12 Social Media Tips to Stay Ahead of the Pack in 2016

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Just because it’s here today—be it an algorithm, platform or even a successful strategy—doesn’t mean it’ll be of any use tomorrow in the whirlwind that is the social media space.

Communicators know this all too well. It seems like just as the secret to succeeding with organic content is discovered, Facebook changes its algorithm. Or when a brand finally has a complete presence across the major social networks, this Snapchat thing comes out of nowhere and everything’s up in the air.

But this is all part of the game in PR, which as a discipline has thrived thanks to a Darwinian embracement of technological advances, while at the same time sticking to the tried and true. But the breakneck pace at which social media changes can be a lot for even the most plugged-in PR pro to stay on top of.

That’s why Brandi Friel, SVP of digital & creative integration with FleishmanHillard, and Jordan Sinclair, communications manager with Tweed, took a look at what’s on the horizon for today’s biggest social platforms, and how communicators can continue to succeed amidst the constant evolution.

Facebook

  • Don’t turn your back on Facebook. After all, you should be fishing where the fish are. The social giant will reach more than half of the online U.S. population in 2016.
  • Speak through video. Facebook Video is thriving and users are consuming it at a rate that’s second only to YouTube.
  • Continue to leverage its incredible analytics and target a hyper-specific audience with clear, relevant, valuable and visually compelling content.

Twitter

  • With a new C-suite, expect changes to Twitter’s advertising options and video capabilities.
  • Tweet at least three times each day to optimize organic reach within the new algorithm-based timeline.
  • Twitter can offer great direct marketing benefits like Twitter Cards and Conversations, so don’t be afraid to use it for something besides real-time news and announcements.

Instagram

  • Look at advertising across Facebook and Instagram. Both use the same audience data system, which you can use to target more efficiently.
  • Partnering with brand advocates and influencers will be more important than ever. 55% of consumers trust customer photos more than slick brand or professional photos.
  • Use mobile apps and sites like Stocksy, Offset and Flashstock to help develop Insta-worthy content on a budget.

Snapchat

  • If you’re targeting Generation Z or Millennials, it’s time to get on board. Expect to see long-awaited improvements in ad inventory, metrics and targeting.
  • Get comfortable with vertical video. It’s the only way to do things on the platform, and 30% of all mobile video is viewed vertically.
  • Build Snapchat stories into your editorial calendar and use them to humanize your brand and share news.

Follow Mark: @MarkRenfree