Can you believe that it’s March? Neither can we. But it’s never too late to finetune your social media strategy for 2023!

Social media means more to the brand-consumer relationship than ever before – and there’s always opportunity to strengthen those customer connections.

Social media users are switching between seven social networking platforms, and they’re spending 95 minutes per day on average searching their socials.

Bar graph showing social media time spend by age group, women ahead in all age ranges.

Can you imagine the possibilities for reaching your ideal audience? We can.

Let’s get started with three ways you can sharpen up the rest of your 2023 on social media.

#1 Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

We get it. Change can be hard. Especially when that change means doing things like getting in front of a camera.

But keep this in mind: Your customers want to see you. And if getting in front of a camera makes you break into a sweat, remember you’ll be talking about what you know best: Your business. Unless you’re doing a live stream, you can hit “Record” as many times as you need before publishing.

#2. Know where your people are

Does your business need to be on every single social media platform? There might have been a time when the answer was yes, but that time has passed. Whether you have an established business or are in the middle of building one, you should have an idea of who your ideal consumer is. Once you know that, figure out where they spend their time and go there. Now.
Chart showing social media platform usage by age demographic

#3 Listen to Your Audience

You’ve heard of social media analytics, right? All you really need to know is how much they help you listen to your audience. Most platforms offer their own analytic tools and insights, but you can also use third-party resources depending on your needs. Obviously, you want to see your follower count grow quickly. But it doesn’t always happen that way, even if you go viral – but that’s a topic for another day. The best way to understand what resonates with your audience is to see what makes them engage. For example, examine a post that has a lot of comments. What kind of post is it? A conversation starter? Does it show personality? Take the attributes of successful posts and recreate them. You don’t want to duplicate the exact same post, but consider how you can adapt the voice, message and imagery into your next social gem.

Let’s Get Social

Whether you’re a social media whiz looking for some inspiration or are just now starting to dabble, Stealth Creative’s team can help. Remember, it’s never too late to get your social strategy on target.

Source: Sprout Social & Hootsuite

Recently we shared how social media is quite different than traditional marketing. This marketing effort is intended to build awareness, drive engagement, develop loyal brand ambassadors and serve as a key facet to your integrated marketing plan. And it’s table stakes in today’s socially savvy world.

Millennials and Gen Z account for more than one-third of the workforce, with that figure expected to increase to more than half in the next decade, making the younger generations the most dominant in the workplace. And keep in mind 48 percent of younger generation managers are your decision makers at a director level or higher.* As consumers and business decision-makers continue to get younger and younger, having a solid digital marketing and social media marketing game are the crucial first steps in your marketing foundation. They are what everything else should be built upon.

Think about it like a house. You wouldn’t build a house by simply adding rooms on top of stilts without a solid foundation in place because they would all tumble to the ground in a heap. The same thing is true for marketing: Focusing on marketing tactics without building your website and social media foundation first ends in the same result. And by the way, we can help with both! Just give us a holler.

Putting Social Media Best Practices to Work for Your Business

Social Best Practices_shadowSo, how do you ensure you’re following social media best practices for your business to stay on point with your brand’s personality and the expectations of each social platform? You can start by checking out this social media best practices infographic we put together, or even reach out to us to help with your entire social media strategy, campaign and editorial calendars, execution, community management and analytics reporting.

We often get asked to share social media best practices with our clients as part of our marketing engagement or social media marketing strategy work. So, we thought, why not make those same best practices available to you?!

It all starts with the right approach, which looks like this:

  • Develop a social strategy that not only supports your overarching marketing strategy, but also your business goals and objectives. Everything should align from top to bottom.

  • Determine overarching key messages that reflect your brand’s personality and attributes, while ensuring any content you develop reinforces your primary messaging, keeping everything consistent in your marketing efforts.

  • Craft your editorial calendar by month, showing all platforms, date/day, subject, copy, call-to-action, hashtags and any associated links. This ensures you have the full snapshot of the month across all platforms – again, to ensure marketing consistency.

  • Post unique content on each platform. Let me say that again: Post unique content on each platform. This is important. Why? Because each platform has its own language and expectations, which we dive into in the infographic. It’s also important to ensure your content varies by channel because chances are the same people will follow you on all your platforms, and they’ll quickly lose interest or unfollow you if your content is the same across the board. It’s okay to post similar topics, but vary your copy.There is one time when it’s acceptable to cross-post the same content: If you have a social media channel and do not have the resources to devote to it, but want it to stay active, you can cross-post to ensure there’s activity on the channel.

  • Be consistent in your posting schedule. Due to the way the platform algorithms work, consistency is king. After 30 days or so of consistent posting, the algorithms will realize you’re being active, and recognize your content as ‘valid.’ This helps with organic visibility, as well as helps your audience know when to expect new info from you.

  • Engage with your audience. This is not a post-it-and-forget-it kinda gig. If you want a loyal audience and attract the right kind of followers (those who will engage with your brand), then you must engage with them. It’s called ‘social’ for a reason.Think about your social channels as a cocktail party or networking event. You wouldn’t walk up to someone, and say: “Hi, my name is Bob, and I sell widgets. Wanna buy one?” You’d ease into that. Get to know more about them and their interests. “Hi, my name is Bob. What’s yours?” You engage them back, ask questions, get to know them, understand them, and that will help you eventually present your products/solutions.And keep in mind, the rule of thumb on social is: Post nine non-product- or solution-oriented posts to one that ‘sells.’ And please don’t brand your posts. Organic social is about connecting – not selling/advertising. Save that for your paid social or digital ads. The more authentic and real you can be, the better.Additionally, your audience may have questions or comment on your posts. Answer them, comment back, engage with them, and you’ll start to develop a much more loyal following.

