By now you’re probably getting accustomed to writing “2019,” and you’re starting to feel the vibe that the new year has in store for you and your business. How do you plan to share that buzz and tell your story in 2019? What’s your social media strategy for the new year?
Consider these trends and developments that may help you to decide how to shape your story and communicate with your customers, clients, friends and followers in 2019.
Authenticity builds trust
Last year was a difficult one for social media users, many of whom who felt betrayed by scandals that misused their trust and their data. Author and Entrepreneur contributor Deep Patel explains: “Brands will need to look for ways to build consumer trust. That means focusing on ways to authentically connect with audiences, and ways to highlight their humanity. Brands need to connect with their audiences on a meaningful level.” How do you achieve this? Create content that is genuine, helpful, and sincere.
Your audience is important to you. Of course, they matter because they factor into your business in an important way. But the relationship means more than that; you care about their experience, and you want to build a mutually beneficial relationship with them. Make sure they feel that. After all, your relationship is not simply transactional. You truly want to make their lives better, easier, healthier. The beauty of social media is that it gives you the chance to develop content which assures them of this.
Hash it out
Another way to build trust and authenticity is to root your communication in the values you and your audience share. Hashtags are a fun, savvy way to do so.
Hootsuite’s Emily Copp advises: “To build conversation around your brand, create short, easy-to-remember branded hashtags that bring your community together around a common interest. . . Use hashtags to align users around a brand value or noble purpose, rather than just a product offering.”
Positioning company leaders to write blog posts or to serve as experts or guest contributors in published posts or articles is a great way to exhibit their savvy and the brand’s prowess. It demonstrates that the pro who calls the shots at your company is a thought leader in the industry.
Rachella Strella, CEO of Strella Social Media explains: “By enabling your audiences to get to know the character and expertise of company leadership, a business can strengthen its brand reputation.”
A great way to do this is to sign on as a potential source on HARO (Help a Reporter Out). This way when journalists are looking for sources to quote in their articles, you can offer to serve as a source; for example, if a local journalist is writing about the challenges of aging in place, the owner of a Visiting Angels franchise might be well-positioned to speak to common concerns, issues and solutions.
Everyone loves pictures, and what could be better? Video! Posting short, live clips continues to gain attention and affection. Aleh Barysevich, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Link-Assistant.com explains: “The authentic and ephemeral nature of live videos seems to make them especially attractive and meaningful to social media users. Live videos increase the perceived trustworthiness and relevance of a brand, and it’s a trend that you don't want to ignore.”
If your awesome team is celebrating an important milestone or occasion, or you have a big event like a ribbon cutting or a new facility opening, invite your social media followers to join in via live video. It’s a great way to make them feel part of the action!
When it comes to social media strategy for 2019, authenticity is key. So welcome your audience in with your social media efforts!