Growth, Management, Hints and tips, Small Business
Taking social media to the next level in 2019
Posted on by Jo Shaw
Estimated read time: 5 mins
Making the best use of your social media channels has never been more important for business owners.
In recent years, many companies have seriously upped their game when it comes to engaging and effective content. With so many tools on offer from the major social media platforms, getting to grips with these channels should be a key part of your marketing strategy.
In this post we look at four ways to supercharge your social media marketing in 2019.
1. How to create authentic and valuable content
According to this Stackla report1, 86% of people say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they will back. 57% think less than half of brands create content that is authentic.
So how do you ensure that your brand values shine through?
Start with your audience. Take time to consider what engages and interests them and experiment with different content types (images, demos, videos, animations) and themes (quick guides, inspirational quotes, testimonials) to see what works best.
Next, build a content calendar. Social is fast-paced and changeable, so you won’t be able to plan to the nth degree, but having a structure will help keep you on top of your posts.
Finally, don’t feel under pressure to post for the sake of it. It’s much more valuable to invest in quality, engaging content that your audience will enjoy and share.
2. Turn your employees into social cheerleaders
If your company has a lockdown on using social media during work hours, it might be time to rethink your policy. Allowing employees to shout far and wide about your brand might sound risky, but they have the potential to be one of your most lucrative online assets.
Dos and don’ts:
- You can’t force or buy advocacy – employees have to want to give it freely.
- It’s fine to set boundaries about what’s acceptable to post and what isn’t, but make sure they’re clear and get colleagues to give their input.
- Offer training and support for those who aren’t confident on social media.
- Create content that’s worthy of sharing and has value, such as exclusive information or perks and discounts.
- Finally, don’t forget to thank employees for their support and keep them updated on what a difference they’re making to your objectives.
3. Power up the robots
Balancing great technology with a human touch can give you the upper hand when it comes to social.
Automation software, such as Buffer or Hootsuite saves you time and effort by scheduling posts and providing services such as social listening – monitoring your accounts when someone bigs up your brand or leaves a comment.
If you have a blog on your website, make sure it’s synced to your social channels, so a post is generated every time you blog something new.
Don’t have the luxury of someone monitoring your social inboxes 24/7? Consider setting up automated responses for when someone inboxes you. Even if it’s just a holding message, it can provide reassurance that they’re being engaged with.
Some automation software, such as Sprout Social, offers chatbots that work on Facebook and Twitter to provide logic-based answers to common queries, speeding up response times and giving you an extra pair of hands (or ten).
4. What on earth is dark social and should I be scared of it?
Despite sounding sinister, dark social is simply the sharing of content that can’t be measured by web analytics, such as sending your WhatsApp friends group a joke, or posting a photo to your family on Facebook Messenger.
In 2016, 1.58 billion mobile phone users accessed a messaging app. By 2021, that number is projected to be 2.48 billion2. Both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have seen huge growth curves in recent years, demonstrating that private messaging is fast becoming a primary communication channel.
What does this mean for me?
For starters, as private messaging becomes even more commonplace, people will naturally begin to communicate with businesses in the same way. It also follows that B2B conversations will more regularly happen within the dark social space. This could mean that your business Facebook page sees an influx of inbox messages, so consider how you are going to respond to them quickly and effectively.
Secondly, in a world where we are bombarded with information, dark social is valuable because it connects us with someone we know and trust. Work out how to tap into that trusted network, either by leveraging paid influencers or even your own employees to share your content through their email and instant messaging groups.
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