Let’s start with the obvious here—social media marketing is a minefield, and without careful planning, you could be causing more harm than good for your business. It’s a scary reality of the ever-changing technology-lead world in which we live, and ignoring the way customers engage will only allow your competition to jump ahead and snatch those sales before you even had a chance. Businesses are getting better and better at curating, strategising and beautifying their social media, so how can you build your social media strategy in 2020 to stay competitive? Here are our top hints.
1. Set your goals.
We all know that creating content (and lots of it) is vital to be seen. But why are you creating the content and what is the message you want to project? We understand that for most businesses, at the end of the day, sales is the big goal. But solely pushing content that promotes your products and sales lacks depth, and your customers will have no incentive to engage. So, given that, here are some potential goals to help develop your strategy.
2. Increase Brand Awareness
Create a brand that people will remember. Your brand stands for more than just your products/services and people want to know who you are. More than ever, consumers want to relate to the products they purchase on a deeper level. Create and share content that explores your values and allows your brand personality to shine.
3. Increase Community Engagement
Engaging with like-minded businesses and consumers through social media and projecting your business on a personal level will foster and consolidate your relationships with your customers. Creating a community based on more than your sales will put you in the best position for the longevity of success.
4. Grow Your Audience
You might already have a robust, engaged community. But how do you expand to appeal to new target markets? If this is your goal, you are going to need to broaden your messaging, actively pursue new online relationships with both customers and like-minded businesses, and look into new platforms to connect with new potential markets.
5. Sales and Lead Generation
We all want to generate sales for our business and get that money in the bank, y’all. For the reasons discussed above, this motive needs to be finely balanced. There is merit in pushing your products hard and directly through your social platforms, but how do you ensure that people click through to the payment page? It’s time to think strategically about how people decide to buy a product, and sometimes that takes a little more subtlety than a screaming SALE sign. Think brand ambassadors, convincing blog posts, exclusive discounts and competitions.
6. Establish your metrics that match your goals and measure performance.
Engagement, reach, clicks, hashtag performance and sentiment are just some ways to help you measure your performance. If you are serious about your social media strategy in 2020, chances are you are using a planning platform to help organise your content. Most platforms, such as Later or Plann, have inbuilt performance measurement tools. It’s one thing to create content, but it’s another to utilise the performance results and finetune your content based on your learnings. Be smart; use the insights!
7. Understand your audience and your competition.
There are new platforms for content on the market every second day. According to data by Statista, Facebook followed closely by Instagram, are still the most popular social media platforms out there, but how does your target market engage? That’s where you need to play. Gen Z is still the most significant consumer group when it comes to social media, so if they are your market, consider engaging in platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube and dare we say it, Tik Tok.
Understanding your competition and how they communicate will give you clues on ways you could be engaging with your audience too. Consumers will see through your gimmick if you duplicate content from your competition but if they’re utilising a new platform or have some engaging sales tactics, be inspired by it, take the learnings and apply them!
8. Create and curate engaging content.
Gone are the days when one picture a week posted to the Instagram feed will cut it. It’s time to pick up your game and utilise all of the ways you can engage through social media. The popularity of video content has soared in the last year, and it’s not going anywhere in 2020. Creating engaging content is your ticket to big wins this year. Content with a call to action will prompt engagement, as long as what you are asking for is reasonable. Don’t ask your audience to write an essay to enter a competition, but rather, make entering hurdles achievable and useful for you. Interactions are an excellent way for you to receive market research and content free of charge, so be strategic about what you ask of your audience! Video, user-generated content, stories, interactive posts and dynamite hashtag strategies are your tickets to success this year.
9. Be Nimble.
Curating excellent content and planning it out, say in one-month blocks, is a great way to ensure you are talking to all aspects of your business. But there is something to be said for keeping up with current affairs and making sure you are connecting on a human level, rather than just a business level. If there is a social media trend that blows up overnight, jump on it, support social causes such as the current Bushfire Relief fundraisers, or add commentary on new news stories to connect in the present.
10. Be authentic.
More than ever, consumers are hungry for depth and empowered by information at every step of the buying process. If you are not projecting brand authenticity and a personality true to your business, they will take their dollar elsewhere. Stand for your values, share them and be involved in your community to create strength in your brand. Share content from like-minded people and businesses that you believe in, prompt discussion, and ensure that if you get support from other people or businesses, be sure to share it. It’s all about raising credibility.
11. Playing The Game.
Whether you look at it as a consideration to counteract authenticity, or to ride alongside it, playing the game of algorithms on social media will be an essential factor in your social media marketing strategy in 2020. Facebook and Instagram both run on rigid, ever-changing algorithms, and being aware of how they function is key to getting your content seen.
Essentially, Instagram (and Facebook) is looking to increase the dwell time of users on the app to increase the opportunity for advertising; therefore accounts with high engagement are rewarded. Recognising that Instagram could change their algorithm at any time, here are a few tips to ensure you are seen in the current landscape of the app.
Engage with your audience regularly.
Instagram registers when you interact with users and builds a ‘family and friends’ network based on the frequency and consistency of your interactions. If you are part of someone’s “network”, your content will appear in their feed a majority of the time. The message here is to start conversations regularly through your content, reply to engagements quickly, and engage with accounts behind the scenes (DM’s) that you want to ensure will see your content.
Create content that is heavily themed and consider paying to promote it.
Instagram prompts posts based on users past engagements and the topics in which they are most interested. How do you ensure a broader audience sees your content? Often paid Instagram posts will soar to the top of suggestions, and posts linked to appropriate hashtags will give you excellent exposure to new audiences.
Timeliness is key.
Instagram used to run off a solely chronological system and has received much backlash since they changed the algorithm to be more engagement-based. Though not in entirety, timeliness of posts does play a role. Instagram rewards posts that have quick engagement from the moment of posting. Ensure you are posting when your audience is online, and be available to engage with them as soon as you post.
There are so many aspects to consider as you master your social media strategy in 2020. Importantly, be authentic, stand for more than just sales, stay on top of trends, engage in ways that your audience engages and be aware of the way social platforms deliver content. We love this stuff, and honestly, we’re pretty good at it. If you are looking for some help in this space, give us a holla and let’s get this party started!