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Your 2019 Social Media To-Do List, Inspired by Buffer’s Annual Report

Marketing

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Buffer’s State of Social report has arrived, and we have your 2019 to-do list based on its findings.

Each new year starts with resolutions and goals, and we’re sure that includes how you’ll operate and plan your social media strategy. After reading Buffer and Social Chain’s State of Social 2019 report, an overview of practice and philosophy sourced from over 1800 social media marketers across a number of industries, we’re convinced a few ideas, platforms and practices should rise to the top of your to-do list.

Influencer Marketing: Keep It Up, But Clarify the Rules

Influencer marketing is a popular and powerful practice that only stands to gain more steam in 2019, especially as platforms like YouTube and Instagram roll out tools to help these creators work more easily and efficiently. 37% of the State of Social respondents have reported investing in influencer relationships; of those respondents, more than 2/3 (68%) rated it either “very effective” or “somewhat effective.” Overall, 88% who have used influencers in their marketing efforts previously plan to do so again.

But creating influencer relationships, and ensuring they abide by the guidelines set – either the contract set between the organization and the influencer, or those set by the FTC to clearly denote “ad” content – is harder to come by. Buffer reports that the “vast majority of marketers are confused by the guidelines surrounding influencer marketing.” To make your efforts not only impactful and lasting but also legal, take the time to learn what is required to declare these influencer relationships – and then convey those guidelines clearly and consistently to all involved. If you’ll be joining us at Social Media Week New York, Frankfurt Kurnit will be hosting a panel on FTC guidelines for influencer marketing; we hope you’ll join them for a clearer look at the topic!

Don’t Sleep on LinkedIn for Video Content

If you’re part of the 14.5% of businesses, according to the Buffer survey, who isn’t creating and posting video as part of your marketing strategy…this is the year to start. 36% of your competitors are posting video monthly, and 24% are publishing weekly. Platforms are increasingly prioritizing video content in their algorithms, so including it in your strategy will help you show up in more feeds with more consistency.

Predictably, the top three channels marketers are posting their videos are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram (although, not on IGTV; only 12% had done it in 2018 and 72% have no plans to in 2019). Right now, LinkedIn sits at fifth on this list…but that could, and should, change. Video content on LinkedIn reportedly gets shared twenty times more often than other forms of content (articles, links, text, etc.). Instagram is getting a lot of attention for the role it can play in reaching potential consumers, but that share rate on LinkedIn shouldn’t be ignored.

Tell Us a Story

The global theme for Social Media Week in 2019 is “STORIES,” and it would appear to be the dominant theme for social media as a whole in the new year. Over one billion accounts globally are using Stories features on Facebook-owned properties (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp), to say nothing of the audience on Snapchat where Stories originated. And while brands are using them and enjoying their results – 57% of brands find using the feature very effective or somewhat effective as part of their social strategy – but 62% have yet to invest in ads in the space.

Stories have been touted as the future of social media, and can sometimes rival the main feed of a given platform (see: Instagram). 61% of marketers are planning to honor that shift in interest, and invest marketing dollars in paid ads there. If, as we’ve noted, “with great influence comes great responsibility,” then you’d be doing the responsible thing for your brand by creating a home on Stories. What new narratives could you bring to light in that space?

Make and Monitor, but Also Measure!

Social media is a near-ubiquitous part of marketing strategy for so many businesses, and 58% of marketers would say without question it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” to their work. Frankly, we’d agree!

But the number of marketers who admitted not knowing how to tell if it’s working, or even worth it, is significant. 19% reported to Buffer they “are still unsure how to measure its effectiveness.” Whether you choose to measure your success in terms of sales, brand awareness, or other metrics of your own design or decision, the ability to justify this use of your time, energy, and resources is essential. Social Media Week explored some common metrics in 2017, and a 2018 Social Media Week London panel discussed how social can interact effectively with other areas of marketing to guide your business’s growth. Committing to make content and monitor it, but also measure its success, will impact not just your team, but also your company as a whole.

The full report is available from Buffer for your review; we recommend giving its results a closer look as you continue to refine your strategy for this new year.

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