Social media is an unavoidable part of everyday life now, and modern marketing professionals need to know how to navigate social media appropriately. With the New Year bearing down on us, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your social media resolutions for 2019. Think about your social media use over the past year and determine the areas that need the most improvement, and consider the following tips to help refine your social media success in the future.
Stop Overusing Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get your content in front of a wider audience talking about a current trend, but filling your posts with multiple hashtags is a good way to turn off your audience. Simply put, too many hashtags looks desperate. When a user sees your post riddled with half a dozen hashtags, he or she will interpret this as you attempting to get as much attention as possible by trying to ride the coattails of trending tags.
It’s also important to balance your hashtag use by platform. For example, you can get away with using more than a few on Instagram since platform users are generally accustomed to seeing multiple hashtags in any given post. However, on a site like Twitter where character count is rather limited, too many hashtags just looks clunky and robotic.
Refine Your Auto-Posting Settings Across Platforms
Social media marketing generally means juggling your presence on multiple platforms at once. Auto-posting services are a great way to ensure each new piece of your content arrives on each of your social media profiles, but some auto-posting functions can be cumbersome and unintentionally drive traffic away from your content.
Instead of using auto-posting tools that may condense your posts in unnatural ways, consider using a service that allows you to post simultaneously to multiple platforms with customized messages for each. For example, you may want a simple lead-in to your new content on Twitter with a hashtag or two but a longer, more robust post on your Facebook page.
Don’t Spread “Fake News”
Internet hoaxes are increasingly common, and some professional sites have fallen into the trap of posting “news” without fact-checking. Political implications aside, posting fake stories destroys your credibility and ultimately makes you look foolish in front of a large audience. Remember, the internet never forgets, and the second you post such a faux pas, there are likely dozens of users archiving and screenshotting your mistake. Ultimately, never share any news stories on your social media profiles without first verifying the stories are legitimate.
Start Live Streaming
Modern audiences treasure authenticity and relatability. They want to engage with brands and figures that resonate with their values and preferences, but ultimately they want to engage with people, not faceless companies and logos. Getting real in the moment is a great way to generate excitement and discussion around you and your brand. Live streaming may not work for everyone in every niche, but your following may enjoy a change of pace even if live streaming isn’t your typical shtick. And if it isn’t, a successful live streaming may inspire you to make streams a regular part of your social media content and open the door to new ways of engaging with your audience.
Field User Feedback Appropriately
Internet users can be surprisingly thoughtful and incredibly harsh. It’s important to learn to separate the legitimate comments and concerns from the trolls, but it is equally important to temper your responses in general. If you are a business owner managing your brand’s social media profile, you must realize that every single post and reply you make reflects on your brand and has the potential to reshape how your audience sees you.
No one enjoys receiving negative feedback, but social media marketers must realize the opportunities that negative feedback can present. Respond to negative feedback promptly and professionally. If you only respond to positive comments then your audience may start to believe you simply ignore criticisms regardless of their legitimacy.
Track Your Engagement
Any marketing effort requires some sort of metrics analysis. You need to be able to track the success of your efforts so you know what type of social media content works for your audience. Keep tabs on the number of reactions and shares your posts receive and see if you notice any actionable trends. For example, if the first live stream you tried received poorer than expected engagement levels, this is a sign you should refine your live streaming technique or consider a different approach. If a particular type of content fares better than expected, this should encourage you to produce similar content in the future since it resonates with your audience.
Don’t Jump on Every New Trend
Some of the most popular social media marketing profiles have gained tremendous followings and stellar engagement metrics because they know how to capitalize on passing trends. Wendy’s and Arby’s are two great examples of social media marketers engaging with modern audiences in a relatable way, but that doesn’t mean their winning formulas will work for everyone. Remember, just because there is a lot of buzz around a certain topic or trend does not mean that your audience wants or needs your input or take on the subject.
Before sharing any type of content related to a new trend, think carefully about whether your input is relevant and valuable to your following and their interests. Additionally, make sure your message aligns with your brand and values or you risk turning off core members of your following.
Steer Clear of Political Discussion
Unless your brand has some political niche or affiliation, there is no good reason to partake in online political debate. The current political climate on social media is incredibly polarized. No matter what your feelings are personally, or as a brand, about current political issues, making public political statements will undoubtedly cause more harm than good for your brand’s online reputation. Again, unless your brand is naturally political, your audience is probably coming to you for a bit of relief from the tense political atmosphere on social media, and probably doesn’t want to hear what you have to say about current political discussions.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve your social media marketing success in 2019. Remember, making improvements to your marketing campaigns on social media requires consistent effort, testing, and adaptability. Take these social media tips into 2019 and develop your own resolutions for increasing your brand’s reach and engagement in the New Year.