Updated 26th October 2018
Social media has become a global force that connects individuals from all over the world in the blink of an eye. No longer just about socialising, it’s being used more and more by businesses for marketing purposes. As we steam towards 2019, social media marketing is set to be even more important.
Digital marketing has taken off in a big way in the last few years. Any business that operates online needs a digital marketing strategy, and social media is a cornerstone of it. As new developments in social media strategy are always emerging, it can be hard to keep on top of what’s hot and what’s not.
Businesses need to have social media strategies that are current and relevant. It’s no good recycling the same strategy you used back in 2015. Changes happen rapidly in the social media world, and outdated strategies aren’t going to benefit your business. In this technological age, being able to interact with customers online is vital for business success. Social media is fast becoming one of the most important ways this happens.
The best social media strategies are always looking ahead, analysing the trends and statistics. Keeping your social media strategy at the cutting edge gives you an advantage over your competitors, which is good for your revenue.
There’s so much more to social media strategy than social sharing. Making the most of social media in digital marketing means you have to know a whole host of techniques. You also need to have a comprehensive understanding of your target audience – including their needs, problems, goals and online habits. We’ve selected our top 5 social media strategies that your digital marketing campaign can’t do without.
The Top 5 Social Media Strategies To Dominate 2019
There are more than 5 social media strategies that you can use for your digital marketing, of course. That makes picking out the top 5 a matter of ranking them in terms of their importance and effectiveness. These are the strategies that are crucial to successful social media marketing – in contrast to others that you can pick and choose according to your needs.
1) Establish Your Budget
It sounds obvious, but it’s the very first thing that you should be thinking about. It’s important that you know how much you’re prepared to spend on social media marketing, out of your overall marketing budget. Knowing your budget will dictate the types of optional strategies you can (or can’t) afford to use.
Social media marketing can be cost effective, if you plan it right. Of course, how much your social media marketing costs is really dependent on the competitiveness of your industry, product or service. In more niche areas, your social media budget will tend to go further than it will in highly competitive areas.
2) Profiles on the Right Channels
When it comes to social media marketing strategies, it’s vital that you maximise your visibility – to the right audience. This is where some businesses make a mistake. There are so many different social media platforms that it often seems like a great idea to have profiles on every one of them. The more profiles, the more people you reach, right?
Well, yes, technically. But reaching more people doesn’t have much value if you’re reaching people who have absolutely zero interest in your product or service. Careful targeting is necessary in order to make the most of your social media marketing budget. You want to increase your visibility to the people who have a problem that your product or service can solve.
Using buyer personas when choosing which social media platforms to use is the best way to ensure you’re targeting the right channels. For example, you won’t need to use LinkedIn if you’re primarily targeting consumers who are more likely to use Facebook and Instagram. Likewise, if you’re targeting entrepreneurs, LinkedIn would be a better option than Facebook. Know your target in order to choose the best platforms for your marketing strategy.
3) Create a Community for Your Audience
One of the greatest strengths of social media marketing is the ability to interact with your customers (and potential customers). Your business needs a Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter, of course, but you shouldn’t get fixated on the number of likes or followers. It’s more important that you interact with your audience.
Your Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter stream are a perfect marketing opportunity – if you use them right. For marketing purposes, you need to show your personality to your followers. Different types of posts, rather than repetitive or predictable content, create more interest and engagement. Use polls, invite your audience to ask questions, and make sure you respond to every comment or query.
People like to feel special, and social media communities can provide the opportunity for this. Social media platforms allow you to build relationship (of a kind) with your followers, and it’s been shown that this increases conversions. Unlike other types of marketing, social media relies on informality, humour and emotion to make a genuine connection with your audience.
Another benefit of using the community social media strategy is the ability to delve deeper into what your audience is really looking for. If you make your community a place where people can express their hopes, dreams, problems and needs, you’ll gain valuable insights that can benefit your wider marketing and SEO strategies.
