It seems like every week our favorite social media platforms force us to change something — adapt to a new layout, update settings, or agree to new terms & services. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s take a look at how the social scene in 2017 shook things up in big ways.
- Facebook Stories happened and, in October, we learned Facebook was rolling out an option to cross post Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories.
- LinkedIn stepped up its game for B2B brands by adding lead generation forms to the LinkedIn Advertising platform, letting users claim an offer with one click.
- One of influencer marketing’s favorite platforms, Instagram, incorporated a “paid partnership” tag with the intention to enhance transparency for users to easily distinguish sponsored content.
- LinkedIn, again making waves, included its own native video abilities answering the prayers of B2B marketers everywhere.
- Twitter dominated social media headlines in November 2017 by doubling its character limit from 140 to 280.
As we’ve officially put one full month of 2018 under our belt, it’s time to take another look at our resolutions we set coming into this year. Let’s start by reviewing our 2018 Social Media promises to ourselves to see what progress we made in our first month of the new year.
Committing to organization with your social media means being intentional. Don’t post just for the sport of posting something. Think quality over quantity to give your followers a reason to keep coming back each time you share.
Planning out social media content requires thinking through content that drives results. Ask yourself:
- Why is my business on social media and what am I aiming to achieve by being there?
- What value does this content bring to the person reading it?
- Is this content relevant to the goals of my business?
- What has driven engagement and results in the past?
Using monthly or quarterly content calendars are great ways to plot out a timeline of content to ensure a consistent presence and timely messaging. Calendars can help you organize how to share the same content on multiple platforms with strategy instead of generic copy and pasting. Calendars can also include deadlines to ensure timely creation of valuable and engaging content. In the end, a little upfront time and effort can smooth the social media processes.
In an age where the general population’s trust in businesses and media have declined, authenticity is a driving force behind the success of any social media presence. It’s a common saying to have “one consistent voice” for your brand, and while brand standards and consistency are important to overall best business practices, one voice can make social media feel a bit stale.
Done correctly, being active on social media is an opportunity to show your followers who you are and what you’re doing instead of talking at them. Edelman’s Trust Barometer Global Annual Study measures employee voices on social media to be trusted by 16 more points than the voice of a CEO. What does this mean for your business’s social media? Empower your employees to be built-in brand ambassadors for your business. Take it a step further and encourage your customers to join the conversation. Sharing genuine stories online not only displays your company culture, but reassures consumers in the early stages of the awareness funnel that you’re a real and reliable company.
Remembering that at its core, social media is a conversation—not a billboard. Meaning, participate in conversations and respond to people who call you out, don’t believe you, or just don’t have anything super nice to say.
“We posted a link on LinkedIn to a blog authored by an employee with a powerful story and a powerful photo to go with it. It was one of our most commented-on blogs of the past year because she poured her heart out. One of the comments on the LinkedIn post was something to the effect of, ‘I hope this person isn’t a model. I see so many companies doing that.’
As the brand, I was ready to jump in and comment (because that’s what we do)—but I didn’t have to. The employee popped in and said ‘Nope, I’m real!’ Then her network popped in and said ‘Yes and she’s awesome.’ And we earned trust in ways we never really planned for.”
Collins’s example is a great reminder that it’s the conversation that happens after the post is published that develops relationships and trust for a brand. Instead of using social media with a solo voice, empower your tribe of followers, employees, and customers to be a chorus of voices sharing a consistent message: you’re real and you care.