How to Use Social Media for Business in 2018

It’s likely you’re already using social media in some capacity to promote your business, but with 55% of customers using social media at some point during the purchase journey it’s more important than ever to utilise social media for business. We’ve put together a list of tactics to add to your strategy for this year, based on expert knowledge and industry insights.
 

Investment in paid social is the difference between sink or swim


Reaching customers online has become more challenging, as attention spans reduce and choices increase. New algorithm changes on Facebook and Instagram mean less people than ever are seeing your content. Facebook is currently experimenting with a new newsfeed that would completely remove non-promoted posts from brands, while Instagram’s controversial algorithm change means content is now ‘ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about most’.
 
Let’s not forget that the average consumer is exposed to up to 5000 adverts per day and spends a record amount of time on their smartphone. That’s where targeted, paid social media comes into a league of its own. You can target the right people at the right time with the right message in more intelligent ways than ever before, including targeting users based on their email address. Email address targeting typically yields a 70% match rate between the email address users sign in to Facebook with and the email address you’ve captured in your CRM. With LinkedIn you can even target individual accounts, so you can be sure your message is being seen by those that matter.
 
With Contour you can create these custom audiences and use these as part of a standalone tactical campaign or as part of your social media automation strategy. Find out more about using social media to grow your audience.
 

Let customers air their issues 


Remember that social channels will continue to be a place for customers to share their grievances, whether that’s an issue with a product, a bad customer service experience or a problem in a store. There’s nothing you can do to stop this, but you can be ready to respond appropriately. Train those monitoring accounts in your company tone of voice and employ people who are capable of speaking to customers off-script, and responding quickly to complaints. Take a leaf out of Nike’s book and separate your content focused social media marketing from your customer service channels.
 

Utilise influencers
 

Influencers can be incredibly useful tools to help brands create trust and authority, and with a seemingly increased appetite for content-focused campaigns, utilising the audience of popular bloggers, Instagram stars and Twitter heroes is a great option to improve social media reach. Just be sure to be clear about what you expect for your money, and do your research; a blogger may have a large following, but is that following engaged?


Don’t neglect video content 

 

Video content will continue to be important in 2018, and social is the ideal avenue for sharing it, but be sure to consider the limitations of Facebook marketing and other channels when it comes to video. The sound is rarely on as a user scrolls through their news feed and videos often start as people scroll past. This means you have a limited window and must use alternate methods such as subtitles to capture the attention of potential customers.
 

Use social media as part of your single customer view strategy

 

Embedding social media into your wider marketing automation strategy is the logical next step for marketers looking to expand their customer base and increase loyalty in 2018. And automation strategy should begin with a Single Customer View, letting you target each individual step in the journey of each individual customer.
 
According to recent research, campaign reach increases by an impressive 77% when you combine email and social campaigns. If you’d like to breathe new life into your campaigns in 2018, get in touch and find out more about our capabilities.

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