Social media ad spends have doubled worldwide since 2016 and for the first time ever, digital ad spend in the U.S. surpassed television spend by the completion of 2016. While Facebook is still dominating with almost 68% of the social media spend, Mark Zuckerberg threw us all a curveball in early 2018 announcing a shift in the algorithm that only took us a decade to decode. Zuckerberg and his social media buddies seem to always keep us guessing. So, how is it that we are supposed to keep up with these new trends and keep our messaging in front of our audiences? Let’s take a look at some tips on how to stay relevant, engaging and at the top of the newsfeed.
Optimize Your Social Media Platforms
If you haven’t noticed yet, platforms continue to evolve with the amount of information you can add to your “About Us” or your profile. This can include business hours, Google Maps (that’s right, Google is watching here, too – psssst, they’re everywhere), services you offer, website address, contact info and even a not-so-short description option. The more you tell social media platforms about you, the more relevant you become to that audience you are fighting for.
Think SEO for social media:
- Recognizable logo use
- Keywords sprinkled into all of those description fields
- Easy to find links back to your website
- Easy to remember usernames
Create Content that Works on Each Platform
Each channel performs differently. Your posts should, too. Instagram should capture a moment that makes people stop, with little content necessary to pair with the glorious shot you chose, whereas your Facebook fans may want a little more detail. In fact, on Facebook, you can even lure them to a landing page as delectable as your image. Twitter on the other hand…we’re going to need something worth retweeting so it better be good, but not too long. They limit those character counts for a reason.
Use Targeting to Maximize Organic Potential
This looks a little different on each platform, however, it’s still pretty simple to do and an effective way to reach the audience of your liking. By simply tweaking the settings of your post, you can boost your organic reach potential.
Facebook – On this channel you can use Organic Reach Targeting. Through this option you can choose from quite a few helpful targeting options for your audience: age, gender, location, relationship status, educational level, language & interests. By targeting your post, you choose who sees it in their newsfeeds, but it is always visible on your own timeline. Remember that new algorithm is all about engaging users on the platform.
Instagram & Twitter – It’s all about the hashtag. Targeting is as simple as a hashtag. If you want to reach your hometown audience, simply use the hashtag followed by your city name and state (don’t forget, no spaces or punctuation). The same applies to interests. Simply search a hashtag to see its popularity. Keep in mind though that sometimes starting your very own hashtag is just as successful so don’t put all of your eggs into the popularity basket. Make your mark, or theirs, the point is just to make one.
Focus Your Efforts on the Right Channels
This goes back to our earlier tip about marketing to each channel separately because the audiences on each vary so greatly. It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to be on every social media channel to be successful. Find your audience on whatever channel that might be and focus your efforts there. All we’re saying is if you’re into Nascar Racing, we don’t know that you’ll find what you are looking for on Pinterest, but whatever floats your boat.
How to find your fans:
Ask! Create a survey and ask your customers what social media platforms they are using. Then ask them to like your page!
Look for Your Competitors
Sometimes not finding your competitors on a social media platform makes you feel like you can stay ahead of them and be the first. You could be right, but chances are, it may not be the platform for your industry. If you do find competitors, check out their pages and see what kind of engagement they have and if they are even using it properly. Use this information to help you make the call.
Check the Stats on Your Share Counts
If you use a blog on your website, you should be using share buttons. Give your followers all of the options and see where your articles are being shared the most.
Just like Google, social media platforms will be an ever-changing universe that we are all just trying to keep up with. Just when we think we’ve got the formula down, it will change all over again. With that being said, it’s easy to say that the number one tip to staying relevant on social media is to always be listening and watching those trends you see evolving. Be present on each platform daily. Pay attention to what you are being served on your newsfeed and watch the correlation of your feed to your interests and the places you have visited online. It’s all there for us to discover. We just have to be watching. After all, they certainly are.
Bethann Wilkie Director of Digital Strategy