Social media is an indispensable part of the world of digital marketing today. Almost all leading as well as not so prominent brands are active on popular social sites. But are they using their time on these less formal yet extremely powerful marketing platforms in the most optimal way?
Using social media profitably for your brand is a science as well as an art. It needs a deeper understanding of how exactly these platforms work. You should also possess the knack of reading people's minds based on their activities on the social media sites. You need the flexibility to quickly adjust your strategies to go with current trends and use them to your advantage.
The phenomenal growth of social media is a relatively recent phenomenon. Just a few years back, it was mostly an informal social platform. Nobody gave too much importance to things like how many 'Likes' or 'Followers' you had on social sites. Having a large following was more a matter of amusement. Often such enormous following was attributed only to movie stars, sports stars, and other celebrities. Today, a large following is a measurement of your value and credibility in the market.
However, in spite of this incredible shift, many big brands who are in the best position to tap into the power of social media for their marketing, are still investing in old school advertising and marketing methods like the print media or television. Not the smartest way to go about it folks!
After operating successfully in this field for almost 10 years, and helping many big and small brands to make their mark in the digital world, we are in the perfect position at Neyox to offer some interesting current and future social media trends and top 10 social media strategies to make the most of them for your start-up business in 2017.
1. Invest On Quality Of The Content, More Than Promotions
It has always been said that content is the king. True, but only partially. The fact is “quality” content is the king. Creating truly high-quality content is the best social media policy. If you want to get more likes, followers, and subscribers, you have to create great content that people value and relate to.
Often, many big brands make the big mistake of spending only a fraction of their money on high-quality content such as an awesome video. They allocate the biggest chunk of their funds on advertising it on the social platforms. Well, we have to tell you that it doesn't really work that way!
It's time for a major mindset shift. Invest 90% of your money in creating a great video and 10% on the promotional efforts. The fact is, if your content is truly awesome and instantly clicks with the viewers, it will promote itself anyway.
Even smaller companies, who understand this equation well enough, can use social media to offer a stiff competition to their bigger counterparts.
2. Banner-Branded Ads Are Going To Rule Facebook
Facebook is leaning more and more towards video content than ever. Your Facebook feed flashes banner-branded ads that are written in a very informal, messaging-style language. People seem to prefer this kind of promotion more than a long and boring copy.
We would like to suggest that, brands should adopt this style of promotion for small-sized content as this form of advertising is becoming more and more popular. This is going to be the best way to impress and engage their audience in the coming days.
3. Invest Quality Time And Effort In Social Media Marketing
In a recent survey, only 3% of CMOs interviewed accepted that social media did indeed play a big role in their brand's success. In spite of these facts, more and more brands are investing on social media and it is expected to grow from 10% to 20% by 2021. Will this improve their performance in equal proportions?
The fact is that most so-called social media experts have little idea about effectively using social media for brand promotion. They take it too casually and think that just posting or commenting occasionally is all they need to do. Not really. You need a lot more efforts in the form of in-depth research, meticulous planning and consistent promotion of quality content, in order to succeed.
Big brands often fail miserably, while tiny companies attract a massive following, simply because those smaller players use social media in the right way.
4. Instagram Or Snapchat?
In 2016, we have seen Instagram and Snapchat grow side-by-side into two of the most popular social platforms. However, they seem to be all set to develop into their own separate spaces this year.
Snapchat has changed its name to Snap Inc. and has made it clear that it is not just a singular app but a “camera company”. Their recent feature called “Spectacles” clearly indicates that they are going to carve their own niche, independent of any other similar platforms.
The similarities, however, make it pointless to stay of both these platforms – particularly since Snapchat is quite a closed and limited network compared to its counterpart. Big thumbs up to Snapchat though for doing what Twitter should have, years back.
5. This Year Could Be A Turning Point For Twitter
Going by its current state of affairs, Twitter doesn't seem to hold the brightest of futures. They should realize their unique value and focus on it or should get bought out pretty soon. Recently, it was rumored to be being bought by Google.
However, being an integral part of the mainstream social media mix along with Facebook, for the past so many years, a complete collapse of Twitter seems much unlikely. However, Twitter is badly in need of a major spin around, to stay competitive.
6. LinkedIn Is All Set To Be A Major Player
Microsoft's purchase of LinkedIn for a massive $ 26.2 billion raised many speculations. However, the fact remains that LinkedIn is a powerful platform for industries like those operating in the B2B model. For instance, if you want to market dental products to dental hospitals, LinkedIn is the best platform to go to and not Twitter or Instagram.
We believe that LinkedIn is one of the least user-friendly social platforms out there. The UX design is cluttered and navigation is quite awkward. However, this might soon see a change with Microsoft as its new owner.
7. Collaboration Is The Key To Growth On Social Media
If you want to grow your following on social platforms, collaboration with others is the fastest and the most effective way. Finding a few key influencers in your field of activity in your city and joining hands with them for content creation is a great way to grow together.
It is strange how people keep overlooking this simple strategy. It is the same as people jumping on to creating a blog first thing in their content promotion strategies. Why post content where people can hardly find it? Social platforms are much more effective places which also give you instant feedback.
Collaborating is a similar win-win situation where you can benefit from other's existing following and credibility, thus increasing your own visibility and social media status.
8. Use The Power Of Copywriting
Whether it is a video script, blog article or a lengthy Facebook post with a call to action, copywriting is what makes people do what you want them to do – whether it is clicking on the “Buy now” button or signing up to your newsletter .
Skimping on a quality copy is a bad approach many brands are guilty of. Great copy is, in fact, one of the most profitable long-term investments that will bring more conversions and sales your way.
9. Dear Brands, Spend More On Influencer Marketing
Just like social media, investing on influencer marketing doesn't guarantee equivalent returns by itself. Something crucial is necessary to succeed. It is how you approach influencer marketing that really matters.
Consumers have become smart enough to sniff empty promises and promotions from a mile's distance. An influencer endorsing your product in a direct and over-the-top way is no more effective. For any kind of influencer marketing to be truly effective, it has to be subtle and indirect. It should be done in a way that people hardly know it is being done – leaving behind a sublime effect. When done right, influencer marketing will continue to be a potent tool for brand promotion.
10. Go Mobile
Last but not the least, being “mobile friendly” is the modern-day mantra for any brand – big or small – to be successful. Most people use mobile phones, smartphones, iPhones, tablets and so on, for things ranging from shopping and playing games to buying movie tickets to booking flights.
You cannot afford not to keep all your marketing efforts compatible with the mobile technology. Be it a mobile responsive website or a user-friendly app, you need to integrate a mobile strategy into your online marketing planning right from the beginning.