With the New Year quickly approaching, you’ve nearly finished planning your business strategies for 2019 and social media probably makes up a good chunk of your plan.
But before you finalize everything, here are five trends your business should REALLY consider implementing into your social strategy.
Meeting Your Audience
You have a great opportunity walking into 2019. Not only is this a fresh start, but you also have a new chance to reach an audience nobody else has.
It’s true. You are not the only company out there doing what you do. You have competitors and rivals. But you also have a unique audience made up of past, present and potential customers that no one else has.Before you start posting content you think your audience wants, and before you begin copying what your competitors are doing, find out who your audience actually is!
I won’t lie to you; this part takes some time, effort and research, but the ROI on this type of work is worth it!
The best way to know who your audience is to do buyer persona research.
Want to learn more about what a buyer persona is or why you NEED to have them, check out this blog.
Once you understand who your audience is, you will be able to tailor your content to match your target audience’s buying habits and journey. Which leads us to our next trend...
User-Generated Content (UGC) is any form of content, such as video, blogs, discussion forum posts, digital images, and audio files, created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service that is publically available to others consumers and end-users.
When you share UGC, you're not only engaging with your audience, but you are also making them feel seen and appreciated. Everyone loves to know that what they have to say is important and resonates with someone else.
Don’t forget to ask for permission before you use someone else’s content! More than likely they will be happy to have more views and exposure.
UGC can be a win-win for both you, as a business, and for your audience. It’s a win for you because you don’t have to spend the time coming up with the content because your audience comes up with it for you!
And it is a win for your audience because the content is coming from real people, just like them, which means they are more likely to trust it.
So how do you get UGC? There are quite a few ways. There is one in particular that actually leads into the next trend… influencers!
You’ve seen them — advertising products they use every day, posting links to their favorite books or clothing shops. There are influencers everywhere on social media.
@selenagomez – https://www.instagram.com/p/BHF4NdhhOmc/
But the use of influencers is still young. “Despite its popularity, influencer marketing is still in its infancy, especially when viewed in comparison to its predicted $101 billion worth by 2020.” That is good news for you because there is still time to get in on the ground floor.
True, you will want to find influencers that will promote your brand or service and reach a large audience. However, before you reach out to the top influencers, you want to make sure they are a good fit for your brand!
According to a 2017 survey by Edelman, 49% of internet users worldwide said they trusted information from online personalities with a small following, whereas only 36% said the same of well-known online personalities.
Don’t get too hung up on follower counts; you want to choose influencers that your target audience will trust.
So do your research and make sure that you find influencers that will be passionate about your brand and won’t compromise what your brand stands for, which could potentially land you in a sticky legal situation.
A few tips for using influencers:
1. Give them creative freedom.
I know you are proud of your company and its voice, but don’t let that distract you from the whole purpose of having influencers. These people will be able to reach an audience you may never be able to. Before you go handing them a huge brand guidelines document, remember, they are the experts in knowing how to speak to their audience.
2. Whatever you do, do not let your influencer’s content, die on their social media!
After influencers are in the mix, you will have all types of content. You could have videos, photos, blog posts, etc. (This goes back to the UGC that we were talking about earlier.)
You can use this content to share out to other media; for example, you could repost them as testimonials. You can also reshare that content to maximize its reach. All in all, don’t settle for other people talking about you; share it so even more people can talk about you!
Video is the king of content and recent studies have shown that video is not going anywhere soon. “85% of people want more video from brands.”
Video has come a long way since YouTube started back in 2005. Video content has become one of the most valuable pieces of content being produced right now.
It’s not even just about what people want. “95 percent of consumers retain communicated information through video, while only 10 percent retain information from reading.”
If you want to clarify your message even more, then do it through video! There are so many ways to incorporate video, from Insta-Stories and Facebook Live to full-length videos and video ads. The opportunities are endless.
Speaking of video ads, know that these are the future of ads. Once you are familiar with using video to clarify your message, you will see how important it is to have your ads communicating their message with video, too.
More and more, people skip content that doesn’t grasp their attention. With videos, you have a chance to catch them (maybe only 3-5 seconds, but that’s still a chance) before they continue scrolling.
If you need help getting started with video, watch this video or check out this blog to see how simple it can be to add video to your content strategy.
Social Listening / Social Engagement
Whether you do all your social media work yourself or you have a whole team devoted to it, finding tools that automate your social listening and social engagement is vital.
The bulk of your audience is on social media outside of office hours. You need to be able to respond quickly, and the way to do this is through automation tools.
You should monitor who is talking about you, who is talking about your competitors and people that are searching for a product/service like what you offer. This way, you can quickly reach out to them or target them with ads.
Another reason it is critical to know what people are saying is if a crisis arises. For example, if you have an unhappy customer and they complain on social media, you can take control of that situation in a timely manner.
Here are a few free versions of social listening or social engagement tools, (Twitter even has Tweet Deck) that you can use for your business.
2019, Here I Come
As you build your business strategy for the New Year, be sure to incorporate these social media trends:
Meet your audience
Find and use brand influencers
Find a social listening / social engagement tool
If you implement these five social media trends, you will be ready to leap into 2019 with social media success!
Looking for other ways to start 2019 off the right foot? Download our FREE guide, 5 Essential Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business in 2019.