M3 Blog

Revisiting Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is a bit akin to the sirens of Greek mythology.

It can seduce with its sweet and beguiling song, but it can also bring swift damage and retribution to those who fail to heed the dangers lurking in its enchanting chorus. That’s especially true for businesses, where social media remains an extremely effective tool to reach new audiences and build brand awareness. Yet, if its power and capabilities are not given due respect, social media can quickly smash even the strongest reputation on its rocky shore.

For all its faults and flaws, having a social presence is no longer an option for businesses of any size. It’s simply the way businesses do business today and the way consumers interact with businesses in our tech-savvy world. However, social media is not a one-size-fits-all tool and understanding that is the marine sextant that can help you avoid some choppy waters. That’s why  creating or revisiting a social media strategy is key to helping any business navigate toward smoother sailing.

Here we’ll look at four of the primary social media channels and how they can best serve the needs of any business owner.

FACEBOOK

Facebook is a social networking platform with more than 1.62 billion users, including 79% of U.S. adult internet users. Its focus is about conversation and casual social interaction. You want to build the presence of your brand on the app in that way. Don’t be a business, be a member of the community that shares their interests, concerns and more.

What you should know:

  • Content engagement is key. Impressions on earned and paid posts are very low in scoring priority in Facebook’s current algorithm. Likes, comments and shares are key.
  • Commenting is now favored over “liking” or sharing in Facebook’s current news feed algorithm.
  • Even in business-to-business social media marketing, you can — and should — share curated content. It is a relationship-building tool, and consumers perceive brands that share curated content as less “salesy” than ones that only share their own content.
  • Use rich media as often as possible. Rich media includes short video and nonstock photo images. People are more likely to notice and engage with rich media.
  • Facebook’s news feed algorithm also favors video over traditional posts with no images or video. More video equals more engagement.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is a mobile photo and video-sharing and social networking platform that significantly skews toward younger adults between the ages of 18 and 29. It’s about visual aesthetic, and that’s what you should focus on when marketing on the app. This includes not only developing an appealing aesthetic for your brand, but also making your followers desire what you’re selling and engage with your content.

What you need to know:

  • Use stories. Instagram’s algorithm favors user engagement with stories over posts.
  • Use images that tell a story without much captioning. Better yet, use short-form video.
  • Invite comments in the caption with clever calls to action.
  • Use color that is easy for people to decipher the images — natural color performs better on Instagram than duotones, etc.
  • Use your brand’s colors purposeful in images to continue building implicit brand recognition.
  • Shots that include the subject of the post as the focal point (versus a hard-to-define focal point) perform better on Instagram.
  • Use hashtags. People search for content using hashtags, so thinking about which hashtags could deliver different audience segments is key.
  • Follow hashtags for social listening.
  • Identify Instagram influencers and engage with their content.
  • Instagram is not currently including video or photo likes in its user-facing engagement statistics. Its algorithm has followed Facebook’s in weighting user commenting as the most important (and possibly relevant) user statistic to follow.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is a social media platform designed for professionals to network, which has grown from a job-search site to a database for professional development. It’s an awesome tool for businesses to connect with potential employees, share thought leadership or connect with other businesses. The platform has everyone from young intern-level individuals to CEOs on it, as well as businesses and organizations.

What you need to know:

  • LinkedIn content should be educational and informative versus personal in nature.
  • Engage with people who engage with your content.
  • Create groups and participate in groups.
  • Use showcase pages to segment content that is most interesting for a specific audience.
  • Whenever possible, use rich media (a photo or video) as a cover for content you’re linking to on your website.
  • LinkedIn posts/updates with links generate 45% more engagement than posts without links. Use links.
  • Post to LinkedIn at least three to five times per week Mondays through Fridays.

TWITTER

Twitter is a microblogging and social networking site. One of the most beneficial aspects of Twitter for businesses is the ability to interact with consumers in real time. Additionally, you can use Twitter to interact with other brands, weigh in on conversations with thought leadership, social listen, monitor trends, research competitors and share news.

What you need to know:

  • Post five to 15 times on Twitter during the work week. Spend extra time interacting with audiences and responding to industry conversations.
  • Spend six to 11-plus hours on social media management each work week.
  • Share information in short-form, compelling ways, like giving a shoutout to a blog, e-book or other content.
  • Include industry-related hashtags.

There are a wide variety of questions and consideration to mull when creating a social media strategy. Who is your target audience and where are they most represented online and on social media? How will your social media messages and content support your larger social marketing/communications strategy or your organizational strategic plan? What resources do you have to devote to your social and digital media strategy?

A marketing firm like M3 Group can help you steer the complex social media waters. With a strong background in creating social media strategy, we have helped our clients avoid the pitfalls of social media missteps the same way Odysseus escaped the perils of the sirens in Homer’s classic tale.

Contact our crew of seaworthy and sea-wisened sailors at info@m3group.biz or learn more online at m3group.biz.


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