In our blog article about messages in a bottle and how they resemble relevance in social media, we explained how social media platforms impact the visibility of your posts. In this blog article we want to help you stay visible and relevant to your customers by making sure that your bottle reaches its destination.
By now it should be common knowledge that you can’t expect to build a strong social media presence by simply posting random links and hashtagging a few topics. At the same time, it’s equally important to remember that even the widest reach is worthless if you’re not effectively connecting with customers and so never see the positive result for your business. To ensure you stay on top of your game, here are our recommended four strategies:
Make it specific
Most companies use one single corporate channel, publishing content from their various business units. Due to the large number of different topics, individual posts can easily get lost in the feed. So, instead of overwhelming your audience with content, you ought to begin by listening closely to them. Learn about their interests and what they really need. Find out when and where they are active online. Try and hone in on a passionate community that shares one specific topic. Clustering your communication around products and services helps you increase the relevance for each post. And to become the authority, guide your audience to your offerings with topic-related channels.
With the help of carefully selected hashtags within your topic, you can also improve the engagement with your content. The more specific your hashtagging, the more targeted your audience will be. In addition, your strategy should be aligned with the different roles the various platforms play: Each has its own audience with varying expectations, so why waste your energy or budget? Before posting, find out which content people are engaging with and figure out which kind of post your company should offer for that particular platform.
Make it about your customer
First off, it is fundamental to understand that no one cares about you, but rather about how what you’re offering is going to make their lives easier. That’s why social media marketing should never be self-promotional but needs to shift the focus from products to people. So, before beginning any communication, start by considering your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and address their pain points, giving them the feeling of being on their side. Communicate the primary customer benefit or promise in a way people can understand, avoiding unnecessary detours or too much information. Communication that makes readers more informed and offers specific solutions without sounding dogmatic builds trust by justifying your claims, means and methods. Lastly, if you don’t ask readers to act, they probably won’t. That’s why you should close with a call to action.
Make it personal
Influencer marketing used as a social media strategy involves inviting those that appeal to the same target audience as you do, to promote your brands to their audience. Closely following powerful influencers, engaging them and mentioning them in your tweets is already a first step. The idea is to promote you and strengthen your credibility by making your brand feel like a normal discovery, as people see authoritative figures whom they respect supporting your products and services. This organic and targeted way of marketing is a seamless addition to people’s online experience, as influencers target their message to an interested audience rather than annoying thousands of uninvested people, providing you with a better marketing ROI.
Make it stick
Paid ads guarantee a place in the user’s feed, despite the noise generated by the larger social platform. Yet, beyond this obvious advantage, there are other, more crucial benefits.
On top of basic user demographics, social media platforms have a wide range of targeting parameters, such as interests or personality types, for you to both expand and engage your ideal audience. For instance, by creating a lookalike that resembles your existing customers.
What’s more, paid posts let you gather market insights with the help of (big) data. You can use the platforms’ analytics tools and look at suitable KPIs to assess and refine the performance of your campaign in real time.
Worried that it’ll be way too expensive? Although some brands may have blockbuster budgets, the benefits from paid social media advertising can be reproduced by businesses of all sizes. Platforms use pay-per-click (PPC) models, meaning that you only pay if the user takes the action you want. Or to put it another way: with budget behind your content you can make the biggest impact and navigate your bottles so they don’t get lost en route.