Sometimes, Social Media Marketing in 2019 can seem a little daunting. A mind-numbing number of options, meteoric competition and the apparent need for constant creativity can put some businesses off.

But, it shouldn’t, Social Media can be a fantastic marketing tool. In this article, we’re going to look at which platforms your business should be on and how to use them effectively.

My advice isn’t to try and utilise every platform but focus your efforts on the ones that make sense for better results. The ones where your audience spends their time.

Before we get into it, let me quickly explain the two different approaches to social media marketing in 2019.

  1. Paid and quick. Get in front of people’s faces on Social Media today.
  2. Free and slow. Build a loyal fanbase over time through great value-adding content.

Usually, smart marketers will probably use the third option, which is a combination of the two because each one has a place at the table – as you’ll see.

Ok then, the platforms, who are they for? How best do you use them?

Facebook

You have to be on facebook. I don’t care what industry you’re in, I don’t care if you don’t like Facebook, I don’t care if some other ‘marketing expert’ has told you Facebook is dead.

Facebook is alive and well and with 2.38 billion active users every month in 2019 so far (an increase on last year – it’s still growing) you can’t afford to not be on this platform.

However… if the upside is that everyone is on it, the downside is that everyone’s business is on it too.

The biggest social platform is extremely competitive for businesses and the days of setting up a business page and posting daily being enough to build you a following have gone the way of the dodo.

To actually reach anyone now, Facebook has made it so that you pretty much have to pay for advertising. So, keep this cost-effective by working hard. Graft at your page, create amazing content, share it, ask people to like and share constantly. Work and work some more.

This will be a recurring theme here, to get any social media marketing to work, you’re going to have to commit.

There are various theories on this… but I think Facebook should be treated a little like Google Ads. Spend on these platforms is 100% going to be worth it – when implemented properly. 

Drill down who your target audience actually is (either with website data or some other RELIABLE research) and focus on getting the word out to these exact people. Alongside this, build a page that is actually useful to them and selling off the back of this becomes a natural process.

Best of all, Facebook makes this pretty easy to do if you learn how to utilise the targeting features properly.

Instagram

Instagram has exploded over the last decade and if your target audience includes 18-30-year-olds, you won’t find a better marketing platform. This said, older generations are now adopting Insta too and unless your target market is in the nan and grandad eras you’ll likely find a relevant audience.

Because of Instagram’s highly visual format, it’s suited to businesses with something pretty, stylish or sleekly designed to sell. 

Meaning, if you’re in the pedal bin market, you’re gonna have to get a little more creative with your posting. But, thrive off that – the rewards are always worth the headaches.  

Where Instagram differs from Facebook is that it’s much more about engaging. On Facebook, you have to pay and accompanying this with useful, value adding posts on your page is a good mix and probable successful strategy for most businesses.

With Instagram, you can pay for advertising (obviously) and I’d advise that in some/most cases you do. But, you can actually get somewhere by simply engaging with other users.

Searching for your ‘town name’ or ‘niche’ and just going through the posts leaving encouraging comments. Jumping in and adding value to conversations, can and will grow your following over time.

Here’s the kicker though, it’s that theme again… if you want to do it this way, it’s going to take hard graft. If Gary Vaynerchuk is to be trusted (and he is) you need to put around 4 hours a day, minimum, into this strategy to grow effectively. Like I’ve said, this is just how it is with social media marketing in 2019, take it or leave it.

Instagram does have one huge ace up its sleeve. It’s a place where high profile decision makers can be found and contacted – for free. Use this sparingly and tactfully but whereas Linkedin will charge you to send Inmails and Twitter accounts are often manned by marketing assistants these days. Insta is a relatively untapped resource for high ticket B2B Lead Nurturing. You’re welcome.

Speaking of Twitter…

Twitter

Users of this platform are statistically above average earners and above average educated too. It’s also relatively male-dominated by social media standards (57% men).

Personally, I love twitter, it’s like an old friend but, to my mind, most people get this platform completely wrong.

