7 Ways to Appeal to Your Audience Through Social Media
Your company has finally decided to jump on the social media bandwagon.
You’ve talked about who your goal viewers are and how often you want to post. You’ve probably also discussed the breadth of content you want to create and topics.
With a schedule mapped out and themes to cover, you sit down at your computer, log into Facebook, Twitter, or another platform you’ve decided to use, place your fingers on the keys, and… nothing.
Nothing happens. You know what to talk about, but you don’t know what to write.
Should you be earnest and authoritative? Or should you try your hand at quippy and irreverent? Should you only talk about the product and be informative, or should you be personal? If going personal, how personal should you be? There’s a lot of variety on post lengths, so how long should your post be? Wait – what about using visual media outside of Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, and Snapchat? Is Snapchat even relevant for you? How much is too much? And what do you do if someone responds to a post? This was never discussed – now what?
To be as attractive as possible to gain followers on social media, you need engaging content. So what are some ways to appeal to your audience?
1) BE PERSONABLE
Most of the time, this is going to be necessary for responses to customer service questions and concerns, but it can be more than that.
When you post, it’s not you posting – it’s the company.
Don’t write in your voice, use the company’s voice. If you don’t have guidelines for your business’s voice on social media platforms, you need to put together a social media strategy.
Involve team members and customers alike in your posts. SM is a very personal platform – people use it to share family photos, life events, adventures they’ve been on, etc. Users want to view you as real people, not just a product or service.
One example is GoPro’s Photo of the Day, taken by customers using the product:
Then there’s Staples. They often use team members for visual posts to connect with both customers and social trends:
2) BE ENTERTAINING
We can quickly assume that social media users don’t check their feeds just for research or academic articles. (Honestly, when was the last time you saw an academic article shared on Facebook, other than by the person who wrote it?)
Users are looking for entertainment.
You can’t expect to post something that just says, “We serve homes in this area” and expect people to click on the link or share the post. There’s nothing wrong with letting your community know your service area or what products you sell and what they can do, but you have to be creative with it.
Inform, but entertain.
Try to put a spin on your post – something that will engage. Instead of the regular “We serve homes in this area” pitch, add a local or current media reference. (Warning: if you’re going to use a trending media reference, make sure that you’re using it correctly and that it isn’t offensive.)
Eggo utilized the popularity of the Netflix series “Stranger Things” by cropping their product into a still image from the show.
Note: something like this will garner attention from show viewers, but will not be relevant to older generations or people without Netflix. Make sure you know your demographic and use it accordingly.
3) BE INFORMATIVE
Just like you can’t post dry informative posts, you also can’t post solely entertaining updates either. Entertainment without information is like white noise and won’t make a memorable impact on your audience.
Information is imperative to your social pages. Readers do want to be informed but in an entertaining way.
And it doesn’t always have to be about you. You can be culturally informative, locally informative, or even globally informative if it relates to your brand or your audience (bonus points if it’s relative to both).
Whole Foods is an excellent example of how to educate your audience.
They’ll often post ideas for their audience of how to save time and money – and you can guarantee all the ingredients in their how-to videos can be found in their stores.
4) BE VISUAL
Have you noticed a trend with all the earlier examples? Every one of them steeped in imagery.
And that’s because visual content is key. Posts with solely written content tend to be lost in the void, never to be noticed by your viewers.
Images, on the other hand, have a much better chance of gaining views and shares, helping you reach an even wider audience. In fact, Tweets with images are retweeted 150% more than text-only posts.
You don’t have to stick to professionally produced images, either. You can use a cell phone and posts of your team in the factory:
If you’re a service company, you can use your team in the field to show the internet what you can do, either with stills or video:
Get creative with it.
5) BE RESPONSIVE
Do NOT let your pages go stagnant with unanswered concerns.
Research has shown about ⅔ of consumers now use social platforms like Facebook and Twitter for customer service. So there is a solid chance that your customers are asking questions or making complaints on your social media pages, especially if you are a B2C company; and if there is something wrong with a product or service, they’ll most likely venture to your pages to see if others are having the same issue and if you have addressed it yet.
If you let complaints sit on your page ignored, users that see the comment will also see your lack of response and will assume the problem was not significant to you. One study found that failure to respond to customer comments on social media led to a 15% churn increase for existing customers.
A company who is great at handling customer complaints and concern efficiently is Shutterstock:
Customers just want to know you hear them and that you view their time and concerns as valuable. A few minutes of your time every day can make all the difference to the growth of your brand.
6) BE ENGAGING
How many people do you know on social networks who check their feed and never post anything of their own? That number is probably minimal – if you know anyone at all that does that.
Social media users don’t use these platforms to be passive – they want to be active, they want to take part, and they want to engage.
Give them something to take part in – and make it rewarding. They want to participate, but not for nothing. Give them a reason to interact.
One way to do that is with contests like this:
It probably is understood, but these types of engagement tactics will not work if you only have a few followers. Make sure your audience is broad enough for this to work first.
7) BE ACTIVE
We can’t repeat this enough. Be. Active. It shows your audience that you are alive, well, and relevant.
Media activity is for your audience, but – in part – it’s also for SEO.
Many marketers believe that links to your website posted on social media have a significant impact on your site’s SEO rankings. We also know that Google crawls social sites the same way it does other sites; so when keywords your customers are searching for appear in your posts on your profile or company page, search engines will rank them the same way they rank your website.
If you Google “Hewlett Packard,” the information technology company’s LinkedIn profile will appear on the first page of results. And General Electric’s Twitter account appears as a top result, second only to the GE website itself.
It should also be noted that social media channels have evolved into search engines themselves. The search bar at the top of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter? That’s not used for just looking up old friends or particular videos anymore.
Back in 2012, Facebook reported receiving an average of one billion search queries per day – and it only grows from there.
However, social signals – metrics such as followers, “likes,” and retweets – have no effect on search rankings…yet.
Search Engines are constantly developing and adding new features to stay relevant, and with social media just as relevant as ever with no signs of slowing down, there’s no reason to believe Google and its counterparts won’t make social signals relevant in the future.
Putting these tactics into place isn’t difficult, but it may take a little time to latch onto a creative flow. Talk to your team and get their input. Which days are best for an entertaining post? How can you start incorporating video? What would be some good pictures to share of the company’s cultur? Chances are your team has some good ideas – use them to your benefit.
And if you need further ideas, you can follow us on any of our social media channels for inspiration:
Now go post something.
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