Before Facebook, there was Friendster, while before YouTube there was ShareYourWorld. And do you remember when the iPhone was first introduced and MySpace was all the rage? That was a mere 10 years ago.
In the span of a decade, our modern culture and lifestyle have changed unimaginably. Computers and laptops have already been replaced by smartphones as the prime device to access the internet and everything seems to revolve around social media platforms. And while change is positive such uncertainty can lead to lower market investments.
Knowing that SMM is a crucial part of online presence, most business owners and marketers alike are often torn on the matter. Do you put all your money on a horse that might not race tomorrow?
Instagram’s ER is rising while Twitter’s user base growth has stalled, but just a year ago things were the other way around. Plus, who’s to say that in a year’s time we will still be using those exact platforms?
What if Google finally succeeds and makes the best next social media network or better yet, what if a super app replaces every platform we use with a clean and easy to understand userinterface?
Analysts worldwide are working on answering these questions regarding probability. We are also doing our best to keep you up to date with the latest developments on each social platform. But even with all the data, it’s just hard to predict what will happen next. This is especially in the fast-paced tech savvy world we live in.
All being said, how do you future-proof your social media marketing strategy? There isn’t an exact set of steps you can take to do so, but we think that we do have some great tips and tricks to share with you. Let’s discuss!
#1. Focus on Quality Content
First and foremost, it should be noted that machine learning is quickly changing the landscape of software services. Today AI algorithms help Google choose the top ranking websites and YouTube to show you recommended videos.
Facebook, on the other hand, has been using AI for face recognition for years now. While it’s hard to predict where AI will take us tomorrow and whether or not other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter will heavily rely on it, one thing is clear. AI in the future will have the power to understand the difference between bad content and good content.
Of course, this falls slightly on the speculation side of things, but it is nonetheless extremely plausible. Considering the fact that all social media platforms want to do is increase their user base and engagement to attract more people, the focus on quality should be a top priority.
While retweeting one hundred posts per day might boost the engagement rates of your posts a tiny bit, a sophisticated AI bot in the future can see your account as a spam-related bot-controlled profile that is not worth promoting.
It’s the same with Instagram. If the platform implements a similar solution to DeepMind’s image recognition technology, imagine the hit your brand will get if you are trying to promote cats, but only have photos of dogs. Or, a more natural example, if your brand is about fitness trackers, yet you only have photos of girls doing yoga.
All being said, it’s difficult to predict how AI will change the algorithms social media platforms use to promote their content. Nevertheless, to increase your chances of future proofing your SMM strategy, your best bet would be to focus on quality content that adds value to the industry you are trying to excel at or to your brand.
#2 Focus on People and Natural Engagement
Paid advertising can greatly boost your content in the short-term. But if you want to future-proof your strategy, you should focus primarily on increasing your reach naturally. Instead of looking at just the numbers, make sure that you build an audience.
You don’t want to have numbers on a page that say “followers,” only to realize that those people won’t follow you anywhere. Instead, build an engaged audience that is influenced by your decisions. That way you will ensure that even if a new platform pops up, you will have a new following ready to come and support you on that new platform.
Of course, focusing on natural engagement and an honest and active audience can also help you retain your position within a social network. This means that even if there is a major update in how the algorithm works on a given platform, as long as your core audience is engaged with your content you won’t have to be that worried about the new changes.
#3 – Backup Your Data
One of the most important steps to take towards future proofing your SMM strategies is to create a habit of constantly backing up your data. While most of the content you have will probably be related to current events, you never know when you might be able to recycle some of it. Especially if a new platform comes around, having content ready to go will give you a huge boost going forward.
But even if this doesn’t happen, having all the content you’ve posted on a network backed up is a must for every social media marketer and/or manager. Whether for future proofing purposes or for general safety and security reasons, knowing that you have a local backup of your content in case of failure can save you a lot of stress and trouble in the unfortunate event of your account being hacked, the platform you are using breaking down, or if a new platform appears.
When backing up, make sure to categorize everything in a neat manner. Especially if you are running multiple accounts and profiles, keeping things organized can save you a lot of time and effort.
Make sure to keep the original content files, but also keep an edited version. Don’t forget to save up the text and hashtags of your posts even if you are keeping track of your hashtag usage somewhere else.
#4 – Focus Only on Long-Term Growth Strategies
For a social media marketer, short term boosts are a great way to entice the client and further build upon your own ambition and motivation towards success. But going back to the first and second tips, unless you focus on quality content and building an audience, you might fall short if a major change occurs.
Take for example the major keyword density shift by Google from a few years back. To make a long story short, when creating websites, people realized that if you have an exact number of keywords within a website, it is more likely to show up in the first results of Google. This resulted in an avalanche of websites exploiting keyword stuffing and hidden keyword techniques to appear on the front page. But when Google took note of that, they quickly removed such pages from the search results and changed their algorithm. Even though related to website SEO and not social media marketing, it is nonetheless a great example of why exploits for short term boosts might harm your strategy in the long run.
Short-term exploits and content boosts might be something that everyone around you is doing. But if you wait just a short while longer, focus on the quality and your audience, you will see that a long-term strategy is always the better option. This is especially true if we are talking about future proofing your SMM strategy.
#5 – Keep Up to Date with Everything SMM Related
Last but not least, make sure to always keep up to date with the latest developments in the SMM industry. Social media and internet-based services as a whole change almost each and every day.
With that in mind, the best thing you can do to ensure the future success of your SMM strategies is to constantly be up to date with what’s happening today and what might happen tomorrow.
What’s more, keep track of your own personal data and the data you have of your competitors. Draw your own conclusion from the analysis and share your thoughts within the industry.
Everyone might be saying that a platform is going down, but if you are seeing a huge growth on your own account and your competitor profiles, it might be nothing of a shift rather than a demise of a platform.
Furthermore, knowing that the owners of the social media platforms themselves are aware of the numbers and want to see better engagement and a growth in their user base, consider what their future plans might be and be prepared.
For example, if news breaks out that Facebook’s engagement rate is way down, be aware that Facebook is probably going to make major changes in the way their algorithms work.