The social marketing world only continues to grow – and get even more social. That’s the good news for brands and companies that want more ways to engage authentically with their tribes. That’s also the bad news when it comes to sorting out which social marketing platforms deserve your attention because they’ll pay dividends.
Use two guiding principles when deciding which social media sites and tools hold value for your company:
Here are some key social marketing trends gaining steam and some of the social media sites (other than Facebook) where they’re prevalent.
Just a fact about Facebook: It’s analysis of live streaming found that people watch live streams 3x as long as recorded video. Everyone is watching more online video, including live streams. The millennials lead the way in producing their own live stream content, with 42 percent reporting to have done so. That makes video and live streaming prime opportunities to inspire awesome user-generated content.
What platforms to focus your video and live streaming: Instagram is a strong player with 80 percent of its accounts following a business. Since it’s owned by Facebook, it’s no surprise that it’s live stream functionality expands as things get tested on Facebook. Instagram recently announced people can now share live streams with other users.
Other social marketing platforms to maximize your video game: YouTube – still the largest search engine after Google (its parent) and Twitter.
Recent LivePerson research of 4000 millennials from all over world found that 70 percent of them prefer digital communication, primarily chatting, to in-person communication. Snapchat is the millennials and tweens perfect storm, mixing chat and image together. Over three-quarters of college students use Snapchat, so if that’s your market – you to be here. With new functionality like augmented reality filters, 60-second multi-snap video and location sharing features, it’s a great tool to amplify local, IRL guerilla marketing tactics with social marketing technology.
Another chat app to look into include: WhatsApp, which operates on both mobile and desktop, synching the same account across both platforms, and allows you to send slideshows and video.
A key component of any social marketing strategy is listening. Listening to what your market is saying and what questions they’re asking. Hearing how they talk about their needs, wishes and challenges. It’s good substantive marketing intel that helps you keep your personas current. Social listening is also critical to understanding the language they’re using, so you can leverage that same language back to them.
Great sites for social listening: Start with Quora, a crowd-source Q&A platform. Whatever problem your product or service is solving, or whatever dream it’s making come true – someone is asking about just that problem or dream on Quora. They’re also asking very specific purchase questions to read unofficial buying guides from self-appointed experts. Even better – Google indexes Quora pages. That means if you provide a detailed answer that generates a lot of upvotes and responses, that page can come up in the Google results of people who aren’t even searching Quora for an answer.
Another valuable social listening site is Reddit. Reddit has a bit more of a wild west feel and the community prides itself on the being the place where viral content gets its start. It thrives on anonymity, but don’t try to sneak marketing by them. Redditors will sniff that out and they will not be pleased. Use it to read what others really feel and say about topics relevant to you. Reddit does have a paid ad program if you want to proactively market to this group.
Whichever social marketing sites you move to make sure you have a clear plan and strategy for being there. That will ensure you don’t waste your time either on sites that aren’t a fit for your brand or by doing the wrong things on sites where you should be. If you have any questions about this article or would like to strategize together on a strategic social media marketing plan, contact us today.
David Sahly has spent his entire career working with organizations of all sizes to come up with practical digital media strategies that work. Before founding Above the Fold Media, he worked at Search Engine People as the Senior Manager of Business Development. He has his hands in every part of the marketing development strategy and is passionate about watching businesses thrive.