Preparing Your Social Media Strategy for 2017

Nov 29 2016

by Mandy Wooley Edwards

The Southern Coterie blog: "Social Media Strategy 2017" by Mandy Edwards

It’s never too early to start working on your social media strategy for next year (or next week or next month).

Recently, Buffer released their annual State of Social Media 2016 report after surveying over 1,200 marketers who mainly work with small to medium-sized businesses. To be honest, none of the results surprised me, they pretty much validated what I have been seeing over this past year not only with my own clients, but throughout the industry.

Social media has become a major component in any business’ marketing strategy. This shouldn’t be a business’ only form of marketing, but it should be a big part if that is where your market is.

The Buffer report spoke to three key takeaways, but two really stood out to me:

Video is about to peak.

Eighty-three percent of marketers said they’d like to create more video content if they didn’t have restraints such as time and resources. We also found that 30 percent of marketers are looking to spend more time focused on Facebook video in 2017, with 28 percent also looking to add YouTube to their marketing stack.”

Contrary to popular belief, no one has left Facebook and more businesses are investing in Facebook ads.

“Our report found that 93 percent of marketers use Facebook for their business and 91 percent have also invested in Facebook Ads. Despite the drop in organic reach on Facebook, 72 percent of respondents said their use of Facebook has stayed the same or increased over the past 12 months.”

I was excited to see these because it backs up what I’ve been suggesting to my clients about integrating video into their social strategies and confirms what I’ve been telling everyone about Facebook – people are still there! If anything, the 2016 US Presidential election was proof enough that people were still on Facebook!

Here are some highlights of the report –

85% of businesses are using social media for brand awareness.

Social media is a great way to promote your brand and get your message out. Through various ways (photos, videos, etc.) you can show you who are as a company and let your customers, both current and potential, get to know the people behind the brand as well.

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91% of businesses have used Facebook ads.

I am a big believer in Facebook ads. If used correctly with the right targeting, Facebook ads can be the golden ticket for your business. With a percentage this high, this also means that businesses have accepted that in order for their posts to be seen on Facebook, they do have to invest in Facebook advertising (which is still much cheaper than traditional advertising!).

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58% of businesses are still trying to figure out how to drive traffic to their website from social media.

Driving traffic to business’ websites was the biggest challenge businesses faced. However, with social media ads and the right strategy, this can be accomplished 😉 Next on the list was generating leads, which can be done through contests or an email marketing campaign.

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93% of businesses currently use Facebook with their social media marketing.

Facebook by and far is the most popular platform to use by businesses with Twitter coming in a close second. However, I would caution businesses with this – only spend your time marketing your business on platforms your market is on. If your market is not on Facebook, there is no need for you to be there.

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58% of businesses plan to add video this next year, with 30% adding Facebook video.

Facebook video, especially Facebook Live is HOT. Native video uploaded to Facebook does much better than linking a YouTube or Vimeo video. I have several clients that we are planning Facebook Live events for this next year and campaigns around them. You will see a lot more of this in 2017. Jump on this before your competitors do.

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So there are the highlights of the state of social media for 2016. I’m not sure how 2017 will shape up. I know we will see more video, more of Facebook, and more ads (even though there’s more ad-blocking going on).

What do you see going on with social in 2017?

 

To see the entire State of Social Report from Buffer report, click here.

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Mandy Wooley Edwards View More Blog Posts from this Author

Midwest Transplant. Wife. Mom to 2 redheaded daughters. Owner of ME Marketing Services, a social media marketing company. Proud University of Georgia alum and Bulldog football season ticket holder. Honored as one of UGA's 40 Under 40 Alumni for 2016. British Royal History Fanatic. Love all things Southern.

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