What do you need to excel at social media marketing in 2016? Same as you would need in any other year, but it’s a great time to take a step back and reinvent our social media presence for the new year as follows:
A Revised Social Media Strategy
Hopefully you’ve already read my definitive book on social media strategy Maximize Your Social. I’ve already blogged here about the essential ingredients that go into a social media strategy. Assuming that you already have a strategic approach to social, you also need to be regularly optimizing your strategy through regularly revisiting it – and if you fall in this category you should be reading my social media strategy audit questions post.
Either way, a new year is a great time to take a step back, confirm that the objectives in your social media strategy still are important today, acknowledge that you are also measuring the right things that will prove the ROI of your social media program, and optimize all of the tactical choices you have been making in your day to day social media activities. Social media is a never-ending changing landscape that you should always be playing catch up to.
Playing Catch Up with Social Networks
Those who have seen me speak know that I like to talk about how many companies are stuck in “2011 Social Media” by only focusing on the social networks that were popular then: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Today, data has suggested that the average Internet user has accounts on 5.54 social networks – and is an active user of 2.82 social networks. In other words, not only are there more social networks to choose from, we have become active users of multiple social networks.
What this means is that you need to be agile in your social media strategy and always have a mixture of a data-driven approach together with experimenting on some of the new social networks to ensure that you are always maximizing your social in any given community. If you haven’t been experimenting enough or taken a close look at your KPIs on a social network by social network basis, it’s time to do so now. The data just might surprise you!
Go Big or Go Home Content
From a social media perspective, content has already become a commodity. To excel at social media marketing in 2016 you shouldn’t need _more_ content. On the contrary, it’s about creating the highest quality and most relevant content for your specific audience and repurposing that content to easily reach your audience in whatever social network and medium they prefer to consume content in. In other words, content in social media is a necessity, but it’s time to take a GBOGH (GO BIG OR GO HOME) approach and make your content count.
I’m a big fan of content marketing expert Jason Miller of LinkedIn and his recommendation for creating Big Rock Content. Instead of creating lots of little content, repurposing Big Rock Content that you create on an infrequent basis based on a number of strategic topics is a more rational way of creating and managing content in the social media world of 2016.
It also bears repeating that in order for your content to get better exposure in social media, both your headlines and visuals will be critical to your social success.
A Visual Voice
I’ve been speaking about the need for companies regardless of industry to create a visual voice. This need originally stemmed from the need to have visuals to appear more prominently in news feeds, but now arguably the 2nd largest social network, Instagram, requires visual posting in order to merely participate.
A visual voice goes much deeper than merely trying to publish quote images that you used to dupe Facebook Edgerank many moons ago on a social network made for organic photos taken from smartphones like Instagram. A visual voice should represent your unique brand chemistry at its deepest and give your business the best chance of triggering emotions and engagement in social networks where you are competing for engagement with visuals created by hundreds of millions of creative social media users like you and me. That’s pretty stiff competition!
Social Media Tools
Social media tools are a must in order to scale your social media program. My definitive social media tools guide is all you need to help you find your next social media tool or audit your current ones.
I found an infographic that covered a lot of these points concisely and also included very detailed and up-to-date information on the various visual graphic dimensions that you need to know for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram as well as suggested times for publishing. Below the infographic I included links for the tools for each network that were included and added some more that I recommend!
31 Recommended Social Media Tools by Social Network
Below are links to 31 tools mentioned in the infographic as well as my additions for each social network.
- PostPlanner (read my review here)
- Likeable Hub
- Fanpage Karma
Where do YOU plan to focus your social media marketing efforts in 2016?