With the new year comes a new opportunity to capitalize on social media to grow your business. However, it is important to keep up with what is working, and not spend too much time on things that aren’t. So I’ve put together a quick list of what to focus on in 2017 so that you are investing in the places you’ll see the greatest ROI.
On the Upswing
Snapchat and Instagram Stories
Like it or not, Snapchat and Instagram stories are where the millennials are, and the millennials are a huge portion of the market at large. Not only that, they are the future. They are building connections with brands today that they will use for years to come.
Snapchat and Instagram stories can feel a bit silly for those who aren’t a part of that generation, but it is so important that you begin to use one of these platforms in 2017. The authenticity and raw behind the scenes peek these platforms allow is a huge draw for millennials. This is where they are spending their time, which means it is where you should spend your time. Not to mention this is a free way to connect, so any return you see from these platforms will be a positive one!
Lots of people are afraid of live video, but this is truly an amazing way to reach your followers, specifically on Facebook. Live video is heavily favored in the algorithm which means that your videos will be seen by a way higher percentage of your followers than any other type of post you might put up. Practice makes perfect here, so you need to just dive in and start using live video. If you have Instagram live video capabilities then this is another way to increase your engagement and provide helpful content that will draw clients your way.
In the Middle…
In the past few years, you’ve been able to see a pretty significant return on well targeted Facebook Ads. Today, you can still see ROI on these platforms, but you are getting less and less engagement for your money. I definitely see this as being a trend for both Facebook and Instagram in 2017. As more and more businesses are using these platforms to reach a wider audience, the market is becoming over saturated. In an effort to keep these platforms more social and less ad driven, I think we are going to have to start spending more to get true reach and engagement with our ads. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we are going to have to be careful with our targeting, timing, and frequency when it comes to both Facebook and Instagram ads. I think this is still something to utilize in 2017, but it may just need a different place in your social media strategy.
On the downswing
Twitter is still alive and kicking…but barely. Engagement here is significantly lower than it has been, and that is not likely to reverse in the coming year. Twitter is a great way to do some quick interactions with clients and customers, and is popular in some geographies among teenagers. However, in terms of engagement that will grow your business, you are not going to see a huge ROI here.
Facebook Static Posts
If you are simply posting images with words on them, or just a status update with no image, you are going to get almost no engagement on Facebook unless you are putting a budget behind it. This type of strategy is no longer effective and is quickly being pushed out by live video and more natural photos.
The social media landscape is forever changing. I know that it can be a lot to keep up with so if you only focus on one or two things for 2017, that is totally fine! My recommendation would be to really invest in live video and either Snapchat or Instagram stories. These are no cost ways to really engage your audience and grow your business. You can add to that some intentional, targeted Facebook and Instagram ads leading up to important launches, and don’t stress a ton about everything else. Social media can truly bring your business to the next level with a little strategy and focus, so don’t be afraid to try some new things and see how they fit into your overall plan and goals for the year.