5 Social Media Tactics That “Should”​ Be Foundational In Your Marketing Plan

foundation

“Make this brochure go viral”

I work with many brands and small businesses including fortune 1000 companies and it amazes me how many of them still don’t have the basics right when it comes to their understanding and prioritization of social media. They treat social different than all forms of marketing and many of them still value traditional platforms over social even when it’s counter productive to their business objectives and budgets. One of my favorite quotes from Vaynermedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk is “don’t fall in love with how you make your money.” This even applies to ad agencies. The consumers attention has shifted. The SMART PHONE is the new TV. Meaning it’s the primary way people stay connected and consume content. Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Youtube are simply the ABC, NBC, MTV on this form of distribution. This shouldn’t scare you. You should embrace the change and learn how reach your consumers where they are NOW focusing their attention. Learn from history. Mass media changes changes and you MUST adapt like our ancestors did when word of mouth went to print, print to radio, and when TV came along marketers learned how to use that for of distribution. Many companies have already paved the way and are creating tactics that should be part of your companies foundational social media strategy. These tactics are tried and true and should be applied as the foundation of your marketing strategy.

1. Social Media Paid Ads – Social media is not a free marketing platform. It costs to staff people to monitor it, or hire an agency, it costs to properly create content and execute strategy and it also cost to get your content in front of the right audience. You wouldn’t pay an agency to design a Billboard and then not spend money to purchase billboard space. The same principal applies to your social media content. Don’t waste time creating social content and than not pay to get your content in-front of the right audience. It’s also important to understand the incredible targeting of these social media platforms. They have incredible data and behavioral mapping that gives you the most efficient and affective way to reach an audience. These ads are efficient and accurate. Of course there is still plenty of value and ways to execute to get strong organic reach and engagement but many of your conversion campaigns or larger efforts will need some for of financial support. For smaller businesses this means you may have to carve out a budget to support your business. Instead of running quarter page ads in the local newspaper, try running Local Awareness ads on Facebook or Instagram.

Take away – Make sure you’re allocating a sufficient portion of your budget to achieve your business objectives with social media ads. 

2. Influencer Strategy – Back to my point that Facebook, Instagram and social channels are the new TV networks. That means influencers are the top shows on those networks. They’ve mastered the content and built an audience. Just like buying ads on the top TV shows that own your demographic you want to work with the influencers who own your audience. They don’t have to be the largest … working with 20 mid ranged or smaller influencers that own your audience vs. 1 HUGE influencer may actually give you better ROI or campaign results. Be flexible. Test and learn but understand this is now a foundational strategy your company should be practicing.

Influencer marketing is the best weapon of any sophistical social media marketer. Right now it’s undervalued and converting for those of us in the know. If you’re in the B to C space especially E-commerce you better act fast because this strategy can literally turn your brand into a player in a very short time. It’s the true form of word of mouth on steroids. Influencers not only expose your message to their large, highly engaged audiences but they also organically grow your own social media following giving you more opportunities to expose people to your story and content. If your an old school media planner that used to buy a lot of print. People read and follow influencers like they used to read their favorite lifestyle magazines. Now instead of subscribing to the WSJ… they follow Warren Buffet. Instead of buying Muscle and fitness, they follow Brandon Carter. Instead of reading Ad Age, they watch content by Gary Vaynerchuk. It’s a simple but natural evolution of your consumers attention.

Take aways – Influencer strategy should be a foundational element of your overall social media strategy. Don’t over think it. Reach out to an agency that specializes in it. Remember there is no perfect influencer only those who own a percentage of an audience that is relevant to your brand. Quantity and quality both matter. 

3. Instagram – “I don’t think my audience is there yet”… COME ON! Instagram is the 2nd largest social network and it’s owned by FACEBOOK! It’s 2017 people and your company should have some presence on Instagram. If your company is trying to reach 12-18, 18-35, 35-55 … you need to be on INSTAGRAM. Social networks age up quickly. Remember when your mom and dad said “they’d never be on Facebook!” Welp they are there and they are the fastest growing demo. 55+ is the best people to market to on Facebook because they actually take their time and go through their feeds and they aren’t as sophisticated with social media so they ACTUALLY click on ads. The point I’m trying to make is that Instagram is here to stay and you need to have a strategy to grow your accounts and reach your demographic. You can even run Instagram ads straight from Facebook’s powerful ad platform. And if your doing tactic number 2, influencer strategy, than Instagram is most likely the best network to execute on. Instagram functions much like print did in 80’s and 90’s. Use it as your companies branding and highlight real. Tell your story and get moving before your to late. Remember it cost more to play catch up with social media than it does to be a first mover on an emerging network. I know you think B2B social marketing is happening primarily on linkedIn (sarcasm and eye rolling) but your wrong. People are using direct messaging on Instagram as a primary point of new biz communication.

Take away – Start executing on Instagram right away. Whether your in the B2B game or the B2C game you need to be playing on this platform.

4. Live Video – One of the best Hacks or ways to dominate in 2017 is using Facebook, Instagram or any other form of live video. Right now in Facebook live video is prioritized in the newsfeed. Meaning this is the time to capitalize on the advantages you get from being a first mover in this space. This is a powerful and simple way a brand or local business can market to their audience and tell their story. If you’re a restaurant, you could live stream your chef cooking the special of the day. Barber shops could live stream a cool haircut. The opportunities are endless. You can do this all from your phone in a very informal manner and maximize your results. Once your live stream is over, it can live on the your timeline and you can boost it to your audience like any other video ad. This is a very powerful platform. Here is an example of a local entrepreneur taking full advantage of Facebook live.

Take away – Live video is a key player in your 2017 strategy. Experiment and learn how to best tell your story with this tactic.

5. Community Management – It still amazes me how many businesses still don’t prioritize community management in 2017. This is the ultimate way to earn a touch point on the path to purchase and more importantly to build a REAL emotional connection with your consumers. This is the difference between good social media strategy and GREAT SOCIAL media strategy. I’ve seen so man brands execute incredible buzz worthy social campaigns and than never engage with their followers or people mentioning their brands once the campaign is over. Make sure you search your brand on social and build connections. Ideally your goal should be to try to engage with every single person who mentions your brand. Good or bad their are always honest and caring ways to communicate…at the very least you can use this feedback to make well informed decisions on how people perceive your business.

Take away – Make sure your prioritizing your community management in 2017.

I hope this article truly gave you some things to think about. If you found it helpful in any way please share it. That helps me know you want me to keep creating this type of content.

2017 is going to an exciting year for marketing.

Kip Russell

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