We can’t really pull off a successful digital marketing campaign without mentioning social media.
Although there will be changes, expect some things to remain the same. For example: audience engagement is still crucial if you want to win in the social media game. Excellent customer service is another factor that won’t go away.
This year, expect upgrades to the usual online techniques. Here’s how you can be smart and use these platforms to boost your business in 2017:
4 Ways To Revamp Your Social Media Strategy:
1) Take advantage of messaging.
No business today would be without great customer care. Aside from money-back guarantees or free shipping, there’s ONE more thing you can do to stay on top of your competition: tap into social media as a customer care channel.
There are several studies that prove just how much social media has changed the landscape of customer care. However, this shift is to be expected, as consumers are already spending a huge chunk of their time on these networking platforms.
In fact, research from JD Power found that 67 percent of consumers go to sites like Twitter and Facebook for customer care. Meanwhile, Nielsen reported that 33 percent prefer to contact brands on social media rather than other channels, like 1-800 numbers.
However, engaging with customers via social networks can be complicated and time-consuming. In Facebook for example, you might need to sift through dozens of comments to check for suggestions and/or complaints. Aside from hiring a social media expert to solely handle these types of interaction, one popular way of being social media smart is to use messenger applications.
Unlike social media pages, you get to engage with customers one-on-one. You also have fun options like emoticons, to suit every customer taste and personality. This makes interaction on messenger apps feel more personalized.
Looking to save time on repetitive actions? Messenger bots can automate tedious responses (i.e. greeting a customer when he/she first comes to chat) and still offer a personal feel to the conversation. Brands that are already using this social media strategy include Whole Foods Market and 1-800-Flowers.
2) Use paid content alongside SEO.
Content marketing will be growing stronger in 2017 and beyond. So don’t stop producing high-quality, engaging content, especially images and video. Along with this strategy, you can also leverage paid content to expand distribution.
While it’s good to aim for organic traffic via organic means (i.e. Shares, retweets, Likes), there’s nothing wrong with casting the net further to reach more audiences. Unlike before, paid content nowadays is more customized to the platforms where they are being advertised, and targeted towards user preferences.
Think of paid services as an ally when it comes to faster, smarter content marketing. This is best used by small local businesses or startups, for when they have new products, ideas, or announcements. This technique is also great for seasonal campaigns.
3) Experiment with new social media features.
Social media is dynamic. Expect updates and new features to be launched at least once a year. This is so they can continue to provide excellent service and make every experience on their platform the best ever for their users.
Instead of fearing or shunning these social media upgrades, why not take advantage of them? As long as it’s relevant to your brand and your business’ vision, find out how you can leverage new social media features to better engage with customers.
For example: Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps today, with more than 600 million users – and counting. One of their best features, Stories, has well over 150 million daily users and is used by small and large brands alike. With paid option to be launched very soon, marketers would be able to promote beautiful full-screen ads to their target market.
If you have a favorite social media platform, explore its every nook and cranny. Find out what’s new and how you – and your customers – can benefit from it. Embrace these changes. Tailor your social media strategy based on customer feedback and/or suggestions.
4) Don’t forget active interaction.
Customer engagement is the golden rule of any smart social media strategy. If users are NOT interacting with your content or posts, you might be doing something wrong.
Every platform today has its own analytics so you can see the numbers tell all. Analyze the patterns and think about how you can improve. Check your response rate. How long does it take for you to respond to customer questions/complaints/comments? The more responsive you are, the higher your engagement. Plus, this helps to build your reputation and authority in your field.
Wrapping It Up
About 81 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are now leveraging social media for sales and growth. Don’t get left behind. Aside from being seen on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s more important to understand how to utilize their features efficiently to better serve your customers.
Ask yourself: is my social media strategy providing value? If not, pause and customize. If yes, find more ways to improve your methods. It’s 2017, after all. This year, be smart when it comes to using social media for your business.