Is social media marketing right for your product?
And if so, how can you make the most of social media marketing?
I’ve curated 9 tips that might surprise you, annoy you or even flip your concept of social media marketing on its head.
1: Be One of the First
Most people try to build their brands on platforms that are extremely competitive.
But there are other ways:
Either build your brand on a new platform BEFORE it becomes huge…
…or build your brand on an unexpected platform.
In the first example, it’s notable that many of the biggest stars of YouTube started when YouTube was fairly new.
And the same is true of Instagram and other social media networks.
By getting on a platform before it’s huge, your competition will be much smaller.
In addition, up and coming platforms want to increase engagement, so they will show your content to more and more people.
In the second case, it’s a matter of going where you’re not expected, and this may or may not work for you.
Let’s say you have a business to business service. Everyone would expect you to go to LinkedIn to do your promotion, and that’s where you’ll find your competition.
But what if instead, you went to Facebook? Instead of being one little fish of many on LinkedIn for your niche, you might wind up being a BIG fish in a big pond on Facebook, if you can reach your target audience.
It’s worth a shot.
2: Don’t Wag the Dog
To get better at social media, you might keep in mind that social media platforms are the tail and not the dog. The dog is your product, your offer and the campaign to promote the offer.
Social media is simply the tail.
Too many people try to start with social media and go from there, and then they wonder why the tail isn’t wagging the dog.
If you’ve got a product people want and an offer they cannot refuse, then social media can work for you.
3: Become a WOM Expert
Social media marketing works best when you get others to share your message. And to do that, you need to learn everything you can about word of mouth marketing, as well as what goes viral and why it goes viral.
Find out why people share the things they share.
Cripes, I gotta say that again because it’s so important:
FIND OUT WHY PEOPLE SHARE THE THINGS THEY SHARE.
The more you know about this and apply what you learn, the better you will become at social media marketing.
A few points to get you started:
People share content:
- To bring valuable, enlightening and entertaining content to others
- To define themselves to others (and to themselves, too)
- To get and stay connected to others
- For self-fulfilment, to be credited by others for what they shared
- To support causes they believe in and brands they like.
These all come down to one thing: nurturing relationships with others.
People are most likely to share content that is:
In the “Generational Content Gap” survey from Fractl and Buzzstream, they found that:
- Timing is everything. The majority of Baby Boomers consume content during the morning hours, between 5AM and 12PM. Compared to that, both other generations consume content in the late evening, between 8PM and 12AM. If you are a marketer and want to reach the right audience, always keep timing in mind!
- The top 3 types of content consumed by all three generations are 1) blog articles (with a preferred length of 300 words), 2) visuals (with images, videos, and memes on the top) and 3) comments. Thoughts? Oh yes! Less is more!
- When it comes to content categories, all of the groups like to consume content in the field of Entertainment. However, Baby Boomers’ are the largest World News consumers; Gen Xers are very much into Healthy Living and Millennials are Technology fans.
4: Tell the Right Story to the Right Audience
You need to have story you want to tell. Maybe it’s a story about your brand, your product or service, or even a story about you. It’s the story that captures an audience’s attention, makes you memorable and arouses interest.
Try this story out on your fellow humans and seeing if it works or not. Tweak it. Get it right.
Then and only then do you figure out what the best platform is to tell that story.
5: Create/Curate Industry-Focused Content
You could curate content that your audience will appreciate by using keyword based & RSS feed content curation on a tool like DrumUp. https://drumup.io/
The idea is to share great content with your followers so you can start conversations with them, be viewed as the go-to source of info, and even become the expert in your field, without actually BEING the expert.
Weird but true, associating with experts and even forwarding their content on makes you look good by association. It’s almost like getting free social media karma.
6: Go to Mock War
What happens when McDonald’s and Wendy’s tout their own products? It’s boring.
What happens when McDonald’s and Wendy’s take friendly pokes at each other and even engage in mock social media wars?
People pay attention, take sides and participate.
Don’t make it a real war unless you’ve got a cause, like Greenpeace or Amnesty International. But do poke fun at your competition in a friendly way and expect they will poke back.
You will both win if this is done right.
6: Get Emotional
All great marketing engages people on an emotional level, and that includes social media.
You might think you don’t have it in you to create, say, a video of a small boy doing all the chores around the house so his mom has time to go to his play. I saw that done recently by a company called Dialdirect, and it was done so well, it brought tears.
But you don’t have to go all Hollywood in your emotional content creation.
VSO simply wrote the following words:
“Will you remember today forever? You went to work. The tube was strangely empty. You got a hilarious email. Someone made you a perfect cup of tea. You ate a delicious sandwich. The photocopier did not jam. There were no delays on the tube home. But will you remember today forever? You saw an ad on the tube that changed your life. You decided to do something about the state of the world. You offered your professional experience to VSO. You volunteered to share your skills in the world’s poorest communities. You stood up not because there were no seats, but to be counted. To say you wanted to make a difference. This is your chance. This is the ad. This is the website: www.vso.org.uk. This is the number: 020 8780 7500. This is the day.” VSO – Sharing Skills / Changing Lives
7: Avoid the Ruts
People get bored.
What’s hot today is dull tomorrow and forgotten the day after that.
That’s why you can rest on your laurels. Keep finding fresh new ways to get your message out there.
8: Build Your Brand
Here are some tips that can be useful for brand building with social media:
- Make Rich Graphics: The best and first step for brand building is to attract the audience with unique and eye-catchy graphics.
- Taglines or Slogans: Make great taglines for brand promotions. Let's take an example of Nike's slogan “Just Do It.” And, their tagline or mission statement is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.“ Think about how wide their target audience becomes with a tagline like that!
- Descriptions: Make post descriptions small, unique and more catchy.
- Build a brand #tag: Make your business a popular #tag. For example, #Nike has more than 87 million posts on Instagram.
- Conduct Surveys: Surveys are another best way to promote your business. You can encourage the audience to participate in your survey and offer them gifts or giveaways.
- Video Content: Make creative videos for your brand, services, products.
- Don't do Blanket Posting: Avoid attacking the audience with the same images, the same content at the same time on all social media channels.
- Online Competitions & quizzes: Organize online Competitions & quizzes on SM channels.
These type of activities build brand trust and increase visibility.
9: Maintain the Appearance of a Constant Presence
Out of sight, out of mind.
Have a presence on your social media channels every day, without fail. Have something relevant and interesting to share.
And as much as possible, automate everything with scheduling tools so you can focus your time elsewhere.
The key is to appear to be present and engaged, rather than actually being present and engaged.
Yes, I know some people are going to take exception to this, but the fact is that your time is valuable. Spend it wisely where you get the most return.
If it happens that your highest return for your time is being live on social media, that’s terrific. If not, then don’t get sucked into a social media vortex that swallows you whole and leaves you popular but broke.
Some marketers lose sight of the fact their end goal is to sell their product or service. If social media isn’t your best channel for doing that, you’ll have to decide how much time to spend on it.