Can you ever read “too much” marketing advice? Nowadays, there are a hundred different blogs on any given marketing topic, each with a hundred different articles. The advice and tips are never-ending. Marketers are constantly looking to establish themselves as experts by commenting on trending topics or attacking traditional viewpoints. Some do it well, offering […]
It’s very nearly the end of 2015 and we are all starting to look back at our marketing efforts and everything social media.
It will soon be time to look forward to 2016.
We thought it would be a good idea to look back and see what the very best pieces of social media marketing advice we found in 2015 were all about.
1. Post regularly
This comes up every year, but it is always relevant. Posting on a regular basis is still one of the very best ways to all but guarantee some form of engagement. It keeps things ticking over between campaigns, and it ensures that your brand is in people’s minds.
But what has been interesting over the last nine months or so is the amount of data that people are collecting on post frequency. Obviously, we have a few things to say about that, but there are also some other voices joining in on frequency.
In the end though, it is as it always was, and forever will be. Post frequently, and don’t go quiet, whatever you do.
2. Post unique stuff, your stuff
Every year this becomes increasingly urgent. With the Internet and social media in particular becoming saturated with content, it is incredibly difficult to get noticed now without using your content on a more regular basis. This means spicing feeds up with your infographics, links to your posts and podcasts, and so on.
Obviously, now and then you can dip into the well and pick out some of the curated stuff, but don’t overdo it. You are simply adding to the noise, and you will find that people switch off. Painful, but true, and becoming even more apparent in these busier times. Everyone has access to curated feeds. It’s not a thing anymore.
3. Stick to what you are good at
Perhaps a little weird to hear still, considering how easy it is to join pretty much any social network, but sticking to one and getting very good at it still rings true as advice. So many businesses have dead social media accounts as they realize that they just don’t have the interest or ability to be on the tenth one they joined six months ago. It doesn’t look very good, and anyone who thinks that it does doesn’t understand social.
It’s always best to be very good at something and then, and only then, to venture out and try to get momentum on another platform. Some of the biggest names in social media marketing are the marketing ‘guru’ types. And they have built their entire business models and careers around one platform initially. Don’t spread yourself thin.
4. Video, video, video
If 2014 was the year of video in social media, 2015 has become the year of more video. Every single big brand on Facebook is crushing it with video, simply because the medium works well with people who are surfing feeds.
Video works much better than anything else because it’s immediate, and it can be funny, serious, tragic, scary, all of these things, in the space of a few seconds. You don’t get that in a text tweet or a blog post. Immediate and very engaging, any brand that isn’t knee-deep in video content now is losing the race.
5. Use graphics and images that you have commissioned or made
Okay, this is a bit of a biggie. People are getting a little tired of stock photos. They are becoming a little soulless as social media images, and they just aren’t bringing about the same kind of impact that they used to. They also lack meaning, in many situations.
Make your images for your social feeds. Sounds too difficult? Grab a camera and take photos yourself. Or grab a freelancer and ask them to so it. The more you do this, the more your brand gets some serious impact on social media.
If nothing else, having your imagery that seems a little more individual and ‘you’, tells the world that you are investing in the content, not just churning it out.
6. And while you’re at it…
Only use images now on Twitter. Use them alongside text, but images will account for a lot of your engagement, so your main aim is to find images that hit the spot.
Use the best images, as we mentioned in the point before this one, but whatever you do, don’t ever create a tweet without first putting together an image for it. It is now a simple fact that has become very clear in 2015; images gain more engagement than text tweets alone.
Customer service through social media is very much hitting a high point now. Some companies started it years ago, and others are just beginning to pick it up. But it is very much the only way forward now on social for many companies to establish better relations with their audience and just boost their PR overall.
Customer service doesn’t need to be intense, it could just be you responding to what your customers are saying about you, good and bad. But the more you do it, and the more you show that you are genuinely involved in the conversation about your company, the more people will realise that you care.
Again, some businesses do it amazingly well, but they may have more resources than others. If you do nothing but just listen and respond when you can, that’s still lots more than companies do on social media
8. Don’t keep making silly mistakes with content
If you find that content that hits a certain theme gets no traffic or engagement, then stop posting stuff that hits that theme. Let’s say you have successful posts about branding and decide to post a couple of funnier pieces that just don’t get any engagement. Guess what? Your people like the straight branding stuff.
Start looking at your analytics and see which posts and updates resonate more with your audience and go back to these ideas. Expand on them. Build authority.
Curate and create stuff that extends the points you’ve made so that you are getting more traction as people keep coming back for the content they like to see.
This is all about metrics of course. Label your content according to the different themes with a tool and use the data to work out which posts receive engagement. After you have worked all that stuff out, creating content that people want to engage with will suddenly become a little easier.
9. Make your bio up-to-date and clear
You will have a bio on pretty much every social media platform you are on. And if you don’t have a personal bio you will have a company profile. In both cases, they have to be up to date with the very latest information. This is because people will see these and make a judgement about you and your company.
It’s not funny when someone is checking your page and they see that the last time anything happened in your life was 2009. Or they look at your company profile and note that your staff have extraordinarily bad hair.
It happens. Avoid this and treat your profiles as visual adverts for hiring or partnering, and you’ll reap a whole world of benefits.
10. Keep your tweets simple
The simpler the message in a tweet, the more likely it will be engaged with. So all of that rambling that you were thinking of coming out with in your next tweet needs to take a step back.
Like most things online, people like to keep it simple. Imagine you’re talking to an eight-year-old when you tweet and you’ll probably find that hundreds more people (not just eight-year-olds) will listen. It’s been proven, and it makes sense.
Why would you look at a tweet on your phone unless it was very easy to read? We’re assuming that you want to reach more than just a bunch of eight-year-olds. If so, write for that age bracket.
11. Finally, be a little cleverer than the rest
We know this can be a little challenging if you’ve been up all night working on that metrics report that your boss is waiting to see, but if you can think about ways to be more creative with your social media then this will, truly, help you to stand out from the pack.
Try this video for a perfect example of two wonderful things. Firstly, it makes people laugh. Secondly, it says that the company is just way too successful and cool to worry about impressing. It’s comfortable as it is, and will happily, and effortlessly, help you achieve your goals.
Get this kind of thing cracked in 2016 and you are looking at more engagement than you can handle.
All of the above advice is being followed by some successful companies around the world. It works. But most importantly, it just makes sense. Amid all of the noise should be your company, doing the above, and changing the landscape. Good luck in 2016.
An award-winning writer and content marketer, Sahail is the owner of Talented Content, a content marketing company based in Devon, England. Sahail used to be a teacher, but gave all that up so he could concentrate on creating effective content marketing campaigns for clients around the world. You can find… View full profile ›