In this article, I’m going to share with you my seven strategies to help you dominate social media in 2018.
Small Business Will Eat Big Brands
Number one is: Small Business will eat Big Brands. From all the brands that I’ve seen, they really suck at social.
The content sucks. There’s a lot of production quality in it. It looks fantastic but they miss the authenticity, and they miss the storytelling, and they miss the heart and this is your chance.
Everybody is on social. It’s such an amazing way to drive traffic, to drive attention, to drive customers to your business.
For entrepreneurs, this has always been, like your story, your authenticity has always been the way to stand out.
If you have a website that looks super corporate and boring because you’re trying to compete with the big guys you’re always going to lose.
Because if you look the same as one of the big guys, the only reason why I’m going to go with you is that of price and that’s not the game you want to be in.
You should be able to charge a premium for what you do because I can connect with you on a personal level. I love your story, I love your passion, I love your commitment.
I feel like I’m going to get better service with somebody who actually cares than going to the big company.
And because authenticity and storytelling are how small companies win, now you have the platform, people to go out and win on a bigger scale. Now it’s not just relying on people to visit your website or meet you at a trade show.
You can do it through content, through YouTube videos, through your Twitter, through Snapchat, through Instagram.
All these different platforms give you the ability like never before to reach an audience with your authentic story and passion in a way that brands can’t.
The brands are boring. Use that to your advantage to win and eat them.
Number two is video. The video is going to become more and more important. And it’s not just YouTube, we have Snapchat, we have Instagram stories, we have Twitter getting into video.
Everybody is getting into video. The formats that we did for different lengths don’t matter but a video is going to be more and more important.
Everybody has a device now to really record video. And high-quality video, and so being able to practice your storytelling in front of a camera, to share your expertise, to show off why you love doing what you’re doing so much, to be positioned as the expert in your industry, is going to become so much more important and I really encourage you guys to start practicing your video storytelling.
Again, this is an easy way to stand out, because you interview somebody at a big brand, at a corporation, their videos are so bad. There’s no connection. They don’t know what it’s like actually dealing with a customer, where you do.
You feel the customers every single day. Where some manager at some big company doesn’t. And so video is an amazing opportunity for you to stand out.
The people who are going to win are either the ones who have great storytelling, right, can be authentic, can answer questions, can connect their passion through the camera.
And also the ones who might be more gearheads who can focus on the 360 video, who can focus on the 4k and 8k, right? Have something different.
You don’t need to be at the high end. This is enough. Your phone is enough.
If you’re passionate and you’re an expert, sharing that content is enough to make me feel that connection to you and make me want to buy from you.
The other thing in the video that we’re going to see more of is live. Everybody’s pushing live. People want to see behind the scenes which are a big advantage for entrepreneurs because when it’s live, people don’t expect the production quality.
If somebody’s just snapping some videos or doing Facebook Live, they expect it to be from a phone. You don’t need to have a camera crew or have the lights set up and expensive gear and five people around you holding a different microphone.
You don’t need any of that. The costs have come down to zero. The costs have come down to this, right. You have it.
You have the same ability as every big brand to win in live video and it’s only going to be more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more important so start doing it ASAP.
Mobile Will Win
Number three is mobile first will win. You have to be paying attention to mobile. Look at your website, where people are coming from. Look at the past five years.
No matter what industry you’re going to be in, you’ll see that mobile has taken up a greater, greater chunk of your visitors.
And in the next 12 to 24 months it may be almost all of your business. And so it depends on your industry. For some companies, already the number one traffic source.
For some, it’s 30% or 40% but it’s getting there. And so if you’re thinking about your next website or your next social media post that you’re going to be putting up, you have to be thinking mobile first. I’m in a process of redoing my website for both businesses.
You should be looking at yours. Don’t just assume that people are going to be using a desktop forever and optimize around that.
It has to be mobile. The companies that are going mobile first are going to win, it’s only going to get more important. Start now, don’t lose out, don’t be here in 18 months and wondering why your business tanked where, when I go to your website on a mobile phone and it looks like crap and I can’t find your information, right.
You need to plan for mobile first.
Advertising Cost Going Up
Number four is advertising costs are going to rise. They’ll keep rising. It’s still actually a great deal if you look at Facebook ads.
If you want to target Facebook ads, it’s still an amazing deal compared to any other platform, but the bigger brands are starting to pay attention.
The big brands are always behind. It’s just the nature of the beast. They’re still spending money on TV and radio and billboard. They’re still spending money but it’s shifting. It’s now shifting. They realize how far behind they are and it’s starting to shift and so the opportunity window is closing down.
Advertising costs are going to go up as big brands start shifting their budgets from TV into online. But there’s still an opportunity now.
There’s still a window within the next 12 to 24 months to be able to capitalize and I’d be looking to Facebook first. If you can specify a target audience, you know these are the people that you need to target.
