It’s always been tough to stand out and get noticed in digital marketing, and it’s getting tougher every day.

Back when social media marketing was still in its infancy, brand marketing was a little bit easier. Businesses could build simple pages and create simple posts to get noticed by the (relatively) small user pool. There was an air of novelty about everything that we just don’t have in 2017. With digital marketing becoming the standard, there are just too many brands out there vying for public attention.

Add in the algorithms controlling our news feeds on social media sites like Facebook, and things get even harder. Each user has limited space on his/her news feed. And more often than not, brand advertising gets the axe in favor of content posted by each user’s family and friends.

What’s a brand marketer to do?

Social Media Marketing Strategies for 2017

To get noticed in 2017, brands need to focus on several strategies that work within the social media matrix.

Pay to Play Ads

Organic visibility is becoming increasingly hard to find, thanks to the social media algorithms discussed above. Fortunately for brand advertisers, you don’t need to spend all day optimizing to get seen. The almighty dollar is still a useful way to get noticed in 2017 by way of paid advertisements.
These can come in the form of singular posts about new promotions or full-fledged marketing campaigns. They can be anything from text posts to photos, with either targeted demographics or generic reach. Any way you slice it, spending a few dollars can grease the social media wheel and get your brand out there. For businesses wanting to do this without breaking the bank, note that research indicates that Facebook still produces the best ROI for brand marketers on social media.

Authentic Advocacy

Paid ads are a good start, but they are no substitute for an authentic brand presence that resonates with consumers. Users can be wary of paid ads, so social media marketing has to go one step beyond and engage users in other ways.

To this end, brands need to use all the tools at their disposal to make an impact on social channels—including their staff. Have team members contribute to social media marketing campaigns with their own posts, content, and stories about the company.

And speaking of authenticity, don’t forget that social media influencers can have a big impact on user perceptions of your brand. When it comes to authentic posts delivered through a trusted source, there’s nothing better.

User-Generated Content Campaigns

Now, improving the authenticity of your content is great, but why not take it a step further? After building a social media presence, create strategic content campaigns that let users contribute to your brand on their own terms.
This type of outreach will be huge in 2017. We’ve already seen it make waves in previous years. Greek yogurt love stories. Share a Coke. The Starbucks White Cup Contest. The list goes on and on, and it will likely become even more valuable in the years to come.

As we discussed, the visibility of brand posts isn’t always great in follower news feeds. But when users contribute to your campaign and use your brand name, hashtags, and content keywords, their posts will show up on their friends’ feeds as a matter of course and push your brand visibility into overdrive. Plus, user-generated content is a powerful way to get users excited about your company and make them feel special for their contributions. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Breaking Through in 2017

It’s not easy to advertise these days, but marketers can’t give up the fight. More so in 2017 than ever before, authenticity, user-submitted content, and (when used strategically) paid advertisements will pave the way to marketing success. The new year is here—and the time to start is now.