The one constant about social media is change, so it’s a good practice to step back once in a while and ensure that your company’s strategy is still current and effective.
As we enter the second half of the year, it’s time to take stock in the social media strategy that was probably developed in late 2017 or early 2018. Is your company up to date on all of the social media platform changes? Do you know what’s working and what’s not?
I asked 10 social media professionals to name “the ONE thing that marketers must do this year to stay ahead of the curve in social media,” and here’s what they said:
“Marketers need to understand that social media algorithms will always favor over brands. With that in mind, they must also understand that influencer marketing is about community and fostering advocates from that community. They need to not only understand the community better, but also better engage with it in order to generate more word-of-mouth marketing for them in social media. Influencer marketing is, therefore, not a campaign but an ongoing effort to influence social media communities that are essential for brands to be heard — and trusted — in social media.” | Neal Schaffer, Author of The Business of Influence
“The one thing marketers should be doing to stay ahead of the curve is to build communities. It’s all about people! People are getting sick of automation and being sold to; we want real experiences and real humans to talk to. When you create a loyal engaged community and reward them by surprising and delighting them for their loyalty, then those people will always share your content and feel part of your brand’s journey! On Twitter in particular it’s easy to build communities by creating a Twitter chat at the same time every week. Use hashtags and encourage people to use Twitter video. Build communities, then take those online communities to an offline setting. Create an event that adds value to them and watch the magic happen.” | Samantha Kelly, Founder/CEO of the Women’s Inspire Network
“The one thing brands must do in social this year is understand that the balance of power is shifting from company to consumer. Brands must find a way to change the messenger, as social content produced and distributed by ‘real’ people not only often gets more algorithm-driven reach, but performs better on persuasion and activity/engagement measures. Find a way for your customers, employees, partners to become your best and most consistent social content creators.” | Jay Baer, Founder of Convince & Convert
“I think a detailed audit of what’s working and what is no longer working is in order right now. With limited resources and time, it’s appropriate to let the under-performing projects go to make way for new opportunities. Too many marketers attempt to ‘do it all,’ at the expense of doing what works. Exciting new opportunities with IGTV, bots, video won’t go away. There’s no huge rush. But if you or your team have bandwidth, then dive right in.” | Michael Stelzner, Founder of Social Media Examiner
“The one thing that marketers must do this year to stay ahead of the curve is to go all in on video and/or live video. This can be IG Stories, IGTV, Facebook Live, Twitter Live/Periscope, YouTube, YouTube Live or whatever else comes out. The landscape changes almost daily but the objective is the same. Get seen and heard using video. According to a study by Forrester, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth 1.8 million words.” | Madalyn Sklar, Host of the #TwitterSmarter and #SocialROI chats
“Marketers must embrace social video as participatory content. Create meaningful interactions with video content that allows the community to feel included. All businesses are in the business of trust and there’s no better way to build trust at scale in an authentic way than leveraging video.” | Brian Fanzo, Founder/CEO of iSocialFanz, LLC
“Video is likely a recurring theme of this round-up, and the hottest topic these days is ‘Stories,’ whose creation and consumption is up 842% over the last two-plus years. According to consulting firm Block Party, by the end of next year, Stories are expected to outpace Feeds as our primary mechanism of content creation. Every marketer should be thinking of an effective, sustainable and human-first Stories strategy — especially on Instagram — before it’s too late.” | Chris Strub, CEO of I Am Here, LLC
“Beginning right now, marketers need to appreciate that traditional advertising and marketing are becoming extinct. In just the past 20 years, the global advertising market of all print media has been surpassed by Facebook and Google. The gap grows bigger each day. Artificial intelligence and voice will be the gateways to a new buying process. Understanding this new digital and social dynamic will allow smart marketers to position their clients for future success.” | Mitch Jackson, Trial lawyer at Jackson and Wilson and expert on social media legal issues
“If you want to stand out in an over-saturated market where customers have the paradox of choice, I recommend a surprisingly simple paradigm shift for marketers. Shift from hyper-transparency to utter simplicity. Today’s marketers are burning out trying to create tons of content to educate and inform customers. However, the customers are overwhelmed and reaching out to contact centers for assistance. Millennials want simple, personal, friction-less interactions. The answer? Partner with customer experience teams in your organization to eliminate complexity and advertise the simplicity of working with your brand. This works brilliantly for brands like Apple.” | Frankie Saucier, Host of the Socially Supportive Podcast
“As always marketers need to put the customer first. The foundation of a social media strategy remains ‘listen and respond.’ Understand what your customers are saying across social about your brand and competitors, then respond to every query, every time, on every channel. This should now be table stakes in 2018 but sadly it is not the case. If the foundations aren’t there, don’t worry about the shiny new stuff. Active and genuine listening is an underrated skill set.” | Adam Fraser, Founder of EchoJunction
Feature Image Credit: A phone with a Facebook logo. (Photo illustration by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)