If you’re going to make social media work for you, then you’re going to need a strategy. A darn good one at that. Whether you’re a blogger, artist, or business, you need to use social media to communicate with people and raise awareness. But blindly launching a social media campaign won’t get you very far. You’ve got to implement a strategy to achieve great things.
In this post, I’m going to talk about some of the biggest and best social media trends that will improve your overall strategy. If you’ve been apprehensive about leaning into social media because you’re not sure how to succeed, sit back, put your feet up and let us help you figure it all out. While it may not be rocket science, you can’t just expect it to work for you without putting the work in yourself.
Don’t Tear Down Communities. Build Them.
As we all know, one of the best things about social media is the ability to interact with your audience. And do it virtually in real time. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling; when you can relate your image and your product to an audience in a meaningful way, then you’re going to get more people paying attention. This goes far beyond brand building. You’ve got to encourage a sense of community around your brand so that even when you’re not engaging with your followers, they’re engaging with one another.
A community can come in many forms. Ultimately, you want it to work both online and offline so the conversation around your brand never stops. You might be asking yourself (and if you’re not, then I am pretending you are!) “how do you start this from the ground up?” It’s important to use insights that the major platforms give you to come up with posts that take them into account. Specifically, look at engagement. Having lots of followers is a great building block, but you’ll start to see followers turn into customers when your likes and comments increase. This is where it all comes back to content. Work on putting out content that gets people talking and encourages that sense of community that you’re after.
Video Is King.
Video has taken over the digital marketing landscape and it’s obvious now that people like to get their information from a video rather than reading it on a blog or a post. Like this one. But hang in there because there’s more juicy nuggets coming your way.
You can use social media to promote your videos and even create video content directly on some platforms. Social media companies have made video easy to produce, and it’s the best way to instantly communicate with your followers. Stories and IGTV on Instagram give you a platform to say and do whatever you want. Similar features are available on Facebook, Twitter, and many newer platforms. The video content that you should be pushing on your social media platforms isn’t polished or sales-oriented. It should be raw and relatable to your followers so that it better suits that sense of community that we talked about earlier.
Word of Mouth Marketing.
Word of mouth marketing is a concept that we’ve become accustomed to for a long time. That’s how a business grows from a starting point. You provide a great service, then encourage happy customers to tell everyone they know about your business. In essence, they’ve become ambassadors of your brand and that is very powerful. Well, obviously social media takes this concept to a completely new level. Whereas before, a happy customer might tell their sister and a few friends about a pleasant business experience. Now, with social media, you can tell someone halfway across the world about a brand that you’ve fallen in love with. This isn’t exactly a “new” trend anymore, but this globalization of small business has only intensified and nowadays, more people are inclined to look at reviews online and take recommendations from someone they don’t know on social media than trust a friend’s suggestion.
So with that said, encourage people to tell others about your products and services and you’ll see the awareness spread.
Outside the Soap Box.
One of the new developments in social media marketing going into 2020 is the rise of alternative platforms. Of course, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are still at the top and should be the focus of any strong social media marketing campaign. However, things like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and now TikTok are grabbing attention. Even Instagram is launching a new feature called Reels to combat TikTok.
Choosing which platforms to put your time and effort into developing depends on what you’re trying to promote. TikTok is a relatively new platform that’s seen rapid growth in the last year, but mainly with a younger demographic. And as I mentioned, even Instagram will have a platform like this as well. If your aim is to sell products, Pinterest might be the best option for you. LinkedIn remains focused on B2B interactions, but it’s more valuable than ever for companies that are primarily interested in that. We’re seeing these “alternative” platforms rise because they’ve begun to hit their stride and find their niche. Now you can find an alternative platform that works for what you’re trying to sell, where before it was confined to the big 3.
Build Your Brand.
Brand building is still one of the most important social media trends out there. If you don’t have strong branding, then you’re going to be forgettable in a world that has huge quantities of everything. The best way to stand out is to focus on consistency across all social media platforms. Consistency of voice in your content and engagement with followers is important, but so is your visual consistency. We’re big on real, human connection here at the agency and we believe that providing one with your followers is a characteristic of great brands. It’s all about understanding the value of personalization and a positive customer experience and coupling that with great stories. You have to believe in what you’re promoting if you expect your followers to as well.
Forget Hindsight. Foresight is 20/20.
Some of these social media trends are old mainstays, while others are new ideas that have grown out of established ones. To really improve your ability to market yourself on social media, you’ve got to stay informed on what’s happening and what’s coming. What’s important today might see diminishing returns in 2021. Anyway, I hope this has been helpful in understanding how important we feel putting special emphasis on branding and creating a community for your followers to engage each other in really is. You’ll see positive gains in both your public perception and your digital advertising strategy.
If you’d like some help with building your brand over social media, contact us here at EraserFarm. We’re a Tampa-based digital marketing firm that takes human emotion and makes it part of the DNA of your marketing strategy. Check out our portfolio to get a better idea of what we’re doing for our partners and what we can do for you.