4) Use a Diverse Content Marketing Strategy
Effective social media marketing needs a content marketing strategy that uses text, images videos, podcasts and infographics to grab attention. Providing your audience with a wide variety of content maintains their interest and keeps your profile fresh. Social media profiles that just post lots of text don’t have much success – your audience wants and deserves more engaging content. Mix it up, and don’t fall into predictable patterns.
Posting regular, targeted content is a strategy that’s been used for a long time, across all types of marketing. Make sure that you schedule posts to your social media profiles at the right time to target the right people. Use apps like Hoot Suite or Buffer to take the stress out of scheduling and give yourself one less thing to worry about.
5) Make the Most of Chatbots
If you’re not yet using chatbots for your social media marketing, then you should start. They’re a great tool that makes communicating and resolving problems for your customers simple – and doesn’t require human input. Businesses have had success using chatbot integrations with Facebook Messenger which can take orders directly. This takes out any additional steps for your customers, increasing the chances of sales.
Chatbots can also be used to personalise your customers’ interaction with your social media platforms. Rather than linking your social media ads to landing pages on your website, try ads that link to a Messenger window with your chatbot. Advantages of this strategy include increased sales and a more loyal customer base.
A Brief Look At Other Social Media Strategies
Like we said, there are other social media strategies that you can use in addition to our top 5. Let’s run through them quickly so you can decide if you want to do some more research into them.
- Brand Advocates – Your best promotional tool is the people who love your brand. Instead of focusing all your efforts on finding new customers, why not leverage your current ones? It can be helpful to create social media guidelines specific to your brand to make it easier for your brand ambassadors to promote your business.
- Cross-Channel Campaigns – These are a great way of increasing engagement. Bear in mind, though, that cross-channel campaigns are widely used, so you need to get creative to make the most of them.
- Tell an Engaging Story – Adding an emotional element to your content can increase engagement and conversions.
- Utilise Appropriate Hashtags – Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last ten years, you’ll already know the importance of hashtags in social media. I’m not going to cover old ground here. Use hashtags that are relevant, appropriate, and will put your content in front of the right audience.
- Create Shareable Content – Increasing your reach relies on getting your audience to share your content. To make your followers want to share your content, you’ve got to up your game compared to your competitors. Look at what your rivals are doing and do something better. Your shares will increase, and you’ll reach more people.
10 Social Media Trends for 2019
Why do you need to start thinking about the trends for 2019 in October? Social media changes so fast, it’s always a good idea to stay a couple of months ahead in your strategy planning – at least. If you want to make the most of social media marketing for your business, you need to think ahead to what 2019 might bring in terms of trends, so you can be prepared to take full advantage of them.
Because social media is always changing and evolving, it can seem overwhelming trying to keep up with it all. There’s so much to take in, and it seems like we’ve only just got our head around one thing when something new pops up. To take the stress out of it all, we’ve pulled together a list of the 10 social media trends you need to get to grips with for 2019.
1) Rise of Augmented Reality
Although augmented reality is a relatively new concept, it’s expected to explode in 2019, meaning you need to understand how it works. The most famous examples of AR are in apps and games – such as ‘Pokémon Go’. Now that there are apps that have augmented browsers, it’s not going to be long before augmented reality becomes commonplace on social media platforms. This is going to be a game changer for social media marketing!
2) Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are rapidly growing in popularity. They’re a great way to keep your audience regularly checking in with your social media, as Instagram Stories are only available for 24 hours. Using Instagram Stories to create a FOMO effect in your audience is going to be a cracking social media strategy for 2019.
3) Influencer Marketing
There’s been a dramatic increase in the use of influencer marketing – for good reason: it has a great success rate. 94% of people who use influencer marketing in their social media believe it’s an effective strategy. Statistics also show that up to 49% of Twitter and Instagram users rely on recommendations from influencers. Using influencer marketing can bring a 10x rise in conversion rate, so it’s a trend you should be considering for your strategy.
4) Focus on Generation Z
Generation Z are the demographic of people born from the mid 90’s to the early 2000’s. This group are the next generation of consumers, so social media market strategies are zooming in on these fresh opportunities. Generation Z is considered to be a generation of true digital natives.
