You may have heard of your friend groaning in frustration while giving a “facepalm” over the disappointing number of Likes his post garnered, comparing it to another person’s amounted 200 likes for a simple “I like potato” post.
In fact, you may have gone through this phase too. Now, is that reason enough to distrust the feedback you’re getting from Likes, Shares, Repins, and Reblogs from social media? Of course not.
You can use such insights to gauge your popularity online, but not as the sole basis. If Retweets, Likes, Comments, Shares, and Repins are the sole measurement for our visibility on cyberspace, then we are all on dangerous ground.
Remember that, above everything else, people use social media to entertain themselves. I’m not saying that what you’re posting is not entertaining, it just may not be what your followers are looking for.
Obviously, you need to learn the art of communicating through social media; you can kick-start your learning by knowing these clever marketing ideas:
THE NEW SEXY:
As businesspersons, we already believe in the quality of our own products and services; otherwise, what’s the point of even offering them to customers, right?
Now, it all boils down to one important trick—confidence. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of the phrase confidence is the new sexy. Well in this scenario, it won’t hurt to exude a little too much confidence.
Take this for example…
A company’s recent campaign became a viral sensation in just a few days, and for good reason. It posted a simple real-time photo of thousands of dollar bills encased in clear glass out on some pavement. It was straightforward, a little over the top, and obviously just a bid for attention, but it worked like magic. Pretty soon, social media users were sharing the photo on their accounts and on image-based platforms. It didn’t even require too much effort on the part of marketers, which is what I like to call “hitting the social media jackpot”.
Another example of confidence is the “shock factor”, which is fast becoming a trend among several business marketers and even some experts on SEO in London and other parts of the world. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to attract attention, especially if you manage to turn your campaign into a viral sensation.
Obviously, the best way to “shock” is to use hi-res images that are potentially controversial. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? However, be careful in the “controversy” that you choose, as it may have the tendency to offend instead of pique interest. Ideally, avoid sexist, racist, ethnocentric, or politically incorrect phrases, terms, concepts, and ideas in your posts.
The gist is, be the brand that wows.
PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES:
Marketers, like us, spend hours, weeks, and even months trying to understand our customers. We conduct surveys just to find out what they like and dislike about our products, we overhaul our new line of services just to keep them happy, and we even change our business niches to keep up with the trends.
Now, wouldn’t it be easier (and less tedious) if we just “think” like our customers? Instead of trying to understand them, why not put ourselves in their shoes and be our own clients.
The most important trick is to think of what we find convenient.
For example, one popular restaurant in the US started a trend called “Tweet-ahead Seating”. Not only was it a great way to cater to the needs of their clients, but it was also effective in promoting their brand to the Twitter followers of their customers. It was inexpensive and effortless, but it worked like clockwork.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN :
As a social media user, you may have realised the following:
- images are the “new cool” in cyberspace
- only about 40% of Newsfeed updates get serious attention
- people love talking about themselves
Because we are business owners, we should tweak these trends for our own marketing advantage. For example, if there’s anything that many people love more than themselves, it’s free stuff. So why not give them both? Let them share an experience on Twitter or Facebook, where winners can claim awesome gift checks, gift bags, discount coupons, or a cool gadget.
Holding competitions on social media opens up a lot of advertising doors for your brand. More to the point, it doesn’t just increase the visibility of your company name on social networks, but it increases quality traffic on your own business website as well. Think of the references, the backlinks, and the organic searches that will be initiated by a simple online competition. Talk about hitting two birds, right?
BE THE MEME :
According to Wikipedia, a meme is “an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. However, from the way we loosely use the term now, it refers to anything and everything that is “famous” on the internet.
I’m pretty sure you’ve seen Psy’s Gangnam style, rage faces (as seen in the photo), McKayla Maroney’s not impressed picture, or Ridiculously Photogenic Guy’s photo.
These memes became overnight viral sensations because they were interesting, they were about real people (thus relatable), or they were simply funny and entertaining. I’d be lying if I told you the secret to becoming viral is this or that, because there’s no such thing.
But if you try your hand at giving intriguing, funny, or even shocking marketing campaigns, then you just might have a shot at becoming an internet meme.
MORPH YOUR SLOGANS :
Some businesses are lucky enough to have a business slogan brimming with social media potential. Let’s take for example the US brand Harley Davidson. Their campaign “American by birth, rebel by choice.” sets the perfect tone for interaction, beckoning audiences to come up to the challenge of breaking stereotypes and rebelling tradition.
As for your own, the trick is simply to find a way to engage your customers into “participating” and advocating your slogan. It does not matter if you are selling two-ply tissues. If you’ve the guts and the confidence to step beyond the limits of your business niche, then you have all the power to dominate social media and be the “it” brand with the cool slogan.
It’s a very simple premise, but also very powerful.
STEREOTYPING THE STEREOTYPE :
Dumb blonde, dorky nerd, uptight CEO, conservative housewife, reckless playboy, tattoo-faced high school dropout—these are just the stereotypes that dominate our society. However, I’ve seen plenty of blondes who are actually nerds, wives who are actually CEOs, and high school dropouts who’ve become business tycoons, and I’m sure you’ve seen them too.
The gist is that most people are no longer defined or confined within their own appearances or capabilities. These days, because the world is more interactive and fast-paced, cultures clash and ideas converge.
To explain a little bit better, if your audience is a certain stereotype, break that limit and use that to your advantage. It does not matter what idea or concept you confine them to, as long as it targets their likes and keeps them loyal to your brand.
That way, as you interact with them through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc., your perception of your customers is based on what you have observed, not on what society dictates.
Ehen everything else fails…
Trust your audience. Trust your clients to make the right decision as it pertains to your brand. Trust them to enjoy the campaigns you’ve been working so hard on and trust them to choose your business not just because it is the best but because you are always trying to be the best.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN…
What strategies are you using when communicating to your clients through social media? Are they effective? Share your comments!
Jonny Lis is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Smart Traffic, a private company based in Bristol offering many SEO services in UK, Australia, and other countries. Jonny oversees SEO strategies for Smart Traffic’s 300+ campaigns.