There’s parallax between how people consume on Twitter and how they think it’s best used for marketing… In my opinion, if you have a business on twitter and all you do is post content – even if it’s really great content… you shouldn’t bother.

I’m not saying don’t post content on this platform – not at all. Just remember that Twitter is essentially one huge conversation, so don’t be that guy, the guy that just spouts stuff out and never listens and responds to anybody else.

There's parallax between how people consume on Twitter and how they think it's best used for marketing

If you really want to get traction, become a part of those conversations. Instigate, jump in, get involved and again with consistency and hard work it’ll pay off in the long run.

Many people question, ‘can you get as much return?’ and some experts have their doubts. Depending on what it is your business sells, I’d cautiously agree with them. For sure, Twitter isn’t for every business out there. It probably won’t help you sell your cleaning service too well, or increase your revenue on designer shoes.

But…  if you’ve written a brilliant book about politics with a comical and liberal-leaning tone, or developed an excellent piece of productivity software, it could help make you a fortune.

Where relevant, double down. Competition is lower and the audience is much more receptive to a conversation – which often creates opportunity.

instagram

Linkedin

Often feels like the spam capital of the world. Still useful, for sure, but Linkedin isn’t the place it used to be.

Years ago, the platform was a haven of easy-to-contact business owners and influencers. It felt possible to message a potential customer (if you’re in the B2B realm) and actually come across as fresh, original and interesting. Not so much, anymore.

So where does Linkedin sit with Social Media Marketing in 2019?

Well, t’s still a fantastic professional network. That’s key here. I didn’t say ‘fantastic professional advertising opportunity’ or ‘lead generation tool’… it’s an ‘incredible ‘network’.

I also didn’t say ‘dating agency’… yeah I’m looking at you… you at the back. Stop doing that. Just. Stop.

You can pay for Linkedin Ads and yes, if you’re a B2B business owner those ads are gonna be shown to some pretty ‘ideal customer’ type people. The issue here is that those people will have seen it all before by now and pay those ads little to no attention.

How do you stand out? Treat it as it’s meant to be treated. ‘The Professional Network’ is a great place to post articles, send kudos to your colleagues or professional acquaintances. Share interesting ideas and add value to other business people’s newsfeed.

The users here are business people. It’s not always an opportune time to be sold to, they want to make informed business decisions. Show your expertise, give useful information away for free. Work hard at becoming a trusted connection to a host of important decision makers and believe me, when they need something, they’ll come to you.

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Honourable Mentions

If you have a young target audience (we’re talking teenagers and early twenties), some budget to spend and a decent eye for video then Snapchat could work for you.

You may have heard Snapchat is dying too, and in this case, perhaps it is. But it still has more than enough users within a certain demographic to make an interesting case for itself. Combine this with the crazy attention levels Snapchat Ads get and you’re looking at a potentially valuable marketing asset.

Perhaps your target market is predominantly female and you have a visual product to sell? Then you’re probably already all over Pinterest and, if you’re not, you should be. Homeware, Clothing, Beauty, Culinary all do well on this platform.

Pinterest is where the fairer gender (generalisation) tends to go for ideas when they’re about to spend money on something, it’s kind of marketing basics to get in front of consumers at that point right? Go Pinterest!

TikTok is the new Vine (it seems) and similar to Snapchat, has huge benefits to those wanting to market to younger audiences. However, whether or not it’ll be literally the new Vine and end up disappearing completely after a period of success, remains to be seen. Either way, strike while the iron is hot and you could well get some rewards from this platform.  

Summary

Much like SEO, the days of ‘tricking algorithms’ and hacking these things are long gone. This is awesome for consumers and simply means that as marketers we have to work a little harder and play ball a little more.

My top tip for Social Media Marketing in 2019? Choose a couple of platforms that your audience spends time on and use them as they’re intended to be used. Be as creative as you can in adding value to other users and with hard work and perseverance, it’ll pay off.

Want some help with Social Media management? Contact us here.

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