Strategy for 2014 Social Media Changes

There are many changes coming to social media in 2014. These changes range from new venues like Whisper and Cinch to reemerging sites like MySpace as well as changes to the way companies engage audiences on social media platforms. The two biggest challenges companies face are how to deal with the new social media venues and how to engage on each platform.

1. Keeping Up With New Platforms

New social media websites are constantly surfacing. Whisper is an anonymous secret posting board, but is still managing to gain traction around the world. Cinch and Jelly, meanwhile, are question and response apps. Cinch is primarily used for posting a question, which, in return, an expert responds to. Jelly is similar, with the addition of photos and the ability to integrate with your other social networks. Even MySpace, a blast from the past, is coming back in attempt to revamp social media, with a specific focus on the music industry.

2. How to Determine Which Platform Resonates With Your Audience

The next challenge of social media for businesses is how they choose to engage with customers across social media platforms. I like the definition of social media on urban dictionary (a dictionary social platform): “participatory online media that utilizes the group to write and direct content, rather than a read-only media. Allows for direct contact between participants.”

The key here is that companies on social media sites are in contact with customers, fans, and critiques all at an instantaneous pace. Customers are constantly judging: They can write how much they love the fit of a clothing line, or how much they hate your customer service phone line.

In fact, many people view Twitter as the new customer service hotline because when someone tweets a complaint they expect an immediate response and their issues to be worked on. Companies need to have a plan for how to deal with these posts. The engagement challenge is where, when, and how much to post.

But first businesses need to determine the sites their audience is using. If you are targeting 40-55 year old men, Pinterest isn’t the venue for you as its 70% women. When? You can’t post once a week and expect people to be engaging with your content. You need to be active in the venue at the same pace as an individual would be. As for the how -- you can't constantly push content out in an attempt to sell at people because they will stop responding and view the engagement as spam.

To be effective you must engage with your fans, you must make sure you comment on their posts and write posts they want to read. Social media is about participating and communicating in a back and forth nature.

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So how do you deal with these challenges? Stay informed by keeping your eyes on the next big social media site. Focus on your fans; make sure you are on the right venue for your audience and using it to post and engage with people who are interested in your business. To make life easier, create a content plan for your business and follow it to success.

If you feel like you’re out to sea without a float, consider iAPPS Social which allows you to listen to what customers are talking about, post immediate content as well as schedule it for the future, and keep an eye on the mixture of engagement to promotion.


 

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