A new year has begun, it’s time to make some marketing magic. You don’t need us to tell you that this year social media will play a bigger role in your marketing strategy than ever before.
So how can brands best leverage their social media channels in 2017? Everything keeps changing. 2016 saw a deluge of new technologies, trends and network features. It’s tough to keep up.
So here’s some help. The Social Media Networks Guide for Marketers lays down the basics for engaging more effectively on the big four of professional social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
But first things first. Whatever we do this year starts and finishes with our audiences – who are the focus of the first installment of The Social Media Networks Guide for Marketers.
Who are your social customers? Are they different people to last year? There are a few generalizations we can safely apply in 2017.
They’re more connected than ever
The average consumer has seven social media accounts and engages with 3.5 according to the Global Web Index. Everything from casual chat to crucial conversations takes place on social media.
They live on mobile and will look you up
According to a BI Intelligence report, mobile commerce will make up 45% of total e-commerce by 2020. Consumers also use mobile to do their homework. Nielsen says 53% of respondents use a mobile device to compare prices and 52% look up product information on a mobile device.
They don’t need to be loyal
Modern consumers are spoilt for choice, so it’s paramount that brands establish an emotional connection and deliver personalized content to win and keep loyal customers.
And that means meeting customer expectations:
Real-time response and social service
Consumers live on social and expect to find brands there too. If they reach out to you they expect a snappy reply. If they don’t get it, beware: social media is the perfect forum for airing public dissatisfaction.
The right mix of organic and paid advertising…
Most brands (86%) these days do both paid and organic, with paid social media ad spend expected to reach $41 billion dollars in 2017. Nevertheless, despite reports to the contrary, organic social media is entering 2017 still very much alive.
…both of which will depend on a new level of personalization
According to research conducted by Yahoo, consumers prefer personalized ads, finding them more engaging (54%), educational (52%), time-saving (49%) and memorable (45%) than general-audience ads.
Whether you rely on organic and paid advertising, the degree to which you can personalize your social media posting will set your brand apart. That means using concrete data insights about your target audience to frame great content.
Best practices for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to come
For more on all of this and more, download the introduction to The Social Media Networks Guide for Marketers. It’s the first in a 5-part series that will cover the core social network advertising, posting and other basic need-to-knows.
Have a fantastic year. If 2016 on social media was any indication we’re in for quite a giddy ride. This guide will help you find focus from the start.