In 2016, a lot changed in the realm of social media. Instagram began using a new algorithm, Musical.ly rose to the top, Twitter took a fall from grace, Vine died and Facebook began to promote its Live and Video content more than anything else. For some people, these changes have left them behind, while others have rode the changes to victory.
Let’s discuss the victors for a minute, and what they know that we don’t.
The first thing people on the cutting edge know is how to create native content. For those who are unfamiliar, native content is content that is designed with a specific platform in mind. The most wide misuse of this right now is Facebook video. Many people are currently using their Facebook to promote their YouTube videos, and finding that their posts are ranking fairly low. If you took the same post but edited the video a little bit to fit Facebook better, than uploaded the video into the actual Facebook posts, your numbers would skyrocket. This is because Facebook gives more weight to native content in its algorithm.
Similarly, if your Twitter and Instagram are still linked, remove that. The two don’t coexist well anymore, and Instagram has definitely carved out its own niche. Linking the two every time you post a picture doesn’t get it in front of a different set of eyes, it gets your post skimmed over or never even put in front of your follows. Nativity is key.
The second thing people on the cutting edge know is when to boost posts. Well it is true that social media marketing can be one of the cheapest ways to get your brand out there, it’s also true that a little money in social can go a long way. If you don’t find your post getting in front of as many faces as you want it to, try boosting it just a little. With a solid knowledge of how to build audience and how the Instagram algorithm works, I boosted an Instagram video last fall from 0 to 25,000 views for $20. Post boosting isn’t always necessary, but it’s imperative that you know when to go through with it.
The third, final, and most important thing people on the cutting edge know is that engagement is the most important metric on social media. While in the past people were considered most popular by the highest number of followers, it’s more about a ratio now. Let me ask you a question: if you had $10 to spend on influencer marketing, are you buying the influencer with 10,000 followers or the one with 5,000? What if the influencer with 10,000 followers only got 500 likes and/or comments on most posts, whereas the influencer with 5,000 followers had 1-2000 likes and/or comments on all of their posts?
The fact of the matter is there’s a lot of dead followers on a lot of accounts. To search for people based on follower count and not on engagement will leave you in the same boat as people spending all of their money on TV commercials still. Gary Vaynerchuk calls marketing the “day trading of attention,” and when trading for attention you need to be looking at what people are actually engaging with, not with what they clicked into one time.
So, what do you think, will you change with the times or keep trying to make it the old fashioned way? What ideas does this give you to improve the way you’re making money today?