Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.
For many channel partners, social media still represents one of marketing’s best love-hate relationships. We love the way social drives awareness for our brand and delivers traffic to our websites, but we hate the amount of time it takes to participate, cultivate and publish meaningful content. However, with 92 percent of marketers acknowledging the importance of social in business growth and 64 percent spending six or more hours a week on social media,  the value is hard to ignore.
Here are four social media trends worthy of consideration when growth is part of your plan:
Engagement and algorithms
In order to know how to get the most out of your time on social media, it’s important to first understand the objective of the social media platforms. No matter the platform, they all want engaged users and to achieve that goal, social algorithms have changed to favor engagement.
For example, your posts are now served to followers who interact most frequently with your social accounts and secondly they see the most popular posts from other connections. Therefore, if you’re posting but not engaging, the chance that followers will see your content is quickly dwindling.
The answer is to select one or two social platforms you can commit to and actively engage with followers by liking, commenting and sharing their content in order to foster two-way relationships and drive engagement for your posts.
Posting cadence – less is more
As Internet usage soars and brands continue to vie for attention, the online world grows noisier. Fortunately, the move toward engagement oriented algorithms work in favor of those with less time to dedicate to social. Why? Because posting highly relevant content nets more engagement so no matter how often you post, those who regularly engage with your content will see it.
It used to be standard advice to post often especially on Twitter, but now you can post a million times a day and if there’s no interest in your content, it won’t get the same exposure. Today’s best practice is finding highly relevant articles and creating interesting and engaging posts even if it means posting less often.
Hashtags help cast a wider net
Last summer, Microsoft bought LinkedIn and recently we’ve seen changes to the platform. Some features disappeared and others changed, but one that was added is the use of #hashtags. This is good news for channel partners who use LinkedIn for demand generation because one well-placed #hashtag can net a larger audience organically, which brings more exposure, engagement, and connections.
Storytelling is top-of-mind
Stories, especially those that are visual, stick in our minds better than words on a page. But even word-based personal stories are gaining traction on LinkedIn where users are posting longer status updates more commonly seen on Facebook, but with a professional flare.
At the end of last year, 70 social media influencers weighed in on expected trends for this year. Storytelling came up multiple times as an upcoming strategy that’s predicted to be in full swing by 2018. With Facebook Live coming into vogue and other social platforms such as Instagram encouraging video, it seems to be the go-to format for most stories on social and for good reason.
Video may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be, Andy Hill, Head of Digital Mastery for Xerox Channel Partners explains how to increase website traffic and drive demand with video marketing and offers tips on equipment and planning to simplify the process for novice videographers.
Superior quality posts and engaging with your connections is key to social media success. Don’t forget, in the long run it’s far better to put consistent effort into one or two social platforms than try to be everywhere.
Join our Xerox Channel Partners LinkedIn Community
For more marketing tips and tricks and to find out what’s working for other Xerox Channel Partners, join and participate in our exclusive partner-only LinkedIn group.
Become a Xerox Channel Partner
Contact your Xerox account manager, or review the Xerox Global Partner Program and apply to become a Xerox channel partner today, to find out how we will help grow your business.
Subscribe to the Channel Partner Connection and receive email updates when we publish a new article.[wysija_form id=”1″]