Tina Courtney-Brown, February 2, 2014
Social media is now the single most popular activity on the web. According to a Fast Company article on social media marketing, 93 percent of marketers use the top platforms to reach their intended audiences. Chances are, you’re one of these marketers or entrepreneurs.
Social media is just like any other aspect of the web; dynamic, multifaceted, and extremely fast paced. While some trends, like rockstar content creation, are evergreen and always in fashion, other strategies come and go as fast as a 140 character Twitter tweet.
Want to be on the cutting edge of social media strategies this year? Then start adapting the ideas below, if you aren’t already. Coupled with stellar customer service efforts and that aforementioned killer content, these marketing tips can help you get ahead of the social media curve in 2014.
Play Up Your Snafus
Acting graceful under fire is one of the single most effective ways to engender more brand loyalty. Acting defensive and angry is a surefire way to go down in flames. Social media gaffs happen – and if they happen to you, don a sense of humor and call out the elephant in the room. It just may have a wonderfully positive effect.
Use this tactic only when appropriate, however; it’s astounding the number of companies that still try to use humor at times that are simply not laughable. Most mistakes are benign though – like posting an incorrect price, date, or otherwise erroneous missive. If this happens to you, make lemonade; call out the blunder with bravery and aplomb, and your customers will take notice in a good way.
Tie-In Campaigns to Current Events
Social media campaigns that directly reference hot trending topics are genius, and growing in effectiveness. Holidays have always been an easy seasonal target, but expand this view point by weaving in current events with your marketing messages. This takes craftiness and fast-action, however; and please, choose your events wisely. They need to have some reference to your business or industry, and for heaven’s sake, please don’t use public tragedies to try and get more Likes or retweets. MSN, I’m talking to you – this company has been guilty of using celebrity deaths to try and garner more social media fandom. The moral here: use the latest world news to guide your campaigns, but by all means, keep it classy.
Become Obsessive about Quality
The adage that more is more is no longer remotely applicable in the social space. Firing off a dozen tweets a day that are vaguely interesting or self-serving is hardly a tactic that will win over your audience. Instead, be passionate about premium content.
Premium missives equal updates and campaigns that are unique, interesting, current, and truly of value to your audience. You already know not to incessantly post about your company as a sole tactic; incorporate a dedication to high quality content into everything you post, and your numbers will reflect this commitment.
Integrate Real-Time Social Apps into Your Sites
Don’t just think of social media advertising as something you do in your social channels. Adding real time twitter feeds and Facebook stats into your own content brings a myriad of benefits. It keeps your customers current on your latest news, it entices them to join the conversation, and it keeps search engines happy via fresh and dynamic content. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but comb through the huge library of corporate sites out there and you’ll see the majority are still missing the boat on social integration.
Be Daring and Be Creative
You aren’t going to create a blazing social media campaign by playing it safe. The beauty of internet marketing is the real-time opportunities to test ideas, assess successes and failures, and to switch things up whenever we deem it necessary.
Never rest on your laurels and play it safe. What worked for you last month will likely not continue to produce the same results; if you aren’t willing to spend time being creative and exploring multiple channels, you aren’t likely to see the results you seek.
Remember that content is your best friend in the social space, and this should guide the bulk of your unique marketing angles. Write, shoot, or produce stellar content (blogs, videos, audio content, etc.) and let those pieces guide your updates and tweets. Statistics continue to prove that social sends with images, links, videos, and audio links have astronomically higher response rates. Make sure you are creating stellar content, and using it to your highest advantage in the social scene.
Make Friends with Your Metrics
Finally, if you’re not obsessively tracking your social metrics, you’re missing the truth about your campaigns. Modern tracking solutions are epically detailed these days, and many help to summarize and analyze complex data in a palatable, easy to digest fashion. These numbers are your friends, no matter what they are communicating. It’s no longer a luxury to simply launch social missives and casually watch the results. You need to be granular about analyzing data, and spend time each month digesting the reports. Without this due diligence to the details, you risk repeating mistakes and missing the signs of a big win or epic fail.