It is true that social media provides a level playing field for businesses – big or small, B2C or B2B, niche or broad-spectrum – but it is also not untrue that social media is often overgeneralized and offered as a gold mine of success that is just a click away (Sorry to debunk but it’s not). There are numerous methods and social media tips to succeed, and there an is equal chance to fail if you are not paying attention.
This blog is relatively new but the internet has never been short of advice on social media marketing and how to put together content to realize the full potential of online connections and multimedia communication. But, a huge BUT that is, knowing how to implement those pieces of advice is another saga.
Because when it comes to social media, there are no right or wrong strategies, there are strategies that work and there are strategies that do not for a specific business. Each business has different expectations out of social media and each business (or marketer) uses different strategies to maximize the benefits of social media.
Marketing across platforms, eh?
The problem multiplies when you consider all the social media networks that are out there and specific content needs of each platform. Ugh. Not cool!
Sometime back, I designed and curated a visual on social media tips that in my experience work effectively across the platforms. That is no matter which platform or platforms you are using, these ubiquitous social media tips can help you gain momentum and earn much-needed engagement on social media.
The image kinda got viral. <3
6 #SocialMedia Tips That Work on All Social Platforms
– Use high value hashtags
– Dare to ask questions
– Find relevant groups
– Use Gifs/videos
– Write about what’s trending (and relevant)
– Show and trigger emotions
What would you add to the list?#smm #marketing pic.twitter.com/qZyL7HiofC
— Rebekah Radice (@RebekahRadice) May 3, 2018
So, here is a detailed overview of the tips I mentioned in the visual and why I believe these tips work on almost all the social media platforms.
1. Use High-Value Hashtags
When Chris Messina used the first hashtag, #barcamp, on Twitter back in August 2007, no one expected hashtags to become an instant sensation. Hashtags clicked then and hashtags are still growing strong.
The propagation of hashtags is incredible. What started on Twitter as an experiment, with the sole purpose of gathering Twitter discussions around a topic, has now spread to Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn – almost across all the major social media networks.
The proliferation of hashtags is the reason enough to start using hashtags but here are some more reasons to consider to start using them:
- Hashtags make your content searchable.
- Hashtags expand the reach of your content beyond just those who follow you.
- Hashtags give people more places to click.
However, avoid using too many hashtags in a single post, it can be counter-productive.
2. Dare To Ask Questions
Seek first to understand, then to be understood. – Stephen Covey
Communication is the most important skill in marketing. In order to communicate effectively on social media, you need to ask the right questions, in the right context and at the right time. Questions, when asked right, engage the audience and generate responses.
Here are some tips to help you ask the right questions on social media:
- Do not ask rhetorical questions. Questions designed to force an elicit response lead nowhere. Be open to new ideas and healthy arguments.
- Use built-in poll options. Nearly all the popular social media platforms offer an option to post polls or questions. These native polling tools make it easier to ask questions and are usually more searchable.
- Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are more engaging i.e. give the audience enough room to have their say on the situation, and allow them to be more expressive.
- Do not ask the direct questions. Even if you need a specific response from the audience, avoid asking questions that are too direct. Often, direct questions are off-putting and fail to give in return a response.
- Be polite and engaging. Always, always respond and thank the respondent. When a person responds to a question, they are taking out time to give you the valuable insight, make them feel heard and be grateful for their time and insight.
3. Find Relevant Groups
There are thousands of groups and communities online that prove to be the perfect place to interact with like-minded people on social media. Joining a relevant group is a great way to discuss ideas, probe and answer questions, and exchange tips to help businesses grow together.
However, it is important to make sure that the groups are:
- Relevant – That is it relevant to business, subject matter or the niche you are targeting.
- Spam-Free – Not 100% but at least to some extent.
- Active – The group is interactive and responsive.
4. Use GIFs/Videos
65% of people today are visual learners. – TapSnap
Thanks to the real-time nature of social media platforms, our attention span is getting shorter. According to Webdam report, our verbal intelligence is dropping while our visual intelligence is on the rise. The report further states that we only have around eight seconds before something else catches our attention.
The message here is loud and clear: Social media marketers cannot afford to overlook the importance of visual content. Visuals are essential on social media and with the help of well-crafted visuals, businesses and marketers can stand-out and grab attention.
Today’s audience is bombarded with marketing messages everywhere. Therefore, it is not surprising if the organic reach is dead and audiences feel desensitized towards a majority of social media posts and campaigns. To combat the challenge, visuals, with higher engagement rates, can prove to be a great help for marketers.
5. Write About Trends
This one is my favorite. 🙂
The Web world loves trends. Be it the launch of a new groundbreaking Smartphone or the latest celebrity gossip, internet users crave for fresh debates, stories, and insights into the latest trends.
For marketers, trends are the opportunity to share their perspective on popular trends, get noticed or make their content pop-up on more feeds. But it also important to make sure that the trend you are writing about is relevant to your target audience.
6. Show and Trigger Emotions
Emotions are at the core of consumer behavior. There are numerous studies that show how consumers rely on emotions to make decisions – big or small. Here is one such study if you wish to read more: ‘How Emotions Influence What We Buy’ by Peter Noel Murray
With customers making more decisions based on emotions instead of logic, emotional marketing can help marketers connect with their target audience in a personal and human way, where otherwise, consumers are connected through the streams of 1s and 0s.
Emotions, when done right, let you tell a story that humans can relate to. This, in turn, helps create meaningful social media relationships, conveys brand value and vision to the target consumers and builds loyalty.
Facts About Emotional Social Media Campaigns …
Here are some facts to consider:
- Positive emotions such as laughing and smiling are shown to increase brand engagement.
- The research from the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow suggests that human emotions are based on four basic emotions: Happy, Sad, Fear/Surprise and Anger/Disgust. Brands and marketers can use these emotions to drive connection and engagement.
- The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a thorough research on the New York Times list of most-emailed articles. It turned out people preferred e-mailing articles with positive themes and were keener to send long articles on intellectually challenging topics.
- The Harvard Business Review, in order to understand the most effective emotional drive to be used in content marketing, looked at 30 out of top 100 images on Imgur, voted as top on Reddit, and found that negative emotion is used far less than the positive emotion. However, negative emotion did produce viral success when the image had an element of anticipation and surprise.
- The Tempkin Group, in a research, found that emotions have a major impact on brand loyalty. According to the study, when individuals have a position emotional connection with a brand, they are 15.1 times more inclined to recommend a brand, 8.4 times more inclined to trust the brand, 7.1 times more inclined to purchase from the brand and 6.6 times more inclined to let go of the brand mistakes.
- Nielsen conducted research in 2016 which revealed that advertisements with an emotional response above the average from consumers caused an increase in sales up to 23% compared to an average advertisement.
- The Harvard Business Review states that a brand’s positive emotional bond with its customers is more important the consumers’ customer satisfaction.
Wish to become a better marketer? Here are some traits to focus on.
The digital media marketing is more ambiguous and challenging than traditional marketing ever was. Social media algorithms, curation strategies, content structure and consumer behavior evolve all the time, and marketers are no longer in charge of the perceptions and views built around a brand online. Therefore, if you wish to get attention and take charge of the consumer response, create and curate content that is worthy of their attention and time.
These are the tips, I believe, make content engaging with the audience and contribute in real terms to the success of any social media campaign. What do you think? Are there any social media tips that you would like to add? How do you connect with your audience through social media? Chime in.