Pew Research Center found that 72% of U.S. adults currently use social media. When they started tracking social media in 2005, only 5% did.

With recent reports of a shift into a new internet age, companies are going to see an even greater emphasis on connecting with their audience through social media. If they truly want to get the most from these platforms, companies must reimagine how they tell their stories.

“Diversifying your toolkit and ways that you communicate with people, I think is one of the unexpected opportunities that social media presents,” says Lyanne Alfaro, Nasdaq’s supervising producer and social media content director.

At Managing Editor Live 2021, Lyanne discussed Nasdaq’s approach to social media strategy and prioritizing its business goals to succeed in the social media space, as well as best practices for social media and what she thinks the future of social media will look like.

From Content Scheduling to Business Priority

Nasdaq’s social media strategy today is less about chasing new channels and scheduling content and more about listening and collecting data, Lyanne says.

“I think that in social media, it’s really easy to get caught up in the wind of new trends, especially when you see something that looks fun, that everyone is doing online,” Lyanne says, “and the tendency can be, especially from people on the outside looking in, to say, ‘Oh, well, so-and-so is doing that, you should go do that too.’ And that can be really dangerous.”

The Nasdaq team understood they had to ensure that the overall business priorities were integrated with social media. Having a great strategy and guidelines can ensure that everyone understands the goals and directions. “It also helps you to establish your boundaries so that you can focus on something and you ultimately have a better product,” notes Lyanne.

Lyanne offers an example of how careful thought and planning can have a real impact through social media. A year and a half ago, Nasdaq decided to connect with their stakeholders during Black History Month to develop a series of events uplifting the Black community. They gathered various thought leaders in tech and businesses from the Black community, then used social media to bring forth a people-first event.

In business, as in so many sectors, it’s easy to assume bigger is better. That isn’t always the case with companies and social media. Brands may struggle to gain traction with their social media strategies because the company is so large it’s difficult to find a focused approach. Regardless of size, it’s important to identify those main goals. “If you don’t have a north star, it’s difficult to build a strategy,” Lyanne says.

Tailor Your Content for Each Channel

While something might be great for one platform, it’s not needed on another. “Not all texts, not all announcements are meant for every platform,” she says. Particularly if you are in a tight bandwidth or have a low headcount, it’s crucial to pick a goal and area of focus that will give you the biggest payout as you navigate the best strategy to step up your social media.

Similarly, businesses should be certain that their content is appropriate for specific platforms from a technical standpoint. For instance, double-check that your photos are correctly sized for a particular platform, which can change.

The Future of Social Media Storytelling in Audio

All social media platforms have an infancy. In its first years, YouTube was filled with quirky video bloggers. As the years passed, however, the content has evolved into higher quality offerings and more commercial content.

Now it’s about audio. Will something equivalent to YouTube emerge?. Multiple platforms are out there already, such as Clubhouse and Twitter’s Spaces, with Facebook launching its Live Audio Rooms as well.

Who will come out on top? Lyanne thinks when it comes to this advancement in the social media space, it’s still anyone’s game. “We don’t really have a definitive platform that’s really been the catchall,” Lyanne says, noting it’s “interesting to think about how that might take place.”

Watch Lyanne’s full session here.