The year 2019 is quickly approaching us, in fact, it’s just around the corner. With that deadline on the horizon comes the need for forecasting and planning for the new year ahead. Many businesses will map out and finalize their social media strategies sometime during the fourth quarter, but for those still working out a few of the commensurate kinks, there are a few things to keep in mind while building out your strategy.
So where do you begin? As a brand, the first big question you should ask yourself is, “What do I want my brand to look like in 2019?” Think about how you want your brand identified, what you want it to be associated with, and what you want people to think about when they see it. Once you have secured where you want your brand to go, you can start establishing the path you need to take to get it there. This should help you begin laying your foundation and dictate your social media strategy for the next fiscal year.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “How am I going to get there?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of these PDM insider tips to guide you and empower you as you get started on that 2019 strategy build.
1) Go through and audit your current social media content
Export and review the social media content you’ve published over the last year and pinpoint what resonated with your audience and what did not. Trash all of the pieces of content that didn’t seem to engage your audience and highlight the ones that have. Really focus on seeking out themes within the winning social media posts and keep these said themes in mind for your 2019 content calendar.
Tip: create a monthly social media content calendar. That way you are aware of what themes you’ll be posting about, and it will keep you accountable to post on a regular basis.
A good place to begin is by assessing the data collected from your social media platforms to find indicators of good, solid content that worked for your brand. Note, that you might even find that the data shows you that certain content you believed would work for your audience, in fact, didn’t. Don’t be shocked, as this does happen from time to time, but allow it to provide insight into what resonates with your audience.
2) Dig deep into your paid social media efforts
Listen to what the numbers and figures are telling you. It’s a good idea to take a look at an overall annual report of your KPIs (key performance indicators) and determine which campaigns reached its goals and which didn’t. This should help you map out the type of campaigns you want to launch during 2019 and include in your social media strategy.
If you’re unsure of what to look for, some KPIs to turn your attention to are number of impressions, cost per lead, cost per conversion, number of conversions, and cost per result. However, the more granular you are with your metrics and analysis of them, the more specific you can plan your next campaign. It is crucial for optimizing and running successful paid advertising campaigns to have very clear goals and KPI metrics, so if you haven’t defined that yet be sure to do so for your new year’s strategy.
3) Don’t forget that content is king
Every digital marketer is aware about how important video content is, and that it has taken the lead as the format for promoting brands and products through social media. The current era we’re in mandates instant gratification, and what better way to deliver that than with rich video content?
You might see larger brands that are investing top dollar in video content creation and distribution, but the good news is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to publish engaging and attention-grabbing videos on social media. You can even record content on your smartphone and use video editing apps to add things like call to action or title cards to your video and make them look more professional. If you’re looking to produce high quality videos, you will likely have to invest in a quality video camera or hire a videographer to create videos for you.
4) Don’t forget the power of influencers
One of the most powerful tools for building a brand recognition is through influencers promoting your brand or product. An influencer can be anyone from someone with a large social media following, to a customer who really believes in your brand and is willing to be a walking, talking billboard.
Think of creative ways to get people associated with your brand to increase the amount of people you can get in front of. Here’s how influencers work: you want to get your brand in front of the eyes of as many people as you can and sometimes you don’t have the amount of reach through your own platforms. That’s when you call in the reinforcements (a.k.a influencers) who can help expose your brand to those who might not have otherwise been exposed to. Also, what’s great about involving influencers is that if they are representing your brand, in a way they are sending a message to their audience that they trust your brand or product and essentially recommend it. What happens next? Well, it’s likely safe to assume that these followers trust those they’re following, so if who they’re following trusts you then they will likely trust you. They’re making your brand more credible to audiences without having to tell them.
One thing to note, however, is that the key is to make sure you vet out and seek only appropriate influencers that will really impact your brand. Now that there are so many people building their personal brands, and there are platforms that make it super easy for them to do so, you want to be strategic in who you trust to represent your brand and help push it forward. Remember, you don’t need to connect your brand with just anyone who seems to have a decent number of followers, you want to make sure that influencer and their followers are people who would be your ideal customers.
5) Be open to testing
Technology and social media platforms evolve and emerge on a regular basis. We don’t know this yet, but there could be a new platform, application, or medium that is released in 2019. Don’t be afraid to test and try to see if that new technology might work for you and your brand. You don’t need to have all of your chips in to do so, using a small budget or even a few days to test something that might have a huge impact on your business is definitely worth it. Even if you end up losing that time and money, you didn’t make a large investment and at least you know it didn’t work for you at that time.
Some additional tips to remember are to stay organized during this process to help ensure a seamless execution on your strategy. There are tons of organizational tools you can integrate with your campaigns that provide features such as automation and tracking analytics. You can find a couple popular ones here:
Hootsuite: A social media management dashboard that helps you manage multiple social media profiles and provides analytics tracking on them.
Sprout Social: A social media management solution that allows you to manage multiple social media profiles, provides social listening, and tracking and analytics.
Bringing it full circle, we’ll leave you with a high level recap of what we’ve just learned; as you can now tell, there are many ways to build a strong and successful social media marketing strategy for 2019. Keeping up with the latest trends, and staying on top of important changes like those pesky platform algorithms in algorithms will help you stay ahead of the curve. At the most basic level, prioritize what you’re sharing with your followers; ensuring that your content is relevant and appealing to your audience can go a long way. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?
Lastly, make sure you are portraying the imagery you want identified with your brand through your own social media content and channels as well as the influencers you work with. And that’s a wrap, folks. Happy strategizing and good luck in 2019!