2018 was a big year across all social media platforms. To put it into perspective, Facebook grew by 30%, Instagram gained over 200 Million new users, and the number of social media users in total worldwide increased by 13% between 2017 and 2018. With all that growth, it’s no wonder that every brand and business is now focused on how they can take their Social Media game to the next level in the new year.
We’ve put our heads together, did our research, and came up with our top 4 tips for what you can do to ensure your 2019 social media strategy crushes the competition.
1. Review Your Approach
It may sound obvious, but your first step is taking a step back. You need to understand what your strategy was in 2018, what worked well, and what you want to improve before you can start playing with fun new tools or creating new content. Start with these questions:
What platforms did you use, and what was the goal for each?
Using any social media platform should serve some sort of wider goal for your brand – is it story telling or brand building? Conversions? Click-throughs to your blog? The next question is, did they serve those goals well, and will they continue to do so in 2019?
What platforms are driving traffic to your website?
The last thing you want to be doing is pouring hours of effort into a platform that drives no traffic to your site. Look at the analytics for your website to figure out what platform is driving traffic, and then re-prioritize your efforts. Allocate more time to creating content for that platform, and at the same time review the content on other platforms to figure out why it isn’t driving traffic to your site.
What do you struggle with most?
Whether you’re a small team with limited resources, or a team of 50+ with all the resources in the world, you can still face similar struggles when it comes to social media. For a small team, it might be finding the time to plan, create content, and schedule content every week. For a large team, it might be a case of “too many cooks” and too many tools complicating the process.
Think about what it is that you struggle with, and spend time crafting a solution that will make things in easier in 2019. If you can’t figure it out on your own, consider contacting an expert for a social media audit.
What are your competitors doing?
Your competitors provide invaluable insight into what you could be doing on social media. It’s not just about competitors that are doing well, but also those who aren’t performing as well as you might have expected. Look at their content, when they post, the captions they use, etc. and determine what the best practice will be for your brand.
2. Focus on Customer Service
Ever heard of the term “Social Customer Care”? It’s one of the many new phrases being coined to describe the growing trend of people using social media as a form of customer service. People are increasingly turning to contacting brands and companies on social media with their questions and concerns – 80% of consumers use social media to engage with brands, and 54% prefer using social messaging channels for customer service over phone or email. On top of that, consumers who receive prompt, helpful replies on Twitter are willing to spend up to 20% more on the brand they’ve contacted.
With all those impressive stats, what can you do to make sure that Social Customer Care is at the top of your priority list?
Develop a Customer Care Process
You may already have a process for dealing with inquiries over email or phone, so it’s time to adapt that to social media. Create a structure, FAQ, and guidelines for anyone dealing with inquiries over social media, starting with how to address a customer, then how to escalate the issue internally. It might look something like this:
- If inquiry is covered by FAQ: Respond to customer with the appropriate answer
- If inquiry is not covered by FAQ: Respond ASAP letting them know we’re dealing with their inquiry. If appropriate, ask for order number and email address.
- If issue is related to an order yet to be dispatched, check in with Fulfilment Manager.
- If issue is related to an order already received, ask for further details and discuss with Production Manager.
- Determine effective solution with appropriate manager and respond to customer.
3. Experiment with Video
For the last couple of years, every social media marketer has proclaimed that video is the king of creative content. That won’t be changing any time soon, so if you haven’t started experimenting with video content, then make 2019 the year you begin to.
You don’t need to start with a full production crew and fancy equipment; a decent quality cellphone camera and some good natural lighting can be your first step into the world of video. The most important rules to follow are to keep it visually bright and interesting, and tell a story. That story can be as simple as “Check out this new product” or “a quick behind-the-scenes look”. Make sure that your story isn’t an epic though – try to keep video clips under 30 seconds.
4. Pick the Right Tools
There are hundreds of social media tools out there that can do all sorts of different niche tasks. It’s easy to get swept up and start using the most recent hyped up tool only to find that it makes your life more complicated. Tools are only useful when they’re used as part of a wider strategy and achieve a specific goal. What they’re not good for is a quick fix to a bigger problem.
If you followed our first tip and have identified areas you struggle with, do some research about different tools on the market that might help. Review a few different tools and find the balance between price, ease of use, and additional features you’ll find useful. Once you’ve completed this task and have identified a tool you like, try it out for a month to see if it’s making a difference to your workflow. Make sure you give yourself and your team enough time to become acquainted with the new tool, and ask for their feedback on a regular basis. If after a month you find you’re not entirely happy, look at the reasons why and then perhaps try a new tool, or a different approach to your problem.
We reckon it’s going to be another big year for social media, and by following these easy tips you’ll put you and your brand in a fantastic position to grow on your chosen platforms, and gain loyal followers and customers along the way.