So you have a corporate Facebook account. Welcome to the party. Oh, you are adding Instagram next year? Great. Now, what do you do with it? As expected, many companies now realize that their content strategy is either non-existent or stinks.
It gets worse when you realize that many users are now turning to one-to-one communications, such as Facebook’s Messenger, Snapchat and What’s App that are text/video driven and away from most current social media ad strategies.
Social Media Growth is Slowing
According to eMarketer, Pinterest use is up 15% since 2012 to 31%. Instagram is up from 13% to 28% over the same period and has more than doubled in adult usage. Facebook is up 5% in three years. LinkedIn is up 5% and Twitter is up 7%. While growth is slowing in usage in favor of private messaging, there are still opportunities for engagement. Here is an example. eMarketer reports that brands are seeing a 108% growth in engagement on Instagram in just one year. Meanwhile, engagement is up just 32% on Twitter and 27% on Facebook.
Content for Engagement
With growth on social media sites slowing, companies are focusing on generating better engagement. How do you boost engagement? You understand your existing social media audience, decide if there are other new demographics you wish to reach, then build a content strategy that interests your current and hoped-for new followers.
Real content strategies involve a written document that identifies the target audience, benchmarks from analytics on what kind of posts perform best for engagement, and topical editorial, sweepstakes, games, etc. One objective is to encourage organic sharing of content by users (e.g. win a $20 gift card when you tell a friend about what you will do with the $20 at our store).
The realities of today’s social media environment also require native advertising on the social sites. Projections are that companies will increase their content marketing and native advertising budgets by 59% and 46% respectively by 2017. While compared to traditional media social media advertising is pennies, you still want to spend wisely. Think through your targeting strategy and focus your dollars minimally at first to measure the response before you commit additional dollars.
Remember, it’s not about having your company on social media, it’s the content and strategies that will make it work.