It’s that most wonderful time of the year, where everybody puts on their visionary hats and tells of their predictions for the next year. While the philosopher in me knows that the only thing I truly know is that I know nothing (and if all the other prognosticators really had the future in hand, they’d be on their Wednesday private island) in the foretelling spirit, I have to join in.
So, without further ado, the 5D’s for Social Media Success in 2015: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge. Umm…wait, that was Dodgeball…I knew there was a reason I picked C.
As the cliche goes, the only constant is change. For social media in 2015, that definitely holds true. Changes to news feed algorithms, changes to content types, changes in what social networks to use – a lot of change. But, if you stick to the 5C’s, you should “C” success in your social media marketing next year.
Content – Yes, this theme was true in 2014…but Content holds an even higher place with the rules coming into effect with Facebook’s stance on promotional content started in January. If you haven’t seen the notices, take note…Facebook has clearly stated in January, brands who put up promotional content in their feed will feel a smackdown to their dwindling organic reach. In the eyes of Facebook, if you want to sell, advertise. Develop content that engages, informs and leads to people wanting to learn more about how your brand fits into their life.
Capturing – At Smync, we really, really try to eliminate the military terms of marketing. People don’t want to be targets or be part of a campaign. They don’t want to be captured, either…but in this case, coerced doesn’t sound any better. The people in your social media community are only going to see and interact with a very small amount of the content you create and share. The key becomes how do you direct them to a place where they can see more and engage more in a space you own – email, your website, an online community – then share with their friends and trusted circles back in the social community? Finding a way to capture their attention and captivate them in an experience where you have a little more control over the experience can provide countless benefits.
Conversion – social brand advocates and enthusiasts provide a great, sustainable community that branches out and benefits every element of your organization…but there is still room for paid media. However, when using paid social media, your goal should be simple – convert. If you’re advertising, focus on efficient creative that gets the message across and drives clicks. When they get to landing pages, have them be converting machines…whatever the end result should be. What you shouldn’t do – at all…ever – is promote posts simply to increase visibility, engagement or build follower counts. Convert to sales, convert by getting an email address, convert by downloading a white paper. Don’t put dollars into a post just because of a 1% uptick in likes, so more people should see it. There are better ways to grow engagement and reach.
Conversation – people want to be engaged by brands in the same manner they want to be engaged by celebrities or athletes. You can argue about the validity of humanizing brands, but I know when my favorite bike brand responds to a post I made or a comment on a thread, I feel momentarily special. Yes, you do too. So stop broadcasting and start building the conversation. People are far more likely to talk about brands they feel a connection to, and the people they speak to are far more likely to trust their friends than a brand’s ad or content, so the effect is multiplied.
Community – ignite your brand’s best social connections and let them become a community. Let these people get the inside scoop on special things with your brand, ask them for thoughts, provide a two-way experience, but most importantly…let these people with a shared passion for your brand become a community and share their experiences, excitement and ideas with like-minded people. Certain things we all want to feel – special, included and knowing there are others like us.
The great thing…you don’t have to focus on all 5. And if you remember that it’s all about people – conversation and community – you’re almost all the way there.