests and helping you connect with your audience in the correct way.
Budget for Social Media Advertising
Gone are the days where you share a Facebook post and everyone who has liked your pages sees it in their newsfeed. If you don’t have an advertising budget for social media, your efforts are not reaching their full potential. Organic reach is based upon the rate at which users engage with a post. The higher the engagement, the more likely it is to show up at the top of your fan’s feed.
Although your post may be relevant and provide quality content to your fans, a low engagement can kill a post’s reach. Having a budget to push out what you want your audience to see from you can become critical. Facebook’s advertising tools let you target exactly who you want to see your content, whether it’s a sale or blog post.
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
Posting to social media each and every day without purpose and strategy creates clutter. High-quality content that provides value to your customers should be your focus. It’s easy to find yourself out of ideas, but that’s what brainstorming is for. Remember that it’s social media. Use those around to create content that is directly targeting your audience.
These best practices can help your business experience great social media success.