In 2018 the social media world had to cope with a couple of setbacks. Major platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ were faced with fake news, spam bots, and data hacking. The disclosure of data leaks, a large-scale misuse of user data and severe data breaches on user privacy have shaken even die-hard social media fans. This is leading to a growing mistrust and an exodus of users. The platforms have also faced a tougher regulation by governments around the world. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram reacted with severe restrictions on third-party apps and introducing new community guidelines and rules for social media tools. Google+ even pronounced to close down its network for private profiles.
The severe restrictions on third-party apps to reduce the impact of automated activities make it also harder for businesses to manage their social media channels. By changing its algorithm, Facebook decreased the visibility of marketing content from business pages, and brands in the Newsfeeds. Facebook now favors content from friends, groups, and local news outlets – so they say. In fact, this new algorithm effectively kills organic reach and engagement for brands and publishers. This is forcing companies to invest more in paid ads for the promotion of posts in order to foster conversations and catering content to target audiences.
These developments are changing the way of how brands and users continue to communicate on social media. Here are
10 Social Media Strategies for Corporate Communication in 2019
1. Social Listening
Social listening involves analyzing social conversations in your community and about your products and brand, your market, and even your competitors’ social-media sphere.
Monitoring and tracking your communities engagement helps you to learn from your audience and understand current interests, issues, and challenges. It helps to identify potential customers and provide useful information for any questions asked about your products and services.
Listening to and interacting with your social media communities will increase overall social engagement. You can also find and create key influencers and tie them to your brand.
However, an active social media community can impact a business also negatively, when customers criticize your products or services. Social listening helps you to identify complaints and react to them. A prompt response in a professional and empathic way will help to win back unhappy customers and prevent shit storms.
Social media listening can benefit your business in many different ways. It allows you to collect important information that will greatly benefit your future marketing campaigns, brand loyalty, and development.
2. Content marketing is the new marketing
For all the changes that are taking place in marketing trends and technologies, content marketing is here to stay for sure. Content marketing has become the core of marketing. As audiences everywhere are exposed to more content in a day than they could possibly consume, the bar for quality continues to rise, forcing companies to become more mature in their approach to content. Companies who understand content marketing and have a content strategy in place will ultimately set their business up for success.
The better you know your audience, the better your posts will catch the attention of your target readers. Adding value to your readers will make your posts memorable.
- Provide tips, strategies, how-to-tutorials to make your customers’ lives easier.
- Provide entertaining content that gets to the heart of your audience.
Content marketing is one of the best tools you have for building your brand, building trust and authority, generating more traffic and qualified leads, and finally, increasing conversion and ROI.
3. Integrate your social media strategies in your corporate communication IMC
The feedback channels of social media have become a decisive factor in marketing success. Connect your social media strategies as part of your Corporate Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) as a process of planning, executing, and monitoring your brand messages and create customer relationships. Use your corporate blog as a content hub for creating, collecting and publishing your marketing content and share each piece of content you create on social media to increase reach.
Use social media networking for managing the day to day interactions with customers and prospects and channel feedback and analytics back into your content creation process. Keep your social media accounts consistent and recognizable within your overall corporate branding.
- Bring your whole corporate communication team into social media.
- Place social media buttons everywhere in order to connect every content format and every marketing channel with your social media activities.
- Make it easy for your website visitors, blog readers, and also for your newsletter subscribers to follow your social channels.
- Make it easy for them to like and share your content and images to their communities.
Integrate and interconnect your created marketing contents with all internal and external channels to provide maximum use, publicity, distribution, and exposure.
4. More value and education, less selling
A sustainable content strategy will provide a valuable resource of substantial, helpful content for customers and prospects.
Customer happiness and success will become the new benchmark for successful content that will not only generate more happy customers but also win influencers and brand advocates on the way. The best way to incorporate authentic value content into your social media strategies is to include user-generated content. Also, invite key influencers into your content creation process.
In the era of social communication, customer relationship does not start and end with a sale. Companies have to provide maximum value for customers to encourage word-of-mouth marketing and develop stronger and longterm relationships.
- Make sure your content creates interest for your audience, combined with a unique value.
- Use help content to equip your customers for success. Content that educates customers and supports them on their way to success. Content that contains answers to key questions (i.e., issues coming up in sales and support), provides solutions for common problems and challenges in the industry, discloses insider know-how, templates and tips.
- Include user-generated content from happy customers for more authenticity.
Help content and case studies show buyers optimal uses for companies’ products and services. With a content strategy focused on your customers’ education can turn your social media channels into a valuable web-resource for expertise and know-how.
5. More visuals, less text
Images and video are the most popular and fastest growing forms of online content. Visual content is more likely to get shares, likes, and comments on social media than pure text messages and updates. People are visual learners by nature. People remember visual information 65% longer than text information, and video goes beyond what pictures offer.
Video content will account for 85% of total internet traffic in 2019. The power of video has not yet reached its peak. The Video format continues to be the dominant medium in social media. Video has seen a huge increase on both paid and organic reach. And live streaming will become even more popular in 2019. Businesses of any size have started to using live streaming to capture the attention of followers.
Visual content also has a great impact on SEO and site traffic. Most search engines allow you to search specifically for images or video and include them alongside text-only results. But people also use images and video search options directly to look for specific content.
Instagram and Facebook started to compete with Snapchat with the introduction of Stories, which work in exactly the same way. According to Statista, Instagram broadcasts more than 400 Stories daily and therefore has long since outnumbered Snapchat users.
This makes platforms for visual content such as Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube a vital focus in your corporate communication strategy. You should give your best effort.
