For many the social media landscape is a vast uncharted desert best avoided or ignored, for others it is the source of their success and the fuel that keeps their business blossoming.
The 5 tips in this article will help you navigate the shifting sands of social media and make a roaring success of your business in 2019.
Tip #1 - Set Clear Objectives
Having the right objectives could make or break your social media strategy. But why is it so hard to set clear objectives? It takes time, we don't know what to aim for, we fail to see the benefit.
True, setting good objectives isn’t easy, however, it will also save you in the long run. Having good objectives at the beginning will give your campaign steer, it will unify your approach and save wasted efforts and money down the line.
Think of it this way, you could be the best shooter in the wild west, but if you're aiming at the wrong target you'll always lose. With our collective experience of 20+ years, we've helped more than a few businesses set the right objectives.
TOP TIP: In all cases your objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-scaled).
Tip #2 - Research Your Environment
Before wading headlong into the battle for social media dominance take some time to understand who you are fighting for, and for that matter, who you are up against. Create a profile of your target audience;
- What age group are they?
- What are their concerns / interests?
- Who influences them?
- When are they most active on social media?
- Where do they live?
- What social media tools do they use
Keep this profile in mind when you develop your social media strategy, don't rely on guess work, use facts to align your business with your target audience.
TOP TIP: Social media is becoming increasingly personalised, avoid the trap of taking a one-size-fits-all-approach.
Tip #3 - Come up with exciting content
Don't just settle for a drab summaries of day to day life in your office, nor should you try to bombard your readers with a lengthy sales pitch. Work to produce content that is genuinely exciting and natural, the kind of content that people will enjoy reading. Avoid corporate jargon like the plague, instead let your personality shine through. Try to produce content that will be meaningful to your audience, help them to solve a problem, or prove useful in some other way.
If you are stuck for ideas, have a look at what others are doing, how can you improve on what they have done? Research what is trending amongst your target audience.
Pay careful attention to the format your content will take, as of June 2018 Instagram Stories had 400 million daily active Stories users worldwide, more than double Snapchat's active users. As of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion monthly active users. In 2022, the worldwide augmented and virtual reality market is expected to reach a market size of 209.2 billion U.S. dollars.
TOP TIP: Write in a way that provokes a reaction. Your content should do more than just fill up space it should make your audience react.
Tip #4 - Engage with your Community
Social media is a two way street, if you've created an exciting piece of content people will likely want talk about it. Don't forget to join the debate, stir up conversation and engage with your social community. The pointers below will help:
- Allow your personality to come through
- Don't talk at them, talk to them
- Be responsive
- Be approachable
TOP TIP: Be prepared to do damage control (if someone leaves a negative comment the way you respond will show your community who you really are).
Tip #5 - Track, Learn & Repeat
You've got your social media campaign bubbling over nicely, people are reading your content and some are even sharing it, job done. Well, not quite. The final and arguably the most important part of your social media campaign is tracking. Tracking your results allows you to make those little tweaks that will put your campaign ahead of your competition.
There are plenty of good tools out there to record your social media success, we'd recommend Hootsuite, but there are other good alternatives such as Buffer and SocialOomph. Regularly monitor your results, if your approach isn't achieving the objectives you set out, change it.
TOP TIP: Don't be disheartened if your approach doesn't yield instant results, no shares doesn't necessarily mean no activity, with data security and privacy hot topics more and more people are sharing content privately.
Finally, treat each campaign as a learning exercise, take the things that work and repeat them in your next social media campaign.