Much to the dismay of marketing directors everywhere, there is no crystal ball that shows the future of social media trends.

Fortunately, though, there are three tried and true strategies that will help your marketing team excel in the ever-changing world of social media.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is about more than just knowing if your buyers skew male or female or if they live locally or all over the country. To truly know your audience, you have to understand what is important to them, what they like to do on the weekends, and what struggles they face daily.

To gather all this information, it is helpful to create personas or avatars. Build your personas based on what you already know about your audience and build upon that. Ask yourself the following questions to get started building as many personas as necessary.

  • What is the customer’s gender, age and location?
  • What industry do they work in?
  • Are they married?
  • Do they have children?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • What is important to them?
  • What social media sites and websites do they use?
  • What is their yearly income?
  • What are their life goals?
  • What types of stores do they frequent?
  • Are they pet owners?

This is just a small sampling of the types of questions that you need to answer when creating personas. The effort will be well worth the result. Well thought out personas give you a person to talk to when creating online content.

Be Authentic

Social media users don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches. They want to forge connections with people and businesses. They are on social media to connect with friends and family near and far, but they also want to feel as though they are connected to the brands they buy from.

This requires that brands communicate with audiences authentically. They must speak with a tone that is human, reliable, and honest. This is harder than it seems, but building personas, as mentioned above, is the first step to communicating openly with your audience. Work towards using conversational tones in your content and avoid being overly salesy.

Engage Your Audience

Social media users are bombarded with messages from countless brands vying for their business. The messages that stick are the ones that engage the viewer in some way. They make them think or act.

To create engaging posts, start by listening to your audience. You are probably already paying attention to mentions and tags on social media, but actual mentions and tags only make up a small fraction of the number of times your brand is being mentioned online. Only 30% of users mentioning you on Twitter use your handle. The same trend follows on Facebook. If you are only relying on notifications of mentions and tags, you are missing out on a large chunk of the conversation about your brand. You must go further by actively searching for mentions of your brand and listening to the conversations. This will help you understand what your customers need from you both online and in person. By identifying their problems, you are in the position to provide solutions.

If your social media efforts need a boost, contact Clearbridge Media. We’ll help you make sense of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Periscope, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, and 30 more channels. Then we’ll work with you to choose the right platforms to promote your brand and engage with your audience – and make the magic happen.