It’s 2020 and using social media as part of your digital marketing strategy has been a no-brainer for a long time now – but social media and the way it is used is constantly changing.
Keeping on top of the trends and figuring out what practices are best for your business today can be a challenge. With so much conflicting information out there about best practices on everything from copy and channels to visuals and more, how do you know what is right for you?
We understand the ever-changing nature of social media at Grammatik and have highlighted some of our best tips for ensuring that your company’s social media marketing plans are fine-tuned for 2019.
Know your audience
Recognising the characteristics that define your target audience in an important part of any marketing strategy – especially when it comes to social media planning. What is the point in spending countless hours writing up detailed copy or creating stunning visuals if you don’t even know who you want to engage with? Knowing your audience helps you select, share, and craft posts that will resonate with them.
So how do we find our audience? One way is by creating “character personas” for your business. By identifying several of these “people” that you want to target, you will find it much easier to create curated content for social that targets your key demographics. It might be time-consuming, but this research is critical. Who is your target audience? What's their name, demographics, job? Where do they live? What does their daily routine look like? Where do they spend most of their time? Start thinking about your target audience using these questions.
Use the right platform
There are tons of social media platforms out there and it feels like new ones are popping up every single day. But how do you know which ones are right for your business? Using the character profiles you built earlier, it should be pretty simple to figure out which platforms are best for reaching your target audience. And remember, you don’t need to be on every platform – focus on the ones that make sense for you. For example, If you’re a company that’s job is to compile reams and reams of numerical data, Instagram’s highly visual format may not be for you.
Researching the advantages of using the right social platforms is very important – you might be surprised at the benefits some channels provide. SproutSocial has highlighted some interesting statistics about how the most popular social media platforms are being used today:
- Facebook is the second favourite platform for consuming videos after YouTube. 40% of consumers said that they watch the most videos on Facebook.
- Videos get 21.2% more interactions compared to images and 18.6% more interactions compared to carousels on Instagram.
- Over 88% of social advertisers use Twitter. This makes it even more popular than Instagram and Facebook for reaching consumers.
- 80% of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
Visuals. Visuals. Visuals.
This one might be a bit obvious, but we cannot stress enough just how important visuals are when dealing with any aspect of your business – especially social media. Having eye-catching visuals in the forms of pictures, videos and gifs increases the likelihood of someone engaging with your company online. Try your best to always use visuals relevant to your business or at the very least, the message you’re posting about on social. If you’re at a loss for visuals, there are many places – such as Unsplash – where you can find free stock imagery that works in a pinch.
According to recent research, 58% of consumers prefer visual-first content, with their main preferences being graphics, images and produced video. Social posts with these visuals and links to more information are the most preferred type of content on social media. You can use this to your advantage by enticing consumers with your bright social and sealing the deal once they arrive on your website.
Hashtags aren’t dead
A lot of people are saying that hashtags have no place in social media in 2019 – but research suggests otherwise. Hashtags are not only great for helping users find relevant content, but they also have other uses that make them an indispensable social media marketing tool. After all, 92% of consumers trust brand advocates over businesses so creating and cultivating that loyal community of consumers via hashtags is key when planning your social media.
Research the hashtags that are relevant to your brand, industry, and audience and try them out over all your social platforms. You can even use trending hashtags to ride the wave of live trends and get more reach and engagement on your posts. Instagram has some handy features which allow you to monitor which hashtags are performing best so be sure to switch to a Business Instagram and plan your actionable hashtags accordingly.
Don’t be a robot
When it comes to social media, there is nothing more off-putting than an account that doesn’t have any personality, giving the impression it's being run by an automated service. As people, we want to engage with someone “real” so injecting a bit of sass and flair into your social will do wonders for engagement. Take a look at some of these corporate Twitter accounts, such as Virgin America or Skittles, whose social channels combine personality, useful content, and engagement in a way that is memorable and exciting.
Even on a smaller scale, replying to your followers' comments or engaging with some of their content, is a great way to show that your company cares. Over 800 million people use the Stories feature on channels like Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to capitalise on this. Taking your followers on a journey through the inner-working and “behind-the-scenes” aspects of your business can add a layer of inclusivity to your content.
Written by Conor McGee, account manager at Grammatik Agency
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