In past years, social media marketing has turned out to be a powerful tool to improve business outcomes and engage customers. As we move gradually in 2018, the social media marketing trends seem to witness a major drift. As the marketplace is flooded with new ideas and techniques, businesses must pace up with these trends to survive in today’s cut-throat competition. Gone are the days when a mere presence on social media sites was enough to engage and persuade customers. Brands today need to focus more on visibility and advancements in emerging technology to develop a more integrated experience for customers. The various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, among other new players are constantly evolving new features with no signs of giving it a halt. The advancements in technology are sure to make this year more exciting for businesses, companies and brands to market their product & services like never before. Having left behind in social media marketing, you will lose your real customers that can adversely affect your bottom line. You cannot take social media for granted! Regardless of the industry, you belong to, your business size, your products or services, social media marketing can always help you produce driving business results. Many brands are turning to Facebook Ads, creating engagement through hashtags, implementing Twitter ads, and stepping on various social media platforms available to take the lead over customers in every dimension. To ensure that you use social media to the fullest you must embrace right techniques to drive real business results. Here are Right Techniques to Drive Real Business Results Below are top five social media marketing techniques for your brand that are sure to drive your business outcomes this year: #1. Set up goals as a part of your social media strategy The first step to your social media strategy is to establish clear goals. Once you have your goals well-defined, you can proceed with social media planning across various platforms available. This requires immense brainstorming to chalk out goals that are attainable for your brand or business. For instance, planning new 1 million Instagram followers is unrealistic unless you have a solid plan to execute it. Some common attainable goals to consider includes: Creating lasting brand awareness through social media channels Delivering meaningful content Efficient social media targeting through hashtags or keywords Using social media to notify customers of what’s new Focusing on ROI & keeping a business track Auditing your social media channels Promoting user-generated content to create loyal customers Keeping a regular track on what your competitors are doing #2. Research which platforms work best for your audience It’s not necessary that all social media channels work equally good for your brand. There can certainly be few platforms that may work better among others for your business. Understanding different channels of social media and finding out which platforms work best for your brand, is a key to win customers. Among all the social media channels available, it is imperative to know which platform has greater influence on customers. Your business should look into the demographics and figure out the most valuable channels which generate maximum customers, business, traffic or leads. You must focus on platforms which correlate the most with your goals to get quick outcomes. #3. Identify your customer demographics While you get an insight into each channel, its high time to identify your customer demographics on social media. You may use various tools that help you track exact demographics and show real results. You can use social media dashboard that gives you an overview of: Number of followers How customers are interacting with your brand Number of brand mentions Fans and followers gained Number of clicks, likes and other such activities These insightful reports on different metrics can evaluate your real social media efforts across different platforms. The critical demographics data is ideal to identify your real and potential customers on social networks. #4. Step into Volatile & influencer marketing Volatile content is gaining immense popularity which can be seen on Instagram and Snapchat. Stories on both the platform are performing wonders! A lot of brands are inclining towards these stories to deliver a quick message to customers and generate buzz in short period. Since the short-lived message is accessible on mobiles, it can reach wider audience and generate quick response. Similarly, influencer marketing is also rising like a wildfire! Influencer marketing is a process by which you can endorse individuals who influence over potential buyers to persuade them. The trend of social media influencers promoting products or services has worked well for brands and businesses. This form of marketing technique over social media has outpaced various other techniques like email marketing, display advertising, and many others. #5. Focus more on Millennial market Millennials or also known as Generation X, the young blood born around the mid-90s, are driving the social media. To make a powerful presence on social media, you simply cannot ignore the influence of millennials over social media networks. This generation is the driving force as they heavily rely on the internet and social media to get information and make connections. Brands today need to target the Millennial group to the reach the bigger segment of the audience. Understanding millennials liking and mindset, can help you to produce content accordingly and get quick business results. In the race to win customers over social media, you must harness the true power of social media! Implementing these unusual social media marketing techniques can help you to take the lead over competitors and create a better influence on social media. Apart from these, there are several other trends evolving continuously that brands must focus. It is inarguable that all the social media channels will incorporate new technologies like augmented reality (AR) & social video content, in coming years, for which the brands must gear up. So, keep updating your social media strategy to fit new trends & grab amazing opportunities!