Social Media Expert Vanessa Diaz Shares Tips on Social Media Marketing in 2018

January 28, 2018

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.

Social media marketing has been on the minds of marketers since the rise of Facebook and Twitter more than a decade ago. In 2018, it is very important for every brand to invest time and resources in social media marketing.

With 30% of millennials saying they engage with a brand on social at least once a month, your strategy cannot be only about existence. Brands must be fully invested in their social media marketing strategies and focus on engagement. Otherwise, you will lose out on real customers, which means serious effects on your bottom line.

Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging. It is vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals.

The goals of social media marketing cannot be just to gain likes, fans, and retweets. These things are not ends, but means to an end. Social media marketing is far more than an online popularity contest, and the better business owners understand that, the better they can use it for their companies.

We asked social media expert Vanessa Diaz at Pipeline Pepper to share a few social media marketing tips.

How and why did you get started in social media?

I was managing marketing and events while in college for the campus (movie screenings, concerts, coffee shop series, etc.) best college job ever! It was at the time of the rise of Facebook and Myspace… I always saw the value of social networking since before business pages existed. It was an uphill battle I typically won to get brands and companies on board from that job Onward.

Which social platform do you think is the most under-rated and under-used by businesses?

Depending on your audience, Instagram and Pinterest are still not being utilized enough by many small businesses. Clients I work with often do not have a concept of how it can help provide a branding identity, bring traffic to their website, give additional exposure to the community, and connect them to their client/customer on a more personal level.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people make in social media?

Hiring an intern is a big mistake. You can include them in the process but they should be learning from someone with experience. In addition, all business using customer-generated content should be asking permission to use it first or at the very least giving photo credit (stock photos are different). If you use hashtags appropriately you can really make an impact in audience engagement and reach as well.

What are some ways that a brand can connect and interact with social media influencers?

Try interacting with micro-influencers (less than 10-15K followers) versus those with bigger followings. Micro-influencers often have a good return on investment and you are more likely to be noticed when you like, follow, comment and share. Do not dismiss the DM (Direct message) but be authentic and not sales like. If you are not sure how to appropriately engage / what the norms are you can approach a PR company to get them on board for a given campaign.