It may seem easy, but social media managers know that engaging with an audience over any social media platform requires a lot of work. You need to develop a target audience, figure out how much time to spend on each social media platform, find ways to create original content, interact with your followers and much more. But that does not mean that it shouldn’t be fun! Given below are some great hacks you can use ease the process of using social media, without compromising on your business objectives:
1. Use the right combination of tools
Using the right tools for the right job comes as common sense, and it applies to social media campaigns too. It takes a lot of time and effort to manually post to every single social media platform, and the campaign becomes even more complicated and vast as your business grows. Using the right tools to organize your make the process more efficient and rewarding. You may use content curation, scheduling and social media analytics tools to help you find fresh, relevant social media content from across the internet and schedule it for the next few days, maybe even weeks!
2. Make your posts visually appealing
Humans are primarily visual creatures. Nearly 80% of all the information we have about our environment are gathered through our sense of sight. That is probably why visual content like photos and videos perform so well on social media. Infuse your posts with eye-catching photographs, videos and infographics to make it more engaging. It works on all major social media platforms, even the ones like Facebook and Twitter, which are not primarily based on visual content!
3. Guide your audience like you would a beginner
Have you watched unboxing videos of the latest toys or gadgets? How about the playthrough video of a new game by Pewdiepie? Some of these kinds of videos generate millions of views in a matter of days, and we cannot help but ask ourselves why it is so valuable to the user. The answer, of course, lies in the believability and authenticity of a beginner. Approach an exclusive experience or environment with the uncontainable excitement of a child entering a a funfair, and you are automatically able to make your audience use their five senses through your content! This kind of strategy works perfectly when you are trying to provide social coverage to an event related to your business in real time.
4. Pay close attention to time zones
If your target demographic lies beyond geographical borders, take a while to think about how unfair you are being by posting at times that are inconvenient to them. It is best to find the peak times of internet activity for each geographic region and post at the appropriate times, even if it is the same content. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki is known to tweeting the same content at different times during the day with minor changes. With this strategy, he manages to make the same content reach a new set of audience, and generate approximately the same number clickthroughs with every post! Why have 250 clickthroughs when you can post it four times and gain 1000?
5. A/B test your posts
If you are not sure about what works with your target audience, experimentation is the way to go! A/B testing involves using two slightly different versions of the same content to check which one performs better in the real world. You can perform A/B testing on various elements of your posts including title, format, tone and the picture associated with the post and try to recreate nearly identical setting for each post. You then compare the performance of each individual post to check which patterns seem to work better with your current audience. For instance, say that you want to post motivational messages to your target audience once a week. Would your audience appreciate it more if you posted every Monday, or every Wednesday? Run an A/B test to find out!
6. Be useful
Value addition should be your primary objective when using social media platforms to increase your brand visibility online. People rarely browse social media sites with the intention of searching for products and services, which is probably why blatantly advertising your business is a good way to lose the interest of your target audience. Instead, draw them in by providing them information (like NASA) or entertainment (like Monster Energy) and include a few mentions of your products or services within the content. Your audience will be able to associate your brand with the quality of information or entertainment they receive, and you will soon see an increase in your online popularity.
7. Widen your target demographic and design specific content
With the growth of your brand, you may consider including a wider range of products and services so that your business can serve a larger number of people. The same strategy needs to be used for social media site. One of the most popular brands to find success by using this kind of strategy is Discovery Channel. Instead of focusing primarily on documentary television, they have diversified to providing content for specific target demographics and provided it in the form of dedicated channels. They now create unique content for each specific channel such as Investigation Discovery, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Discovery Science and Velocity, as they have mutually exclusive target audiences.
8. Balance paid advertisements with organic strategies
One of the most difficult things to measure in a social media campaign is the Return on Investment, yet it is one of the most important metric when trying to manage a business. Organic strategies are free and they help manage to drive a significant amount of internet traffic towards your brand because the average social media user trusts organic content much more than paid advertisements. But there are so many factors that influence the success of an organic strategy and most of it lies beyond your control, including Google’s top secret formula for displaying relevant search results. Paid advertising can help balance the risk by providing a faster response and plenty of potential to target your audience, control costs and get a precise measurement of ROI.
9. Involve your employees in the social media campaign
Employee advocacy is the new buzzword amongst social media managers, and for very good reasons! Say that you have an organization with about 100 employees and a new social media page could use some attention. Each of those employees may have around 300 Facebook friends (the average number of Facebook friends amongst adults is 338), which means that your page has the potential to reach nearly 300,000 people with an employee advocacy program! Most businesses were quite apprehensive about allowing their employees to promote the brand on their social media sites, as they are not all trained to be brand ambassadors. But remember that most people have been using social media sites for many years now, and they much more conscious of the repercussions of their posts.
10. Show the human side of your brand
Businesses are changing to become more people friendly as they have started to realize that they need to develop and maintain a relationship with their customer base. Luckily, your business is run by people, and that makes it very easy to express the more human side of your brand! One of the more recent examples that showed how being human makes a brand more appealing, was the “Internet Explorer sucks less” campaign by Microsoft to advertise Internet Explorer 10. The campaign was full of self-deprecating humor and honest admissions by the computing giant, and it took the world by surprise when it was released back in the end of 2012. You may engage with customers, clients and even competitors of your business to make your social media campaign more interesting! The entertaining back and forth between chocolate cookie company Oreo and automobile designers Honda makes a fitting example of how a playful war of social media posts can drive customer engagement!
Each brand is unique in its own way, which is why it is difficult to have a template of a social media campaign. As the success of social media campaigns are influenced by interactions with your target audience, you may require some level of experimentation before you find the right mix of tools and strategies that work for your brand. But by following the tips given above, you will be able to find the best way to interact with your target audience and gradually take over social media!