I want you to think about your own behavior on social media and the internet in general. What kinds of Facebook posts do you like? What sort of messages do you re-Tweet? What grabs your attention?
The answer to these questions offers a direct path to digital marketing gold.
What makes a business’s social media updates successful is that they don’t feel like marketing – they feel like a friend’s posts. They’re funny, informative, personal and relevant. And as a business owner, your goal to replicate this feeling in your company’s posts. But this is a new paradigm in communication with customers – in the past, the message was formal and direct.
This dramatic change forces you to completely change your marketing mentality, which can be a challenge. What you used to consider to be inappropriate or irrelevant is now exactly what’s needed.
As marketers, it’s our job to facilitate the transition and help you inch your way out of your comfort zone. We do it because we know the payoff: customers who are more engaged, more loyal and more likely to spread your message to their communities.
Here we break down 4 envelope-pushing traits of good social media, with real-life examples from the Facebook pages of our clients and WebRev.
1. Make it Funny
Skillfully using humor is one of the most effective social media strategies available to businesses. You might think, “But my industry isn’t funny.” All the better! Funny posts are often even funnier coming from companies in industries that aren’t usually thought of as funny.
We hear clients say that they worry that funny posts will make them seem like a less serious company, but that’s simply untrue – social media users understand the purpose of social media, which is primarily entertainment. Showing that your company gets that helps your customers identify with you, which builds serious brand loyalty.
There are several benefits to the occasional funny post:
- Humor shows personality – it makes your company seem human.
- Funny posts get more interactions (likes, comments, shares) than any other type of post.
- It shows that you’re not just using social media as a marketing or advertising platform, but as a means to form authentic relationships with customers.
The kind of humorous updates you post depends entirely on your industry, your followers and your brand’s personality. Humor can go wrong (many businesses have learned that the hard way), but when it’s done right, it’s a home run.
2. Make it Personal
There are real people doing your company’s work, right? Let your customers see them and get to know them! You might be shocked by the huge amount of interaction that’s inspired by a simple post of your team hanging out in in the office.
Whether they’ve met you or your employees in person or not, they’re curious about the humans behind the brand. You know who else loves a company’s post featuring a team member? All of that person’s friends and family members! When you tag the individual in the photo, in addition to the business’s followers, all of their friends see and interact with it.
In one fell swoop you increase your exposure and endear your brand to your customers. They begin to feel like they know you and they begin to think of the company not as a faceless entity, but as the real people who work there. The company feels like a friend who they turn to for expert advice, information and services or products.
These are a few fun, personal photo ops:
- Celebrating someone’s birthday
- A funny, spontaneous moment
- Pets or kids visiting the office
- Action shots of people doing the work your company does
- The team out to lunch
- Office parties
- Throwback Thursday (#tbt) posts of you or your team
3. Make it Relevant
If there’s one thing that social media platforms and followers love, it’s trending topics. You can easily get more exposure and more interactions by jumping on a hot issue of the moment, whether it’s a TV show, a news story or a controversy.
When your company talks about what everyone else is talking about, it shows that you’re in touch with the world around you, and it makes you fit in with the crowd, which is what you want. To some degree, your business has to act like a person on social media, and a person comments on current events.
Additionally, mentioning and hashtagging trending topic puts you in front of more users. Have you noticed, for example, that Facebook groups and highlights posts that mention the same trending topic? And on Twitter, users who are looking for information on a topic can search all Tweets by hashtag. Using these topics in your posts opens you up to a much wider audience and more potential customers.
Journalism, marketing and advertising have been capitalizing on shock value since the dawn of communications. Why? Simple – it works. If you can grab someone’s attention, widen their eyes and drop their jaws, you’re in business.
One of the biggest hurdles on social media is getting your posts in front of eyeballs. Considering how quickly most of us scroll through our newsfeeds, it’s no surprise that many of your followers scroll past the majority of posts. But, an arresting image or text is much more likely to get them to slow down and look more closely.
- New discoveries
5. Make it Viral
“Viral” has become a bit of an over-played buzzword in marketing and social media, but the concept is legit. The beauty of social media is that, if you do it right, your followers advertise for you. You create an engaging, funny, shocking, personal post that inspires a reaction. That reaction translates to an action: liking, commenting or sharing. That action increases your exposure and sends more potential clients knocking at your virtual door.
There isn’t an exact recipe for making a post viral – it’s different for every community. Through trying different strategies and studying the results, we determine what works for your demographic, and then give them more of what they like.
The bottom line is that you have to be a bit different to stand out. Fortunately, a lot of companies are tanking on social media so consumers have started drowning out their boring messages. You benefit by being the rare company that does social media well.
Your engaging posts will get noticed, they will earn you extremely valuable loyalty among current customers, and they will attract new customers who respect a brand that’s social media savvy.