- Illustrate your posts with graphics, photos or infographics.
- Create infographics and videos from your best performing blog posts.
- Always share your social media posts with an image or as an image post.
Visual content makes it easier to attract customers and prospects. It offers a personalized customer experience, which is what customers expect from businesses nowadays.
6. Express yourself more Emojically
The essence of human communication is the processing of emotional information. Scientific research has uncovered that humans always feel first and think second.
Emotional information can be processed in one-fifth of the time the cognitive section of the brain requires.
Emotions also have a large impact on brand loyalty. According to the Tempkin Group, a positive emotional association with a brand makes it 8.4 times more likely to trust the company, 7.1 times more likely to purchase more and 6.6 times more likely to forgive a company’s mistake.
And nowadays, customers expect businesses to be human, especially on social media. Emotions are an essential asset of business messages and campaigns. Social media channels with a human voice and a personal touch are more likely to encourage engagement from followers.
- Make sure you always create an emotional experience for your audience.
- Use images, life-streaming, videos, and stories to convey more emotions and to personalize your business content for your customers.
- Emoji can also help to express emotions and reaction when texting or messaging followers and communities. However, Emojis are not universal. Individuals bring their own personal experience to how they interpret an emoji. So use emojis with utmost care and common sense.
7. Experiment with media formats and social platforms
Social media is a very fast-pacing terrain with ever new platforms and media formats coming up each day. Though Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are still the dominating networks, there are many more networks, communities, and media formats to explore. You don’t have to jump on every upcoming trend. However, there are multiple social networks and platforms you can use to promote your content and to link to your site.
- Don’t stay with your status quo. Invest in new platforms, try different post ideas and stay alert and up to date in order not to lose ground.
- Mix up the length of your content. Use long-text format for cornerstone and evergreen content and mix it with snackable content like memes, infographic or short video clips by using spinoffs from your big contents.
- Experiment with different media and message formats for cross-promoting or resharing your content. Always vary your comment a little, using different text messages, #hashtags, hashflags, emojis, or include different images, or use different post formats (image posts or link posts).
For example, for some posts, image posts will perform better than standard link posts on Twitter and Facebook when you are sharing a post. Try both post formats to see how they work on your community.
post formats: image post vs. link post
You can also change post formats for resharing your content. Reshare your post as image post and select different images from your media gallery for each re-shared posts. Sharing your content as link post followed by a series of images posts will give your content a different appearance each time and attract more potential readers.
So, don’t be shy to use social networks as a playground to experiment with different communities, contents and message formats. Analyze what works and what fails, learn and start again.
8. Distribute or Die
As both offline and online worlds become more crowded, content distribution will remain a vital driver of a successful content marketing strategy.
Content on your corporate website or blog will only reach a very limited number of customers and prospects. Content shared once on your social media channels will also only reach a tiny fraction of your followers. Don’t let your content go stale by leaning back and waiting for something to happen.
Dig deep to discover the distribution channels unique to your audiences. Use any available channel for getting your content in front of the right people. Use as many channels for any piece of content you create and interconnect your channels.
An integrated seeding strategy with multiple outlets and channels for publishing, distributing, and promoting your content helps to bring your messages in front of as many targeted eyeballs as possible. Social media helps you to get the most reach for your content. By re-purposing and syndicating your content for multiple content formats and campaigns, you can create more unique messages and more touchpoints for your targets.
9. Cross-Promote Your Content on Social Media
With the increasing restrictions on social media automation and cross-posting enforced by the platforms, it becomes even more important to individually cross-promote your content on multiple social media channels with tailored messages. Don’t just broadcast your company news and product announcements across your channels. If you share company and product news, make sure to adapt your messages to your specific audience on each social network and ad a human and personal touch. Cross-promoting your posts with tailored messages will appear more human and receive more engagement from followers.
- Share your content on your profile and pages on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, but tailor your message for each community and schedule your posts for different times or days.
- Share your content on LinkedIn, if your post is business related.
- Also share your content in appropriate groups on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn or in Reddit subreddits, but use different comments and schedule your posts at different days and times.
- Share all shareable images for each or your contents with links to your site on Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr, but also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ to use different visuals for re-sharing. This will attract more eyeballs and extends the lifespan of your content.
- Share your content in Social Bookmark communities such as Diigo, Digg or StumbleUpon.
- Re-publish your post on blogging platforms such as Medium, Tumblr, Bloglovin and LinkedIn Pulse, but edit your posts a bit and wait for 5-7 days to let Google index your original post first.
10. Use smart social media automation to reduce workload and ensure consistency
With the growing pace and diversity of social platforms, social media management and marketing across multiple platforms and communities become more and more challenging for social media teams.
However, social media automation should be used with care and common sense and not for turning social media channels into lifeless robotic content streams.
Social media tools can be very useful for planning and scheduling a consistent content flow on your social media channels.
- Use social media tools for creating a consistent mix of your own content and curated content.
- Ensure a balanced variety of contents and media formats on your channels.
- However, by choosing social media tools and apps, make sure to select tools that allow you to create individually tailored messages for each of your channels and communities, even if you are sharing the same content across multiple platforms.
- Make sure you can combine as much automation as possible with as much as individualization to keep up a human factor for your social media messages.
Social media will continue to play an important role in your business strategy. However, social media is constantly changing and it’s becoming harder and harder to keep up with the speed of how social media is changing the game.
Real conversation and engagement with followers will give brands an edge over those that are using social simply to blast their message. The new challenge will be to find a balance of tailoring social media messages for each channel and community and still use the help of automation to ensure consistency and reduce workload.