By Chris Norton, the founder of Prohibition PR and multi-award winning social media marketing expert,
We all know social media is here to stay. We also know it now acts as an important marketing and sales tool for the majority of businesses. But, as with any fast-paced industry, keeping abreast of the constant updates and changing trends is no easy task. Despite this, most successful businesses in the digital age have a common theme, and that’s their ability to flex and shift according to the needs and wants of their online community.
Whether a B2B business entrenched in technical and nuanced procedures or a consumer facing company purely focused on selling product, embracing social media trends to improve business results is now key for many businesses. Chris Norton, founder of Prohibition PR, advises the key trends to adopt as part of your social media strategy moving into 2020.
Employee Brand Engagement
Over the last few years, many brands have used this simple but effective method of creating social brand ambassadors with current employees. This could be anything from sharing and engaging with your brand’s content to publishing thought leadership pieces and participating in interviews for industry publications. As an article in Harvard Business Review put it; “employee brand engagement establishes a critical link between employees and customers”. Obviously, the further up they are in the hierarchy, the more impact this is likely to have; a CEO will probably have a larger audience than a lower-level worker for example. But regardless, demonstrating a human face to your brand in a world congested with AI, AR and VR hold huge value.
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Targeted ads are becoming more and more popular with brands. Every industry imaginable is setting aside budget for highly targeted social advertising. The key aspect here is the detail; key audiences and demographics can be reached in a few clicks with the content of your choosing. Everything from location and engagement with your page to lookalikes and niche interests. If applicable, life events like weddings and Christmas are always a sure-fire way to get results.
There is also scope for avoiding criticism as you can even exclude people with certain interests which is a very handy tool for avoiding negative comments on your ads. A meat focused company for example, may wish to exclude vegetarians or vegans from their audience targeting.
Repurpose High Performing Content
Creating high-quality content can help your brand achieve various goals including, increased website traffic, improved online presence and better brand reputation. Therefore, it’s important to maximise your content that performs the best. Everyone strives to create ‘unicorn’ content and if you manage to do so, repurposing it is an obvious option. However, ‘unicorn’ content is only likely to happen every so often though, so it is best practice to look at the top performing ‘standard posts’ for more regular content and maximise the performance of the best performing posts.
There’s no hiding place in the age of social media. Complaints and negative comments are in the public domain for all to see. Many users will pose customer service inquiries straight to social media as they see this as a chance to get an immediate response. Generally, it is better to be responsive than ignore this aspect of social media. According to an article on Freshsparks.com, 53% of users expect a response within the hour and on Twitter. Practicing this automatically puts your brand at an advantage from a business perspective from those who don’t. Ignoring criticism often attracting more, and countless instances where brands have actually gained plaudits for responding to derogatory remarks.
Use Social Listening Tools
Social listening tools can be an extremely effective way of getting to know what your audience wants in terms of social content. There is a plethora of tools and software available; Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Awario to name a few. All of which can gather and analyse data from the social sphere, giving you valuable insights, thus enabling you to create up to date and relevant content for your audiences. You can find related phrases and streamline your campaign accordingly. As a blog post on Hoostsuite states, social listening tools allow you to “Tweak your strategy in real-time.” This ensures you are adaptable and keep up to date with ever-changing audience demands.