Looking back. Moving forward

Social Media and Other Best Practices for 2018 Marketing

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Have you noticed it? That small, nearly imperceptible sliver of light around 5:07 pm?  Here in the deep winter of Syracuse, the days are slowly but surely getting slightly longer.

Daylight.  More of it every day. Hope delivered in a few extra rays of sunshine.

I can’t help but look forward as the days get longer, thinking about the year ahead. It’s exciting and challenging to anticipate what’s ahead for our business; and how we will incorporate changes into 2018.

More than any other change, social media influence is rocking the world of marketing.

Businesses of all sizes and types are embracing social platforms to stay relevant and reach their customers. Even the oldest, largest and most stoic of companies,  (check out GE here) have active and engaging social media accounts. Does yours?

As you anticipate the year before you,  here are a few Marketing Best practices to help you stay on top of what’s new in marketing this year - especially with social media.

Getting better at social media in 2018 means knowing a few things like......

1.     Customers provide businesses with ‘social proof’ - Posting customer comments and reviews is smart. Why? Because today, people pay attention to what others say more than what a business says – customer comments give the ‘proof’ that other potential customers want to read before making a buying decision. As a business owner, be sure to respond to comments and reviews, then share in social so more people get to see what others are saying. Conversations that takes place online goes a long, long way to build interest with today’s consumer.

2.     Video and Photos Posts are a must. Visual posts are hundreds of times more likely to get attention than non-photo posts. And the higher the quality, the more engagement. (Engagement = when people like, comment, share, follow, etc.) Posting your own photos are best; stock photos work well too. For professional looking posts, use Canva or PicMonkey for free.

3.     Live Video is HUGE!  And getting bigger all the time. Mobile devices, (aka smart phones), are driving the rise in mobile video. You’ve seen them – first on Snapchat, followed by Instagram Stories and Facebook Story. Facebook, in particular, is promoting the Story/Live Video platform organically capitalizing on the tsunami of activity with smart phones today. Don’t be afraid to try live video out -remember, practice makes perfect.

4.     Your Online Personality Shines Showing your business personality is a no-brainer, regularly offering your best ‘online self’ on social media sites.Use conversational language and post photos of the places and people in your business world to gain the most attention fast. Consumers connect with back stories, inside scoop, and everyday clips of life as you know it.

5.     “More” Posts are Out, Fewer Posts are In Facebook recently changed its algorithms to continue its emphasis on favoring personal posts over business or brand posts, with a goal to increase conversation between people. That means businesses posting lots of content to be ‘seen’ will no longer be seen. Actually, excessive posting by brands will be penalized by Facebook algorithms because they are now favoring content between individuals, not those from business. Facebook business page owners need to focus more on creating high quality ads, and fewer posts with organic (unpaid) content.

6.     Your Website and Social are Friends Don’t underestimate the importance of a 'simple to navigate, interactive, mobile friendly' website to seamlessly connect social to your business. Social media sites exist to start the conversation, get people friendly with you, and ultimately send them to your website. You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating - your website is the center of your business presence today. People will judge if your website is outdated, and quickly click elsewhere if they can’t get to you on their phone (mobile), if they struggle to find information (simple navigation), or if they can’t quickly connect (interactive). If your website is more than 5 years old, it is likely hurting your opportunities to build business.

 

Staying up to date with trends and practice in social media and all forms of digital marketing is a never ending process driven by technology. Yet, it all leads back to human interaction - a phone call or email that starts a conversation that can lead to business. Staying focused on what's new and changing is a practice we all need to follow.

 

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