Those who are still panicking about the recent drop in Facebook organic reach can cool their jets – the sun will still rise for another day!
I have been part of the vocal opposition to these changes but I also have to acknowledge the fact that it truly isn’t the end of the world, especially when you have several Facebook marketing alternatives that you have probably been slacking with. 42% of online adults now use multiple social networks so you are definitely not out of online marketing options.
Despite the fact that I have bashed Facebook pretty hard over the drop in organic reach, I still know that it is not yet a channel many business owners can ignore. If your customers are there it’s key that you remain active and make full use of Facebook ads to the extent that your budget allows.
This article is going to focus on a few effective Facebook marketing alternatives. Truthfully, some of these will compliment your efforts on other networks (including Facebook) and could be seen as additional activities rather than just alternatives. The point of this exercise is to show you that Facebook is NOT the end-all-be-all of social media marketing.
5 Social Media Activities You Can Count On In 2014
Do you have a younger demographic? Forget Facebook…your audience already has. Instagram has become the perfect way to reach most people aged 24 and under after making headlines in 2013 that teens are now flocking to Snapchat and Instagram, leaving the big blue giant in the dust.
Here are a few things I think you’re really going to like about Instagram:
- Unlike Facebook pages, you are able to follow anyone with your account and engage via comments and likes
- People use hashtags like crazy – meaning you can more easily track targeted users that are already showing love for your brand, product or industry
- Instagram’s feed lists posts in chronological order – meaning no more pesky EdgeRank algorithm and EVERYBODY sees your posts
- Brand engagement is dramatically higher on Instagram than Facebook and Twitter
Sound too good to be true? I’m pleased to say it’s true, dear friends. The only catch is Instagram won’t work equally well for every brand and I have yet to see a great B2B case study so you’ll have to stick to LinkedIn for now.
Ya, I know – you saw this coming from a mile away. It’s not secret that I’m a big advocate for LinkedIn but if you are in B2B, you cannot ignore it. 22% of online adults are using LinkedIn – that is an extremely high number when you consider the fact that in 2011, 74% of people went online just for fun or to pass the time.
I won’t spend too much time repeating myself here since I recently wrote an article called 27 LinkedIn Marketing Tips To Grow Your Personal Brand that sums up what you should be doing on LinkedIn. Check it out here.
Also check out another one that highlights the 15 Best Free LinkedIn Training Resources On The Internet, which includes the most popular blog I have ever written resulting in thousands of shares.
3. Blogging & Custom Content
This is one of those activities that should be complimenting everything you do on every social media network. My blog is the center of my online marketing strategy and the common link between each network I use to promote my content.
Notice how I said promote my content? Your blog is meant to promote content, not advertising. This is the most common mistake I see but I know my audience and the odds are good that you already know this.
If you haven’t been successful with your blog so far and you’ve tried your best to create good content, you might need to focus on exactly who you’re trying to speak to and creating custom tailored content for them.
Most of the articles I publish on my blog are more general but I have published very niche content as well that speaks to some of the clients I have serviced in the past. Here are a few examples:
- The Accountant’s Guide To Social Media Marketing
- Passing The Social Bar: A Lawyer’s Guide To Social Media Success
- Digital Plaque: The Dentist’s Guide To Social Media Marketing
- The Chiropractor’s Guide To Social Media Marketing
To further make the case for custom content, 78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing. Try it out – the worst thing that could happen is you’ll get some targeted traffic.
NOTE: If you are a B2B company or professional, don’t think you are excluded from blogging. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t. Not to mention the fact that some of the best social media content I saw in 2013 came from B2B marketers.
4. Video Marketing
Are you aware that 65% of your audience are visual learners? Most of us are guilty of not putting out enough video content, including myself. Here’s the thing though – video can spice up pretty much any online front you are currently using.
Videos are very flexible and can be used in many different ways throughout your social media strategy. Here’s a few ideas:
- Embed video into your blog post
- Pin videos on Pinterest
- Share on Facebook or Twitter
- Make use of micro-video posts with Instagram and Vine
- Facebook video ads
- Use transcription services to quickly turn your videos into blog posts
If you are selling a product, there is no question that you need to utilize video to get your message across clearly.
One of my biggest goals for 2014 is to bring my podcast back to life. It’s funny because podcasting has been around for a long time but has been slow to gain real momentum until recently.
Last year Social Media Examiner reported that only 3% of marketers were taking advantage of podcasting in their social media strategy. This leaves a MASSIVE opportunity for those who adopt now. There are millions of people who have long commutes every day and would love to spend it in a productive way, absorbing your great content.
Podcasts give you a great chance to give undiluted content and the ability to speak directly to your audience without the concerns of character limits
Where Do You Fit In Online?
It’s fashionable to hate on Facebook right now but even if you are seriously considering Facebook marketing alternatives, you have to be practical about where you spend your time.
Kudos to Leverage for creating the infographic below to give you a snapshot into each social network to help you more easily identify a match.
Are you considering any Facebook marketing alternatives? If so, we want to know about it! Leave a message below in the comments below.