What Businesses Need to Know About Social Media Marketing in 2020
Take a moment to consider how often you monitor social media channels on a daily basis. From Facebook and Twitter to popular blogs such as Tumblr and Lifehacker, there has never been a greater opportunity to interact with those around you. This observation has not been lost on the masses, as it is currently estimated that more than 3.5 billion users access social media each and every day. So, it only stands to reason that businesses have looked to capitalise upon such a burgeoning demographic. We should still mention that times have changed in regards to creating a content marketing campaign that will resonate with the audience. What are some trends to expect throughout the remainder of this year, and how can you implement a successful strategy that offers tangible results? Whether you have just entered into the online retail community or you are a seasoned veteran, the details found below should not be overlooked.
Why Social Media and Why Now?
We have already noted that nearly half of the global population is virtually hooked on social media. Thanks to the sheer number of tech-savvy users as well as wireless access via devices such as smartphones, this form of interaction has left its mark upon digital society. Furthermore, we need to mention that the Internet has taken on a very “human” role in recent times. Phrases such as “storytelling” and “organic SEO” are now commonplace, and there is perhaps no better venue to embrace these strategies than within the virtual ether of social media. It should also be mentioned that the average consumer wishes to be treated as an individual as opposed to a generic marketing statistic. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter enable businesses to interact with their audience in real-time scenarios; helping to enhance brand recognition as well as customer loyalty. In other words, the power of social media is impossible to deny and here to stay.
Still, there is a major difference between appreciating the benefits of these platforms and knowing how to create a watertight content marketing campaign that will turn heads in the future. Let’s, therefore, delve into what you need to know for the remainder of 2020 so that you are able to implement a much more proactive (and effective) approach.
Knowing Your Social Media Portals
The fact of the matter is that every social media portal is associated with its own set of benefits. Still, knowing which ones are designed to address specific marketing criteria is important if you hope to point your efforts in the right direction. Let us take a look at what a handful of the most well-known portals have to offer in regards to their content-related strengths:
- With over 1.45 billion users, Facebook is ideal for aggregating reviews and engaging with a large audience base.
- Twitter is often employed to build brand authority and to provide timely updates which can be linked to other pages.
- LinkedIn is primarily leveraged by B2B users as well as those who wish to foster powerful connections with industry professionals.
- YouTube is utilised when creating presentations, webinars, podcasts, and by those who wish to better highlight the culture of their organisation.
- Focused primarily around sharing content, Instagram is excellent in terms of building a solid brand identity and highlighting specific products that are being offered to the public.
So, it is clear to see that each of these portals offers a unique means to promote your specific product or service. However, they also share one very important trait in common: they can be linked to one another in order to increase the digital footprint of your business. This brings us to the next main point. What steps are required when curating valuable content that can be shared and disseminated to an eager audience? Let’s look at some of the top SEO tips and strategies to keep in mind.
The Creation of Real-Time Content
Many industry experts will argue that the most important trait of social media lies in the ability to interact with a live audience base. While this is indeed impressive in terms of client feedback and addressing any questions, we need to keep in mind that the curation of relevant and trending content is just as crucial if you hope to retain the attention of what might have otherwise proven to be a fickle demographic.
As The Next Scoop observes, content that is contextually relevant will better resonate with the end-user. Examples can include offering discounts before the holiday season or promoting items tied to specific times of the year such as Halloween. Unlike static websites, the information contained within a social media platform can be quickly updated without possessing a knowledge of HTML or complicated coding. Therefore, even those with no technical experience will be able to connect with their intended audience.
The Power of Embedded Media
One of the issues that is sometimes associated with content marketing involves the fallacy that it is all about written material. While there is indeed a great deal of power associated with a well-written block of text, we also need to remember that we live within a very visual age.
The Search Engine Journal notes that embedded media is a powerful tool within your arsenal for various reasons including:
- Images and videos will cater to shorter attention spans.
- They can be displayed clearly on devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
- Visuals tend to be more memorable when compared to static text.
- Media content can often help to drive leads.
These observations seem to be backed up by some very tangible trends, as Cisco notes that more than 80 per cent of all Internet traffic will be driven by media by the year 2021. Embedding this type of material within written content is therefore critical for those who wish to fully capture the attention of their visitors.
