Last night I attended our quarterly Tuesdays Together meet up with the Fort Lauderdale and Miami group. It was amazing! I love the opportunity to get together with a room full of creatives and talk about our businesses, what’s working, what’s not, and how we can all grow. Last night, there were a lot of questions about leveraging social media marketing in 2018, especially with all of the new changes.

One thing that stood out to me after yesterday’s conversation about social media marketing, was the question everyone seemed to be asking, “how do I evolve and what can I do to make sure I can continue to grow my business with social media?”.

The few people I got to chat with one-on-one wanted actionable steps to help them navigate the new algorithm changes.

Since you are here, I think it’s safe to say, you want actionable steps as well.

So, I turned to something I think you should do more of in 2018 and created a video first thing this morning to answer those questions. I want to help you beat the algorithm, okay, not beat it, because let’s be real, I don’t think any of us will beat it. But, I want your business to grow in 2018 and adopting these 8 tips will help your social media marketing efforts in the new year.

8 Tips to Help Your Social Media Marketing Efforts in 2018

1. Be Social on Social Media

Social media first and foremost is a social network. That means connecting and engaging with our audience and network.

Mark Zuckerberg identified in his latest update, that Facebook’s core values are around bringing people closer together, he goes on to explain his focus and mission for Facebook with his latest announcement:

 

“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.

We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.”

 

So, as a business, we need to focus on the same thing and make sure that our message aligns with Facebook’s mission – connecting with people.

2. Add Value

In his update last week, Mark also identified how important having meaningful social interactions will be in 2018:

 

“Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to help you have more meaningful social interactions.”

 

This simply means having interactions and engagement that add value. If we shift our mindset from “how can social media help me” as a business owner to focus on a customer-first strategy where we approach it with the mindset of “how can my presence on social media help my customers” we will be more in line with Mark’s mission for Facebook.

Once we do this, we begin to shift the content and information we share on social media – driving us to become much more social on these platforms.

3. Don’t use Clickbait Text, Copy, or Titles

BuzzFeed is notorious for this type of content. Clickbait simply means copy that implies one thing, but the content doesn’t really live up to the hype of the title or copy used to describe it. This goes against the core values that Mark is trying to get back to for his customers in 2018.

It’s also important to stay away from copy that includes “like this…” “share this…” “comment with your …” in your post. This is a form of clickbait to get people to engage with your content. The Facebook team is viewing this as inauthentic and will ultimately get less reach in 2018. And, while this has worked in the past because of high engagement rates, Facebook realizes this is not the type of content their consumers want to see in their feeds.

4. Leverage Video Content

Video marketing has been on the rise for years, but with the launch of Facebook Live, Facebook stories, Instagram Live and Instagram stories, video is becoming easier for all marketers to implement.

People want to connect with you on a greater level and video allows consumers to do just that. There is something unique about video that a simple post cannot convey. We are able to connect to the person on the other end through audio and visual components with the use of video. And, while this is a huge benefit to those adapting to the video trend, consumers are also changing their behavior.

More and more consumers are skipping the mindless scroll and are watching video content. They are engaging in stories and live content more than ever before. While we tend to believe this is Facebook’s doing, consumers are shifting their habits. As business owners, and marketers, we need to shift ours as well.

My Instagram stories get more reach and engagement than my regular posts do. I’m also able to have more personable, one-on-one conversations with people and brands I follow through Instagram stories – this is also the same for my business – more people connect with me through direct message with the use of Instagram stories.

5. Post to the Native Platform

This is a biggie – Instagram and Facebook do not want you to cross-post your content. If you do, it ranks it lower in others’ newsfeed.

The reason for this is because Facebook is trying to take market share away from YouTube with the rollout of it’s newest feature Facebook TV, not to mention they want to keep you in their own platform, and the best way to do that uses their own features. If you post a video on YouTube and then copy the link over to Facebook, Facebook will not give it the same weight in the algorithm, instead, they want you to upload it directly in the Facebook platform.

The same goes for a regular post, if you post a picture and text on Instagram, do not automatically have it push through Facebook. Instead, copy your post content and paste it into Facebook separately. The platforms want you to upload to their sites natively because it feels less automated and more authentic on their end when ranking your content.

And, by now, you realize Facebook wants to serve their customers by going back to their core values and mission of connecting people and bringing them closer together by making sure they are serving up content that is valuable to their audience.

6. Be Consistent

This is key to gaining exposure and making social media work for you. This is important in all business and marketing efforts regardless of the platform. Be consistent. Consistently show up and add value.

7. Use Hashtags

Leveraging the features each platform offers will significantly help your social media marketing strategy. Using hashtags within my own Instagram stories has increased my reach almost 25% compared to an Instagram story that does not utilize a hashtag.

This allows me to reach people who currently aren’t following me but would be interested in the topic I am hashtagging.

Another new feature Instagram recently launched is the ability to follow hashtags. Leveraging this tool to help you get in front of an audience that is interested in the same items as you allows you to build connections and community with people you weren’t previously connected to. The posts and stories utilizing the hashtag you follow will show up in your feed with higher priority so you can stay up-to-date with new content. This also works the other way around for your business – if someone is following a specific hashtag and you utilize it in your Instagram posts or stories, they’ll easily see your content because they are following along.

8. Always Test

What works for one person may not work for you and your audience. You should always be testing items on social media to see what works best for your business. If something doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean you failed, it just means something didn’t resonate and a shift needs to take place to see what works best. It may require a tweak to the message, timing, imagery, story (whatever it may be) to resonate with your specific audience.

If the new changes on Facebook and Instagram have you wondering how you’ll market your creative business in 2018, don’t worry! Leverage your social media marketing with these 8 tips!

I know keeping up with all of the changes all of the time can be exhausting, I do get it. But Facebook and Instagram often give us the answers we are looking for when they announce their changes. Since we are utilizing someone else’s platform to market our businesses, we need to play by their rules.

I also firmly believe as marketers and business owners we should not solely rely on one or two platforms to handle all of our marketing. Social media is just a piece of the puzzle or part of the funnel, it should not be the end all be all.

Friend, I am cheering you on in 2018, because I know you can do this!

If you have a question or additional thoughts on how to leverage these new updates and continue to grow your business in 2018 let me know in the comments below! I’d love to keep the conversation going.

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