The world of social media marketing used to be simple.
You found the people you wanted to target, created an appealing profile page with lots of pictures and videos, made sure your site was optimized for search engines, and leveraged influencers’ endorsements via retweets.
Then millennials happened.
“For all our advancements in technology, that’s still what most companies do,” said Vivian Carneiro, assistant professor of marketing at Columbia Business School. “But millennials are different.“
Millennials were born into a connected world where they’re constantly being marketed to on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat-you name it. They’re more guarded about revealing too much personal information, and they’re turned off by “pushy” marketing tactics.
So the advice from 2020 is to take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Instead of focusing on how you can use social media as a platform to sell your products, think of how it can be a place for conversation between you and your customers. Then build a strategy based on those principles. If you do, people will love following your company online-and they’ll likely come back for more.
Consider these best practices when marketing your
brand in 2021
1) Don’t keep all your content inside one channel
It’s overwhelming for consumers. Mix up the types of posts and make sure you’re aligning the tone and language you use. For example, don’t post a picture of your products on Pinterest with an assertive caption for selling purposes. Instead, try drawing out the story behind the photo with some text to enhance it.
2) Personalised content
Customers are more likely to share content that’s personalized by their friends’ names being included in posts-but be careful not to come off as spammy or creepy. It might feel weird at first, but if everyone is doing it then consumers will too.
People want authenticity in social media marketing campaigns, so ditch your boring press releases and find ways to connect through storytelling
4) Keep an eye on social
Keep an eye on emerging social networks where consumer conversations are taking place.
5)Add visuals to your posts
Rich imagery can increase engagement by up to 80 percent, and videos are great for giving customers a quick look at what you’re selling instead of requiring them to scroll through wads of text.
6) Give your audience a reason to engage
Just because millennials are used to being marketed at, it doesn’t mean they like it-or that they tune out the ads as much as older generations. They might even be more susceptible than others to advertising if companies give them something genuine in return for following their brands online, Carneiro said. What does that mean? Give ’em free stuff or exclusive deals! Reward them for their loyalty, but don’t try too hard…because nobody likes “salesy” marketing.
7) Have a presence on other platforms
Social media shouldn’t be the only place your brand is active online, so focus on increasing engagement through other platforms too. Consumers want to see that you’re engaged with them everywhere-so don’t just post pretty pictures and wait for the praise to come in. Reply to comments, ask questions, start conversations, and give people a reason to interact with you by making it fun! As Carneiro said: “Don’t let social media become yet another advertising channel.”
8) Don’t forget mobile
In 2021 more than half of all Internet traffic will come from smartphones or tablets, which means that whatever goes out into cyberspace lives forever on someone’s device-you never know who’ll end up seeing it.
What does that mean for your company?
Social media marketing can seem pretty daunting because of all the different platforms out there: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat…yikes! But remember: No matter where you’re posting or what time of day it is, people are usually scrolling through those feeds looking for something interesting to pass the time .
Think about who might be on the other end of whatever you’re publishing and ask yourself: What would they find interesting-and why should they care about my brand? Once you know that, it’ll be a lot easier to develop some good marketing practices so people want to follow your business online.
The first step is to do some reconnaissance on those social networks. Some may seem like better options than others, depending on what you’re selling as well as consumer habits. It’s common knowledge that millennials are big Instagram fans , but there may also be more opportunities on newer channels such as Twitter’s live videos or Snapchat’s brand stories . Then build a strategy based on those principles. If you ‘re a local business, post on Facebook with a focus on reaching people in your actual vicinity. If you’re a tech company, creating Twitter-exclusive deals will probably get you more attention than you ever thought possible.
Once that’s done, it’s time to start building an engaged following . One of the most powerful things about social media is how easy it is to connect with others across the globe…but how do you stand out from all the noise ? The answer: Create original content for each platform. Do you want customer testimonials? Quick videos? Memes? A Pinterest board full of pretty pictures and witty captions? Whatever works! Just remember: Users spend an average of just 15 seconds browsing their feeds, so keep them interested!
It’s also important to think about your brand’s voice. Are you fun and sassy or more professional? You need that information to write the kinds of posts that people will actually look forward to seeing and spread across their social circles. If you’re not sure how it all looks, ask yourself: What kind of content does my business produce in real life? How can I translate that into something online?
Once your strategy is set and your audience is engaging with what they see ( don’t forget about hashtags !), focus on building a community. Interact with them by liking and commenting on their posts, joining conversations about their interests, and asking questions that’ll spark discussion (including some tough ones). For example, if you’re trying to appeal to Millennials, ask them what their biggest complaints are about your product or industry. They’ll get the conversation started, which will hopefully attract even more people just like them.
Social media marketing is all about tapping into what other people want (or need) and giving it to them so make sure your strategy ultimately reflects that! Now go out there and spread the word!
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