Social Media Marketing Has Changed

Digital Marketing always calls for strategy and technique innovation. Especially when an innovative move ends up being very valuable and shows results. Thankfully there is enough data of technique trends for certain forms of online marketing that you can see what is working well, and what isn’t. Social Media Marketing is one of those areas. In the Twitter/Facebook age that we’re in, marketing on these social platforms has changed throughout the different eras. A lot of this has to do with functionality changes on the platforms themselves, but often times methods that once worked well just happen to stop working.

It’s 2016, and some people are still using social media like it is 2012. Here are five ways you can scrap those outdated and ineffective techniques for some new, effective, and modern techniques!

1. Use quality linking to influencers.

In the past, people would simply link to influencers (i.e., people who were ‘big names’ in their industry or market) en masse in the hopes that those influencers would recognize them for it. The problem with that these days is that even if the person you’re linking to notices, it’s obviously you’re just trying to get a mention or recognition. You’re benefitting them in no way by doing this.

There is, however, a way to go about this properly. When you plan on linking to someone, mentioning someone, or citing someone as an expert, first ask yourself if it will benefit your audience. If so, then go right ahead! This is because by referencing their content you’re actually benefitting your audience, so recognition from them doesn’t matter. If they see that you have a genuine interest and enthusiasm about their content, they might actually promote it–especially if your content was high quality. This would be beneficial to them. Pay close attention to the structure of what you say when linking to an influencer.

The bottom line: keep your audience’s benefit at the forefront.

2. Don’t overemphasize strict professionalism.

We get it, you’re a professional company. Guess what consumers are not? Whether you’re a large corporation with a full-time social media staff or a small business owner that does everything yourself–you don’t need a 39-page policy outlining your social media. Having a policy is one thing, but keeping it so strict and detailed that it is comparable with the U.S. Tax Code is not going to help. Your persona on social media doesn’t have to come off as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, even if you are one. The key is understanding your target audience and tailoring your persona to them.

Instead, keep it simple. Having a policy that limits the types of words you will use or pictures you will share is good! Nobody needs to be cursing at their audience or sharing inappropriate pictures. That doesn’t mean you can’t portray yourself as a real person, though. Consumers these days want to deal with real people, so don’t seem so robotic. Tailor your persona in a way that you know will have the best receptivity by your audience. Take advice from other people/employees! Listen to ideas, because trust me, you’re probably not the end-all-be-all social media marketing guru. If that were the case, why would you even be reading this?

3. Share more than just text and images.

Before I proceed, don’t read this as something it is not. Images and text still have their value. The value that other types of media hold, however, is something that should not be ignored. Video and links to blogs/articles are increasingly effective. Video is coming close to taking up 69% of internet traffic by consumers and watching videos that tell about a product is nearly 4x as popular as reading about them. Some reports even are saying that 1/4th of your customers will lose interest if your brand doesn’t utilize video… that’s 25%! Blogging is bigger than ever, and it’s now standard for companies and brands to have blogs online. People like to read short and to-the-point articles.

Branch out. Make some videos, or outsource that type of project through a consulting/marketing agency or by hiring a freelancer! Incorporating videos will not only establish some rapport in the modern world will grab attention and stand out from the crowd. Write blogs, as well. Keeping new and thought-leading content coming out on a regular basis is the very best way to keep the attention of your target audience, and can even help with SEO.

4. Balance automation with real activity.

Social Media Marketing needs consistent activity. When you’re a busy business owner, this can be quite the time-consuming task. This is why there are social media marketing automation tools out there so that you can schedule your tweets, Facebook posts, pins, Instagram posts, etc. all in one location ahead of time. You won’t be able to make it if you rely solely on automation, though. For the longest time, and probably because it worked for a while, people would have scripts that would automatically send a message to their new followers, usually promoting some of their other content. This is no longer effective, and in my opinion was never a good idea. It’s like making eye-contact and smiling with a stranger and then walking over and saying “hey can I have 5 bucks?” It’s just kind of tacky and awkward to do that.

Definitely, automate by scheduling and rescheduling your content and posting, but occasionally throw in some manual posts as well, so that you don’t look so robotic. Don’t send automatic messages to new followers. And interact with people personally. Send personalized messages to new followers simply thanking or welcoming them. Like, retweet, and share things. You have to live in that tension of being a real person running a company. You don’t want to sway too far to either.

5. Make people want to share your content.

You work hard to produce amazing content, and obviously, you want that content to have the largest reach as possible. So not only do you share that content (e.g, writing a blog post, and then tweeting the link), which is good, but then you ask your audience and contacts to share it too. This also creates an awkward scenario. Your connections probably want to maintain a good relationship with you so they might feel obligated to share it, even if it is not applicable to their brand or they don’t think it is quality. Don’t put yourself in this desperate and cheap social media marketing position, even if it happens to get you a little more reach.

The best way to get your content shared and increase your reach is to put out quality, thought-leading content with attention-grabbing titles. You want people to share your content because they want to. You want people to share your content because it is good. You want people to share your content because you are viewed as a thought-leader. Don’t ask for shares, earn them! An interesting analysis published recently studied 65,000 articles and found that a piece of content’s potential to be viral (i.e., virality) comes from two main factors: dominance and arousal. This means that tapping into reader’s anger and/or excitement, as well as inspiration, joy, or control, are going to be the most effective pieces of content to spread quickly. Make your content quality, engaging, dominant, and conducive to high-arousal emotion and you will maximize your potential for reach.


BONUS: Get Help!

Managing your own social media marketing experience can be hard, but it is one of the most useful tools for growing your brand or business online! Consider outsourcing your online presence, which includes social media marketing, to end up with the best experience! Hiring someone to focus on social media can get it out of your hands, but it can also be expensive in the long run. But you might not have the time to run a company and your social media accounts. A full-service digital marketing agency can be a major contribution to your business growth!