Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are new and extremely powerful word-of-mouth vehicles and if you employ the right strategy, you can spread the word about your brand in no time and expand your reach exponentially. Still, if you think that you can make it work simply by posting promotional content every day and bombarding your followers with bland campaigns, you’re very unlikely to fail to spark some true interest that will result in shares and likes. People crave something innovative and exciting, which means that your social media campaigns need to be intriguing and engaging.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to establish your own voice, but on the other hand, you need to tap into the viral trends to generate buzz around your brand. The key is to have your own take on the stories that are currently all the rage, as that’s how you’ll manage to draw a lot of interest and attract your target audience. This common practice is known as “Newsjacking”, and it’s the process of aligning your brand with the latest news or events, thus piggybacking on the momentum. Global events such as the Super Bowl are great for stealing some of the spotlight.
Each social network has its own rules, tools, and netiquette. There’s nothing wrong with publishing the same content on different social media channels, but you still need to make certain adjustments. For example, although both Twitter and Instagram rely on the use of hashtags for helping the content reach the right audiences, they’re not used in the same manner. The first and the most conspicuous difference is the number of hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, but this doesn’t mean that you should suffocate each post with the maximum number. In order to find the sweet spot, you can check on your competitors and track engagement of your posts. On the other hand, Twitter is more strict when it comes to this matter, so they recommend up to 2 hashtags and consider everything else as spammy behavior.
The surprise factor is a surefire way of driving your audience’s engagement and attention. You can do this by ending your video or story with a twist. Similarly, some shocking or amusing stats can be excellent attention-grabbers, so make sure to inform your audience that, for example, pizza is the most popular Instagrammed food, and that it’s followed by sushi and steak, or that there are approximately 81 million fake Facebook profiles. Although certain organizations can successfully capitalize on exploiting shock value, this strategy should be very meticulously planned and used only from time to time, because otherwise it can become annoying and lose its edge. On the other hand, we all love pleasant surprises and freebies, so organizing various contests and giveaways on your social media channels and providing promotional items as a reward can hit the bull’s-eye with your audience and make a memorable impression associated with your brand.
Many big brands manage to strike a note and involve their audiences emotionally in their campaigns. Social media networks are a perfect tool for connecting with your customers on a deeper level, and it’s mainly due to the nature of this kind of marketing which enables you to establish one-on-one interactions with people. What’s crucial is to understand and know your audience and find the right emotion that resonates with them. Being very responsive not only to private messages but also to questions and comments on your wall is a must. Sometimes even discussing controversial issues can be an excellent method of boosting exposure, but you have to be very careful about taking sides and expressing attitudes. Back in 2000, the Italian fashion giant United Colors of Benetton launched an ad campaign featuring death row inmates in the U.S. in order to raise awareness about the death penalty, and the State of Missouri filed a suit against the company which had to apologize later about the whole thing. Nobody denies that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but think twice because your reputation is at stake.
As you know, images, infographics, and videos rule the world of marketing, and even 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, while Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without images. Visually appealing content will certainly increase your exposure as people are more likely to share posts containing interesting and eye-catching videos and photos. This doesn’t apply only to the content you post on Instagram, as it applies to posts that you upload to Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. Remember that one picture says a thousand words, while a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
Social media campaigns provide you with a highly effective and affordable way of boosting your brand exposure and improving its visibility.
By Emma Miller
Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focuses are digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.