Social Media is much like the real world in many ways – it’s noisy, crowded and chaotic. It has enabled the exchange of information at unprecedented levels of swiftness. While it has empowered consumers by helping them discover businesses that deliver value, it has made it that much harder for businesses’ voices to be heard. Whether you’re a small business without the budget to have banners sprawling the Internet, or a large corporation trying to grow a following, here are six ingenious ways to help you get noticed on social media.
The content you post on social media is your currency – the wealth of knowledge you’ve accumulated, and your willingness to share it is what will pull people towards you. Apart from sharing promotional content (that’s right, there’s other kind of content you should be sharing too), find content that will add value to your followers’ lives. This means, you’ll have to first understand your audience to be able sieve through all the content you come across before you share it with them.
Content curation tools like DrumUp and Pocket can help you identify relevant content that will interest your audience. While Pocket lets you save articles for later, in case you’d like to read them at leisure before you share them, DrumUp lets you batch-process (aggregate, curate and schedule) content, thereby helping you streamline your social sharing activities. Such social media tools are particularly useful if you’re trying to build a sustained presence across multiple social platforms.
[Disclosure: I write for the DrumUp Blog]
Get visual with your content
It has been proven time and again that visual content drives better impact on social media than plain text. Given the amount of content being published and shared every day, visual content effectively helps you tackle your audiences’ tendency to just skim through long-form text without really paying much attention to it. Also, the fact that the human brain processes visuals 60 times faster than text strengthens the case in favor of visuals.
Tools like Canva help you create great images for your blogs and social media posts. You can also use visual content search tools like Giphy to add interesting GIFs to your posts. Social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are growing much faster owing to the nature of content shared on them. Even on Facebook and Twitter, visual content is being shared and consumed extensively.
Dale Carnegie, in what is perhaps his most famous publication, How to Win Friends and Influence People, says, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” This holds true on social media too. Talking to people is the simplest, most effective way to build engagement. It’s no wonder then that brands like Nike constantly focus on replying to @mentions, rather than simply pushing out promotional messages.
A great way to start a conversation with someone is to show interest in their work. Remember that not every conversation you have needs to revolve around your business. In fact, starting a seemingly unrelated conversation has its benefits too – when you’re genuine on social media, it humanizes you and your brand, and helps you garner some goodwill too.
Create a sense of community
A study conducted by the New York Times found that 73 percent of the respondents shared content because it helped them connect with other people who have similar interests. Social media has made information sharing more immediate, allowing you to be a part of groups, both defined and undefined, in a quicker and more efficient way. Building a community around your brand will help your followers relate to you better. Creating a sense of belonging also gives them a reason to continue following you.
Leveraging your social media following to build a community around your brand is the next level of customer loyalty, and the significance of digital media in people’s lives today also makes it a rather important element of your marketing efforts. Participating in dialogues with your customers about your product or service is a great way to breathe life into your business. It symbolizes your commitment to deliver quality and assures your customers that they’ve made the right choice by picking you over your competitors.
Support a cause
The 2015 Cone Communications Millenial CSR Study reveals that 9 out of 10 Millenials would switch brands, favoring those that support a cause. Amidst a growing sense of social responsibility businesses that embrace a cause their audience care about stand a greater chance of striking a chord with them. But, in order for your cause marketing efforts to be successful, it’s important that you choose to support a non-profit group that you and your team genuinely believe in.
It’s also critical that you affiliate yourself with a cause that is relevant to your business. For instance, Dove chose to break global beauty stereotypes by setting up its Dove Self-Esteem Fund in 2004. The campaign has successfully reached out 17 million youth to educate them on self-esteem and help them reach their full potential.
Nurture your own personality
Creating and nurturing a brand personality is essential if you must stand apart from competitors on social media. Of course, that requires concentrated effort in understanding your brand and your target audience. You must find a voice that will appeal to your audience and continually own that voice. Traditionally, businesses would indulge in simplistic monologues, overtly trying to make a sale.
However, with evolution in communication technology, those monologues have turned into dialogues that are more customer-centric. The personality of your brand is depicted by the nature of these dialogues. Be open and transparent in your conversations and know that authenticity will trump every other tactic you may have up your sleeve.
Have you experimented with any other strategies to capture the attention of your audience? Do share your thoughts and experiences in the Comments section below.
Vasudha works with DrumUp and is passionate about all things to do with social media. When she isn’t writing or editing blogs, she likes to experiment with new tools that help social media marketers.