Based on the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, people’s trust in social media is currently at 41 percent globally. Thanks to data breaches and consumer distrust. With 60 percent of people not trusting social media platforms to act responsibly with their data, 40 percent have deleted at least one of their social media accounts. While those statistics don’t fare well for social media, there is light at the end of the tunnel for your social media marketing strategy. Seventy-one percent expect brands to pressure social media platforms to protect personal data.
While consumers want to feel comfortable using social media, the key is transparency. Facebook is taking a step in that direction by launching a new transparency initiative for political advertisements.
“Transparency helps everyone, especially political watchdog groups and reporters, keep advertisers accountable for who they say they are and what they say to different groups,” said Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice-president of ads. Twitter took a step in the direction of more transparency as well, by purging millions of fake accounts.
Personalize Your Communication
You want your customers to be loyal and love your brand. And that takes work with your social media marketing strategy. Maintain open lines of communication with your consumers. The purpose of social media is to encourage socializing, so talk with — not to — your audience. Be authentic, personable, and timely. Respond to customer complaints, issues, and questions — remember their positive feedback deserves attention, too. Nurture and support your audience, and you will get loyalty.
To build a conversation around your brand, your social media marketing strategy might include creating branded hashtags. But be sure that the hashtags are aligned with your brand and community values. A brand that did this well is Backcountry, with their hashtag, #GOATworthy, for people who love the outdoors. A branded hashtag can create a group of like-minded people (your audience) that are inspired by your brand and content.
Embrace Video and Start a Story
We live in a visual world with in-the-moment experiences. Visual stories are meant to be created and consumed on the fly — hence the 24-hour timeframe before they expire. High-production-value posts are still relevant but tend to work the best when balanced with stories that provide a more personal experience — a glimpse behind the scenes. Your social media marketing strategy should include sharing content weekly at different times of the day to see what works best with your audience.
Increase Your Paid Budget
Paid advertising on social media is going to cost more this year. Facebook accounts for 23 percent of total US digital ad spending. With more brands boosting their posts (one out of every four Facebook Pages use paid media), there’s more competition for views. So, rather than trying to promote everything, your social media marketing strategy should note to only boost your top-performing content. Consider spending more of your time and budget on social media platforms based on demographics. Use your audiences to choose which platforms would work best and split test your ads and try different ad sets to see what creates more engagement.
Moving in the Right Direction
Although consumer trust dipped in 2018, social media’s reach is still staggering. Building a social media marketing strategy that converts is attainable, but it depends on how your brand communicates with its audience. Transparency, clear communication, and new approaches can create meaning and conversations with the audiences you want to connect with.