  • Monitor quarterly analytics/trends. Quarterly is the key in that sentence. Social media is fickle. One month engagement and impressions may be up, the next down. Typically, you’re going to see a fluctuation of 5% either way, which is considered ‘static.’ The objective is to grow the KPIs positively, and keeping an eye on the analytics quarterly allows you to see trends and adjust content accordingly.

So, check out the rest of the best practices to keep in mind by channel in the infographic, and then feel free to reach out with questions, to request a social media audit or even engage us to take social off your plate!

As always stay tuned until the next time we go Off the Radar.

*How millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the future of the workforce, CNBC.

You know what they say, an emoji a day keeps the doctor away. Well, there aren’t any emoji prescriptions just yet, but symbols are enhancing written language and becoming an essential part of modern communication.

Words are important, and emojis are just as powerful. If you aren’t using emojis to communicate with your customers, you’re missing out on a free and useful marketing tool. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to a very… emotional time in my personal life.

I was a freshman in high school. I remember staying up late one night thinking about my boyfriend at the time. This was the early 2000s when texting was new and expensive. I typed out three very short but heavy words on my Nokia 3650, “I love you,” and pressed send.

Seventeen years later I still clearly remember that night. I never got a response, and he broke up with me the next day. I wonder if things would have turned out differently if I had switch out the word “love” for “<3” before pressing send.

Today we not only have heart emojis ❤️, we also have a rainbow of colors – 16 to be exact. So how do we use these symbols to benefit our brands and relationships? Like a lot of symbols, emojis pack a lot of feeling into one character. You can use them to express heavy emotions without seeming too needy, aggressive or boy crazy (in my case). They lighten the mood. You can say things you would never be able to express in written words without looking crazy.

Now that we have established just how important emojis are, let’s dive into some best practices and how to use them to elevate your brand’s communication without getting broken up with – or worse, unsubscribed from.

Can Emojis Replace Words?

The short answer: YES! But, emojis are most effective when combined with text. If you can effortlessly replace a word with an emoji for emphasis, your copy will be draw attention, pack an emotional punch and get your message across quickly.

With that being said, you rarely see emojis grouped to create a phrase or an entire sentence. That would be the equivalent of all caps and multiple exclamation points at the end of a written sentence. The sweet spot when it comes to emojis is adding one or two naturally into your copy; don’t go overboard. Less is always more. 

Social Media and Emojis

Today you rarely see a social media post that doesn’t include an emoji. The old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words still holds true. Images are a critical part of social media. They delight and entertain your audience while grabbing and (hopefully) keeping their attention. Powerful visuals are a must when it comes to social media, and that includes emojis. These tiny pictures make your message look less cluttered and more fun!

And there is more good news: Emojis cross language barriers because they are international! Who doesn’t understand the basic message behind a smiley face?  Your brand can take advantage of this and not only attract millennials but customers and followers from all over the world.

Here are a few rules to remember when it comes to social media and emoji use:

  1. Keep it simple. If you can’t find an emoji that fits with your message, it’s best not to use one at all. Don’t overthink it, or it won’t feel or read naturally.
  2. Stay consistent, and add a few emojis in with your brand guidelines. Pick emojis close to your logo colors, and express your brand message. This not only gets you out of the corporate box, it also makes it easier to respond to comments and interact with customers in a playful way still true to your brand.
  3. Emojis make your content seem more light and fun. They shouldn’t be used when talking about serious topics because people will assume you are making light of the situation and may get offended.

Email and Emojis

Using emojis in email subject lines let you quickly express your message without adding more clutter to your customers’ inboxes.

Many brands are now picking one emoji to include first in every email subject line they send so their customers can quickly identify their emails in the hundreds they receive each day. Certain emojis are becoming a natural extension of many brands. These colorful graphics can help your emails stand out in the sea of unreads.

Here are a few rules to remember when it comes to emails and emoji use:

  1. Don’t be overdramatic. If you are exaggerating or using emojis as clickbait, your customers will quickly learn to disregard them. Don’t overuse the siren emoji, or people won’t trust that your subject line emojis correlate to the message you’re sending.
  2. Test compatibility. All emojis aren’t compatible with every major email client. Be sure to check that your emojis are showing up in all mail programs before you send, especially if you are replacing words.
  3. Gauge audience reaction. Perform a few tests, and see how your audience responds to the addition of emojis in your subject lines. Target audiences respond very differently to emojis. As much as the data points to them improving open rates, they might have an opposite effect and end up in spam if you are trying to reach an older or less social-savvy audience.

Emojis Are Here to Stay

Start adding a few emojis to your social media and email subject lines. Step up your communication game, and use the free tools that are at the tip of your fingers. Emojis allow you to say the things you never thought you could say before while simultaneously seeming more approachable and fun!

Stealth Creative boasts a social media and digital team that’s wired into the internet.

Drop us a line if you need our help…We <3 U

We’ve heard the legend too many times to count. The lone social media marketer, clicking away at their phone keyboard deep into the night. They are essential, but your company – and that lone wolf – deserves more.