What's up with your 2017 social media marketing strategy? It's mid-November, and you're probably in the midst of defining and refining your holiday marketing strategy. But what happens when we move into the new year?
To ensure success in 2017, you may want to start thinking about your social media marketing strategy for the next 12 months now. Don't assume that your current efforts will continue to work. Don't approach social media without a strategy. Instead, here are some steps you can take to make sure your audience will begin and continue to engage with your content beyond the new year.
1. Find and Optimize Your Networks
As social media continues to merge into our everyday lives, the various options to spread your message are becoming increasingly clear. Outside of Facebook, which continues to attract an audience across almost all demographics, niche networks like LinkedIn (for working professionals) continue to rise in popularity. Just this year, Snapchat became the most popular platform among teenagers.
For your social media efforts to succeed, you need to distribute your message where your audience spends their time. That means analyzing your current channels, and making sure they match with the audience you're trying to reach.
Also, don't be afraid to abandon a network whose audience doesn't match your marketing personas in favor of one that does.
2. Take Advantage of Current Trends
The world of social media doesn't stand still, so incorporating new components into your marketing strategy is key to continue and improve your success in the future.
Live streaming is becoming increasingly popular on Facebook and Twitter, while chatbots are beginning to emerge as a credible marketing tool.
Your social media strategy should be both aware of these trends and ready to incorporate them into your efforts. Start thinking about potential applications for new features, so that by the time 2017 rolls around, you'll be ready to implement new aspects of your social media strategy.
3. Begin Developing Your Content Strategy
A long-held truth in social media marketing is the fact that to have any chance of success, you need to post consistently - especially on platforms that show updates in non-chronological order. Regular posts increase the chances that your content will reach your audience and prompt engagement. As conversion expert Neil Patel points out, for example, tweeting 3 times per day is the optimum frequency for success.
Of course, each of your posts and updates has to be both relevant and credible. The only way to achieve that goal is to approach publishing contact strategically.
Start with a content calendar, which you can fill in with evergreen content already. Leave some spots open for timely updates, but begin laying the groundwork early to achieve the ideal balance between quality and frequency.
4. Integrate Email into Your Social Efforts
Finally, don't ignore email as part of your social media strategy. Technically, email isn't part of social media outreach, however, given the goal of a conversation between you and your prospect, integrating email into your 2017 efforts can come with significant benefits for your brand.
Ideally, your messaging between email and social should be consistent and timely. If someone receives a marketing message in their inbox, and they decide or are prompted to visit your social media presence, they should see similar content that prompts them to convert to a lead. You can even go one step further, running a paid social media campaign to your email list to reach a single audience in a multitude of ways.
Are you prepared for 2017 from a marketing standpoint? If not, now's the perfect time to get caught up - you don't want to wake up on January 1, realizing that you don't yet have a plan in place to optimize your social media strategy and grow your business. Lay the groundwork early, and your efforts will pay off in the long run.
This post originally appeared on The Fried Side blog.