It seems we can’t go more than a day or two without being reminded of the almost permanent presence of social media in our personal & business lives
From newspaper articles to TV advertising and even when I strolled down to my local bakers this morning I was amazed to see that he was proudly displaying a sign indicating that the bakery was ‘now on Facebook’!
So it would seem that not only is everybody asking us to ‘like’, ’follow’ or link to them on one social media platform or another, but a huge number of people are posting at least one or two comment a day on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like.
We’ve already seen in previous articles that as of September 2013 social media sources report:
- There are between 400 – 500 million Tweets posted every day
- There are some 699 million daily and active Facebook users
- Google+ now has 343 million active users with a total of 500 million registered users
So here’s the dilemma then…
There are a heck of a lot of posts out there and you want to make your posts stand out!
So what do you do?
Well here are a few ideas that you can implement straight away – and I’m sure that you’ll come up with a number more on your own too!
Research Current Trends:
Previous posted articles have discussed this before, but let’s think about it with a slightly different twist
You may recall that the #hashtag function on Facebook & Twitter will enable you to quickly find the ‘hot’ and currently trending topics
Clearly any trends that are either not relevant, not pleasant ( perhaps reporting serious tragedy or sensationalist news) or just something you would not want to be associated with you will want to avoid – but there may be some items trending which you can comfortably link into your own business and by doing so, ride the coat tails of all of the searches that are going on at that particular moment for that particular trending topic
For example as I write this article trending items in the UK on Twitter include #London, #Christmas and #BetterBanking among others.
Now imagine you could either factually, wittily or topically link your products or services to these trending items, this could be incredibly powerful
The trick here though is to not overdo it – otherwise it will seem manipulative and will wear thin after a while
# Brand Hashtags:
Does your business, product or service have a brand image or slogan which already is or could be associated with it
For instance many years of advertising have led to the phrase: ‘I’m loving it’ being closely associated with McDonalds.
McDonalds then very cleverly started using the hashtag #imlovinit which very quickly went viral to the degree that many Twitter & Facebook users were seen using this hashtag to refer to things they were liking and enjoying other than McDonalds food – but this still had a positive effect on the McDonalds brand
Starbucks #TreatReceipt also worked very well
A word of caution though – sometimes if a word or slogan you choose is too vague, then at the very least it will not have a positive effect on your brand at all, or at worse it could be a big misfire if the words or slogan ends up having an additional meaning that perhaps you had not originally anticipated.
Engage Your Audience:
I’m really not going to dwell much on this one as firstly we have tackled this in a number of posts and secondly with the essence of social media being on the social engagement, I would certainly urge all users to make sure that peoples comments and posts are being appropriate responded to and any useful suggestions acknowledged.
One thing I would say in addition is that whilst social engagement and relationship building is important, beware the two-pronged danger of either over-communicating, in which case you may start to irritate your followers – or not communicating at all.
A sensible balance on Twitter for example would be something like 1 to a maximum of 4 tweets / hour – anymore any you do start to become an irritant and remember it is far better to space your maximum number of daily tweets out then send all of them in one compressed burst over the course of an hour or so!
Remember the old adage – ‘ a picture paints a thousand words’?
Where relevant include images with your posts – research suggests that this massively increases memorability and the chance of your post being shared or going viral
Vary your content & share:
Do remember to vary your content and also share others posts and comments
The danger otherwise would be as if you were playing a piece of music that was comprised of the same two or three notes played endlessly.
While your audience is following you because they want to hear what you want to say, just like any good media personality or writer you may wish to alter your tone a little – be more factual with some content and a little more light-hearted ( appropriately) with other aspects of your content
Re-posting ( with appropriate acknowledgement) others posts or tweets also helps to vary the tone.
So do try some or even all of these things as you see fit, then measure and monitor the response you get and also add in ideas of your own and I can guarantee that you will soon see an increase in audience engagement that will greatly repay any of the work and effort you will have put into this
Until next time!