Armed with our trusty Scriba notepads and an appetite to learn, a few of us from the team recently travelled to Cloth Hall Court in Leeds for an insightful session into the world of social media for business.
From the moment we entered the building, we knew we’d made the right decision to attend. Not only were we greeted by friendly staff, but a coffee machine was also conveniently placed outside our room!
Joined by others from a wide range of sectors – including a swimming school, web design agency and firearms distributor – we met our course tutor, Sarah, who outlined what she had in store for us. We quickly realised it was going to be a fast-paced and informative day – we couldn’t wait!
So, here are our key takeaways…
The first thing we looked at were the top social trends to look out for over the next 12 months – as well as reflecting on ones from previous years and how they’ve evolved.
For example, the rise of influencer marketing tactics has certainly changed the way we purchase online. Nowadays, an increasing number of celebrities use their own social media platforms to endorse brands and products to their followers. And this has resulted in ‘traditional’ marketing tactics becoming less popular than before.
So, as well as harnessing the power of peer influence in 2019, video is also a key content medium to have your eye on. We found out that by 2020, over 75% of social content will be video-based, meaning there will be more demand for dynamic, more ‘authentic’ content. We know that people respond best to people, so it makes sense that live streams and videos with relatable, emotive topics are going to be used more by brands over the coming months.
Another hot topic at the moment is instant messaging chatbots – a method that’s becoming a predominant form of modern comms, especially as a customer service tool. For example, companies can create private, automated messages that are more likely to be read by users than if they saw them pop up in their news feed.
The humble hashtag deserves a quick mention too. By now, we’re all accustomed to how this icon works and why it’s used, but while it was originally only used on Twitter, it’s worth noting that – as of late last year – it can now also be used on LinkedIn posts in the same way.
For anyone posting social media updates on behalf of a firm, content calendars are a useful organisational tool that can aid you in managing and keeping track of upcoming posts. Whether you choose to use a pre-made template or simply create a Google calendar, this can be used to not only plan the timings and platforms you want to post on, but to also input the national, regional and industry holidays relevant to your business throughout the year.
Having this information all in one place will provide you with a source of inspiration to create your baseline content. This will make the prospect of posting regularly less daunting and will also help you regulate how frequently you post and what topics to cover.
Also, if you’re someone who struggles to find the time to post, try using one of the scheduling tools available on the market – a great free one is Hootsuite.
Analysing your results
Creating content is one thing, but you need to know what’s working – and what isn’t – so that you can optimise your posts for maximum engagement! That’s where your social media analytics tools come in.
Delving into data and producing reports on your organisation’s social activity can feel like a daunting part of the whole process, but in truth they are very simple and nothing to be scared of. And gaining insights like these are handy for demonstrating the impact of your posts, as you can measure the reach, engagement, plus any followers you may have gained.
So that you’re not overwhelmed by numbers, it’s recommended to analyse your progress monthly. And when you’re examining the stats, it’s important to refer to the SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound – goals you set out at the very beginning of your content journey.
This will ensure you’re always hitting targets and improving interactions, enabling you to achieve maximum impact moving forwards.
Exploring paid advertising
Social media advertising is a popular tool used by businesses, as it’s a great way of interacting with and reaching out to your target audience. But did you know that before you go down the paid route, it’s crucial to try your ad as an organic post? This is so you have something to compare against your paid-for results at the end of the campaign.
Also, before you start, we found out that creating a ‘buyer persona’ is vital for maximum effectiveness when it comes to ROI – you even have to give them a name! This will then help you stay focussed with your copy, imagery and ensure they’re in line with your objectives.
Additionally, it’s advised to always set a budget for your campaigns, otherwise you could end up spending a lot of money unnecessarily.
We hope that some of these tips will prove useful for you in your social media journey! We’re certainly excited to incorporate our new learnings to our roles – not just for our own social media, but also for clients!
By Luci, Amy & Paige