If you are drawing up a social media marketing strategy for 2019, here’s how you must treat each of the popular platforms. Content is King: The cliché never goes out of fashion. Your audience does care about you if you are of any help to them.
A decade and half ago, when a Harvard grad created a website to rank his peers on their hotness quotient, a new era of social networking was born. It evolved into what’s fondly called as Facebook by over two billion people today. It shortened the six degrees of human separation, let people join communities, share opinions, discover news, and even changed the political landscape of nations, including developed, developing, and those considered as oppressed.
Of all the changes it brought about, the way brands used it for marketing was profound, it enabled marketers to have dialogues with their audience. A brand or business owner of any size could have a two-way interaction with their customers and prospects, run polls, develop apps and games, create promotions to excite and enthuse audience – all at no cost.
Everyone ‘Liked it’, but that was all in the past.
By late 2014, Facebook’s organic reach for brands hit a rock bottom; this was a necessary tweak in their algorithm. After all, who would want to come to a social media site which is dominated by branded ads that intervenes your inquisitiveness to learn about friends, family and the world at large?
By 2015, it became strictly pay-to-play for brands on Facebook. Want to reach your audience? You got to boost your post. Need more Likes? Buy them, and so on.
Facebook even owns Instagram, a visually compelling social medium and WhatsApp, a messaging app for private chats. Each one of them touches millions of people’s life every minute. While Instagram has advertising solutions available for brands similar to Facebook, WhatsApp is a different game altogether.
If you are drawing up a social media marketing strategy for 2019, here’s how you must treat each of the popular platforms:
Content is King: The cliché never goes out of fashion. Your audience does care about you if you are of any help to them. Strive to create original content and host them on your own website, not on a social media site. Even an intern can set up a blog section on your website. Additionally, if you have 100 euros as your digital marketing budget, I would suggest you spend 80€ on hiring experienced writers who can create non-plagiarised, original content for your website.
Amplify content on social media platforms: Pick one or two social media sites based on the context of your business and disseminate the original content you created on your website on those sites. It is really simple to pick social media sites. If you are a B2B business, pick LinkedIn and Twitter. If you are a fun, casual, or cool B2C business pick Instagram. If you are a mass brand, stick to Facebook.
Resolve customer queries: The internet generation is impatient, and they don’t appreciate being put on hold on your customer care number. Use Twitter effectively as a CRM tool. It can save you time, help address your customers’ complaints without having to bore them with the lengthy ticket rising process.
Does social media help in better SEO? Short answer, no. Long answer, maybe. Google’s search algorithm has evolved faster than what marketers can grasp. Any link shared on social media has a ‘no follow’ tag, which tells Google’s crawler not to treat that link as a backlink, which usually counts for the increasing ranking.
But if you share your content on social media and people discover, read and re-share, it helps in creating more organic traffic on your site, which again signals that your website is a good one, which helps it bubble up in search results on Google.
Should you run Ads on Facebook and Instagram? Running ads on any digital platform today is same as one another aka Direct Marketing. What really matters is to be definitive about your marketing objectives (awareness, consideration, or sale), and then choosing the media vehicle (newspaper, digital, radio, PR, etc.) to reach and persuade the right audience.
Summary: Create content worth consuming-whether text, audio, or video format is secondary. If you are just getting started, earmark 80% of your digital marketing budgets to creating high quality, original content that is useful and relevant to your audience.
By Sreeraman Thiagarajan (first published in Economictimes.com)