Social media business tips

It’s that time of the year again, folks! Social media experts are clamouring to predict the trends and changes we’ll see across the major social networks over the next twelve months. Maybe we’ll see the launch of new platforms or functionalities that will change the face of digital marketing as we know it. For this article, we teamed up with Jerry from a social media agency in Birmingham ( to add some expertise and insight. Let’s take a look at what appears to be the best bet for developments this year.

Social media for business tips for 2017


1. Stay laser-focused

With so many new platforms popping up, it’s easy to lose focus on what you and your business are actually trying to gain from social media marketing. “It’s great to play around with new tools but always remember who your audience is and what your goals are” Jerry explains, “you can end up wasting too much time if those tools aren’t of real value.”


2. Instagram is your friend

If your business has even a hint of a consumer-facing element, you need to get on Instagram. The photo-sharing network is fast-becoming the most important social network and it might be the fastest way to get in front of your audience. “Insta is especially important for brands whose audience consists of teens and guys and girls in their 20s. It’s by far their most used network” Jerry explains.

Unsurprisingly, 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35.

Social media tips for business 2017

3. Facebook still matters for millennials

Whilst Instagram is now the platform of the younger generations, millennials still use Facebook regularly. That means if your audience is in their late 20s, right up to grandparents in their 60s, Facebook holds loads of value to your brand in 2017.


4. Use live video (at the right time)

2016 was the year live video got a real grip on audiences. The ability to live stream to Facebook captured the imagination and gave brands a great way to connect with their fans in real time.

“The danger with any trendy functionality is that it gets overused and we sacrifice quality for quantity. Most people’s Facebook feeds were littered with low-quality, low-value video and that can be damaging for brands.” Jerry’s advice is to wait for key events or product launches to use live video and make sure you’re using a decent camera and tripod.


5. Monitor your return, especially on Twitter

Social media reporting is still a bit of a mysterious art with few businesses really having a grip on what their return on investment is on each platform, but Jerry is most concerned about Twitter. “Twitter is going through a tough time and having to ask itself the difficult questions. For some businesses, their audience is simply not as responsive over Twitter as they used to be and you really need the right strategy to make it work.”


6. A rise in integrated campaigns

Social media has been one of the revolutions of the 21st century and its influence on society continues to grow and grow. This means social media is no longer a silo of isolated activity; it’s a fundamental element of broader marketing. With this, we can expect small and large brands to build in TV, traditional PR and other marketing to their social campaigns.


7. Be different, be bold

Businesses looking to gain traction amongst new audiences have to go out on a limb to impress their target market. So much has been done before and there’s so much content being shared every second, bog-standard content will get you nowhere in 2017.

“Identify who your super-niche audience is and find out what makes them tick. It’s much easier to shape your content into something those people will really engage with than try to entertain a million different people.”


8. Be a LinkedIn hero

“2017 might just be the year people actually start using LinkedIn properly” expert Jerry Carter says, “it’s a superb platform, especially for B2B businesses. LinkedIn lead-generation campaigns are some of the most successful we run in terms of ROI and too few people are making the most of it.”

We predict that businesses are finally seeing the light with LinkedIn as numbers of professionals on the network and the number actually using it regularly, continues to rise.


9. Consolidating efforts

By now, most of you will have been using the major networks for several years. This means you’ll have a good idea where you can best reach new audiences, direct traffic to your site and generate sales from. Jerry believes we’ll see companies hone in on those platforms and tactics that work and focus their efforts there.

“There really is no point in spending half your week managing eight different profiles if you’re really only seeing return from three. You don’t need to delete your account, just simply direct people to the networks you’re using most frequently.”


10. Collaborate and cross-promote

The final point on today’s list is the power of teaming up. It follows that if it’s becoming harder and harder to gain people’s attention with content alone, being able to grow your audience through engaged collaborator networks might be the fastest way to gain new fans.

“Your collaborators are those who share your target audience. Whilst you might not be competing with them, you are competing for that audience’s attention. You’re probably even bidding against them for clicks and impressions on Facebook. Peer-to-peer and business-to-business recommendations are great so get cross-promoting with like-minded brands in your area.”


Crafting your social media strategy

Knowing exactly where to start when it comes to creating a social media strategy for your business can be tricky. In fact, there’s a lot of information out there trying to help, but it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve decided to give you the pillars of a successful strategy to help you on your way.

Social media strategy for business

There are four, essential cornerstones that form the foundation of your social strategy. If you maintain a solid grasp of these areas, you won’t go too far wrong.

Two social media strategists study their computer screen


You’ll hear this time and time and again but you absolutely must know what your business is trying to achieve when it comes to social media marketing. There are so many things you can achieve, it’s important to know what your primary goals are or you’ll procrastinate and end up achieving very little.

Do you need web traffic? What about warmed leads from Twitter or LinkedIn? Do you need to maximise reach or impressions amongst your target audience? Each of these would result in a different course of action and focus on each social network.


Once you’re decided on the objectives of your social media marketing activity, get to work analysing your audience. You need to know their demographics, their interests and where they spend time online. Try and be as specific as possible, maybe even create your perfect customer and define what makes them, them!

Everything you know about the members of your target audience can give you a clue as to how best to advertise to them. This will translate into custom audiences on Facebook, the kinds of Twitter accounts you should interact with and the kind of hashtags you need to use on Instagram! As a B2B business, you’ll find it easy to find prospects on LinkedIn.


Based on where your audience likes to spend time online, you should have a good idea where you need to put your brand! Each social network requires a unique approach to content sharing and how you engage your audience. With some networks you’ll be able to apply some fundamental marketing strategy, with others, you’ll need to really research what does and doesn’t work.

As we’ve mentioned, LinkedIn will be the network of choice for the B2B marketer. Instagram and Facebook tend to work much better for consumer brands whilst Twitter yields results for all kinds of businesses provided it’s used correctly. I recommend sticking with the mainstream platforms because it’s easier to manage a few profiles and that’s where your audience is most likely to be.


The final piece of the puzzle is the content you produce. Let’s be clear. This is everything your company shares over social media and its blog – copy, images, and video. This content is the way you engage with your audience and generate buy-in to your brand and business.

In the first instance, your content must look to build a rapport with your target market and you’ll achieve this through entertaining and informing them. Only then will you be able to start selling to them.

[UPDATE July 2017]

We’d like to thank an anonymous reader who suggested we expanded on goal-setting and how to work towards achieving them.

Effective goal-setting for social media

As we mentioned above, having those clear KPIs in place is super-important in order to set the goals for your campaign. However, having that target in sight is just one factor of your strategy formation.

As usual, it’s always recommended to use a framework like SMART for goal-setting; stating they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If you’ve chosen the right goals in the first place, they should be relevant and, depending on which goals, they should be specific and measurable. All this means is that you can put a tangible figure on them.

For example – “increase brand awareness” is neither specific or measurable in terms of goal-setting because there is no metric in place and ‘brand awareness’ is too much of a broad term. Increase by how much?

An example of a SMART goal would be:

Increase monthly web traffic from Twitter by 50% by the end of September.

It’s specific, measurable (using Google Analytics, for example), achievable (because it’s not an astronomical improvement and the current level could be low), relevant to your business and it is time-framed.

For most brands, there should be one primary goal for the campaign, and subgoals, perhaps for each channel or sub-campaign. If you have too many goals, it can be difficult to stay focused on all of them.


As you combine your experience of what does and doesn’t work for your brand, you’ll continue to improve on your strategy and work toward achieving your goals. Good luck!