A social media marketing strategy is on the minds of many small business owners. And if it’s not on yours, it should be!
The major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram battle for market shares by adjusting their business models to balance providing better returns for shareholders with improving the user experience.
As these platforms develop, how you use them for your small business must change too.
Let’s look forward to some ways to promote your business on social media in 2020.
More than 18 months later, the Federal Trade Commission has officially ruled that Cambridge Analytica deceived Facebook users. The company had harvested the personal data of millions of Facebook profiles without people’s consent and then used it for political advertising purposes.
While Cambridge Analytica went bankrupt soon after the scandal, Facebook is still working hard to tighten up its data access processes and convince people to trust in its new dedicated news platform.
Facebook rolled out Facebook News to a subset of people in the US. That means that while you’ll still see posts from family and friends in your main feed, Facebook News will post content from a team of journalists (employed by Facebook).
This year, the company is also focusing on cryptocurrency and establishing its Facebook Pay feature. This could mean that your small business could soon incorporate on-platform selling into your account.
While the Facebook Watch launch didn’t go as expected (only 140 million people daily are watching the videos and shows, which sounds huge, but isn’t compared to the platform’s 1.6 billion daily actives overall). Still, it looks like Facebook is going to make another attempt in 2020, so let’s see what that means for video marketing.
What do these changes mean for your social media marketing strategy?
We’ll have to wait and see. The more proprietary content the company creates, the more marketers may be competing to stay visible.
We’re also wondering what the company’s vice president of design and research, Dantley Davis, meant by his recent announcement around a series of changes that might come to the platform as early as next year.
How will this affect how you promote your business on social media?
You could have the ability to limit who retweets your tweet (which I can’t see being a feature entrepreneurs would use much, we love our retweets!), and the ability to tweet something to a specific group based on their interests.
Learn more about how to use Twitter hashtags.
Since launching in 2003, LinkedIn has become the world’s largest professional networking platform.
Microsoft acquired the platform for $26.2 billion in 2016, and with access to Microsoft’s resources, we’ve seen updated professional insights and more targeted ads.
We’ve also seen LinkedIn groups make a comeback.
A LinkedIn group lets your business create a discussion board related to your industry. This provides you with the opportunity to start a special interest group of like-minded people that’s specific to your product, service and/or expertise.
Groups also provide excellent visibility for your business, since each member who’s a part of your group will have your logo showing in their profile. Group owners also now have the ability to post different types of media like images and videos, and immediate notifications enable real-time conversations.
Executive Suite has over 300,000 members, and brings together executives with a web series, practical advice and discussion boards.
What do LinkedIn Groups mean for your small business?
Hopefully, a better way to foster a sense of community, find candidates for open positions and gain brand visibility to name a few.
You may remember Instagram testing the removal of likes in several countries, including Australia, Japan, Italy and Ireland. Likes aren’t gone-in the US and Canada you can still view the like count on your own photos and videos-just not posts from others.
So where did this come from? Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has long dealt with people using hacks and workarounds. These come mostly from bots and unscrupulous businesses that manipulate the app to make themselves or other users appear more popular than they actually are. So, this is an attempt to make Instagram more authentic.
Instagram says “We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”
While many entrepreneurs and small businesses are good with this, influencers and video marketing agencies aren’t.
How can they show businesses how popular they are? How will they demonstrate engagement?
But for the average small business owner who isn’t buying likes or gaming the system with bots, this could be a good thing.
If your social media marketing strategy includes engaging content and you’re happy to focus on comments and increased followers, you’ll be fine.
While IGTV got off to a slow start, it’s now considered one of the biggest social media trends out there. After Instagram announced earlier this year that Instagram would allow one minute previews of IGTV videos on the main Instagram feed, users (and companies) started taking notice.
Unlike your other Instagram videos, IGTV videos can be 10-60 minutes long. This offers a great video marketing opportunity to do interviews, behind-the-scenes features and much more.
Since we can now add landscape-orientated videos as well, I’ve been adding my Business Edge Show videos that have been getting a lot of traction.
These are just a few of the changes you can expect to see across the major platforms this year. I’m sure there will be many more as the year goes by, as things are always changing!
To effectively promote your business on social media in 2020, it’s essential to not only understand social media trends, but to embrace them.
If you’re finding it a challenge to stay on top of social media, consider hiring an agency who can create strategies that will be specific to your social media needs and goals so you can focus on building your business.
Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.