Posted on Mar 21st 2017 under Social Media
Social media is the source of everyday information for millions or people, and not just information about what Uncle Dave is up to, but important news about the word around them, as well as the things and services that others are enjoying. Whatever the subject, it's there on social media and there is a conversation being had about it. Any business should be taking advantage of this massive audience to broaden their visibility as much as possible, and analysis shows that social media campaigns can have a significant effect on customer perception and engagement.
However, social media is a complex platform, and knowing the best way to tap into that massive opportunity is vital for success. Here are 10 proven ideas to make the most of social media from some of the most successful social media business campaigns around.
1. Charity and Community
Social media requires an entirely different approach, much more focused on building a rapport with your audience than overtly marketing products and services, and this image focused approach needs some original thinking. As most people assume businesses are entirely about profit above all, and all suffer from a lack of compassion and a poor reputation for their attitude to wider society, a company that not only helps others in need, but gets their audience involved can make a huge difference to brand image.
A campaign that incorporates a contribution to the needy can be hugely influential, a great example is that of Toms, who give away a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair they sold. That has been incredibly successful for them, with the video of the CEO of Toms giving away pairs of shoes going viral across multiple social media platforms and garnering huge interest and elevating their brand.
A video is without doubt the best way to promote such an initiative as that example shows, and a great social media company can connect you with suitable charity that aligns with your business to work alongside in such an endeavor.
2. Try different social media platforms
The term social media is used to cover a variety of platforms, each has something different to offer your business, and some will be more suited to what you are doing than others. A great social media company will understand the best social media to use for your brand to provide the most effective away to achieve your goals. For instance, if you were a clothing brand selling high quality items, a YouTube channel is not the ideal platform, but Pinterest or Instagram, where you can place high quality images of products, both of your own and customers wearing the garments, would be much more suitable. Think about the medium that best fits your needs, and decide on a platform that highlights that medium.
3. Know when to drop ideas that are not working
Social media platforms not only differ with what they can provide, they also have different audiences that react differently to your brand as well. You may see huge engagement and audience growth on one platform, and simply get nowhere on another. A great social media company knows when to drop away from something that is not working, as opposed to something that is a slow grower, and focus on the relevant and successful parts of the campaign.
You can understand which aspects are successful through good research, questionnaires and analytics can show where your customers first heard about your brand, or through what platform they arrived at your site and so on can give you a clear picture of what is and isn't working. For the best return on investment, you should always be focusing on those that are working.
4. Customer Focus
Making your customers feel special and important used to take a lot of time, money and clever advertising, however, the beauty of social media is that it now helps create that personal relationship much more easily. With one click, you can post something that lets your entire audience know you care, and that can reach out to millions of people for some businesses, it is an unprecedented ability for business.
Take, for example, a customer needing an order in a hurry and is desperate for it to ship, a birthday gift that needs to arrive before a flight overseas to deliver it or similar. Because of the two-way nature of social media, that customer can explain the story and ask for help, it happens thousands of times every day on multiple social media platforms. Great social media companies do not see this as an issue, rather they see the potential in such a situation and make the most of it. Getting the gift to that customer in time for their trip, include something extra for the birthday, make a big fuss of the customer and so on is the perfect response. Why do that some may ask? Because it is social media, the conversation may be two-way, but the entire audience can see both parts of the conversation. Promoting that response across your social media accounts allows all of your customers and potential customers see how well you treat people, that yours is a brand that they can trust, you will look after them. That builds a relationship that will be good for your business down the line.
5. Reward Customers
Customers that follow you on social media, whether through Facebook likes or Twitter follows and so on, are making a commitment to you, however small. By rewarding customers that follow you with something others do not get, you are doing two things. Firstly, you are ensuring your existing followers stay engaged with your brand and build that relationship, and secondly, you are offering encouragement for other customers to also follow you on social media, which is getting them more invested in your brand.
The best social media companies know that such rewards, even small ones, can act as a huge incentive for audience growth, and when you next put out an offer, you have that bigger audience to respond to it.
6. Get your employees involved
Getting your audience more engaged with your online activity can be tricky, however, putting a human face on the impersonal image many have of 'business' can really help. Getting your employees involved in your social media activities can really help with this, showing a happy team of people working for the customers has real impact.
The very best social media companies will use fun and exciting content based around employees, reaching the audience with relatable imagery and personality that makes full use of the social media platform to build engagement from customers.
Google recently launched a new app that translated the written word into your own chosen language. Google made an interesting, funny and very watchable video of their employees using the app while holding up cards that translated the song "La Bamba" playing in the background. This single post was uploaded to YouTube and shared on Google's social media accounts on pretty much every platform there is. This promoted a huge interest in the product and made it one of the most talked about apps ever. All from a single video, made in the spare time by a few employees.
7. Let your customers join in
The best way to get customers really involved in your brand is to get them behind the scenes of your company to show that more approachable, likeable side that really helps with social media. This can be accomplished in a few ways, but a great example id that of the active wear brand Fablietics. This was co-founded by actress Kate Hudson, who also acts as company spokesmodel. Because she is already famous, has a following and people are obviously interested in her, as the company launched, they released a video of a behind the scenes filming with Kate Hudson on Facebook, a kind of 'day in the life' video that provided a much more personal view of the company and its co-founder. The best social media companies will always have ideas like this to leverage the platform to create closer bonds between a brand and its customers.
8. Eye-Catching Graphics grab attention
Of course, not every company has a movie star to promote their products, nor the budget to get one, but that does not mean you must blend in with the crowd, far from it. A really great social media company will know how to make the most of your budget, work with it and maximize the impact of that spend.
A good way to make the most impact from your budget is with graphics, today a graphic designer can produce stunning content, whether that is a comedic video, cartoon or an interactive video, or even something else entirely, the possibilities are almost limitless.
9. Stand apart from the crowd by being different
One of the biggest challenges in social media is that there is so much competition. Whatever market you are in, there will be competitors on social media. Most will do the common things, have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and make regular posts of varying interest. As we have discussed, those, while the most popular, are not the only social media platforms available to you though, and the best social media companies understand that sometimes, the road less taken will put you ahead of the pack. Snapchat or Instagram can offer a route to an audience with less competition, and the beauty of social media is that increased relevance on other platforms can be leveraged across all of your social media accounts eventually, increasing those as well.
The best way to advertise something on Snapchat or Instagram is to show it being used, highlight the benefits and have fun with the product. Think about your business, and show your product being used in a cool or interesting way to gain attention.
10. Social Media is fun, and your posts should be too
It is a constant theme across all the tips we have mentioned, but fun is important on social media. Not just pretend fun either, people can spot it a mile away, you need to have fun with the medium, show personality, engage the audience, help people, enjoy the process of engaging with your customers and the freedom that social media presents as a means of communication.
This is easier said than done for some, but is essential for success, your audience will be much more engaged in a brand that looks and feels fun, has a human face and personality. Not all marketing needs to be serious, and social media is one place where it definitely should not be, have fun, enjoy it, and the benefits will come.
Those are the ten best tips for making the most of social media for your company. Not everything will be perfect for you, so try everything and find what works best for your situation. If you are looking for a social media company to help you, it is important to only contact the best to make the most from the social media opportunity you have. Don't forget, it's a team effort, get your employees involved, ask them for ideas, you never know where the next viral content will come from, and remember, always have fun with it.