Just a few short years ago, business owners could post to Facebook a few times a week and count on plenty of activity: new visitors, likes, and followers.
Today, the social media landscape looks vastly different than it did just a few short months ago. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media platforms changed and tweaked their algorithms to prioritize different types of posts and content. Each day offers updates, innovations, and changes that affect not just who sees your social media posts but how frequently.
Social Media Popularity by Site
The Pew Research Center lists the four most popular social media sites as follows (ranked in order by popularity). The percent of U.S. adults who say they have ever used each site:
- YouTube – 73%
- Facebook – 69%
- Instagram – 37%
- Pinterest – 28%
Among the sites in the list above, Facebook remains the most frequently visited, with three-quarters of Facebook users checking the site one or more times a day. Pinterest appeals primarily to women, while LinkedIn appeals to senior level business leaders.
Basic Rules of Good Marketing Still Apply
Although social media is a relatively new opportunity for advertising, the basic “best practices” of marketing still apply:
- Know your audience: Understand the demographics, psychographics, needs and questions your target audience has about your products or services. Choose the platforms they frequent and engage a digital marketing agency who can create social media strategies that appeal to them.
- Set your goals: What do you wish to achieve with your social media marketing program? Do you want to gain followers and build a brand? Gather leads? Sell products? All of these goals are possible, but knowing which one you wish to accomplish helps you target your campaign effectively.
- Develop a strategy: Your social media marketing strategy helps you chart the path to achieve your goals. It helps you position your business against the competitors and make a plan that’s consistent and focused.
Lastly, knowing the trends affecting social media caps off the three basic rules of good marketing by helping you understand new tools at your disposal to reach your audience.
Understanding such trends and choosing the most effective ones for your business can make a big impact.
Trends Affecting Social Media Marketing
- Video: Video has always been popular, but all signs continue to point to it as a leader in the realm of social media content. Both video stories and live events receive priority in Facebook news feeds. Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook, also rewards video content.
- Chatbots: Chatbots aren’t just for websites. Advertising and customer service chatbots are becoming increasingly popular on Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and other messaging platforms. As newsfeeds continue to fill, platforms find new ways to engage users and offer valuable services.
- Post-to-purchase: If you run an ecommerce business, then look to Pinterest and Instagram, where a picture is worth a thousand words – and dollars. These platforms now offer the ability for people to click the social media post to purchase the item. It’s a great way to use images to sell products on sites where images tend to be shared easily and frequently if they appeal to your target audience.
- Visual formats: Visual formats continue to change so that they look best on mobile devices. This includes adjusting for both mobile and desktop.
- Changing algorithms: Social media properties continually update and change newsfeed algorithms, favoring certain types of content, including paid advertisements, over regular updates and posts. Each site has its own algorithm; it can be challenging for the average business owner to keep track of the continual updates.
Social Media Marketing Requires a Professional Approach
The social media marketing landscape continues to change as public tastes change. For example, another evolving trend is the insistence by users on privacy. Concerns abound around the topic of data use, image sharing, and more on social media sites.
To keep up with all of these changes is a full-time job! Dashboard Interactive provides social media marketing as part of its suite of digital marketing services. We create, develop, and execute effective social media marketing strategies to achieve your goals and maximize ROI.
If you would like to speak with someone about your social media marketing needs, please contact Dashboard Interactive at 763-242-2454 .