Earlier this month I wrote about social media tactics marketers must stop in 2015. To balance the conversation, I’m going to tell you about the things marketers should start doing next year. A list of business focused action items for success. Here we go!
1. Use Social Media Alongside Event Marketing
Conversations online are amplified by real world events. This holds true for corporate events whether it’s a big user conference or customers gathering to celebrate a new menu or grand opening. It’s the best way to activate advocates to talk up your brand. Plus, as Facebook has decreased organic reach from page posts, those event invites continue to be a fantastic way to get out push notifications.
2. Think Beyond Bloggers
Blogger outreach isn’t dead but it’s time to rethink what an influencer is. Not every weblebrity has a blog. Not every blogger has a huge Twitter following. The aim of outreach is to get the word out through other people’s audiences, who are influential. You can find influence across all of the social media channels from Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t overlook these important people when considering your next brand ambassador. Especially when you are looking to grow your own presence in a social network they dominate.
“Blogger outreach isn’t dead but it’s time to rethink what an influencer is.” ~melonie http://t.co/WlDoGIX7Ap
— Fandom Marketing (@FandomMarketing) December 23, 2014
3. Incorporate Low Production Video
I’ll admit video is a budget suck compared to other types of content you can invest in such as blogs, white papers or images. But it cannot be overlooked. Video is a trending format in social content and social advertising. The bright side is that under produced video does really well in social. Don’t invest in a movie production; instead consider ways you can begin incorporating organic looking video taken with a smartphone. Also consider entering into the world of short form video on Instagram or Vine.
4. See if Your Subject Matter Fits Long Video Formats
As mentioned, video is trending and not only in short form. Long videos are becoming popular with the shift from TV watching to Netflix and Hulu. According to Forbes, watching content for longer than 10 minutes was 61% for desktop video viewing, 60% for tablets, 75% for mobile, 81% for Connected TV (User-Generated Content Is Dead – As Video Evolves, July 14, 2014). From TEDx talks to Orange Is The New Black, people are watching. It presents a big opportunity for creative brands. Not to mention the rise in YouTube stars who have perfected the science.
5. Try Out Animated GIFs
With so many brands and people creating content online it has become tough to break through the noise. I can’t help thinking about my old MySpace page when I hear the word GIF. Today you can often see them as memes blinking through Tumblr. However, GIFs can break through the noise when use with some class in marketing. I recently noticed a GIF from a brand run through my feed showing off product that caught my attention for holiday shopping. It felt more like a micro video. I thought “hmmm I should try that.” So I am passing the idea along to you. Here’s one way to accomplish it. Leave a comment if you have other tricks. Be creative and give them a try to break the monotony of quote posters and links in social media posts.
6. Audit Your Audience Targeting
Too, too many times I work with brands that have a social media presence everywhere with no rhyme or reason. Yet, overlook opportunities to reach targets in less familiar platforms. If you’re one of these brands you already have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and at least one blog. It’s time to do a social media audit to frame up your target market online. If they are millennials you might consider Tumblr. If it’s the boomers you’re after, well, they’re very comfortable on Facebook.
The point is to consolidate and expand intelligently in 2015.
7. Target Content and Segment Audiences in Facebook
Until the past year it has been a bit challenging to deliver content to segmented audiences. Facebook provided geographic targeting early on. For most of us who have audiences with different interests it wasn’t quite enough. The good news is that last week Facebook announced that they are rolling out targeting people’s interests on organic page posts. Facebook and Twitter have made big improvements to advertising targeting in 2014 to interests, behaviors and the ability to create custom audiences using your email list. If you have a Twitter rep ask them about custom lists they can share with you which they’ve hand curated based on segments and user types.
8. Update Social Profile Designs
The turn of the New Year is a great time to do a design update to social media profiles. If you haven’t looked at them much since last year, you’ll find that a lot of changes have come to the layouts. Most importantly, the layouts have become more integrated, simplified and mobile friendly. The key to good design is to keep the banner banner, background or cover photos simple and minimize the copy. This will help them display better on mobile devices as the responsive designs shift around. Test your designs to optimize them for where other interactive elements overlay, such as the bottom row of buttons on Facebook pages and profile images. And, don’t forget to set-up your new Facebook call to action button for pages. Get more tips in my post The Do’s And Don’ts Of Social Media Branding.
9. Test Social Advertising Campaigns
Social advertising is here! I recommend taking a balanced approach to your social marketing program incorporating organic reach, paid reach, and word of mouth utilizing brand created content and user-generated content. Paid reach has become necessary on social networks like Facebook, who has gone as far as reducing delivery of an organic reach on promotional page posts beginning in January. But, Facebook isn’t the only social advertising option. In testing advertising across multiple social networks over 2014 for clients at Fandom Marketing I’ve discovered Twitter has far outperformed Facebook advertising. LinkedIn has proven to be a valuable, but expensive, for B2B targeting. And, testing creative for clicks and engagement separately can really improve your spend.
Pinterest advertising is now in beta and you get in on it by applying to the waiting list. Tumblr launched its advertising product in October. (Get those GIFs ready!) As most of us know, the coveted spaces of Instagram are up for sale only to elite brand advertisers.
10. Use Twitter Web Cards For Links
I mentioned that Twitter has been a great performer in social advertising for my clients this year. For links we learned that web cards (they look like an embedded URL) received the best click-through rates (CTR). The best part about web cards is that you can use them for organic posts, too. Visit the advertising section of your Twitter dashboard and click on “creatives” to set one up. It’s quick, easy, and free. Advertising one can maximize reach and website visits.
11. Be Prepared For Mobile Social
Sure, you need to get a responsive design in place ASAP if you haven’t yet. In case you have’t been paying attention, the majority of social networkers are using their mobile devices. Probably more than your website visitors. The latest stat is telling; 78% of Twitter and 83% of Facebook users access it with their mobile device. Instagram announced last week that they’ve hit 300 million users surpassing Twitter as the fastest growing social network. Instagram is purely a mobile app.
Are your profiles, content, images and contests mobile friendly? Make it a priority.
12. Put Your Shopping Cart On Pinterest
If you sell products online to women there is an untapped opportunity out there with Pinterest. And, it’s free!
Pinterest is one of the bigger drivers of website visits in social media. People pin photos to wish lists and vision boards using your products and website photos. These pins link back to your website as the source. To take full advantage of this you’ll want to: 1. Convert your Pinterest profile into a business page, 2. Set-up Pinterest analytics(by validating your site), and 3. Turn on Rich Pins. Rich Pins pull data such as price and inventory from your shopping cart for display in Pinterest on anyone’s pin that links back to your product page. It also provides call to action buttons and more information about your company around the content. Rich indeed.
There you have it, one dozen things to put in your social media marketing roadmap in 2015. Wishing you a successful year!