What is a social media strategy?

In creating a social media strategy, businesses are searching for the next big thing to get ahead of their competition. Although many of these trends are fleeting, some can become more viable as long-term strategies if they prove successful. As we make our way through 2018, here are three ways social media has shifted the marketing scene.

Before we begin let’s talk about what is a social media strategy? Your social media marketing strategy must summarize everything you plan to do, what you want to achieve when you want to achieve it, and how much you will spend on your social media plan. It guides your activities and tells you when you are off course and succeeding or failing. Every activity you do, post, reply, like, and comment should serve a purpose toward your social media strategy.

The more specific your strategy is the better. The more effective your execution will be. So a word of advice, keep it concise. Don’t make your plan so lofty and broad it’s unattainable or impossible to measure. Learn more about SMART goals.

In this post, I’ll walk you through a three-step plan to create a winning social media strategy of your own.

NBA Snapchat Campaign

Mobile Optimized Content

It’s no secret that big name brands are catering to the demand for mobile content. In 2018, there will be a projected 2.53 billion smartphone users worldwide. With millennials and Gen Z leading the charge, the accessibility and ease of mobile apps and sites are causing a shift in how consumers access their information and complete their tasks.

Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, the leaders of the current social media market, have noted 80% of their users are accessing their platforms through mobile phones. With this shift towards mobile-content, companies are adapting and making adjustments to their content to fit the playing field.

One way that companies are changing their content is through Instagram stories. Since the feature was added in August 2016 to compete with Snapchat, it has accumulated over 250 million daily users. Snapchat totals 187 million daily users. The ephemeral nature of the content on Instagram stories not only increases engagement, but it prompts immediate action from the user. Brands can redirect users to their feed or a different page, depending on the intent of the ad. With 1 in 5 brands seeing at least one direct message from a consumer, there is massive engagement potential for brands via Instagram stories.

Along with the continued growth of Instagram stories and Snapchat, we have seen an increase in using augmented reality. Both platforms have experienced a boom in using face filters, and brands are seizing the opportunity. These face filters allow users to change their appearance in videos and pictures using animations such as dog ears or crazy glasses.

Brands have inserted themselves into the conversation but creating timely ads that fit into their own personal filter. For example, Mountain Dew and the NBA teamed up during the NBA All-Star weekend and allowed Snapchat users to transform their head into a basketball. Although this avenue allows for brands to reach a massive audience, its cost is substantial. A filter can cost up to $500,000 (some up to $750,000 during the holidays).

With the social media landscape changing, so is how users are sharing and consuming content on those platforms. Today, 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter and More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day. The biggest challenge is how you can capture your audience’s attention in the first 3 seconds. We have seen Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter all investing in video to help generate engagement and build followers. According to Adaptly mobile, video is the number one fastest growing ad format in the world and has been doubling year-over-year. By 2020 video will make up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic.

mobile video graph

Social Influencers

Influencer marketing is not new, but it has become far more popular and widespread amongst brands. While influencer marketing in the past came in the form of brands using large budgets on a few, top-tier influencers (based on followers), we have since seen a shift in social media strategies. Brands are having more of an impact by building smaller, more numerous, brand advocate across the web.

Not only does the sponsored content appear more natural and native, but the relationship between brand and influencer is much more genuine than before. By seeking smaller influencers or industry experts, brands will find a higher engagement rate with their target market.

The key is to create relationships with influencers who have earned their influence through honest reviews and insights into their industry. You should look for people who have a real respect, trust and authority in your industry. The pitch from the brand is a genuine exchange of value. The brand brings authority and notoriety from the industry to for the influencer, and the influencer contributes their sincere endorsement to their audience.

40% of Twitter users claimed to have made a purchase because of a social media influencer tweet. This proves that creating these genuine connections can have a direct impact on conversions.

twitter influencers

Customer and Brand Engagement

The connection between brands and their customers has never been closer than what we are seeing today. Companies are realizing the impact of social media engagement with individual customers, and creating lasting relationships instead of just treating social as a platform to advertise their products or respond to complaints. It’s essential to keep your followers happy by providing a network where they can reach you.

Consumers want to engage with the brands they trust and love. Whether it be following them on their social platforms, including them in a milestone post, or sending them a message, there are countless opportunities for brands to respond.

A recent study found that 89% of social media messages go ignored. So how do you stay engaged in your brand receives hundreds or thousands of similar messages/requests a day? One way to deal with this is through chatbots. While chatbots were created to handle simple, monotonous tasks, improvements in technology have allowed them to become more advanced. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots can collect and analyze data, to deliver the most appropriate response. Chatbots can order your pizza, give you product suggestions, and even have full conversations.

To keep up with the demand for speed, efficiency, and user interaction, chatbots are becoming more widespread and are finding their way into everyday platforms. 60% of millennials have used chatbots and 71% say they would like to try a chatbot experience from major brands, according to Gartner.

The marketer must determine what social channels have worked in the past. Many social media trends are fleeting. Do you remember Myspace? They can be unpredictable. Trying to chase every single one would is difficult and likely detrimental to your overall efforts and ROI. The best thing to do is gather information during your campaigns, find the channels that are providing the most value, and stay the course!

Sara Carer is an experienced tech expert who established her blog, Enlightened-Digital, to share her passion with others around the Web. After 15 years in the industry, her goal is to bring information on all technology to the masses. Her philosophy is to create each article so anyone – whether a consumer or technology expert – can understand the content.

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