Whether you’re talking about a friend’s Instagram post or the latest filters unveiled by Snapchat, social media is always a hot topic of conversation. And it has become even more so recently, especially among marketers, given the significant changes coming to Facebook’s News Feed. You can read the full announcement from Facebook here, but in a nutshell, the social media giant has decided to overhaul your Facebook News Feed so you see more posts from friends and family. While that’s great news for the baby photos and vacation videos in your feed, it means less visibility for brands and publishers.
While some say this will be the death of the organic Facebook post for brands, all hope is not lost. Below are 10 quick tips for overall social media success, including a few that can help you deal with this latest change from Facebook.
1. Ask Facebook followers to modify their settings. Since we kicked off this post with talk of Facebook News Feed changes, let’s kick off our list of tips with one that can help you mitigate some of the impact of this change. As seen in the screenshot below, followers can modify their settings to choose to see content from certain pages in their News Feed. Since many people aren’t aware of this feature, take this opportunity to educate them and encourage them to take this action on your page so they don’t miss out on your company’s latest news, special promotions and more.
2. Strive to be more concise. Once the king of short social posts, even Twitter has expanded its character limits for posts recently. But that doesn’t mean you should follow suit. On every platform, users appreciate brevity. So, read and re-read your posts to see just how short, but still impactful, you can make your posts. And rely on images or videos to tell your story.
3. Tailor for the platform. Long gone are the days of writing one social media post and using it on every platform. Each platform has its own style and conventions, and it’s important to follow them to fit in and succeed on each. Make sure both your voice and content suit the style of the social media platforms you are posting on.
4. Give your followers what they want. This tip is related to the aforementioned changes to the Facebook News Feed, but will help with your other social media endeavors as well. Success on social media really comes down to creating engaging content that resonates with your followers. Aim to talk less about your company and more about things that educate or entertain your audiences, and drive meaningful interactions and conversations.
5. Create a cross-functional team. While marketing owns social media in many organizations, your social efforts can greatly benefit from having a cross-functional team that includes sales, customer service or other departments depending on your business. By tapping into your co-workers expertise for posts, you provide your audiences with different perspectives that can drive increased engagement. For example, a manufacturer could post about going behind the assembly line by sharing perspectives from those that make their products.
6. Make it easy to follow your brand. Your customers may assume that your brand is active on social media, but that doesn’t mean they know which platforms or that they want to take the time to search and find out. Make it easy on them and increase your social reach by linking to your social accounts on other channels. Include direct links to your social profiles on your website, in every email marketing template that you send and in employee email signatures, to name just a few prime promotional spots.
7. Experiment with timing and frequency. What’s the best time to post on social and how often should I post? That’s a common question among marketers, but not one with a definitive answer. Your brand and audience are unique, as is each social platform. Try to find what works best for you by experimenting with different frequencies, times of the day and days of the week.
8. Engage influencers. Already a hot marketing tactic, influencer marketing is poised to become even more popular as consumers continue to place more trust in people over brands to inform their purchasing decisions. But much like using targeted channels for traditional advertisements, influencer marketing requires finding the right influencers. Once you find the right contextual fit – a technology blogger for a technology product, for example – with an influencer, their social following and reach as well as their ability to move their audience to action should also play a big part in your decision to partner with that individual.
9. Be more social. It might sound like a no-brainer, but being on social media is all about being social. It isn’t just a one-way street of your brand posting content for consumption; you need to engage and connect with others. In the push to create compelling content and achieve results, brands can sometimes lose sight of the fact that social media is really all about relationship building. Be sure that you are taking every opportunity to participate in conversations, follow others, be helpful and establish meaningful connections to your brand.
10. Let your employees be your advocates. Many businesses will occasionally remind their employees and partners to share the company’s social posts, but that often isn’t sustained or effective. Instead, businesses should look to create a formal social advocacy program that will expand their social reach and amplify their message beyond their existing audience. There are a number of technology solutions that can help, including the ClickDimensions social engagement platform. Social advocacy features within a social media marketing platform enable you to deliver targeted content to your advocates for quick and simple sharing. They can also give you insight into who is sharing what and who are your most active advocates.