Follow these five tips for winning over your audience with social media.
Not getting enough ‘likes’ on Facebook? Not enough retweets? We all know the existential pain of feeling like you’re talking to yourself on social media. When you’re using social media as part of your inbound marketing strategy — which we hope you are — it can feel even worse.
Inbound marketing depends on the sharing, liking and commenting of your content so that it reaches a wider audience. Part of the beauty of using social media in your inbound marketing strategy is that your audience can, in large part, do the work of finding your target audience for you by sharing, reblogging and tweeting your content to the consumers and businesses that might find your service or product relevant.
We’ve got a few essential rules for using social media to help your inbound marketing plan take flight. And don’t worry — they don’t involve upping the contrast in your profile picture.
1. Be Yourself
No one goes online to actually talk to a computer. We go online to connect with other human beings. If you’re a small business or company, it’s no different. Consumers need to feel that human behind the brand name or product. Don’t be afraid to be yourself on social media, letting your own personality and the personalities of your team shine through — that is, as long as your personality doesn’t run a serious risk of offending or alienating your target audience, in which case we might suggest a career change.
2. Inspire Conversations
Engage your audience by reaching out to them on social media. Ask your audience questions, request their comments, tell inspiring stories and encourage them to share their own. Consumers enjoy using social media not just so they can follow your posts, but so they can communicate with your brand. Be entertaining. Make people laugh. Solve problems. Contribute to discussions. Audience engagement goes a long way in putting the human touch into your brand.
3. Share the Love
Nobody likes a shameless self-promoter. Again, this is because consumers want to see that you’re a real human being rather than a money-grubbing vision of corporate greed. (Hey, their thoughts, not ours.) So share the love a bit on social media. Promote companies and brands that you support by either sharing their content, blogging about what they do and why you believe in it, or posting a quote or graphic featuring them. This not only gives you more to talk about on social media, but also lets users see that you care about supporting others. As a plus, the brands you show support for just might return to the favor.
It’s a simple fact that people relate to images more readily than text. If all you’re sharing is text, you’re not reaching your audience in as many ways as you can. In fact, according to Mike Parkinson of Billion Dollar Graphics, we process images 60,000 times faster than we process text. If that whopping number isn’t enough to convince you of the value of images, consider the fact that 90 percent of the information we process is visual.
Aside from the fact that our love of images, like our attraction to shiny objects, is explained by science, people are also more likely to share graphics than they are to share text. Remember that more shares means a wider audience, which somewhere down the line translates to more revenues.
5. Change It Up
If you’re using multiple social media platforms, which you should be, don’t post the same stuff on each one. You want to give your audience a reason to not only follow you on Twitter, but also like your Facebook page and subscribe to your blog. While it’s okay to use the same content occasionally, maintain a focus on diversifying your posts to keep things interesting.
Who knew that the rise of social media would result in new opportunities for audience engagement, content marketing and growing revenues? Well, ahem, we did. So keep these five rules tacked to the wall above your computer screen, or written on the mirror in lipstick — whatever you have to do to remember the essentials of social media content.
What will you do to revamp your inbound marketing strategy with social media content? What content marketing do you currently engage in that works for you? Share your stories and ideas in the comments!
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