Social media as a phenomenon in the marketing world is old news. It’s been around for years, and strategies for how to succeed in directing messages to a desired audience are constantly being reinvented. This year, the name of the game is extremely focused content sharing, remained for a new world of how content is shared. Given some major changes to how social media sites are filtering content, as well as the mindset of today’s more social media savvy consumer, there are a few essential tweaks that you’ll need in the coming year.
1. New Ways Consumers Will Receive Your Content
This year, the Business 2 Community reports that one of the biggest changes in how content is seen will be the changes in algorithms on popular social networking sites such as Facebook, where aggregated content will be prioritized by how often it’s shared by family and friends. In other words, most likely, information flowing from your brand will not reach consumers via a direct connection, but rather via the conduit of their social media contacts. It’s more likely for your content to appear prioritized in someone’s newsfeed if it’s shared with multiple people within their network, as opposed to simply being posted by the brand’s social media outlets. This means that optimizing social media content is more essential than ever, and finding ways to increase shareability will keep your content marketing up-to-date and competitive.
2. Match Your Content to Your Main Audience
Marketing Insider Group advises that one of the most important ways to ensure your content is optimized is to be at its most shareable is to understand who you’re trying to reach. This includes analyzing your primary audience’s needs and adapting your content so that it’s a perfect match. In order to understand this concept from multiple points of view, there are a few things to evaluate. One is pure, quantifiable analytics. Who is clicking on your site from your social media accounts, why, and when. Focus on the numbers of how your desired demographic shares content and how it’s directing traffic toward your brand.
On the less quantifiable end of things, see what people actually think, and be clever about it. If there’s one thing social media users despise above all else, it’s paid advertising. If your content is coming across as paid advertising or a disingenuous pitch for sales, your brand is immediately viewed as an intrusive enemy, an annoyance to be muted or rejected in any way possible. This is why having content that can blend more effectively into a social media feed is of utmost importance, and also why you should offer people a way to give you feedback. Invite people to tweet at you or tag you on Facebook to voice complaints if they don’t like your content or find it annoying. The last thing people expect from advertisers or a company pushing its brand is the ability to give consumers of your content a voice for good or bad. This helps reinvent the idea of how content marketing functions by presenting something new and unprecedented.
3. The Calendar Should Dictate When and How Content is Released
Maximizing social business suggests approaching a social media strategy not only from a content refinement point of view, but also via a timeline, highlighting the need to plan posts around a calendar year and be relevant to events. Content themed around holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are obvious, but going beyond these standard fare occasions is innovative. Try tweaking content to make it relevant to the changing of seasons, or changes like daylight savings time. Linking your content with real time events makes it seem more present and current to consumers, and your message is more likely to be transmitted across broad channels. Everyone wants to go viral of course, but that shouldn’t necessarily be your goal, since it’s a lofty one. What you really want to do is put your content on a trajectory toward the right people.
For example, if your industry is home goods and your biggest customer base is the archetypal yoga mom who will care about the first day of spring, offering a big, splashy visual of new fabric patterns hooked in with ideas related to spring, with a promo code, is a good way to get the information making the rounds. Not only are visuals always attractive and more shareable on almost every form of social media, but it also offers your potential customers something of value.
When it comes to social media content, you need to take into account the very human element. While traditional marketing is about capturing attention via static advertising like banner ads, or even billboards, social media is real time, all the time. That means that you have a living, breathing audience, potentially ready to receive your message 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but also just as ready to keep scrolling. Optimizing content has always been an obvious priority, but if you haven’t been deploying all of your resources into refining this concept and analyzing the data, it’s now more essential than ever. One thing that isn’t subjective about this process is the fact that algorithms are changing, and your social media strategy needs to change with them. To keep up with the times and ensure your brand remains viable in a robust online marketplace bursting with content, refining the quality of your own social media content will be one of the most important ways to move ahead this year.
by Mansi Rana