Upgrading your social media strategy for the year ahead

Upgrading your social media strategy for the year ahead
As we approach the middle of the year (yes, already), we thought a run-through on which platforms are helping businesses step up their game was due. 45% of customers say a brand’s social media profile alone has the power to change their perception of them (Social Chain) so it’s vital that your business’s social media strategy is evolving with the times. Here, we’re going to talk about which sites you need to stay on and why, as well as which tools you can use to make managing social easier. Let’s go.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen more brands and businesses adapt their social strategies, putting consumers in the forefront of their focuses. Instead of putting sales first, there has been a noticeable increase in content based on what the target audience enjoy viewing the most and that’s how it should be.

Facebook
Despite the rumour mill, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. As one of the oldest social media platforms, Facebook has developed with, changed the nature of and challenged the internet. Setting up a Facebook page for your business is free, as is uploading all of your information and producing and sharing content as often as you please. All of this is counted under ‘organic’ social media use as opposed to ‘paid’ social. There are endless reasons why your business needs to be on Facebook, from the obvious publicising of contact information and handling customer support, to being able to promote positive word of mouth through reviews, aiding off-site SEO efforts, offering deals and running targeted adverts.

To upgrade your Facebook strategy for 2018-19:
Post videos – Facebook’s algorithm prefers videos and ensures that they are actively shared to your page audience and beyond. To re-engage existing fans or find new ones, replace a text post with a 10 second clip of something in video format.
Post links to your website in the comments, not in a post itself – Facebook is now not keen on posts which direct their users off their site so instead of putting an outbound link in a post, put a picture up and then the link in the first comment of your post. It does unfortunately make engagement with external content a lot harder to achieve.
Pictures – Facebook users engage more with interesting picture posts and Facebook knows this so it has adjusted the algorithm to share more posts which include pictures.

Instagram
Instagram is where people go to explore beautifully crafted images. It’s important to remember that people aren’t here to be bombarded with sales (take a look at our last post about Instagram). Make sure the aim of your business’s Instagram page is to share what your brand is all about, the benefits of your product / services in everyday life, so to speak.

To upgrade your Instagram strategy for 2018-19:
Quality all round – there are a range of different features available on Instagram from feeds to hashtags to stories. You want your followers to value your content and feel a strong desire to check in with your account daily – that means you need to be posting high quality, relevant content at all times. Talk to your followers, run competitions, ask them questions and listen to what it is that appeals to them. Post a range of content, there’s a lot of power in pictures and videos which make a potential customer want to be a part of your brand’s ethics. Think ‘behind the scenes’ shots, product designs, pictures from your office, pictures of people who love your services and captions which reflect that.

Add the shop feature – (currently available to approved businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Brazil). Shopping on Instagram gives people the chance to explore your best products with a
single tap. With shopping on Instagram, you can choose photos you’d like to feature, tag up to five products per image or up to twenty products per carousel, and add filters and captions. Shopping posts give people access to pricing and product details both within the Instagram feed and through the Shop button on your business profile. This has only recently launched so make sure you explore this new feature and get to grips with it to be ahead of the masses.

Video
82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video by the end of 2018 (Forbes) so it’s crucial that you share video content across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn. Nearly half of businesses are already implementing social videos, with another 26% planning to implement later this year. Publishing short videos across your existing platforms at least once a week will ensure you stay seen by your target audience.

Scheduling Tools
As of the end of January, businesses can now schedule their posts for Instagram. This means that planning ahead has never been so easy and you can schedule your content for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all in the same place. Try Hootsuite, Sprout Social or SocialFlow and see how this can help you save time.

Social Media Strategy
Don’t remain ad-hoc and hope for the best. Whilst reactive and topical posts should definitely be a part of your social media content, a base plan helps you not to miss a seasonal opportunity, to ensure you promote events early enough, to plan posts that contain your keywords for SEO and to ensure you have regular posts going live.

Let us know in the comments below how you’re changing things up.

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