Engaging and Authoritative with a Personal Touch
Current figures illustrate that a staggering 73.3 per cent of consumers make an online purchase as a result of a social media interaction. It is therefore obvious that connecting with your audience is paramount in terms of overall success. However, we also need to mention that the type of connection is just as important.
You will ultimately need to find a balance between an authoritative presentation and one that is capable of reverberating with the visitor in question. This is when imbuing a personal flavour within your content is always wise. Here are some useful tips which can help you to straddle such a challenging gap:
- Use first- and second-person perspectives when possible.
- Ask relevant questions and provide concise answers.
- Break up complex ideas and concepts into smaller paragraphs.
- Keep sentences short, sweet and to the point.
- Be sure to link to other pages and posts.
Still, let’s mention that you will need to present yourself as an authority when presenting a specific product or service. This is why personalised material should be augmented with facts that lift off of the page. Look for trusted news outlets and similar portals, as linking to these will provide the digital “clout” required to further reinforce the benefits of your product or service. For instance, those who are using social media to promote an organic beauty product could hyperlink to an article that discusses the dangers of certain chemicals commonly found within common make-up formulations.
Addressing Your SEO Concerns
You might have guessed that we would touch upon the subject of search engine optimisation sooner or later. For the sake of brevity, we will not rehash the basic principles, as there are other Textbroker articles which serve as in-depth guides. It is instead important to point out some trends to expect throughout 2020 as well as to understand how these will ultimately affect your ongoing marketing campaigns.
In terms of SEO, keywords are still king. Finding a term that produces quality results is akin to encountering a diamond in a stack of digital coal. However, some business owners make the mistake of believing that such phrases can be used ad infinitum. In order to clear up any confusion, the notion of an “immortal” keyword or phrase is more of a myth than a reality. As the Content Marketing Institute notes, you need to develop a more dynamic approach. Employ analytical tools on a regular basis to see if any keywords should be refined; particularly if you have noticed a drop in the popularity of your posts. Tools such as Moz, Google Analytics and SEMrush will come in quite handy and the associated results are decidedly straightforward.
How Often (and When) Should You Post?
This question represents somewhat of a grey area, as there are several variables to take into account. For example, those who have just entered into the social media arena will likely have to post more often (as much as two times each day) so that they can secure more followers over time. We also need to take into account the platform in question. Portals such as Twitter are known for the millions of posts which are displayed on a daily basis. This is due in no small part to the limited number of characters which are allowed within each segment.
On the contrary, the majority of marketing professionals suggest that those leveraging Facebook as their main marketing hub should create fresh content three times per week. These posts will need to be disseminated on a regular basis so that visitors know when to check back for updates.
The time of day when the post is published may also have an impact upon its ultimate popularity. As most individuals are working full-time jobs, it is normally prudent to post new content after six o’clock in the evening. This will provide them with an opportunity to absorb what you have to say during their downtime. As a result, they are more likely to perform specific actions (such as sharing the content or making a further enquiry). It makes little sense to post material during those times of the day when your efforts will be glossed over in a few seconds.
The Rising Tide of Voice-Activated Searches
Convenience is king in these modern times. This is why devices such as Amazon Alexa and Siri are expected to gain an even larger market share throughout 2020. The issue here is that voice searches are often constructed much differently when compared to terms which are manually entered into an engine such as Google. You will, therefore, need to take semantics into account when creating new content.
According to studies performed by Backlinko brevity appears to be the soul of wit in regards to voice searches. Research has found that the average voice-activated query is only 29 words long. This is why introductions and meta descriptions should be concise and to the point. If they are overly verbose, the chances are high that your rankings will suffer as a result.
Still, you do not necessarily have to curtail the length of your content in order to accommodate for the rising frequency of voice searches. You should instead focus on meta titles and informative descriptions; making certain that they accurately represent the material that follows immediately below.
Longer is Better…But How Long?
Some SEO “purists” will still claim that the average social media post should be no longer than 500 or 600 words. However, what if you are dealing with a more complicated topic or you are attempting to address questions posed by other readers? Shorter posts will hardly suffice. The length of the average post on social media or on popular blogs such as Tumblr has increased to well over 1,000 words, and for good reason. Consumers wish to be more informed than ever before when selecting a product or service. This is why in-depth descriptions, as well as informative explanations, have now taken centre stage.
