You’ve likely read a million articles about social media best practices. And while the tips offered in many of these blogs are useful, you’ve heard them all ad-nauseum.
Use hashtags? You don’t say…
Post images? Well I’ll be damned…The problem with social marketing campaigns is that trends are constantly changing, and if you’re not staying ahead of the curve then you’ll find yourself working with outdated information.
This article will be a social marketing intervention, quickly walking you through a definition of social media marketing and explaining why it is important. After that, we’re going to dive into some actionable, 2020-centric social media strategies and trends that can help you get a leg up on your competition.
What is social marketing?
A social marketing campaign is a way to push your company and your content out on social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more.
An effective social marketing campaign helps spread brand awareness and gets your brand seen while also creating sales opportunities.
The great thing about a social marketing approach is that you have a lot of control over what you spend and who sees your content.
So, why social media?
That means that whoever your business’ target audience might be, they’re on social media.
It’s just a matter of a social marketer reaching them.
Why is social marketing important?
Social marketing is one of the most popular marketing concepts in just about every industry. That popularity stems from 1 simple fact: social marketing can be extremely effective.
Well, to add a caveat there, social marketing can be extremely effective when it is done correctly, and therein lies the trick.
How hard can it be to get noticed on Facebook? After all, those cat videos your aunt posted last week got like 80 heart reactions.
Marketing your business on social media is very different from your Aunt Petunia marketing her most recent apple pie.
It’s a highly competitive atmosphere with everyone (including your Aunt Petunia) vying for the attention of the same people.
So why does your company need social marketing?
Despite the competition, there are still many reasons for promoting content on social platforms.
Here are 4 social marketing principles that explain why it is essential for a modern business.
1. It’s where your audience is
You need to put your content where your audience is looking. And they’re looking at social media.
You saw the figure in the last section. (If you didn’t scroll up, I’ll wait). There are a massive number of people on these platforms and every one one of them is growing.
Virtually every major demographic is represented.
A few more facts to illustrate that point…
- A massive 59% of people access social media every day with more than 50% of those people checking social platforms 5 times a day.
- 79% of people in the US have a social media profile
- 90.4% of millennials use social media along with 77.5% of Gen X and 48.2% of Baby Boomers.
2. Ads can be targeted
Social media gives you an unprecedented level of targeting.
You can target ads based on age, gender, location, interests (including interest in your competitors), and many other criteria. Just make sure you’ve done formative social marketing research so that you know who to target.
Platforms like Facebook even let you retarget people who have interacted with your brand or website in the past.
As a marketer, you can control the ad spend — deciding if you want to pay per click, per 1,000 or ad impressions, or per bottom-of-funnel conversion.
3. Social marketing helps with SEO
Now, Google’s been very clear about the fact that social media engagement isn’t a factor they take into consideration when ranking content.
But traffic is. In fact, traffic is the most important factor of all.
And social media sharing and engagement increase traffic. It’s as simple as that.
4. Your competitors are already there
This isn’t an opinion, it’s a fact.
By not competing on social media you concede a crucial battleground to your biggest rivals.
This is true regardless of your industry
Social media gives you a chance to showcase your brand voice and personality while pitting it against your competition.
How do you get the most out of social marketing in 2020?
You have to approach social media strategically in 2020, mostly because there’s so much to do.
Let’s break down a few leading strategies.
1. Get organized with templates
Keep track of everything and plan your social media strategy long before you start executing it.
A great way to do this is to use the monday.com social media planner template, which allows you to lay everything out in front of you and get a clear sense of what you have coming up and what was already posted.
2. Invest in the right social media marketing platform for your business
Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform with more than 2.32 billion active monthly users. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults use it.
Instagram is definitely on the rise and deserving of attention. It went from 150 million users in 2017 to 500 million in January 2019.
TikTok is the latest social media trend, with more than 800 million active users in 2020. That’s nothing to turn your nose at (unless you sell concrete, in which case you may want to invest elsewhere)
Of course, which platform you choose depends upon who your target audience is. If your crowd skews younger, consider Instagram and TikTok. If you have an older audience, then you can’t go wrong with Facebook and LinkedIn.
3. Use video
Video has always been big on social media, but it’s bigger than ever right now.
Videos are proven to have higher engagement rates and share rates than simple images, infographics, or text-based posts.
The human brain also retains information from videos better than it does through text content.
This trend isn’t changing anytime soon. By 2021 it’s estimated that 80% of global internet traffic will come from video.
4. Plan and post unique short-form content
If you’re going to stand out you’re going to have to create something unique.
There’s too much content on social media, which means you have to shake things up if you want to be noticed.
Short-form content is way more common and popular right now.
TikTok videos are either 15 seconds or 1 minute.
Instagram and Facebook stories are also hugely popular. These are under 30 seconds.
Going live on social media is a great way to generate attention. People love watching live because it’s a genuine look at your company. There’s no editing or spin put on it to elicit a desired behavioral change.
5. Run paid social media ads
Paid social ads are actually an opportunity, rather than a frustrating requirement brought about by the miserable organic reach of platforms like Facebook.
Ads enable you to ensure that the people who see your brand (and your brand’s offers) on social media are actually your target market.
And, with the ability to pay by impression, ads on Facebook can be one of the best strategies to drive brand awareness there is.
To keep track of each ad in your communication campaign, consider monday.com’s social ad management template:
Spend some time to build your skills through a Facebook Ads course. You’ll learn what’s working on Facebook and the best practices to follow. It’s an investment that will save you a lot of time and money than trying to figure this by trial and error.
You know that social media is one of the most important commercial marketing outlets, but succeeding on social media in today’s world is not the same as it was 10 or even 2 years ago.
The world of social media is constantly shifting and evolving, with new technologies and trends shining through. You’re always one behavior change away from your social strategy becoming irrelevant.
By embracing these new communication trends and creating unique content that appeals to your audience, you’ll be able to put forth a strong social marketing strategy that will capture the attention of social media users and push them through your marketing funnel until they become loyal customers.
But you’re going to need to remain focused and organized if that’s going to happen. Use monday.com’s social media plan template to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and your entire team is united and on the social ball.