Be Authentic. The quickest way to get people to zone out is to show them exactly what they see on everyone else’s accounts. You’re not keeping up a robust posting schedule and all that goes with it to blend in! Users are quick to notice when someone isn’t being real. When faced with an endless scroll of pretty, polished, manicured personas, offering an authentic picture of who you really are as a person (or as a brand) can be a breath of fresh air. Brands and influencers alike shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves out there; I’ve found that the messy behind-the-scenes posts usually generate the most engagement. If you’re hesitant to post anything less than perfect to your grid, that’s what Stories are for! You can be silly, speak directly to your followers, play with fun features like gifs, polls or questions and still maintain the picture perfect main profile we all strive for.
Brands will exist across news feeds, stories (where possible), and within messenger services.
The intention isn’t to inundate, but to better integrate into the daily lives of their audience. Bots and virtual assistants for messenger services, or devices such as Amazon’s Echo, allows brands to be seamlessly present. This is happening today with Uber’s and Domino’s availability to take commands on the Echo, and with Harvard Business Review’s bot on Slack. It’s possible that Facebook will open up its M assistant to work with brands to empower more suggested activities based on the conversations users have on its Messenger app. – Kristine Neil, Owner and Creative Director for Markon Brands.
The most recent political cycle has exposed a lot of what was rotten in social media, making us all so constantly aware of what is wrong with ourselves and others that we barely have space in our heads for anything other than frustration and anxiety. If they’re smart, new social media platforms will understand that create a new kind of social networking, a kind that actually feels like a personal asset instead of a detriment.
“A piece of advice I find myself repeating time and again for B2B brands planning social media marketing activities is to be organic. In general, people prefer to learn about new brands, products, and services through content; but if that branded information isn’t part of a larger narrative or story, it often falls flat. They also want to hear from industry experts. According to Demand Gen Report, 96% of B2B buyers want content with input from more industry thought leaders. Because of this, content marketing is having a resurgence right now.
“When developing content for social media, organic should also refer to the relationship between that content and the platform it’s created for. Recent and ongoing changes to the Facebook algorithm, for example, mean that content that is native to that platform often performs better than external links. Actionable tips for B2B brands would be to consistently post (on brand) photos and video, write narrative posts or consider using onsite blogging features, such as LinkedIn’s Pulse feature.
“Regardless of the social media marketing activities B2B brands add to their marketing lineup, the most important thing to remember is that it should all work to support the organic, relational marketing activities that take place in the real world.”
Invest your time into creating compelling content.
Brands on a budget have to leverage what they have. There are powerful features on every platform that enable live video content, blogging, and of course, taking photographs. If your budget for social media can only accommodate the time it takes to dream up the content and post it, then I’d recommend leveraging those features. They can go a long way.
You can show a lot of process and thought leadership with a well-done live video, or one recorded on a smartphone and posted later. Photos go a long way in telling a story, and compelling, long-form posts can get a lot of traction. It’s not always about the money poured into photography, video, or coordination. It’s about the experience of the content and the message. Find what works for you, and it will start to produce a return on investment. Even if that investment is just time.
Instagram will be where we pour the lion’s share of our creative abilities. Other platforms are still great places for sharing links and connecting with clients and collaborators, but Instagram – both its feed and story feature – still allows us to show off our own culture better than anywhere else. It’s the constraints of the platform that work well for us. The visual is the primary with hashtags, location tagging, and copy being the secondary elements of importance. This lets us focus on creating an image that is emotionally evocative and consistent with our brand style and post history.
What Are Your 2018 Predictions for Social Media?
Brands will exist across news feeds, stories (where possible), and within messenger services. The intention isn’t to inundate, but to better integrate into the daily lives of their audience. Bots and virtual assistants for messenger services, or devices such as Amazon’s Echo, allows brands to be seamlessly present. This is happening today with Uber’s and Domino’s availability to take commands on the Echo, and with Harvard Business Review’s bot on Slack. It’s possible that Facebook will open up its M assistant to work with brands to empower more suggested activities based on the conversations users have on its Messenger app.