How Successful Brands Will Use Social Media in 2020
“Successful companies in social media function more like entertainment companies, publishers, or party planners than as traditional advertisers.”
– Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics
To succeed with social media you will need to adopt a strategy that is more about entertainment, conversing, and education than about selling your goods and/or services.
No one wants to be sold. People do enjoy a good conversation, having their questions answered, and being entertained. Quality content gives people a reason to engage with you on a continuous basis, to come back, and see what’s new. Moreover, it also inspires them to share your brand’s content on their social channels.
Those brands that excel at branded content stand above those who are mediocre at best. Show me an influencer with social media, and most likely they are excelling with their content strategy.
Websites Should Be Media Centers
I wrote in my book (2015), Power Branding Secrets, and I said then that your website will need to evolve into a media center. This is even more true today than ever.
I’ve interviewed plenty of people with $10,000 websites which are “pretty”, yet generate little or no rankings within search engines. Moreover, they generate almost no new clients. We need reasons for people to find you and engage with your brand. Your “About Us” page can’t achieve that goal.
You need a content strategy which produces engaging, share-worthy content similar to what an entertainment company or a publisher would create. Yes, I know. Sounds daunting.
“Be the ‘TV Show’, not the ‘commercials’ on the TV show.”
- Gary Vaynerchuk, New York Times bestselling author
Content Is Your Foundation
Content opens the door to touch people in a way that traditional marketing and advertising cannot achieve otherwise. If your marketing is completely centered around your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure.
Features rarely do the selling. Packaging, storytelling, sharing important insights, or making people laugh or cry. This is a better strategy to make your brand important to the lives of people and worth being remembered.
Give yourself permission to make your brand’s story bigger and more intriguing.
Social Media Is Your Distribution Channel
There are two overall methods to use social media to get your content seen through social channels:
- Paid Advertising
- Organic networking
Paid advertising is the absolute quickest, most assured method to generating traffic and new leads, and opportunities to close more customers. Yes, it can be costly. But so is inactivity, non-productiveness, cold calling, and bankruptcy.
Advertising pushes your content to the right audiences….at scale.
You should be setting aside 5-10% of your profits to grow your business with intelligent marketing and advertising. A lack of doing this is simply shortsightedness.
When funds are short, particularly when you’re starting out, you have to leverage your time more on organic promotion and networking. But at some point, you need to reinvest a portion of your profits back in advertising so as to sustain growth.
Organic outreach has three aspects to it:
- Social Sharing
- Individual Networking
Social Sharing - Sharing content (your own or that content you curate) to your followers on social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc). If your content is really good, some of your followers will further share your content to their own followers.
Individual Networking - This is an effort to reach out to people either through a personalized invite, a comment, directly sending them a message and/or a link to content, or in some way instigating a conversation with an individual. For me, LinkedIn is the king of individual networking when conducted correctly and consistently.
Optimization - This is a technique to use keywords and contextual content to increase your chances of having your content found within search queries by online visitors. Since all social channels (especially YouTube and Linkedin) have search engine capabilities like Google and Bing, your content can be discovered organically through social channels.
This is but a brief overview of what smart brands will be doing in 2020 to win more market share with social media. Each aspect and topic covered heretofore is a deep subject worth study and application.
Let me know if I can help your social media strategy to excel in 2020.
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