The world of social media evolves at break-neck speed. Businesses and social media marketers have more networks at their disposal every day. This can be frustrating given the unique demographics of some of the newer networks. Which platforms should we be on? What information should we be tracking?
Even the established networks keep introducing new features aimed at making them more user-friendly, and as a result, more business-friendly.
Any social media strategy that does not keep up with these changes isn’t tapping into its full potential.
You ought to consider a social media strategy makeover/update if the current one is not accounting for:
Social media’s latest tools and features
Facebook’s Instant Articles is an excellent case in point.
Beautifully presented and well-integrated, these are the articles that users can read in an instant. They load fast, support multimedia and allow publishers to curate them to match their brand identity and colors, so that the users instantly know who the article is by.
This means competition for great content that is also visually appealing just went up!
Do you have any plans of utilizing this feature in the near future? This platform is available to one and all, everywhere. Whether you are a big company or a small one, a lone blogger writing your way to posterity or a community geared towards a collective cause. With Instant Articles you’d be able to provide a fun and immersive experience to your readers, and we suggest you start considering ways of making this happen!
Another case in point would be Facebook messenger now made available for businesses as well as the introduction of chat bots for faster, smoother, and 24/7 customer service. Do you plan on using this at all?
Facebook is also heavily pushing Facebook Live, where businesses and individuals can live stream to their followers. Because Facebook’s latest algorithm update makes it more difficult for business pages to show up in their follower’s feeds, Facebook Live is a great opportunity to be seen! Remember Chewbacca Mom? She went viral through Facebook Live!
New types of Facebook ads
As Facebook becomes the platform of choice for users and businesses alike, it has made available newer types of ads to cater to varying requirements.
Are you still stuck in the world of column ads? Check out News Feed ads, which blend seamlessly into the overall content appearing on the pages of regular users. Due to this they are more likely to be clicked on and also elicit greater engagement, leading to higher rates of conversion. This makes this particular type of ads a must-have tool for businesses.
Then there are boosted posts, which appear labelled ‘sponsored,’ app ads, event ads, Page like ads, etc.
If your social media advertising strategy does not take cognizance of these, you know an overhaul is in order!
Declining user engagement
Any audience goes through its phases of loving a certain business, not loving it that much, to ceasing to care about it entirely.
Despite your best efforts the user engagement with your content and social presence will experience ups and downs, but it should not demonstrate is a continuous decline.
When that happens you know your social media efforts need a kick.
Is your content getting stale? Are you not responding to the comments left by the readers, thereby missing out on conversations? Are you producing too much or too little content?
Your audience has moved on to another social media platform
With newer players gaining ground and offering varying features, it is natural that some of the audience, especially the younger ones, would want to experiment with them.
If a new platform has started attracting your target audience in big numbers then you must create a presence there or at least consider including it in your marketing mix.
Snapchat and Instagram, for instance, are both huge hits with the younger populace. Don’t be too Facebook-centric. Look at other platforms as well to generate greater user interest.
Every social network has its own way of functioning and they keep tweaking the algorithms that bring us the features we so love.
These changes happen often and unfortunately for marketers they are not announced in a grand fashion so that all of us get to know of them when they take place or how they will impact our business.
Some of these changes can be big enough to warrant an update in our marketing strategies, but you have to be aware of these developments in order to modify your stance accordingly.
Resources for keeping up with social media trends
You can only keep your social media strategy up to date if you are aware of the trends, and are able to determine which ones to follow.
- Start with reading the official blogs/pages of social media networks that you are on. This is the best way to find out about new updates/changes.
- Use an app like Feedly to read up on prominent social media publications. This is a fast and convenient way to follow a number of sites that write on social media. Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, The Social Media Hat, Mashable, etc., are some of the biggest and most reliable sources to follow.
- Follow the influencers in your niche. These could be individuals or businesses/publications. Participate in conversations.
- Don’t shy away from asking questions on open forums like LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, etc. to gain input and insights from peers/influencers.
Don’t miss social media opportunites
How is your social media strategy faring? Is it producing the expected results? How do you deal with setbacks, and more importantly, how do you determine where the problem is and how it should be fixed?
Remember, consulting with a social media expert ensures you’re benefiting from the most cutting edge tools available, and not losing out on opportunities right beneath your nose. If you don’t have a professional on staff, be sure to schedule a consultation every so often, to make sure you’re not falling behind on current trends, or missing an important piece of your target market.