Today Gary Vaynerchuk is in Australia and I happily got to see him present in person for the first time. A large part of Gary's talk revolved around social media. In particular he said that 2018 is the year to focus on Facebook and Instagram. If you aren't disproportionately spending on those channels you are less likely to win. Just as Google presented an opportunity to businesses in the early 2000's (to leverage paid ads when clicks were high and prices were low), Gary believes that Facebook and Instagram present an opportunity to companies now. While some businesses are still getting their heads around the fact that social media is an advertising channel, we have an opportunity to accept that these social media sites are market places and that due to increasing demand, in the future you'll click less and pay a lot more. Once big brands like Coke-a-Cola and Budweiser start taking their $30 million outdoor budget and allocating it to social media and social influencers, it won't cost $4 to target your customer, it will cost $89.

As part of his talk, Gary shared five social media tips that I want to share with you here.
  1. Do your own social media. 
Social media is personal and real and you need to be too. Connect with people, reach out to influencers. Gary does his own social media and we need to remain the practitioner. If you don't know how to do things, Google it!
  2. Take time to reply on social. 
People talk about how important social media is to their business but then they don't take the time to respond to comments and questions online. This is your channel. Have humility and reply to each and every person that talks to you on social media.
  3. Context is key to your creative. 
Gary is confident that social will work and is a winning formula but the variable for each brand is their creative. Use context to connect with people and make your posts relevant. Test the words and pictures to find what works and then spend money on it.
  4. Reach out to social media influencers on social media. 
Use your hashtag to find people (future customers). Ask them if you can send them a sample of your product and get them to review it on social media. Some won't respond, some will and some will ask for money. Pay them.
  5. Put 65% of your budget on Facebook, influencers and Instagram. 
(LinkedIn and Snapchat were also mentioned). These are the disproportionately leveraged channels. Use them while you can. Some great reminders here from Gary and overall his message around social media was clear. Go all in. There is an opportunity now that won't be around forever. Social media marketing is the biggest advantage to businesses right now and for the next 12-18 months. Don't regret not utilising this opportunity to get your brand in front of the right audience at a reasonable price.