In the modern marketing world, there is no facet more complex or dynamic than social media. New platforms emerge constantly, best practices shift and algorithm changes throw off even the most well-planned social strategies.
Keeping up with these evolving trends can be difficult, and while some are simply flashes in the pan, others are worth paying attention to for their long-term value potential. Then there’s the strategies that never get old. That's why we asked a group of successful entrepreneurs to share their top social media tips of the year. Follow their advice to achieve social media success in 2020 and beyond.
Spark conversation and engagement.
If your social media strategy is primarily about sharing content, you're missing a huge opportunity to create meaningful connections. As Jared Shaner, chief revenue officer of Trellis.co, puts it, too many "influencers" focus too much on creating self-promotional content, instead of using social media for its intended purpose: socializing.
"The people getting the most traction are those that actively engage in driving and continuing conversation with others through the social platforms," says Shaner.
Focus on building a network of relationships.
Similarly, Nicole Munoz, founder and CEO of Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc., reminds brands that social media is about relationships -- and that's what you need to keep in mind when they create posts and a sense of community for your followers.
"Community is about engagement and respect for the opinions and discussions of others," Munoz says. "If you want to create meaningful posts, nurture your community."
Repurpose your top-performing content.
Every social post you share doesn't have to be created from scratch. Monica Snyder, CEO of Birdsong, recommends taking one core piece of content and repurposing it for the different platforms.
"I find it easiest to start with a video that can be turned into a blog post, a podcast, graphics and quotes for all the different platforms," Snyder says. "Given that each platform likes their content formatted slightly differently, be sure to optimize for the ones that have your target audience."
Create live videos.
Live video is quickly becoming one of the most popular features on many social media platforms. Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner, advises businesses take full advantage of this feature to connect with their audiences.
"It's a good idea to announce the live video ahead of time, so that you gather questions beforehand," Balkhi explains. "You'll be able to answer questions in real time and help your audience find solutions to their problems. You'll also give your brand a 'face' and make it something people can relate to."
Narrow your focus.
A new social platform takes the world by storm every few years, says Rahul Varshneya, co-founder of CurveBreak. Instead of being swayed by the trends and wasting scarce resources on trying out every single social media channel all at once, choose two or three that are most relevant to your audience and focus your efforts there.
"Figure out what channels your target audience frequents and prioritize only those social platforms," says Varshneya.
Optimize your profiles.
If you don't have complete, well-thought-out profiles, it shows users you're an inconsistent brand that doesn't do much on social media, says Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms.
"You need to be proactive and engaged if you want your followers and target audience to be the same," Wells adds. "Take a second look at your profiles and get rid of unnecessary information while adding better copy."
Seek to add value for your audience.
According to Diego Orjuela, CEO of Cables & Sensors, the best thing you can do on social media is to add value for your followers.
"The best way to attract your ideal client is to serve up value that shows your service or product is what they need," Orjuela says. "Don't just post to post or copy another person's strategies. Think, 'What does my ideal client need to hear from me today?' and go from there!"
Be authentic above all else.
In 2020, being authentic on social media will be important for anyone looking to engage with their community, including for entrepreneurs. Kyle Wong, CEO of Pixlee, recommends building curated lists around topics and individuals you're interested in and carving out time to participate.
"Be authentic with the channels you choose to interact on," Wong explains. "Don't spread yourself too thin -- pick the ones that resonate with you and your interests."