A recent study has revealed that Generation Z is more valuable to businesses than Millennials – even though the oldest Gen Zer’s are only around 22! You should be building your social media marketing strategy to target Gen Z if you want to boost your revenue. Looking at the way Gen Zer’s use social media helps to focus on particular platforms. Here’s a breakdown of the platforms Gen Zer’s use regularly, in order of popularity:
- YouTube – 31%
- Instagram – 24%
- Snapchat – 14%
- Facebook – 11%
- Tumblr – 8%
- Twitter – 5%
- Other – 5%
- Pinterest – 2%
5) Messaging Platforms
Brands are no longer simply using solely social platforms. There’s a growing awareness of the need to communicate more with your audience. In 2018, businesses started using Snapchat for social media marketing, which may seem like a sharp learning curve, but an effective one.
Using messaging platforms like Snapchat is a friendlier and less corporate than other marketing methods. This is more appealing to a lot of people, especially those in Gen Z. It’s expected that by 2019 over 75% of larger businesses will be using Snapchat on a weekly basis.
6) Expansion of Live Streaming
Live streaming is a great way of increasing engagement with your audience. It started out as a bit of a gimmick, something that was a bit of fun. Businesses soon realised that live streaming has a huge potential for marketing, though. Now it’s common practice to utilise live streaming as part of a social media strategy.
Go live to offer special discounts, launch a new product or service, or give your audience a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes in your business. When you consider that 80% of customers would rather watch a live video than read a post, going live could really boost your business. For 2019, you should plan to incorporate live streaming into your strategy.
7) Rethinking Twitter
In 2017, Twitter seemed to be floundering, and this trend has continued throughout 2018. In terms of followers, Twitter has been superseded by LinkedIn and Facebook. While it could be that 2019 sees a continued decline in Twitter marketing, it’s also possible that Twitter HQ will come up with some changes to save the platform.
We don’t know what 2019 will bring for Twitter, but we’d like to think that new features will be on the horizon. Could it be that live streaming will make an appearance on Twitter? Be prepared to take advantage of whatever happens with Twitter in 2019.
8) Digital Hangouts
If you’re not familiar with digital hangouts, then they’re something you need to learn about for 2019. Digital hangouts are exactly what they sound like. Primarily, they are used by Gen Z.
Since social media marketing is increasingly focusing on Gen Z, it makes sense that digital hangouts are going to become more mainstream in 2019. They’re going to be a great opportunity for marketing, so savvy marketers should be planning to incorporate them into 2019 strategy. Hangouts will probably also be integrated into existing platforms as well.
9) Facebook Spaces Goes Mainstream
In 2017 and 2018, Facebook began working on a VR space. This is designed to allow users to interact with each other in a virtual manner. Facebook spaces have gone live in the latter half of 2018, but they’re not yet a mainstream feature.
Will Facebook be sensible enough to put in the investment to make Spaces mainstream in 2019? That’s something that social media marketers should be looking out and planning for.
10) Social Platforms Embrace Stronger Governance Policies
Social media platforms have undergone a kind of revolution during 2018. The changes they’ve implemented have had a significant impact on controversial advertising and posts. It’s expected that in 2019, the rules and regulations will become increasingly strict. Facebook have brought in AI to monitor advertisements and posts. As a social media marketer, you’re going to need to consider how this might impact your strategy.
What’s Your Take on Social Media Strategy for 2019?
Social media is all about convenience – both for marketers and consumers. The opportunities for marketing using social media are set to increase in the future. Digital marketing should be a big part of your overall marketing strategy, or you’re going to lose out. What’s your plan for 2019? Which trends are you most excited about?
We all know that social media platforms are always changing and adapting. They have to, in order to keep up with ever changing consumer demands. Every year, they become more and more accessible, and their technology is advancing rapidly. Keep your eyes peeled for even more innovative trends in the future.
What do you think the future holds for social media marketing? Is there one particular feature that you’d like 2019 to bring. Let us know in the comments section!
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