Is Social Media Still Relevant?

shutterstock_320586335At the dawn of social media monsters like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, businesses were scrambling to figure out ways to use it to the advantage of their company and earnings. Now, those same businesses are asking themselves the question: is social media still relevant? Is it still worth the extra time and money to invest in creating a significant social media presence? And, perhaps most importantly of all, how have Facebook, and other platforms changed most recently, and how can businesses adapt and use those changes to their advantage?

Real-time social media

Nowadays everything is instantaneous, and real-time social media is the next big thing. Following the start of Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live launched and has already been used for some big things. But the term real-time social media doesn’t only apply to these live video posts. It can also apply to things such as tweeting and retweeting of a business’ post, whether it is factual or just funny and share-worthy.

One way many businesses use real-time social media is by repeating a hashtag that somehow has recent relevance, whether or not it was an expected occurrence, and making it somehow relevant to your industry.

How to excel at real-time social media

Although there is no single equation to make a company do well at real-time social media (or reaching the all-time coveted status of a “viral” post), there are some tips that experts assert will help your chances. For example, you should keep your company’s tweets about whatever they’re about — they shouldn’t always talk about your company.

This is especially true if you’re reusing a hashtag that has recently become big. You can’t just use that hashtag as an obvious means for advertising your business; your audience is more clever than that and will see right through it (and worse, they would never retweet it). If you are just talking about the trending topic, there is more authenticity and intrigue to your tweet or post to catch your audience’s eye. Trending topics are important, but they aren’t going to guarantee you success, of course.

Facebook Live

Broadcasting is popular option to do through Facebook Live. You simply click the Live button to create a short description (or status) and share your video in real time. It will then make it into the news feed of your friends and followers, where they can tune in and watch the live stream. Users can comment and subscribe so they receive notifications about the next time you are going live.

Of course, there are certain aspects you will want to consider before going live for the first time. You should prepare in advance since you can’t re-do anything. Check ahead of time to make sure the audio is high enough quality, and definitely, don’t broadcast from a noisy environment. Keep your broadcasting time to between 2 and 20 minutes, and be sure to acknowledge your viewers while “on air.” If people are commenting, you could even respond to them in real time.

Like many other marketing schemes, it’s a good idea to finish your video off with a call to action — even if it’s just to visit your website or post a comment, any kind of action from your audience is a good thing.

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