Social Savvy: Five key ways to support your business goals - February 2023

By Irene Williams

If you ever need to define the term “moving target” to someone, consider using social media and digital marketing as an example. Things are constantly changing across online and social platforms, with updates and algorithmic alterations rolling out in ceaseless succession.

Considering the skittish nature of this target, how do those of us using social media for business aim for success?

Amidst ever-present evolution, it’s helpful to work within overarching trends in social media marketing. Here are five key updates to incorporate now to support your overall business goals.

1. Google’s new E-E-A-T model
We all know Google searches are massive players in online marketing. If your business doesn’t rank high in search engine results, it’s almost like it doesn’t exist to some customers. That’s why you need to know about and address Google’s new E-E-A-T model to help your website content rank well.

E-E-A-T stands for “Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust.” Essentially, Google has modified its search crawlers to identify website content that is trustworthy based on markers of experience, expertise and authority. “Experience” is the new addition to the model-Google’s bots now assess the firsthand experiences of content creators in determining search results’ rankings. Experience is an amplifier to Expertise, which denotes the level of knowledge. Authority relates to the reliability of a website that’s established as a go-to source for specific search terms.

Because you already create high quality, reliable and relevant content for your website, this updated formula for search rankings will work to your advantage. To make the most of it, continue to create blogs and cite copy and social media posts that factually convey your business’s experience, expertise and authority in order to merit readers’ trust. Find new ways to speak to and answer your customers’ most common questions and issues, and those searching for solutions will “E-E-A-T” it up!

2. AI and GPT
To aid in generating the aforementioned high-quality content for your website and social media posts, consider the use of language-based artificial intelligence (AI) tools. ChatGPT is the best-known portal for this kind of AI, but it’s certainly not the first. Brands such as Bramework and Jasper have offered AI content creation for business leaders like you for a long while. Marketers give the AI parameters about key points, message and tone of voice, then let the tech do the heavy lilting to crank out the copy.

Before you spiral into overwhelm about AI and its implications, hear me out. Your human-intelligent use of artificial intelligence tools has the potential to save your team lots of time, money and effort while helping your business sell more stuff. Of course, nothing will ever compare to or compete with person-to-person connections via online content, social posts or live interaction. However, marketers in this era should consider the latest smart-tech automations and solutions as tools of good to support business goals.

Ready to dip your toe into the water? I suggest you do some exploratory reading on the topic by searching the web for phrases such as “ChatGPT,” “AI writer” and “chat AI.” Visit the websites of the brands I mentioned and give the tech trial runs (many such companies offer free trials). Most of all, stay apprised and open-minded! The technology is here, it’s pretty impressive (though far from perfect), and it could be game-changing when you need to write more blogs than you have staff to do so.

3. The priority of privacy
The privacy of website visitors is not a new issue for marketers, but the requirements related to it are progressing. If you do anything to collect visitors’ data or contact information, you must comply with the latest standards at the state, federal and international levels, depending on the scope/regionality of your business. For example, in 2023, comprehensive consumer privacy laws (or changes to laws) will take effect in California, Virginia, Colorado, Utah and Connecticut.

While I don’t have space in this article to dig into specific requirements, I can offer a broad look at what privacy laws seek to convey to consumers.
• To state the relationship between consumer and business/site owner
• To explain the type, nature and amount of personal information collected by the site
• To identify the methods for collecting, processing and storing consumer information
• To state the purposes/intended uses of the personal info that’s collected
• To clarify the involvement of third parties in how the information is collected and used

As a business leader who cares about your customers, it’s in your court to be sure your website, email marketing and all consumer communications are compliant. If you are challenged to find specifics about privacy laws for your geographic area and business data collection practices, connect with an industry pro for advisement. I suggest erring on the side of caution when it comes to privacy disclosures and practices, as this is an increasingly hot topic in our digitally driven world.

4. Top platforms for posting
To reach customers now, should you be Facebooking, Instagramming or TikToking? Are customers still pinning on Pinterest, looking on LinkedIn or viewing YouTube? For you as a marketer, these questions land in the category of “I don’t know; you tell me.” That’s because the answers are dependent on your customers’ preferences and activities. You have to know what platforms your customers actively use and then fish where the fish are!

In researching current trends, I found most notable sources concur that the list of relevant social media sites remains in line with those of recent years. Based on platforms’ number of active users and overall revenue, top socials for U.S. users are, (in order and excluding non-U.S. sites) Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, TikTok, Telegram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn.

For your flooring business, I recommend you automate posting using a third-party service (i.e. Hootsuite, Later, etc.) to be present on all the popular socials, but nurture activity on the top platforms for your customers. You can nurture activity by liking and commenting on others’ posts, investing in targeted advertising, increasing posting frequency, and tracking metrics to enhance when and what to post.

Note that the list of top platforms includes messaging apps and the Q&A portal Quora. Are you actively using direct messaging to connect with customers? Have you considered parlaying people’s propensity to ask questions online to your business’ advantage? Take time to explore new social media channels, as they could hold untapped potential.

5. What to post
When it comes to determining what kind of content to post for the greatest results, let me start by offering a pardon, because what I’m about to share will seem like déjà vu all over again-you need to post short video content.

Across the socials, short-form video is still dominating. Quickie clips remain the highly consumed content type, as we are still “reeling” (Instagram-related pun intended) from TikTok’s influence. Instagram and Facebook long ago introduced and started rewarding Reels, and now even YouTube is encouraging uploads of short-form video, the likes of which can be easily captured by smartphone.

At the risk of repeating myself from past articles, video creation should be a priority, though it needn’t be a big production. It’s still true that some of the most engaging video content is the low-key, real-life stuff that can be shot on the fly and in the moment without any great contortions. Consider video Q&As, brief product-highlight videos, video testimonials or mood videos to visually share design styles. No matter what, let the camera roll!

Regardless of the whims and trends, your connection with your customers remains the core of your digital and social media marketing. Keep it simple, smarty! Create content that is helpful and meaningful to those interested in what you’re selling, make that content easy to access, and offer clear directives to help people learn more and purchase.

Need more details and ideas? Reach out to me anytime.

Copyright 2023 Floor Focus 

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