A recent study gave us insight into our social media audience’s psyche from the flip side of the coin, by telling us the top reason people unfollow brands. Not surprisingly, the top reason was too many promotions (in clear language: too much selling!). Don’t misunderstand the results: you can still sell on social media BUT you have to take a much more subtle approach. Sell them with your excellent customer service skills. Sell them with valuable information that solves their problems (content marketing!). Entertain them when appropriate. Give them what they want.
Which leads us to the question: what do your social media users want to see? What not only captures their interest, but keeps it? What makes them follow your brand and come to you first when it’s time to buy?
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” On social media, a fantastic quality image is worth likes, retweets, and comments. That image can be from a camera, phone, or online photo service. What it shouldn’t be from is a random copyrighted photo from the internet. Nothing can get you in legal hot water faster than using random photos from the internet (we know, we’ve seen it). Use this article from Hootsuite to understand the basics of internet images and copyrights, and proceed with caution.
What can get you more likes, retweets, and comments than any stock image off the internet are “insider photos.” These are photos that give your audience insight into your business, services, and products. They are photos of what you’ve done, the people delivering the services (with their written permission), and all the small things that happen along the way. You know what we’re talking about, because you’ve probably seen other businesses post them: pictures of their work, photos congratulating an employee on their anniversary, photos of their product being used…there are a million possibilities (many in your daily operations). If you need help identifying those opportunities, it’s time to contact the pros.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million clicks. After all, that is what made YouTube the second biggest channel in social media today. Use professional videos, amateur photos edited at the office, and a short video (really short-60 seconds max for Instagram) from your mobile devices to build anticipation for an event, give your audience insight into your daily operations, and show them how they can use your products to help them. Your videos don’t have to be long; remember, you need to capture your user’s short attention spans and you only have a short time to do so (and a whole bunch of other media in their social media feed to compete against).
When used correctly, a good social media meme can be a valuable part of any social media plan. One disclaimer: be careful when choosing your memes and the timing of your memes. Don’t post anything that offend or cause backlash against your business. If you have any concerns about the appropriateness or timing (such as after a tragedy), don’t post it.
Those are the don’ts of using memes in your social media plan, these are the do’s. Post memes that fit with your marketing plan. Remember, the study mentioned at the beginning of this article: don’t over promote. Memes are meant to be entertaining, so entertain your audience; you should know who they are, so target the humor directly at them.
Everyone’s got problems. Give them answers. If you own or manage a pet food business, help your pet owners with training tips for their puppies and grooming tips for their cats. Use content marketing to optimize your website and for relevant articles for your social media followers (more ways to use this content here).
Along with your content, share other content as well. The digital world is full of information that can help your social media audience. Find those articles and share them (along with other video and visual content) with your followers. If your followers ask a question, answer them promptly (within hours of their comment or message)—and keep giving them what they want on social media so you can get more questions, comments, and engagement.