Step Up Your Social Media Marketing

February 26, 2018

The phrase ‘social media marketing’ refers to the process of gaining traffic or building brand awareness through social media sites. ‘Social media’ is an all-inclusive term used for multiple sites that provide drastically different social actions. Some of the most used platforms today; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, all build communities based on fundamentally different actions.

For example, Facebook is a social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, videos, events, business promotion, and multiple other activities. Snapchat is a social networking app that allows users to share and view others real-time photos and videos while taking advantage of localization. Although key differences exist, social platforms still serve the same fundamental purpose of creating digital communities focused on both user-generated content and business-generated content.

Social media marketing is a concept that has been a hot topic among marketers for over a decade now. It’s now 2018 and the importance and influence of social media only continues to grow, meaning it’s a good time for companies to take a look at their digital strategies and try out a few New Years resolutions (better late than never), starting with investing time and resources in social media marketing. Why? Because social media is one of the most effective ways to expand your business’ reach, connect and engage with your target market, and build brand awareness.

However, social media is an entity that is constantly changing. As more and more businesses enter the realm of social media to expand their reach, the competition on these channels is increasing, making it harder to compete for consumer’s attention.

So, the main question remains; how should businesses adjust their social media marketing strategies as we move further into 2018?

There are so many different social media trends being predicted to take off into 2018. Instead of looking at all of the moving parts first, we believe that it’s best to start by building a solid strategy. This strategy will obviously contain multiple moving parts combining some of these predicted trends for 2018. However, a good strategy conveys your business goals, strategically focuses on reaching your target market, and utilizes the most cost-effective methods for managing both your time and resources. More importantly, there’s usually one end goal, allowing you to see the bigger picture, and understand the what, why, and how of what you’re doing.

Once you identify your marketing goals and begin to develop your overall strategy, make sure to integrate the following social strategies to really help your marketing efforts take off in 2018.

Integrate video content into the customer journey

Personally reaching and connecting with your followers is the key focus. Video is a creative way to create an impact on users. It allows you to visually tell a story and instantly capture attention as the viewer will not have to navigate away from the social site itself as they would when clicking a link to an article or something of the like. Use video, especially features such as Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat stories to take followers on a journey with you. Facebook live is another big feature expected to really take off as the year progresses. This form of video provides a live, streaming, direct connection with your audience while allowing them to interact with the content in real-time.

Content marketing is key

Good storytelling can humanize your business. Whether it specifically be user-generated content, business generated content, or professionally created content, this form of marketing allows you to personalize your brand’s voice in the social sphere and provide a personalization factor that helps for your business to stand out amongst competitors. Content marketing comes in many forms. It can range anywhere from blog posts to videos to photos, among much more.

Monitor trending content within your target market

Once identifying your target market, it’s important to focus on how to most effectively reach them. Social media is a great tool to use to interact with users that fit the demographics of your target market. Social platforms allow you to share trending content that is important and influential among members of your target market. Instead of just eavesdropping in search of topics of interest, it lets you laser-target specific keywords and topics. You can then use these captured insights to influence your online presence and help improve brand sentiment.

To take full advantage of social media listening, you need to spread your social monitoring across several social media channels, and keep a constant watch for new opportunities. However, acquiring these insights takes time, and the use of the right social monitoring tools. Some examples of these are Google Alerts, Hashtagify, Hootsuite, and Buzzsumo, among countless others.

Social Media Influencers

Influencer marketing is a marketing tactic growing as fast as digital ads. While it is still extremely important to take advantage of the advertising features of these various platforms, influencer marketing is something to consider. If done right, you can reach a defined and absolute audience already created by said influencer. All that is left to do is figure out how to create a partnership with an influencer. Whether it consists of cross-promotion, or monetarily compensating the influencer, this is a marketing channel that is sure to generate new leads for your business. Users who follow these influencers rely heavily on them to make purchase decisions. Social influencers have managed to connect with their audiences in a more personal and direct way than traditional advertising tactics.

These social media trends, among many others, will impact both users and brands significantly in 2018. Keep in mind, by first establishing A solid strategy will help you determine your budget, while it’ll also assist with the evaluation process so that you can effectively cut out what’s not working and push forward with what does. Be proactive rather than reactive and hit the ground running with your 2018 marketing strategy. Need help? Give us a call, email us, or just stop in.

Over the past few months, Liquified Creative has been working with committee members of the Maryland Quality Initiative Conference (MdQI) to help document the contributions…