Like SEO, social media marketing is constantly changing. New social networks, creative new social strategies, and changes to search engine algorithms all contribute to how marketers used social media differently in 2013. With 2014 on the way, it’s time to re-evaluate your social media strategy again. Here are the top ways to improve your social media marketing in 2014.
1. Use New Social Networks
You’re probably already on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. But does your business have a presence on Instagram, Snapchat, or Vine? Every year, new social networks launch. While you shouldn’t be on every social network, you definitely should identify the networks that would help further your marketing objectives.
Take some time to research what brands are doing with newer social networks and see if you can benefit form a presence there, too. For example, waffle truck Waffluv is an excellent example of how to do Instagram right. Spend a little time searching, and you’ll find plenty of other brands to model.
2. Focus On Customer Experience
When social media first became a major part of online marketing, many companies made a big mistake. Their attitude towards social media – “Let’s get on Facebook/Twitter so we can sell more to our customers!” – didn’t actually fit with how users spend their time on these sites.
Instead of using social media to sell (which doesn’t work well), you should focus your social media efforts on improving your users’ experiences with your brand. Make 2014 the year your social media channels actually become a conversation with your customers, publicly showing how you value their input (even if what they say isn’t quite positive).
3. Build Partnerships
Some people see their roles as small businesses like they’re John Wayne: independent cowboys who single-handedly tame online business.
It’s already a mistake to plan online marketing in this way, and 2014 is going to make it a lot worse.
Organic link building is essential for the success of an online business, and social media is an excellent way to naturally increase your reach and get customers to share your links. By partnering with other online marketers in your space, you’ll be able to naturally increase your social media presence, find ideas on ways you can improve throughout the year, and grow your business in 2014.
4. Plan For Mobile and Go Local
2013 was the year mobile traffic to local sites grew to 27% – that’s almost a third of local web traffic. When you plan socially shareable content, don’t just think of desktops. Instead, keep smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices in mind, and optimize your social media profiles for local visitors.
5. Cut Back and Refocus Your Efforts
Some businesses may actually be spending too much time on social media. If your social media presence isn’t furthering your business goals, you may want to consider changing your strategy. Consider making some of the following changes:
Re-evaluate your social media goals.
Decide how your social media efforts are helping you to achieve those goals.
Determine how much time you actually need to spend managing your social media accounts.
Focus more on posting engaging content rather than timed updates.
Be more consistent with posting on your social channels
6. Get Some Help
As the importance of social media continues to grow, doing social media right will take more and more time in 2014. Social media is important – too important to leave to an intern or untrained customer service rep. Instead of leaving your social strategy to change (and effectively wasting your efforts), don’t hesitate to reach out to a social media marketing team and get some help. The cost is usually much lower than you’d expect, and the return on your investment usually pays for itself.
Social media can be a huge boost for both small and large businesses, but only if you have the right plans and objectives. Follow these tips to see your social media marketing improve in 2014.