We look at people who are between 25 years old and 35 years old, is our sweet spot and we run targeted campaigns against them. Men like this, women like this, within a geographic area.
So whatever your business is, if you can target, if you know what your target audience “look like”, I would still be on Facebook ads as the number one advertising platform for you but costs are going to go up so you have to be smarter about how you do it.
Number five is influencer marketing, this is going to explode.
It’s going to happen. You have to realize that the people with the voice now, the people with the audience, is not just the big networks. It’s not just put an ad on some TV show and hopin’ that things are going to take off.
Especially YouTube and Instagram, people with large followings and building up Snapchat now too.
People with large followings, getting them to endorse or use your product.
It’s not just about hoping that Kim Kardashian wears your shoes and you take off.
You can get insane results from other influencers and those prices are going to rise as well, right.
Now it’s massively underpriced to work with influencers to get their buy-in because there is not as much demand.
If you think about advertising costs coming up, the next wave is going to be influencer marketing.
And so that’s an opportunity while the big brands are slow and sluggish and behind.
It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to identify who are the 10 influencers that my audience cares about and how do I get them to work with my business, talk about my product or service, be a user, while the costs are still really cheap.
The other thing to think about for influencer marketing is you have to let them control the message.
This is something I think entrepreneurs are better at than big brands.
A lot of brands say you have to do this, you have to mention these five points about how great our product is.
You need to understand you’re dealing with creative people. They know their audience better than you do. They know what works better than you do.
And so you have to be willing to give up some creative control to somebody who really knows their audience to let that campaign win.
And so I’d be focusing more on influencers and give them creative control to do what they want to do to help pump your product or service.
Number six is content is going to grow. The amount of content is just going to explode. It already is.
How many times are you going to conferences now and you see people holding up cell phones, recording? How many people are recording parts of their daily life and snapping pictures? It’s growing like crazy.
The supply is out of control and it’s only going to continue to explode in 2018 and so you need to find a way to stand out. Any time there’s a ton of quantity, then it’s the quality that will stand out. You have to find your angle.
You got to find your niche and the thing that you do that’s different. And so the way for entrepreneurs to stand out is one, you need to create content.
Like once a week is going to become not enough. Once a week right now is kind of good. Once a week is not going to be enough.
You’re going to have to move to daily content. You need to find something every day to talk about in your business.
And so some ideas, you can share the stories of the people working with you or the stories of your customers.
The stories of why you started this business and what gets you all excited. You can share your expertise. It can be your thoughts on the industry and where it’s going or questions that people come in and ask you. It could be from your audience and saying, “Hey you can make a video about this.”
Turn those into video or written content for your channels to start to stand out.
So think about the stuff that you do day-to-day in your business that you never record, that you never share, that you never put out and make it public.
You could. That behind the scenes, authentic stuff is, is where entrepreneurs can win because the brands never want to do that.
The brands are always so concerned about how it looks and how people are going to judge them and is it going to pass through legal.
Is it going to pass through all of our PR team right, and then nothing ends up getting produced except the overly produced stuff that people don’t resonate with.
It’s your chance as an entrepreneur. Show me behind the scenes, how you make your pizza, what you’re doing to create that website and you’re grinding out the code. Show me your day-to-day and behind the scene stuff. Make it authentic.
Make it daily. So you can do a vlog. You can do a Q&A. You can do storytelling.
Has to be regular, consistent, daily content that’s quality, if you want to start standing out.
Data Nerds To Be Kings
And number seven is that the data nerds are going to reign. It’s really important to have both the passion and excitement and fire that the entrepreneur founder can bring but you have to look at the analytics as well.
The people who were so focused on SEO and driving website traffic and conversion optimization, you know all of that data geek stuff, you’re going to have to bring to your social channels as well.
Understanding how to hack the YouTube algorithm. Understanding how to place Facebook ads and have it generate a return on investment.
Whether that’s you, if that’s you and you love the science and you love the data and you love diving in and figuring out what works best and hacking it and making it better and going to conferences and researching and watching videos and paying attention to get better constantly because it’s, once you figure out how to hack YouTube, it’s going to change in three months.
So you got to stay on top of it. It’s a constant battle to stay on top of the algorithm just like it was in SEO. And so you need to either be that person or you need that person on your team and say you know what, I don’t care about that stuff I want to focus on creating the content and being the CEO and being the leader.
You need to bring that person on board who has the passion, who loves keeping up with it or you’re going to, you going to lose because the entrepreneurs, the one whose are going to win are the ones who get it or bring somebody on to help them with it.
You need to understand the analytics and if you’re that data nerd, if you love staying on top of things and tweaking and hacking, that’s going to be a massive opportunity for you this year and going forward.
Those are my seven ways that you can dominate social media in 2018. I’d love to know what do you think? What was your favorite one? Are you going to apply immediately to your business? What did you learn the most from?