2016 has arrived and it’s time to re-evaluate, revamp and/or replace certain business practices for the year ahead.
It might also be time to rethink your online presence and strategies―in particular, your social media marketing.
Forbes has some good advice for things you should stop doing in 2016 as well as new tactics to adopt:
5 Things You Should Stop Doing in Social Media Marketing
- Not tracking your links
It’s important to track your links in order to gauge the quality and success of your social media posts. This way, you can see how much traffic comes from individual posts as well as the quality of that traffic, and use this information to improve future content and its performance. You can track your links with a service like Google Analytics’ URL Builder.
- Auto-posting from Facebook to Twitter
This is one pet peeve of mine and is a very unprofessional social media practice. Each social media platform is different and suited to different audiences. Even if you use scheduling tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, and even if the content that you are sharing has the same message, modify it according to the platform. Don’t forget about character limits, image sizes/formats and even emoticons―which don’t work the same way on every platform.
- Not using correct image specifications or optimizing Open Graph tags
Most successful social media posts have a strong visual component to them (and for sites like Pinterest and Instagram, pictures are everything). It’s also true that most audiences are attracted to visuals more than text, audio, etc. This is why you have to ensure that your images have the correct specs, as well as optimize Open Graph tags.
- Talking at your customers, not with them
People tend to forget the “social” part in social media marketing. It’s one of the biggest social media mistakes that businesses make. If this is something you’re still doing, stop immediately and take a long hard look at your marketing strategy. Remember to use social media to engage with your audience: ask thoughtful, open-ended questions; contribute to existing conversations; and respond to concerns or complaints that others might have.
- Depending solely on organic reach
Especially when it comes to Facebook, you can’t just rely on organic reach to get your message out there to intended audiences. You need to promote/boost posts and use ads to a certain extent; and it doesn’t have to very expensive either. Choose posts that you feel are important to your business, or content that you think is great but didn’t get seen by enough people.
5 Things You Should be Doing in Social Media Marketing
- Engage with bloggers and social media influencers
This is not exactly easy to do, but start by reaching out to thought leaders in your area of business: ask them to write a guest blog, be an interviewee on your podcast, etc. Not only will they share that piece of content with their network, but they’re also likely to endorse your business. Most consumers like to read recommendations for companies by external parties.
- Start live streaming
If you’re looking for something interesting to try in 2016, I suggest live streaming. It is relatively new, which you can use to your advantage by being the first business in your niche to integrate it (correctly) into your marketing campaigns. There are downsides to this tool, so use it wisely.
- Social media advertising
Although organic traffic is always best, social media ads have their place and can be really useful to businesses. Use targeted advertising to reach new customers and spread brand awareness. Allocate some of your marketing budget for times when, for example, you’re running special competitions or if you have new resources available such as a white paper or free ebook.
- Offer deals or promotions
Customers and fans love deals, discounts, giveaways and promotions. From experience, I know that having these kinds of offerings now and then really expands your reach and strengthens ties with existing consumers. Whenever possible and suitable (like a Christmas special), create some incentives for your current audience, which will in turn attract new ones.
- Begin employee advocacy campaigns
What better way to promote your business than to do it from within? Your team can be your strongest brand advocates. Of course, you have to treat your employees right if you want them to be loyal to your company. Incentivize your people in order to get them to (willingly) advocate your business. It’s a win-win for everyone.
What social media marketing plans do you have for 2016?