Most marketers understand that social media is no longer a fad. Pretty much everyone has their eyes glued to social media. Basically, social media is where people are now and offers further reach potential than television. Let’s look at some stats I pulled from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”:
- 71 percent of the U.S. population is on Facebook
- One in five internet page views is a Facebook page
- Half a billion people are on Twitter
- Half of all social media users check their feed at least once a day
- One in four people say they use social media to inform purchasing decisions
Social media has changed the marketing environment profoundly and very quickly. For example, it took 38 years before 50 million people gained access to a radio. It took television 13 years to reach that milestone. Instagram took only a year and a half to achieve those numbers and it continues to be the most widely adopted social media platform with almost 30 percent of the U.S. population now using it.
More profoundly is the fact that social media is now almost entirely mobile. In fact, in late 2015 it was reported that smartphone penetration reached 77 percent in the U.S. Contrary to popular belief, this transcends younger users. Even the boomer demographic is wielding mobile devices like tablets to increase its social media consumption by more than 42 percent in one year. That is to say, social media is everywhere and it is not just young people using it.
So, what is a marketer to do? If you are like most marketers, you have had varying results with social media. You know you need to use it, but you have not had the success you want. Here are some tips on how to fix that:
- Don’t be annoying
This the No. 1 rule of social media, and content marketing for that matter. People use social media to keep up with friends, family, news, jobs and, yes, even brands.
They do not want to be overtly bothered by brands shouting sales offers and simply talking about themselves all the time. A great rule of thumb for Facebook and Twitter is a 70/30 rule. Roughly, 70 percent of your content should be value-added content that your personas would find informative, relevant and interesting. Then 30 percent of your content can be promotional that links to your site, offer or blog.
- Each platform is different
Facebook is not Twitter.
Instagram is not Pinterest.
Each social media platform is different. So, posting the same message on Instagram that you do on Facebook and Twitter will not work. The users of those platforms engage differently and each platform has its own unique nuances. So, plan out and craft messages for each platform you are using. For example, Pinterest is all about a compelling visual, but Twitter is about 140 characters and hashtags. On Instagram, you use captions to tell your story visually, and like Twitter, use hashtags judiciously. You can still deliver the same overall message on both, but the actual way you craft your story and present it is profoundly different.
Therefore, if you are using programs like Hootsuite to schedule the same blast across Facebook and Twitter, it may be time to reconsider that approach. Make your messages uniquely tailored to the platform.
- Mobile is key
We live in the world of the small screen and limited attention spans. So, understand the mobile screen size when crafting your message. For example, understand that Facebook scales images in the newsfeed to cut off the sides. So, make sure you leave room if you are putting a headline or message on the image itself.
Also, if you are showing images that contain text, make sure you make the text big enough to be legible on the small screen. So, create your social media images much like billboards. There are great tools for social media images, such as Canva, that allow you to quickly create shareable images with messaging that are suitable for mobile. In fact, below is a sample image I created in less than 10 minutes on Canva.
Most importantly, when it comes to your message, make it clear and quickly understandable in the quick scroll world of mobile. So, if you have a call-to-action that you want people to act upon, make it simple and easy to understand. With Twitter, you have 140 characters, but you can write much more on Facebook and LinkedIn. Therefore, don’t hide your CTA at the end of a Facebook or LinkedIn post.
How To Use This Information
Hopefully this helps as you think about how you’ll use social media for your marketing. Different people have many different “tricks of the trade” when it comes to the best way to market on social media. At Webolutions, our team can help craft and execute a social media program that helps engage your audiences and creates closer relationships with them and your brand. Call us at 303-300-2640.