Social media marketing is now in its adolescence. Facebook is 14 years old, Twitter is 12 and like teenagers, they are starting to present more challenges. The challenges of social media marketing in 2018 include low engagement, too many platforms, more competition and more pressure. So, join us and let’s look at how can brands successfully navigate the social media jungle.
Some challenging stats
· RESPONSE TIME -78% of users who complain to a brand expect a response within an hour. (Lithium)
· INFLUENCERS-UK marketers state they are prepared to pay influencers up to £160,000 per postto mention their brand. (Our Social Times)
· ENGAGEMENT- Organic reach for branded Facebook pages is 2% on average (AdWeek)
So, let’s look at these 3 problem areas and how we can overcome them.
#1 RESPONSE TIME
There’s no doubt about it, social media followers have grown more demanding in their expectations. Brands on social media are now expected to answer fans quickly or face a barrage of public complaints. The days of emailing a company and patiently waiting 24-48 hours for a response are long gone. If your brand is present on social media, you are expected to provide a high level of service with no exceptions. In fact, the social media channels themselves increase the pressure by scoring brands on their ability to respond quickly. Like this page response timer from Facebook. This shows visitors how fast you respond to enquiries, but doesn’t take into consideration factors like spam messages, time zones or public holidays.
But surely your fans don’t expect around the clock support on all channels, do they? Actually, they do. Research shows that 57% of users who contacted a brand on social media expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal working hours.
Utilise Chatbots- Whilst we at Moondust are not big fans of using chatbots to reply to followers, they do have their place. An automated chatbot response on Facebook Messenger for example can buy a little extra time for your actual response. The message could simply say “Hey, thanks for messaging us, our team will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours”.
Cut Down Your Channels- If you’re trying to manage multiple channels with a very small social media team then it may be time to let some of them go. In fact, a strong presence across a few channels is far more powerful than a diluted one with poor response times across numerous ones.Remember too, that your content should be unique across each channel. If you have 8 social media channels you will need to be generating content, images and videos x 8. Can you really achieve that?
Utilise an Agency- If you’re a big brand and you want to keep all your channels running smoothly then you may need to seek the support of an agency to help you manage them, ensuring your fans enjoy a fast response time, even during week-ends.
Influencer marketing has been a buzz phrase for several years but 2018 saw it hit an all-time popularity high. But what does it mean? Most marketers assume influencer marketing involves grabbing a celebrity to endorse their products or services. And the truth is that very few brands can afford to do this. Social media and video influencers, especially the celebrity kind, cost big money to utilise. Kim Kardashian, for example, reportedly charges over $250,000 for an Instagram photo. YIKES! Influencer pricing varies but will usually consider the number of followers the influencer has, their engagement levels and the amount of effort you require from them.
Of course, fake followers and bots have increased in line with the influencer marketing trend. It’s therefore essential to assess not only at a person’s number of followers but real results like engagement, conversions, downloads and product sales before making a commitment.
But what can you do if you simply don’t have the budget to snag a top celeb to endorse your brand?
Micro Influencers-Micro-influencers are active on social media and typically have fewer than 10,000 followers. They usually have expertise in a very specific niche, such as design, travel, or tech and have established themselves as authorities. Micro influencers are not celebrities, but they still hold significant sway within their sector. For example, you’re a tech company wanting to promote your latest product. Do you try to get Elon Musk to endorse you or do you go for a smaller influencer who holds sway in the tech community? Your chances of being able to afford and engage a top influencer if you’re a regular brand are small. That’s why researching influencers with an understanding of your product niche is key.
Organic Influencer Engagement-There are many ways we at Moondust Agency organically engage influencers on your behalf. This could include sending free product samples, mentioning the influencer favourably in a post or tweet or tagging them in an influencer roundup. This is where a lot of effort from our social media team is required to achieve a mention. It is not good etiquette to simply demand an influencer mention, there is plenty to be done before and afterwards to build long lasting relationships.
Social Proof- Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behaviour. In other words, your friends are doing it, so you will follow suit, perhaps without even realising. In many ways this is a form of influencer marketing. By utilising basic social media advertising tools, we can show adverts to friends of your fans. They will therefore see messages such as “Kim Jones liked this”or “Kim Jones Recommended this”.This is a very low-cost form of influencer marketing, but it can be effective nevertheless.
Speak to any social media manager right now about engagement and you will see their expression shift to one of frustration, perhaps even despair. That’s because all the social media channels, but Facebook in particular, have engineered drops in their organic engagement.
Many brands are completely unaware that as little as 2% of their page fans actually see their posts. These are real page fans who have liked your page and opted in to see your messages. That means if you have 10,000 page fans, only 200 are seeing your posts. And most mid-sized brands don’t have 10,000 fans. Since the most severe Facebook algorithm change was implemented at the beginning of 2018, brands all agree that they have seen an unprecedented decline in organic reach. Now Facebook favours content from friends and family over posts from brands leaving companies publishing content that never gets seen. Worse still, when this happens, the algorithm ranks your page as unimportant, so you see even less engagement. These changes are designed to force brands to pay for advertising simply to reach their own fans.
It’s one of the biggest social media challenges of 2018 but what can brands do to overcome it?
User Generated Content - Facebook has stated that “the type of content produced and how people interact with it” are key elements in determining a Page’s reach. So here at Moondust Agency we often feature user generated content to boost engagement. User-generated content is any form of content, such as images, videos, text and audio, posted by users. As a practical example, you can feature user guest posts, questions, comments or even photos if they submit them to you. By doing this you are prompting your fans to comment, share and interact which will raise your overall page status.
Live Video- Live videos on Facebook get six times as many interactions as regular videos. They are a great way to increase organic engagement levels and encourage discussion among your followers. Medium sized brands often panic at the mention of video. They tell us “we don’t have a studio”, “We don’t have the budget” or “we don’t have a videographer”. With Facebook live, you don’t need any of these things. Go live from your office, at your product launch, with your team members or to demonstrate a product feature. Plan out your video in advance though, as once you are live there is no room for edits later! Don’t want to go live? There are numerous video formats you can try including 360-degree videos, Stories, GIFs, and more.
Be Original-To snare that all important engagement on your page, your content needs to stand out. With more and more competitors circling the waters, it’s essential that your content and messaging is original and unique. At Moondust Agency we work with clients to create unique content marketing strategies. We create engaging titles and blog topics that your customers haven’t read elsewhere. We also use trending keywords to improve your organic reach on social media and get more eyes on your content.
Has your brand been struggling with these social media challenges? If so, reach out to our team. We have overcome these challenges for a number of brands around the world and we’re ready to get you back on the road to social media success.