The past few months have been huge for social media marketers. Algorithm changes, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and GDPR have shaken up the way that marketers use data and reach social media users. As social media evolves, marketers and businesses find new ways to target an audience and place appropriate content on their social media news feeds. Not all of these tactics catch on immediately, so stay ahead of the game and learn what could be the new exciting feature of tomorrow. If you haven’t checked out the following social media tactics, you may be missing out.
Ready to build your social media marketing strategy? Make sure you have crucial elements like a plan for monitoring your reputation and a social media crisis plan.
Whenever Facebook changes its algorithms, marketers and businesses roll their eyes. Recent changes have prioritised family and friends over business accounts. This is great for users who don’t want to see advertisements, but a pain for businesses who are trying to build a community and reach out to their customers through the world’s largest social media platform.
So how are businesses and marketers reaching individuals with content that they want to see? Facebook groups. Groups allow businesses, influencers, and marketers to foster a community of potential leads or customers.
Examples of groups on Facebook are “Female Digital Nomads,” “Launch Your Marketing Career,” or “Superstar SEO.” All of these groups contain individuals throughout the industry who want to get together and learn from each other. Other successful groups, like “Dogspotting,” are less formal. Dogspotting is a Facebook group that allows users to post pictures of dogs. Through the group’s expansion (the group has over 996,000 members,) administrators have been able to develop a brand and sell products directly on the group.
As group members post and have discussions, administrators can link the discussions back to their business or brand. Team members have a spotlight as administrators, and the more engagement your group gets, the more of an opportunity you have to put that spotlight on your business.
Facebook groups are not as easy as you may think. Groups that expand to thousands of followers often have administrators and moderators that work tirelessly to make sure that the group members are following the rules. And yes, there are rules. Individual accounts often try to infiltrate groups with spam or even “troll” users. When trolls get out of control, the group is no longer enjoyable for members.
The purpose of Facebook groups range from sharing funny content to discussing marketing tactics or industry secrets. You may be a part of some Facebook groups already. If you listen to a podcast regularly or follow a television franchise, chances are you can find a Facebook group directly relating to your interests and the content you consume.
If you are having trouble getting the engagement you want from Facebook, consider starting a Facebook group or dedicating time to moderate a Facebook group run by a partner or colleague. Administrators and group founders have the most control over the groups they create, but even part-time moderators often get the chance to reach members directly.
Before you create a group, ask yourself the following questions:
- What questions do buyer personas have about their industry?
- How would buyer personas identify themselves?
- What groups would buyer personas recognise as relatable and useful for their lifestyle and job position?
- What Facebook groups currently exist that cater to similar needs? How can we separate ourselves from this group and provide a unique experience for users?
You can read more about creating an exciting and beneficial Facebook group on Inc.
We have written a whole blog post on Instagram Shopping for small businesses, so we will keep this one brief. Businesses can do more than just display photos of their products on Instagram. Instagram Shopping allows businesses to give followers the opportunity to buy their products on Instagram, without even leaving the app.
If your business is on Pinterest, you can set your pins up in a similar fashion. Connect your Shopify or BigCommerce accounts to Pinterest and create Buyable Pins. When a Pinterest user sees a pin that they want to purchase, they can view the price within the pin’s description and put it in their shopping cart with just one click. If you are using Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, consider the ways that you can sell your products directly on social media.
Ephemeral content is content that disappears after 24 hours. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all provide users the opportunity to create “stories” that viewers can engage with for a short period of time. Fifty percent of businesses on Instagram are posting stories…are you?
Instagram is currently the king of stories, even though Snapchat pioneered ephemeral content. On Instagram Stories, brands can engage with users by:
- Tagging their location
- Using hashtags to become part of a larger story
- Creating a poll
- Posting copy rather than visual content
- Adding a link for users to visit via a swipe
- Going “live” and live-streaming an event or announcement
Instagram users can also directly post their Instagram stories to Facebook. If you are including Facebook or Instagram in your social media strategy, you should consider combining your efforts and adding content to both platforms simultaneously.
Since ephemeral content comes and goes so quickly, businesses have to be quick to recognise great times for creating ephemeral content. In addition to live streaming big announcements or events, stories can be used to:
- Give followers a tour of your office
- Show followers who is working behind the scenes
- Promote local businesses and partners
- Distribute content and draw attention to specific landing pages
Do not forget ephemeral content in your overall marketing strategy. Whenever you are planning an event or creating a new piece of content, ask yourself, “how can we integrate this into our Facebook or Snapchat stories?” Get in the habit of adding new blog posts, products, or updates to your ephemeral content. When the time comes, you won’t be hitting yourself on the head wishing you had thought about creating a live story earlier.
If you have updated your Instagram account recently, you might have noticed a television button up in the top right corner of your feed. This is IGTV, and it’s Instagram’s new long-form video feature. Brands have yet another opportunity to record and share video content with followers. Videos can be up to an hour long. They can be shared in direct messages; users can find IGTV “channels” by searching through personalised recommendations or popular content. Build a popular channel now and benefit as more and more Instagram users take advantage of this cool feature.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
We all remember how quickly Pokemon Go took the world by storm. This type of augmented reality (AR) technology is quickly making its way into mainstream social media platforms. We already see it with Snapchat. Users can add filters onto their faces and add animations to friends and family in real time. Instagram and Facebook quickly followed. Facebook users can also view pictures posted by 360-degree cameras. Businesses and content creators are no longer limited to a 2D form of storytelling; if they want to give users the ability to experience an event, they can put them in the center of the action.
If you have the budget to invest in equipment and resources that can produce AR and VR content, it’s time to make some purchases. Learn how to use this equipment and produce content as Facebook begins to roll out more AR features. Once you get a handle of producing this type of content, you can expand to your website, other social media platforms, or even a specialized app that gives consumers and exciting and unique experience with your business.
Building a Social Media Marketing Strategy? Reach Out to Digital Squad.
Before you can create Facebook groups that boost engagement or produce an IGTV channel, you will need a basic understanding of social media marketing strategy and how your buyers interact with different platforms.
At Digital Squad, we marry our knowledge of content marketing and search engine optimisation to create a social media strategy that reaches the right users. Social media, content, and digital marketing strategies have a lot in common. They require proper planning, market and keyword research, and a strong ability to read data collected from each.
We look at each of these steps with our clients and thoroughly create a strategy that includes all of these key elements. Our in-depth knowledge of inbound marketing and the Google algorithm contribute to our ability to understand where buyers go as they make purchase decisions and how they behave online. We put your content in the right places and on the right platforms. As we gather more data, we adjust and enhance your conversion rates and overall strategy to help you surpass your marketing goals.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.