Getting social media right in 2016Aug 5 by Tess Horsley
Gone are the days when social media was just a ‘young people’s thing’, full of inside jokes and pictures that would likely be regretted in a year’s time. Social media has taken centre stage when it comes to online marketing, and is crucial to any business’s success. Here are our top tips on getting social media right in 2016:
Quality content is King
Social media is one of the most saturated markets around, with billions of users connecting with each other and with businesses every minute of every day. That makes for a whole lot of content! Getting seen can be tricky, and getting drowned out all too easy.
Most social media platforms are now based on algorithms that filter its users’ content according to perceived relevance. Users are tired of seeing the same types of content, and aren’t interested in posts that don’t excite them. This is part of an overall push toward more personalised and customised content – say goodbye to bog standard, generic posts everyone!
‘Quality over quantity’ has never been more applicable. Make content specifically tailored to excite, interest and engage your audience (instead of just straight selling to them), and you’re far more likely to be a feature in your followers’ news feeds.
Social media – the new shopfront?
More and more people are discovering business opportunities solely through the use of social media. From Instagram accounts that sell second hand goods (through Instagram alone) to offering exclusive discount codes in particular SnapChat posts, the worlds of social media and online shopping are becoming ever more entwined.
Advertising on social media has also started to make the conversion from follower to sale even easier. ‘Buy now’ buttons are appearing all over the place, letting customers see something they like, then head straight to that product’s page and then to the checkout – without ever seeking out an online store itself. Buying through social media is a phenomenon that’s only set to get bigger.
The customer still comes first
If social media is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the online shopping experience, then it needs to have customer service to match. The way customers and businesses interact has shifted massively, with immediate, quality responses the new norm. Why email a business if you can post on their wall and hear back right away? Facebook even advertises how long a business takes to respond to messages now. Social media customer service is about getting the right response out at the right time – which is as fast as you can!
A trap for young players is to only focus on gaining new customers. Part of your social media strategy must cater to maintaining your existing customers, they need to be kept happy to! When it comes down to it, customer experience is key. Social media is no longer a peripheral feature of your branding, marketing and customer service efforts, it’s central. Whatever experience your customers have with your brand online will be how they view your brand as a whole, so make it a good one!
The rise and rise of video
The online world, and especially the world of social media, evolves at the speed of light, and video has burst on the scene and made a huge impact! From new features like Facebook Live (which allows you to livestream directly to your customers), to the astronomical rise of video based social apps like SnapChat and Periscope, it’s pretty clear that video content is all the rage.
This goes hand in hand with generating quality content and having immediate customer service: it’s all about being in the now. Consumers are increasingly looking for hyper-relevant, up-to-the-minute content about things they’re interested in, and nothing gets you more up to date than live video.
To put it bluntly, if you’re not utilising video content on your social media channels, then you’re probably falling by the wayside.