Here are some highlights I wanted to share from the SMMW14 conference that I was able to attend last week. The items below in particularly stood out to me. This conference was a great opportunity to engage and learn from industry thought leaders such as Jay Baer, Chris Brogan, Mari Smith and many others. I’ve broken down a few categories that will help you in your 2014 social media strategy and tactics.
Facebook – For now, Facebook is still king. Even though it has changed its newsfeed into an algorithm that makes it more difficult for marketers and more frustrating for users; it’s where the largest audience spends most of their time. With new retargeting pixels, marketers will increase their ads this year. In fact, 90% of marketers plan to increase their Facebook ads in 2014. The key to standing out will be creating more engaging and shareable content since organic reach has plummeted. Here are a few keys to remember in your 2014 Facebook strategy – RELEVANT CONTENT- ENGAGEMENT – INCREASE POST FREQUENCY – POST AT PEAK TIMES – CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Twitter – A fair amount of people still don’t “get” Twitter. Twitter is not a lesser version of Facebook; it is a unique way to communicate with people, brands, companies and search for information. Many brands don’t realize that social media is your front line of customer communication and customer service, especially with Twitter. Twitter is the best platform for communicating directly with your audience. Many brands get confused on how to communicate on the platform. It is not a place to talk about YOU, but a place to talk about THEM. What kind of content would your users thank you for? How can you be a resource to them daily? It is one of the most powerful tools to generate more website leads for your business and probably the best way to learn from your audience. Quick, simple communication. Not broadcasting about how great you are. Listen, learn and engage.
Visual Content – We have seen a leap in visual content engagement over the past year. Leveraging Visual Content will be vital in making your posts stand out amongst everything else. Simple, catchy, and even humorous visuals will be very important for you and your brands. This does not mean cram as much information and copy into a picture as you can; it does mean share something your audience would care about and want to share. Engagement is far more likely when posts involve Visual Content.
Content is KING, but engagement is QUEEN – This should mold your approach with social media. It is no longer simply about posting content, but about engaging your audience. You need to be relevant and give them a reason to care and be engaged. Many marketers are weighing engagement on social media more than anything. What does your audience care about? Perhaps it does not relate to your business directly – think outside of the box with ways to captivate your fans.
Social Media is NOT Advertising – Many marketers misconstrue how to approach social media marketing. It is not as simple as “traditional advertising”, it really is a whole other animal. You cannot try to force old advertising tactics into social media and expect to be successful. The more I study this space, the more I learn that it is so much more about your audience than yourself. You need to think sideways in order to be successful. For instance, if you are a restaurant that needs to create awareness, instead of blasting people about how great your restaurant is, become a resource on what fun things to do in your city…oh and by the way, we happen to make great food. People are on social because it’s fun, because they enjoy it, because they like to communicate. You need to be engaging in a way that makes sense to them. Become more of a P.S. not a Header.
Blogging – Create solid “snackable” content via blogs. This is going to keep audiences engaged with your brand. It will also help increase your visibility on search engines and increase leads to your website. However, be careful not to blog without purpose. Stay relevant and create your own content; don’t just copy and paste some one else’s. Stelzner reported that 58% of marketers say that original written content is the most important form of content for their businesses. Be that RESOURCE.
Hopefully this was of some value to you. Feel free to tweet at me with any follow-up questions.