Social media usage is expanding all over the world, with research showing that more than a million people a day started using the web in 2019. It’s more important than ever for social media managers to build a strong presence on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, social media is also getting more competitive and complex. Whether you focus on paid or organic strategies, you have to be more creative and targeted than ever in your approach. Here are 5 effective tactics for building your social media influence.
1. Pay Attention to the Right Metrics
One of the biggest social media news of 2019 was Instagram hiding likes from users. While you can still see the number of likes of your own posts, no one else can. It remains to be seen whether Instagram will continue this practice and, if so, whether Facebook and other sites will follow suit. Either way, this policy suggests that it’s best not to be preoccupied with vanity metrics such as likes and followers. While engagement includes likes, comments, shares and retweets, not all engagement is equal. A share or retweet is more valuable than a like or upvote, especially when it comes from someone with a large following. Comments, likewise, as long as they aren’t merely trolling, indicate a real interest in your content.
If your goal is to build brand awareness, engagement is obviously important. If you’re looking for your followers to take specific actions such as subscribing to your mailing list or buying a product, then conversions are also crucial. When you’re looking for a specific result, be sure to look at your analytics closely to find out how each post and campaign performs.
2. Reap the Benefits of Live Streaming
Live streaming on Facebook and other sites is another important social media trend that’s likely to explode in the next few years. As it gets more difficult to reach followers with timeline posts, ephemeral content such as Stories and live streaming provide a dynamic and engaging alternative. While Facebook Live is the leader in social media streaming, you can also look into Periscope, YouTube Live and LinkedIn Live. The latter is still in Beta and you need to be approved but it’s worth keeping an eye on how this feature develops on LinkedIn. There are many ways to leverage the power of live streaming.
- Announce new products and services.
- Conduct live Q & A sessions with customers.
- Broadcast from events such as conventions, festivals, sporting events or anything relevant to your industry.
- Conduct Interviews with experts and influencers.
- Follow the Latest Trends in Paid Social Ads
Facebook and Instagram now rival Google when it comes to paid advertising. Social media advertising is quickly evolving so it’s important to stay current with the latest developments.
- Mobile-friendly ads. With any type of advertising, keep in mind that most viewers are likely on mobile devices. Shorter ads are more appropriate for small screens, so people don’t have to scroll down as much. Be sure that your call-to-action buttons are easy for mobile users to see and click on. Be sure to test all ads on mobile devices.
- Story Ads. Stories on Facebook and Instagram are extremely popular, and you can use these for advertising as well as sharing organic content. Stories have high visibility on these sites and investing in Facebook Story ads is an effective way to get targeted traffic quickly.
- Invest in LinkedIn ads. While many businesses focus on Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn has been steadily growing over the last few years. Today it has over 600 million users worldwide. To get the best results with LinkedIn requires some financial investment, either directly with paid advertising or indirectly with a Premium account. Either way, if you’re not using LinkedIn to grow your business, especially if you’re in the B2B sector, you should think seriously about starting now.
- Step Up Your Visual Marketing Strategy
If there’s one trend that’s been simply getting bigger every year, it’s the popularity of images. It’s no longer enough to simply post photos to your timelines. If you want to stand out, take the time to create or buy high-quality images that set you apart.
- Customize images for each social media platform. Each site has different specs for creating the best images, as shown in this guide.
- Share images on Pinterest. As long as you’re improving your visual marketing, you may as well take advantage of the growing popularity of Pinterest. Often overlooked by businesses, this site has around 250 million active users per month. It’s also a platform that’s extremely good for selling physical products as many users visit specifically to shop. To get the most out of Pinterest, set up a business account and connect it with your website. Another trick that will really amp up your Pinterest marketing is to apply for rich pins. These enable you to include more information with your pins such as your website URL or product info.
- Use the right tools. There are many tools and services that help you customize and improve your images. Sites such as Adobe Stock and Shutterstock are good for finding quality images for almost any purpose. It’s better to pay a small fee to buy a license for a quality image than to use free ones that are probably on thousands of other sites. Tools such as Canva let you edit and customize your images. Infogram lets you easily create engaging infographics.
- Work With Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing has matured and evolved over the last few years. Many businesses now find that it’s more economical to work with micro-influencers rather than celebrities with huge followings. The latter command a higher fee and are seldom well targeted to a specific audience. With micro-influencers, you can find people who are known and respected in your niche.
To find micro-influencers, search blogs, Instagram accounts and YouTube channels related to your business. Look for people whose style, interests and preferences are a good match for your own audience. Connect with them on social media, link to their content and reach out to them via email. You can also send them free samples of your product. Building relationships with the right micro-influencers is a powerful long-term strategy for increasing visibility and credibility for your brand.
These are some of the most effective ways for social media managers to take advantage of the latest trends impacting the major platforms. While new features and technologies are always creating changes, one thing that’s certain is that social media is playing an ever-larger role in people’s lives.