What Social Marketers Should Do Differently on Social in 2018
It’s a new year which means new perspective, new plans, new strategies, new goals, and new brands. It’s an exciting and overwhelming year ahead. A lot of social marketers and brands are focused on transformation. But, in order to have a better year, we need to look at what happened last year.
In this blog what I learned from looking back at social media activities, engagement, and conversions in 2017- and how I am going to make a greater impact with these learnings in 2018.
- Our Audience Loves Learning from Top Brands
We share a lot of blog content on our social channels, it means we used social as a content delivery mechanism.
Takeaway: if your creative juices have run dry, take a look at what other brands and even competitors are doing. Whether your brand is in a different industry or not, you’ll be able to learn something. For example, a few coworkers love to Tone It Up, a fitness lifestyle brand. It goes without saying that Tone It Up is far from B2B SaaS industry that I work in, hence, I was able to draw inspiration from it. Like Have I piqued your interest? Follow the hashtag #NewYearSocial on Instagram and you will be in for a treat.
What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’m going to work with our content team and to make sure we focus on a blog post that name a company, explain why they are successful, and show how marketers can replicate this success. We’ll push these blog posts out more frequently on social, and every month I’ll be highlighting one of our customers who is killing it on social.
- We’re All Still Trying to Figure Out Instagram
Instagram is the social network that social marketers are trying to learn more about. Not only do blog posts on Instagram do well, but the Instagram blog posts that do well for us are pretty entry-level. Our top-performing Instagram posts define new Instagram metrics that marketers didn’t have access to in the past.
Takeaway: Don’t fall behind on this growing social network. Instagram has 800 million monthly active users, and it is becoming more transparent and optimizable with Instagram Stories metrics. We’re all familiar with likes and comments. But new metrics like tap-forwards, tap-backs, and exits have appeared. Now is the time to learn with everyone else. If you put off integrating Instagram Stories into your social strategy, you’ll be playing catch-up. This Instagram stories 101 blog post will help get you started.
What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’ll be putting more effort into Instagram strategy and running tests to determine which content our audience engages most with. For example, our most engaging posts of 2017 show off our culture (more on this later). But, according to Content Share Tracking, Instagram has one of the higher conversion rates for downloaded content.
- Different Channels, Different Audiences
You might be thinking, well, duh! But it’s important to know how audiences on each channel behave differently. Let’s take a closer look.
Posts with GIFs have the highest engagement for our brand. The Simply Measured Profile Analytics dashboard shows us our top posts by engagement. There are GIFs in 87% of these posts.
Takeaway: There are many reasons to include a GIF in your social posts. For instance, there’s the fact that GIFs have movement–compared to tweets with photos and only text, GIFs stand out. But have you ever heard of the saying, “show, don’t tell”? GIFs are the perfect way to do just that. The GIF is eye-catching and shows people we are talking about. The text offers more context and gets people to click through.
What I’m doing differently in 2018: In the past month, I’ve steered away from GIFs because I wasn’t sure if they were conveying my message completely, or if the amount of time I was spending to find the perfect GIF was worth it. Rather than searching for the perfect GIF for each tweet, which can be very time-consuming, as I browse social media, I’ll begin collecting GIFs as I see them.
Unlike our other networks, where we share blog posts, guides, and social news, we use Instagram to show off our culture. Turns out that people enjoy that! Thirty-four percent of our posts in 2017 have the hashtag #LifeatSM, but these posts account for almost half (48%) of our engagement. Not to mention that in 2017 we increased our Instagram followers by 34%.
Takeaway: People want to do business with people, not businesses. For this reason, it’s important to show the faces behind your brand. In this photo, we showed that one of ouremployees has been with us for six years, and that other employees are excited to celebrate with him.
What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’d like to start having employees do more Instagram takeovers. For example, our kickball team made it to the championships, and one of the players took over our Instagram Stories. We got an inside look at how our kickball team preps for each game and what happens in the dugout during the game.
Of our 20 most engaged posts, 13 were ads. Facebook is now a pay-to-play game.
Takeaway: If your organic content isn’t doing as well on Facebook as you would like, it might be time to put some paid content behind your efforts. And if you’re unsure about how to target, use other social channels to determine which pieces of content are worth putting money behind. Then create an ad and target the audience that is most similar to the audience you tested the piece of content on.
What I’m doing differently in 2018: When a piece of content does well on LinkedIn, I’ll work with my boss to boost posts on Facebook for that same piece of content.
People spend time on Linkedln to develop their careers. When a user visit Linkedln, he or she is ready to learn and grow. Posts with a table or chart average 58% more engagement than posts with a blog post feature image. With a chart, table, or graph, we are able to grab their attention and establish our credibility.
Takeaway: On LinkedIn, people aren’t intrigued by an image with a blog post title, even if it’s a good title. As a result, our audience on LinkedIn needs a chart, table, or graph to be intrigued by a post.
What I’m doing differently in 2018: I’m going to work with our content and design team to make sure each blog post has one table, chart, or graph we can share on LinkedIn.