Looking around the Internet, you will undoubtedly find dozens of different podcasts, seminars, videos, etc., all telling you that your social media isn’t really “working” as well as it could be. Is this true? Can your social media campaigns be working harder, faster and better? The simple answer is yes. The most direct solution… well, that’s another story entirely.
Instead of trying to sell you on a subscription to something, or a downloadable eBook, let’s go the simplistic route. Let’s just assume here, for the sake of this article, that you’re currently not getting everything out of your social media campaign that you want. And let’s seek to fix that by bottling up five effective tips you can use to milk that campaign for all it’s worth.
5 Ways To Really Make Social Media Work For You
1: Be a Present, Consistent Brand
One of the biggest reasons that many social media campaigns begin to fail is that they’re spread too thinly with only minimal effort keeping them alive. For instance, a marketer, or even a small team, starts advertising with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube videos, Instagram, LinkedIn, and on and on. Not to mention their main website and its upkeep. Before you can blink, you’re already behind.
There are ways here to be a present, consistent brand:
- Never bite off more than you can chew with your advertising
- Present the same brand image and brand voice on every platform
- Update consistently across your platforms (software saves the day here)
- Put a system in place to actually answer inquiries and to communicate
- Use network X to promote Y, and vice versa, tying them in together rather than having “separate” pages
2: Be a Pack Leader, Not a Herd Member
When your parents asked you about following Johnny off a bridge if he jumped, you probably screamed “No, I wouldn’t!” and thought that proposition was rather silly. However, when dealing with social media, Johnny’s jump prompts many others if it’s successful. Will you follow the line of divers? The idea is to be a leader, not a follower.
If you’re going to do something similar to others, then it should be because it’s something that’s organic and representative of your brand, not because you’re trying to follow the pack. Following the leaders simply means that you’ll be mid-pack, at very best, receiving scraps. Innovate as a brand, try new and exciting things. Speak directly to your audience and give them exactly what they want. Don’t just follow the herd because you think Johnny’s big splash is something you can achieve.
3: Be Engaging if You Expect Engagement
If your social media campaign is failing in any capacity, culprit numero uno is almost always a lack of engagement. And, despite how painful it might be to admit to yourself, a lack of engagement is your fault 9 times out of 10 (the 1 remainder being the possibility of a market that’s simply too saturated, give or take).
Engaging with your audience is literally the name of the game with a social campaign. See that word there – “social”? It means something. Try to open yourself up to more engagement by being engaging.
- Provide polls and quizzes and other materials for your audience
- Think about contests
- Create a cool seasonal theme per time of year
- Always be generous with what you’re willing to offer
- Think about apps and games to make your brand more interactive
- Be a lot more colorful in your ad presentations
- Use a third-party ad-management app to target those most likely to engage
- Never post anything that doesn’t pass stringent quality-control measures
- Actually ask people for their engagement
- Share material and communicate directly with people
- Use hashtags and participate in the social experience with others
4: Be Quick to Listen and to Take Action
It’s not at all rare for a campaign to go well one minute, only to have it tank shortly thereafter. What could be the problem there? Well, realistically, it’s any one of many factors, but almost every single one has its roots in your brand’s inability to listen. In other words, turnarounds happen quickly but not without warning. If you’re paying attention as a brand, watching conversations, monitoring stats and operating thorough customer support, you will be able to spot changing tides and correct the course.
So, monitor what people are saying about your brand. Deal with disgruntled fans and customers quickly. If someone has a piece of advice for your brand, don’t be too proud to listen and/or to take it. And always pay close attention to your data to see how much engagement you’re receiving.
5: Be a Quality Brand That Finds People
It sounds as trite as anything you’ll hear in 2014, but customers aren’t going to find you. You must find them. Unless you’re the only grocery store in a 50-mile radius, you’ll have to build your own customer base. This requires narrow niche marketing and providing quality material directly to your audience.
Get the absolute most out of your campaign by:
- Using your ad app to split-test and target the right demos
- Solving specific problems for your specific market
- Offering enough incentive to entice people to join your network
- Creating something that’s more unique and exciting than other brands
- Consistently updating your brand with new, appealing material
- Becoming a trendsetter using hashtags, unique statuses, etc.
- Reaching out to people through actual interaction rather than static materials
A person can stand on a stage or speak into a microphone for hours about what it is you should do pertaining to your social campaign. But most of that, while not necessarily nonsense, is going to border on the self-motivational “You can do it” type of stuff that seeks to light a fire under your rear end. Sometimes, however, all you need are a few actionable tips to help you hone your marketing efforts.
Image Credit: mkhmarketing
Simon Campbell, a writer from a Facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Simon on Twitter.