The power of social media platforms should not be underestimated. Your platform has the potential to reach thousands of people instantaneously, and from the comfort of your own home or office.
Imagine trying to showcase your product or service a few decades ago. It would have required a significant marketing budget just to capture the attention of a few people’s eyes and ears. Even then, the turnout could never match the reach and impact of a well-performing TikTok or Instagram Reel today.
Whether we like it or not, people are on these platforms, and they can be invaluable in helping promote your brand…if you let them. Social media provides opportunities to build relationships with your customers and create communities whose loyalty can transform into brand advocates.
But social media has become very saturated with countless brands vying for attention. It’s no longer enough to rely on luck; success now lies in strategy.
We can’t promise that by following these next steps you’ll become the next Charlie D’amelio. However, embracing social media offers a chance to boost your sales and actively promote your brand. For those reasons alone, this channel should be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Develop a Social Strategy:
Before diving into the technical aspects of social media marketing, such as optimizing hashtags and picking trending audio, it’s crucial to cover the basics. Just like any other area of marketing, be it email marketing, public relations, or event marketing, a well-defined strategy is essential. The most common mistake is haphazardly posting all sorts of random ideas without first identifying relevant Content Pillars. These pillars should ideally be a mix of educational, entertaining, and promotional content.
To determine what type of content to create, start by understanding your audience’s needs. Consider the obstacles they are looking to overcome and how your product/service can help them. Conduct research to determine what to post, where to post, and how often to post. Hootsuite’s Social Media Strategy Template is a valuable resource to help you navigate this process.
Tell Compelling Stories:
Once you’ve decided on the type of content to create, your content should effectively tell a story. A good story makes a brand more memorable. We tend to feel a sense of connection to stories and inadvertently the brands that tell them.
Here are a few tips to incorporate into your storytelling approach:
- Communicating clearly
- Coming up with a creative and original idea
- Incorporating some aspects of familiarity
- Center the story around a conflict – ideally one that your customer would experience and how your product/service can resolve it.
While it’s important to showcase how your product or service solves people’s challenges, it’s equally important to avoid turning your entire platform into an on-going sales pitch.
If there’s one thing Gen Z has taught us – it’s that they don’t want to feel like they are being marketed to. Plus, they can spot disingenuous content from a mile away and simply won’t engage with it. Without nurturing this generation, you risk missing out on their significant potential impact. Collectively, Gen Z possesses influential networks and holds the power to be your biggest brand advocates. So, find creative ways to post about campaigns, initiatives, giveaways, product launches, and brand events, but remember, if you want to drive results, you are going to have to provide value beyond your product offerings.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- Create content that provides a solution for people’s urgent needs
- Educate your audience and demonstrate how your product or service addresses their needs
Posting consistently can become challenging, especially if you manage multiple accounts and platforms. To stay organized, use a social media content calendar like Later to schedule your content ahead of time. This helps create a road map for your content.
Capture Attention in The First 3 Seconds:
With short form videos taking the world by storm, people’s attention spans have become shorter than a goldfish’s. If your content can’t capture the interest of your audience within the first three seconds, you can bet those merciless thumbs will scroll right past it.
If the piece of content you want to share is super engaging, but it takes about 20 seconds to get to the interesting part, try teasing it at the beginning and then continuing with the rest of the video. People are more likely to stick around if they know what’s in store.
Identify Your Brand Voice:
If your organization has a few content creators working on one social account, it’s crucial to maintain a consistent brand tone and voice across all communications. It shouldn’t feel like five different people are creating posts for one account. You want the content to feel united, so visitors can immediately recognize it’s your brand when they come across your content. Even if your content doesn’t have a logo, people should be able to recognize your content through your distinct color palette, creativity or reel formats.
Prioritize High-Quality Resolution:
The infamous saying “Quality over Quantity” holds true, especially in the realm of social media. If you are uploading reels that have a resolution below 1080P, nobody is going to want to watch it. It’s better to post fewer high-quality videos than multiple poor-quality ones.
This tip may feel like a no-brainer, but it’s sometimes overlooked. As a brand, you’ll want to capitalize on moments that happen around the globe. Whether it be viral trends, or industry updates, or even days of significance (i.e., Anti-Bullying Awareness Day, or World Mental Health Day), your brand should be timely.
There is one caveat to this suggestion. Always be genuine when it comes to recognizing days of significance. You want it to align with your brand. Don’t just post about an initiative that your brand does not care about. Remember those Gen Z’s that can detect when you’re being disingenuous? Well, they’ll come right back to bite you in the you know what.
Recognize that social media is an ever-changing landscape and as a result, your strategy will constantly require fine-tuning and adjustment in order to be successful. As the algorithm changes, the content you begin posting will (hopefully) be quite different from the content you create two years from now. As with all your other marketing strategies, test what works, and apply your learnings to iterate your strategy.
Jackie Marson | Staff Writer