In terms of length, Prowly Magazine has noted that posts associated with the top SERP rankings (those displayed within the first results page) contain approximately 1,890 words. This roughly translates to just under four pages (assuming that a single page equates to 500 words). We can also clearly see why subdividing written material with embedded media content is important if you hope to retain the attention of the reader in question.
Proletariat Versus Bourgeois
Anyone who has ever attempted to assemble a piece of furniture while following instructions in a foreign language is well aware of the frustration involved. This very same concept can be translated into the world of social media marketing. Let’s take a look at two blocks of text associated with a fictional SME accounting agency which are describing the same service:
“Our bespoke algorithmic techniques provide superior levels of clarity; enabling the business in question to ascend to the next echelon while simultaneously addressing any fiscal problems that may exist.”
“Our mission is simple. We provide your firm with the tools required to take your business to the next level and beyond.”
Which one sounds more appealing to the average business owner? While the first segment does indeed highlight the main points of the firm, the fact of the matter is that such verbosity is confusing and it might even lead the reader to believe that the resulting services will be equally as complicated. The second example is clear and straight to the point. It may even be used as an overall mission statement due to such inherent brevity.
Blogger Jeff Bullas notes that actionable texts are those associated with simple and common language. Avoid “over-the-top” content, as this tends to lack the conversational nature that has become so pivotal within the world of social media marketing. Much of this material can also be considered nothing more than “filler”; especially when referring to buzzwords and similarly convoluted industry jargon. Once again, identifying with the reader will make or break any social media campaign.
Re-Purpose Content When Necessary
There are only so many ways to describe a pair of socks or an educational podcast. Some business owners will, therefore, arrive at a seemingly insurmountable impasse. How can the same topic be reinvented time and time again while still retaining the same overall appeal?
Believe it or not, it is claimed that up to 30 per cent of all online businesses will re-purpose existing content in order to remain relevant with changing times. We are not necessarily talking about changing a handful of words in this case. On the contrary, it could be wise to rearrange and update what might have otherwise been considered evergreen material so that it resonates with present-day concerns. This can involve embedding updated statistics or presenting a product in a slightly different light in order to appeal to seasonal desires. The good news is that such tasks can generally be completed within a short period of time and with relatively little effort.
Being Thankful for What You Have
Gratefulness can go a long way in this day and age. If a seller thanks a customer for a recent interaction or purchase, he or she has developed an implicitly personal link that will supersede the more anonymous marketing campaigns which have become rife across the world of social media. This is why it is important to be gracious and courteous with those who have recently bought an item or subscribed to an online service.
The same holds true when referring to feedback; both positive and negative. Responding to praise helps to reinforce your brand identity across social media circles. Appreciating and addressing negative comments with an assertive stance likewise shows that you are open to criticism and willing to make improvements based around the needs of your client base. Both approaches are excellent passive marketing techniques, and as a result, they will help to cement a positive reputation across the digital firmament of social media.
2020 and Beyond: A Quick Recap of the Most Important Points
We have covered a significant amount of information throughout this article. Let’s therefore review some of the major points so that they can be used as a checklist in the future:
- Know the marketing possibilities associated with different social media portals.
- Create relevant and real-time material.
- Be sure to include media content within your presentations.
- Embrace a more personal touch.
- Never fail to address SEO concerns.
- Post frequently.
- Take voice-activated searches into account.
- Longer posts tend to resonate more with the audience.
- Address the human reader as opposed to the search engine algorithm.
- Never be afraid to (tactfully) re-purpose existing material.
- Thank customers and visitors for their interest.
Creating memorable and powerful social media content can be challenging, and as we have seen, there are now more marketing metrics to address than ever before. You will not be found at fault if you begin to feel overwhelmed. However, you are not alone in your efforts.
The writers at Textbroker have developed an innate understanding of this ever-evolving landscape, and as a result, even the most challenging projects can be addressed in a timely fashion. Whether you are new to the concept of content creation or you are looking to gain an edge over the competition, our cadre of professionals aims to please. Feel free to refer back to this article for inspiration, and as always, we will be happy to provide further assistance.
About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.