8 Essential Social Media Tips for 2016
That’s right business people, it’s time to think about where social media can take your business in 2016. Like it or not, Social Media is an essential element of modern business and marketing your company is set to become even more socially focused. I have drawn together some essential tips that will see you jumping ahead of the competition in 2016.
- Get Snap Happy
2015 was the year Snapchat exploded thanks to Kylie Jenner and a whole host of Irish bloggers. Despite the fact that many international brands like MTV had taken up shop on the quick-fire social app, Irish brands have been reluctant in putting their brand on Snapchat. That was until Waxperts and Cocoa Brown took to their phones and started snapping like crazy; the result? Even more exposure and valuable relationships for these two soaring Irish Brands.
If you want to reach out to your target audience, Snap chat is definitely where you ought to be. Why does it work? Because it feels like you are getting some behind the scenes action on a top brand; take Penneys for example, they have been snapping sneak peaks of their upcoming ranges. This is the kind of inside info people want to see on Snapchat.
- Reach out to bloggers
In the age of Social Media, Bloggers are fast becoming huge purchase influencers and this is one thing you do not want to miss out on. When you hear someone saying ‘Oh I’ve seen loads of people talk about that’, chances are those people are bloggers plugging their favourite new products until the cows come home.
There are plenty of bloggers out there that will promote brands for a fee, but if you would rather generate some genuine reviews of your products there are many others that will review your product in exchange for a positive PR relationship and a sample. With a lot of hardworking part-time bloggers pulling in 1000s of views on their site every month, this is an excellent way of reaching out to a new audience. Just don’t forget to screen your bloggers before offering out some products; statistics and audience profiles will help you determine whether or not they are reaching out to your ideal market.
Another tip; keep track of who you are connecting with and be sure to support them as much as they support your brand; it’s a two way street.
- Be open to broadcasting
There is no doubt that you have already heard of meerkat and Periscope, well now it’s time to get on board with it.
These live broadcasting social apps are a fantastic way of promoting your company; provided you have something interesting to say of course. Broadcasting from events, showcasing live webinars on a valuable subject and live streaming product launches are all clever ways of generating interest in your brand. It takes the snapchat methodology to a whole new level. Real-time connections are on the rise and having more of an impact. Granted, at the moment Social Media’s elite are currently the only ones to be found on Periscope but there is no doubt that its popularity has yet to peak. Definitely one to watch for 2015.
- Embrace Social Buying
If you run an e-commerce site and you haven’t embraced Social Buying then you will need to add it to your agenda for 2016.
Pinterest is your first port-of-call; in 2015 they introduced buyable pins which allow you to add a price and an e-commerce link to your pins, making it easy to track conversions from pinterest. More importantly, it makes it easier for users to purchase the item they are adding to their ‘to buy’ or ‘lust haves’ boards, rather than dreaming about buying them.
Social buying will also be headed for YouTube with announcement that they will be introducing a ‘buy now’ feature on their ads, while Twitter, Instagram and Facebook already lean in on this territory with their URL advertising.
- Give in to Social advertising
Speaking of advertising on social media, it’s time you gave in. Social networks are businesses, just like yours, and they need to make money, just like you. Social Advertising is going to hit its peak in 2016, and you better get used to it.
I’m predicting that advertising is going to be more targeted and flexible from mid-2016 onwards with the likes Facebook wanting businesses to get more value out of their advertising. It’s nothing to be sniffed at either; you might have over 12,000 likes on Facebook but how many of them are genuinely interested in your product? Social Advertising enables you to specifically target those who express an interest in similar brands, talking subjects that relate to your business or have even spoken about your brand. Go for it! As little as €100 a month into Social Advertising and you will see an enormous difference.
- Use tools to get ahead
There is a whole world of useful tools that can help you get ahead when it comes to Social Media marketing. Start with scheduling tools; Hootsuite is where it’s at. If you want to save time, optimise your social output and ensure that you are consistent in your social posting, you need, and I emphasise ‘need’, Hootsuite. In my working life I have used several scheduling tools, I’ve gone without them and I have found that Hootsuite is the most dynamic yet simple to use tool, and it cuts time spend on posting on social media by hours. Sold? Thought so.
Other tools you can use to up your Social Media game include Canva.com, an easy design tool that will help you to put a little oomph into your social images and Crowdfire, which helps you to connect with a relevant audience.
- Visuals and Videos
Over 40% of people are visual; that’s the official statistic but I think Social Media has made it so that more and more people are responding to visual content.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts all perform better when something visual is included. Think images that pop, textual graphics and of course, the daddy of them all, videos. Particularly with Facebook, videos are an excellent way to get your brand seen.
Facebook favours pages that post videos using their native system and 2016 is set to see a rise in this trend. Quality is not hugely important; make it interesting, make it humorous if you can and make it quick. Snapchat videos on Facebook work really well so you don’t need to double job. Not everything you snap, be selective.
- Humanise your content
People have become somewhat desensitised when it comes to brands; we respond to people as opposed to a logo. Why do we buy certain brands? Likely because of the celebrity you saw wearing something similar, the image attached to it, the friendly face of the product, and the warm tone behind the marketing. Ultimately, what makes us buy things or associate ourselves with a brand is the human element of it. We care about how we are perceived (whether or not we are willing to admit it), we want to feel important when we are a business’ customer. Both of these things are accentuated the more we become absorbed in digital media.
How can you do this? It’s not easily done; first off, Customer Service is key. Make your customer’s feel valuable, ask them for feedback, and brag about it! The more you build yourself up as a brand that cares about its customers, the more valuable customers you will get. Second off the block is you or your team. Who is behind your brand? Who is putting the content out on Social Media, who is processing my order, who is making the jewellery I’m buying?
Lastly; what kind of person buys your product or uses your service? If I’m buying Jewellery, for example, I want it to stand apart from the designs I can pick up for €4 in Penneys. I want it to reflect my personality and I want it to be a talking point, and so do you – “where did you get your necklace?” – another sale right there. So how are you going to reflect this in your Social Media output? You’ll share images of your customers wearing your pieces, take pictures of models wearing your creations to reflect the kind of image you and your customers want to exude and you will develop a tone that is in keeping with this image.
Take these tips and run to a more successful year on Social Media in 2016. If you need further assistance with your marketing contact emarkable.ie for a free strategy consultation – Tell them dolledup.ie sent you!