As a social media marketer, you have pretty much one goal in mind: Build and engage your audience. Okay, so that’s technically two goals. But seeing as how that won’t be changing in the new year, what you do need to change is how you will accomplish this. If what you have been doing isn’t working, or at least not working as well as you want, then obviously you need to do some things differently.
3 Ways to Re-focus Your Approach for 2015
1. Never Neglect Content
While many social marketers are desperately trying to keep up with tweets, Facebook photos, viral videos and micro-blog posts that get instantly shared … who’s taking care of your content? Truly engaging content will never be “so last year,” or irrelevant, or unrelated to your marketing campaign.
Whether you need to boost your blog efforts, start an opt-in email or create more infographics and slides, don’t forsake your content campaign in order to perpetually tickety-tack as many tweets as possible in a single hour. I promise, you won’t inevitably lose a winning lottery ticket because you compose a kick-ass blog post.
2. Be Where Your Audience Is, Not Where the Masses Are
Keeping up with all the tweets, retweets, Pinterest photos, Vine videos, Facebook photos, comments, trending topics and hash-tagged conversations can be exhausting, not to mention pretty impossible. Instead of stretching yourself as thin as possible to cover as many social media channels as possible, do your homework to find out where, when and how to best reach your audience.
If .09% of your audience is engaging with your brand via Pinterest, is it really worth your marketing dollars to implement a costly Pinterest campaign? Likewise, if 40% of your audience is highly active on Twitter, then you should be measuring, comparing, benchmarking and campaigning like crazy in order to build loyalty and numbers on Twitter. Don’t waste time, money and energy just because a certain social media channel is popular with other brands or audiences. If your market isn’t there, why are you?
3. Be Socially Smart, Not Socially Absent
I know you’re probably thinking, doesn’t this totally contradict what she just said? But if you use the No. 2 and 3 tips properly, they don’t contradict each other. Yes, you need to spend the most time on the sites that drive the most traffic and provide the most engagement. But don’t completely ignore the most prominent social media channels, even if they’re not your top bread-winners.
Chances are slim that none of the most popular social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) are driving traffic or significantly engaging a large chunk of your audience anyway. But regardless, it’s imperative to create a presence as a brand on major social media sites as a means of creating credibility and trust, and also to spread brand awareness, not just with potential followers or customers but with current ones.
Three Commonly Suggested Tips to Ignore
1. Always Use a Call to Action
We’ve been hearing this advice since online marketing was invented. Call to action, call to action, call to action. For smaller actions, it’s usually fine: share, like, retweet, etc. But remember that these actions are also being demanded by every other advertiser, marketer and brand your audience comes across. Be careful not to overwhelm or annoy your audience by demanding they “share” or “like” every single tweet, post, photo and video you put out there.
2. Post Daily on Every Major Social Network
Accumulatively, you’ve probably gotten information like this:
- Post on Facebook every day or you won’t stay relevant to your audience.
- Don’t post on Facebook more than twice a day or you’ll be ignored.
- Videos and photos are shared more than anything else.
- Content is more important than visual marketing.
- Always post during the week and never on weekends, because no one is paying attention then.
- Don’t post too much content during the week and miss a weekend opportunity.
Makes you want to throw up, right?
So here’s the bottom line: Find out what works and when it works. It may be that you only need to post on Facebook twice a week, but daily Twitter interaction is essential. You may find that if you send out your email in the morning, you’ll have a better open-rate than in the evening. The important thing is to measure results, find your optimal social media schedule, and stick to it.
3. Beat the Other Guys to the New Apps and Sites
Should you be aware of and informed about emerging sites and promising apps? Yes. Should you immediately set up shop on every new social app that makes a debut? Of course not. Beating a competitor to create a presence on a new app or social platform means nothing if your audience isn’t there to care.
However, you should devote at least a little time to researching new social sites, and stay vigilant about the changing landscape of social media in general. For example, visual social media platforms gained popularity very quickly, and while it can’t be said that Snapchat or Vine has replaced Facebook or Twitter, keep an ever-watchful eye on social media trends and changes.
You can take or leave some of the above tips, because honestly, not all of them may apply to you. Test, measure and find results to find out where, when and how to concentrate your social media efforts. Then you can ignore people like me who tell you how to do your job.