Social media platforms have become go-to sources for news, with over 2/3rds of Americans relying on their social networks for news updates. But since these platforms can’t be regulated, they are often victim to fake news scandals and damaging conspiracy theories. This presents brands who rely on social media marketing with a problem – establishing credibility on unregulated and distrusted platforms. To make matters worse, consumer trust in brands has been on the decline for over 3 years now. With fake news taking over social media, that trust is likely to plummet to an all-time low. Here are 7 social media marketing trends you can use to survive the fake news era and build trust with your social media audience.
Curate content from neutral and trustworthy sources
Today’s digital-first audience is aware of how brands are utilizing social media to increase exposure and drive sales. So unless your social media pages are relevant or useful to them, social media users are likely to ignore you or worse, detest you for your focus on promotions. Content curation allows you to stay relevant while providing your social media audience with irresistible and unbiased value. Tons of popular social media pages today curate content from other pages and earn a lot of attention. Here’s how you can do that too.
- Identify top industry blog, news agencies, websites run by industry influencers or non-competing brands who have really great content.
- Follow them, subscribe to their newsletters or bookmark them on your browser. It’s best to keep a separate email address dedicated to content curation so you can find what you need in one place.
- Refer to these sources once a week and earmark content that’s relevant to your brand.
Build a network of active brand advocates
While people don’t trust in brands, they do trust in other people like themselves. So as a brand, the best way for you to get a message across to your target groups is to people – customers, employees, social media fans. The more active people you include in your brand advocacy network, the greater your reach and impact on social networks will be. But building an advocacy network will take you time and effort. Here are a few ideas to help you get started with brand advocacy.
- Some companies establish instant advocacy networks by involving their employees. You could do with the help of a gamified employee advocacy platform. DrumUp is one such platform that allows you to setup, add and activate employees quickly
- The next best way to activate advocates is by following them on social media and taking interest in their work. You could do this by adding potential advocates to Twitter lists or inviting them to be part of Twitter groups.
Identify influencers and micro-influencers to work with
Influencer marketing is here to stay because people followed influencers before social media and they’ll continue to do the same even when it is under fire for fake news and security issues. Social networks continue to be the primary means for people to follow their heroes, find inspiration and connect with influential people, and this fact works in the favor of influencer marketing. Your brand can reach all the right people through relevant influencers and micro-influencers. Here’s how you can make that happen.
- When looking for influencers, identify people who’re sharing info related to your niche and attracting attention from your target groups. Even if they’re not easy to connect with, your long-term efforts will pay off in kind.
- Consider working with micro-influencers, who may not have access to as large an audience as influencers, but can still get your valuable business. You can find micro-influencers within your network and niche by searching for hashtags and keywords that are related to your business.
Collaborative marketing is gaining a lot of popularity in the eCommerce and retail marketing spaces. The idea is to tie-up with relevant, non-competing entities to double your reach and half your expenses and effort. On Instagram, collaborative marketers join what’s referred to as a “pod”, through which they share posts with each other when published so they can help each other promote that content. Some pods also encourage participants to mention their collaboration in their bios. Here’s how you can identify opportunities for collaboration.
- The simplest way to identify partners to collaborate with is through hashtag monitoring apps such as Hashtagify or Google’s Keyword Monitoring Tool.
- Once you have identified partners, create a proposal that offers benefits for both participating entities.
- Try to design partnership terms that encourage long-term associations
In a world where content is abundant and time is less, visuals tend to have a massive impact. That’s why visuals will continue to stand out on social media platforms, irrespective of what’s happening on these platforms. Among the visual formats with which you can experiment, the video is probably the best investment. People are consuming video content like never before, and they’ll continue to do so at increasing rates. Here’s how you can effortlessly adopt visual content in your social media marketing.
- If you’re not accustomed to designing video content, you could use design assistance tools such as Moovly to simplify the process.
- If you’re not comfortable creating video content, you could get started with simpler visuals such as quotes and memes, both of which can be designed without having any skills in the graphic design department.
Social media monitoring
The smartest way to identify high-potential opportunities on social media is by monitoring social networks for mention of the right keywords. Every industry/business has a certain set of keywords or combinations of keywords that can present opportunities for SEO, PR and lead generation. While you can’t capture all of those opportunities manually, you can do so effortlessly using a social media monitoring tool. The trick is to identify which keyword combinations to use. Here are a few tips on how you can.
- Experiment with different combinations of keywords on tools such as Google Keyword Alert and WebSignals for the most comprehensive results.
- Try combinations that account for audience intent. For instance, if you’re an agency providing social media marketing services, your keywords could be “social media marketing services”, “social media” + “help”, “social media marketing” + “what”, “social media marketing” + “*your location*”, etc.
Contests and list building
People will always want to participate in contests if the contests seem interesting enough. Social media marketers can use this fact and the virality of contests to increase brand awareness and lead generation. As long as your contest appears credible and not too dicey, people will participate in it and talk about it with friends. Note however that the participation rate will depend on factors such as effort required and how enticing the prizes are. Here’s how you can create social media contests to accomplish your social media marketing goals.
- When creating contests it’s important to ensure that you’re following all of the Terms & Conditions specified by the social media channels that you want to use.
- Set entry barriers that match your social media marketing goals. So, if you’re looking at lead generation, ask participants to visit your website and register using their email.
- Choose prizes that will excite or surprise your target audience. A few years ago, Saas company Wufoo offered a real battle ax as a contest prize to its target audience, software developers bound to be geeks, who were certain to be amused by the idea.
In today’s era of fake news, building trust with your social media audience is bound to be tough. That’s why we’ve put together 7 social media marketing trends that you can still use to connect with social media fans.