As 2014 comes to a close, many companies are busy budgeting for the next year. Now’s the perfect time for marketers to think about their social media goals for 2015 and decide how much to allocate for social marketing.
Social media spending is going up in 2015, so the question that companies need to ask is this: do we need to follow the trend?
My answer? Absolutely. Here are 3 ways putting more resources into your social media efforts can elevate your marketing tactics in the new year:
1. Increase the quality of your social media content and try more content formats.
Companies are pumping out more content than ever. In fact, 93% of B2C companies and 92% of B2B companies currently use social media as part of their content marketing strategy. To stand out on social, the quality of your content needs to be higher than ever. Having enough budget will help your marketing team create better infographics, videos and other types of content.
An increased budget will also allow your team to try new things on social. To create great interactive infographics, engaging Slideshare presentations and other newer types of content, your team may need to tap into external talent, bring in new members or try and buy new tools.
2. Promote your best content.
Organic reach is going down—a trend that will likely continue in 2015. Large brands reach only 2% of their Facebook fans, according to a study by Ogilvy. Forrester also recently found that only 0.07% of top brands’ Facebook fans interact with their content, while only 0.03% of Twitter followers engage with big brands.
Facebook recently explained why companies are reaching a smaller audience these days. First, companies simply compete with more content in the News Feed. “On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook,” reveals Facebook’s Brian Boland. “For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.”
Brian also admits that the site’s algorithm is a factor:
Rather than showing people all possible content, News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content that’s most relevant to them. Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person.
So, what’s the solution? Having less promotional content would help. But marketers also need to start looking to paid media in order to complement what they’re doing organically. “Paid media on Facebook allows businesses to reach broader audiences more predictably, and with much greater accuracy than organic content,” says Brian.
It’s important that marketers continue to try new tactics on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to engage fans; however, we also need to realize that social media is now a “pay to play” space—meaning, you’ll need to allocate some ad buy to help maximize your reach.
3. Try new networks…and experiment with new tools and tactics.
The list of emerging social media networks and apps grows every day. Most companies probably need to be on Facebook and Twitter; for B2B companies,LinkedIn and Slideshare are great options as well. If video is part of your strategy, then you need to be on YouTube. Retailers could benefit from a Pinterest presence, while those seeking to connect with younger Millennials and Gen Z might find more success on Instagram and Tumblr.
But businesses also need to consider and watch emerging networks. Some brands have already found success marketing on Snapchat and Vine. Anonymous (and more niche) networks like Ello and Social X also need to be on marketers’ radars.
You should let your marketing goals dictate which social networks you should be at. But you also need to give your social media manager the time and the resources to try these new sites. While taking a pic for Instagram is easy and relatively cheap, creating a cool GIF for Tumblr, putting together an “infogif” for your blog posts, or making a fun Vine video for the first time requires creativity and expertise, both of which you might need to acquire externally.
Social media marketing is now mainstream, and most companies realize that having a great social presence requires having creative talent and access to tools and resources. In the new year, be sure to budget enough money to set your social media team up for success.
Are you allocating more money for social media marketing in 2015? Why or why not?
Photo credit: Jeff Sheldon