Social Media Strategies for 2016

Social media is a crucial component of a well-planned marketing strategy and it will keep online marketers busy in 2017 as well. The social media landscape is ever evolving and with new platforms being introduced every year, it has become even more challenging for businesses to stay ahead of the curve.

Here is what the social media landscape looks like at present:

  • 72 percent of the total number of internet users are active on social media – Jeff Bullas
  • More than 70 percent of (online) U.S. adults use some form of social media networking – Heidi Cohen
  • Brands allocated as much as $24 billion on advertising through social media in 2015, which will reach as much as $36 billion by the end of 2017 – eMarketer

It goes without saying that social media offers a plethora of opportunities for business. But in order to harness the powers of social media, you need to partner with a social media specialist, who can help you create a strong and well-planned marketing strategy. Not only small businesses or start-ups, even the big brands leverage various social platforms to reach their targeted audience.

For instance, Coca Cola is ranked as the best brand on Facebook with more than 96 million total fans. On Twitter it has about 3.2 million followers. Senior vice president of integrated marketing communications and capabilities at Coca Cola, Wendy Clark points out that, to become successful it is necessary to combine a number of media rather than focusing on one. Today’s buyers consume media through various devices – laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc., so it is necessary that marketers create a single and integrated conversation across all these devices.

Coca Cola has set a brilliant example as to how brands should use social media (along with other marketing initiatives) to create a stronger impact on their targeted audience.

To ensure you become a winner at social media marketing, here are 4 social media strategies that will help you.

 

1. Leverage Thought Leadership

Social media offers amazing opportunities for the brands to engage with existing as well as potential clients, but in order to harness the potential of social media, you must also engage with the influencers and bloggers. Partnering with people with influence has proven to be very successful and companies that adopted this strategy saw a great success (about 6-to-1 return in their marketing investment).

Recommendations from friends, family and social influencers are of utmost importance for today’s consumers. So you can position yourself as a trusted source of information in front of your targeted audience. The SEO consulting services would also recommend this strategy, since a higher trust factor helps a website to rank higher.

For example, Birchbox teamed up with leading lifestyle blogger Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere to help the Instagram followers discover the new range of lifestyle products and grooming tools. Jointly, both Emily and Birchbox promoted the May Box with five Instagram photos, which received more than 18,000 likes and reached over 550,000 consumers.

 

Birchbox inviting an influencer to their social strategy on Instagram

There are several other successful influencer marketing stories here that will inspire you.

2. Visual Content Still Rules

Visual content will still continue to be important when it comes to social media marketing. This means the brands should create interesting and compelling visuals such as videos (both short and long) for YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and graphics for blog content (infographics, charts, etc.). The visual content strategy must be an integral part of marketing strategy and the brands should engage where the fans are to be found.

New Balance got it right when they unveiled their 3D ads (in reality, it was a simple image edited to give a 3D effect). Even though there is nothing like 3D advertising the visual impact was immense on the followers. This kind of visual treat can help brands attract attention and connect with their prospects, especially the millennials.

Live streaming will also be effective for brands that want to put a human face on their businesses or show behind the scene scenarios.

3D visual ad by New Balance on Instagram

3. Leverage on Social Media Advertising

Social media ads are the best way to make people aware of new products, services or brands. If you have only been focusing on creating posts for leveraging the social media platforms and engaging people in conversations, now it is time to do a bit more. Paid advertisements on platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be very beneficial and the best thing, both the posts and ads can co-exist in harmony.

According to a report by eMarketer, 20 to 25 percent of people viewing an ad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, will respond by visiting the particular store or website on the ad. Among them, 14 to 17 percent took a step forward by making a purchase.

4. Employee Advocacy Programs

Believe it or not, a number of brands push their employees to share, like or comment (obviously good ones) to create a buzz about their products and services. Surely, employees can be the best advocates for your brand (who else knows your products and services better than your employees), but you don’t need to push them.

Involve your employees and create content that they will be compelled to share. This will generate product/ service publicity in the most cost-effective manner and will also help in improving trust for your brand. Even the big brands like IBM have used the employee advocacy program and benefited a lot.

 

Conclusion

Social media has immense potential and can act as the best marketing tool for your brand. So, by leveraging these proven tips you can propel your business to the next level in 2017. And if you have some other amazing tips to spark up your social media marketing strategy, don’t forget to share them with our readers.

Vivek Patel

Vivek Patel is a Local Search Specialist at E2M, one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies based in India committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing services to encourage and drive strategic and sustainable business growth. He covers local search optimization, link building tactics and Social Media Marketing Services..

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