Social media marketing is all about engagement. Engaging effectively with your target audience and secondary audiences is the best way to build organic connections and relationships with prospects, brand champions, and social media influencers. Unfortunately, a common mistake in social media marketing is to focus solely on sharing promotional content. This is understandable, considering most companies are interested in spreading awareness about their products and services, which is reflective of more traditional outbound marketing—but that is simply not effective in the realm of social media.
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While promotional messaging should be part of your overall content strategy, contemporary marketing best practices dictate the importance of establishing trust and community around your brand. The most effective and easiest way to do this is by broadening the types of content you share to encourage engagement and keep things interesting. Alternatives to promotional content include:
Tips, Tricks, and Toolkits
Share content of value. Tips, tricks, and toolkits are content types that have perceived value. Sharing this type of content for free is a great way to get prospects to engage with you while they use your tips to solve a problem. If the toolkit is especially helpful, they may even share it with others who have similar issues, which expands your audience, enhances your brand’s image, and increases your prospect base.
If you want to expand your visibility on social networks, don’t be afraid to be a part of conversations related to your brand or market. Social media relies on users taking part in conversations—listening and responding—not just posting outbound content.
Not all company information worth sharing is purely promotional. For instance, if your company participates in community service, or donates grant funding, or hosts amazing parties with interesting and inventive decorations, food, costumes, etc…. share it! Letting your audience see a snapshot of the company’s culture is an awesome way to humanize your brand—and because social media is a fairly informal platform, this type of content is perfect for sharing.
Sharing content that’s adjacent to your business and products/services, or that aligns with the interests of your audience, expands your content focus and broadens your audience base at the same time. It is also a way to get more traction on your content from non-competing businesses who are likely happy to share posts they are mentioned in. For example, if you are a beauty retailor, you could share the season’s hottest clothing style trends from a popular designer or recent fashion show.
Top 10 Lists
These lists are usually easy to create and a great way to provide snip-its of valuable information that your followers can grab and retweet. They are also easily digestible so your readership for this type of content should be good.
Jokes can be a great way to build a relationship with your audience. People enjoy funny things (e.g., funny cat pictures), so it is more likely they will share a funny add, and humor helps to add some personality to your brand. However, it is extremely important to think about your brand’s persona before you decide to include humor in your content strategy. If your brand is one that relies on a serious demeanor to be taken seriously, jokes can backfire and put your brand in an awkward position. Just be sure to test any new joke on colleagues and friends/family to ensure that it’s actually funny and not inappropriate.
Social media is a great (and free!) place to announce new job openings and seek new talent for your shop. In fact, more and more job seekers are using social media to learn about companies, open positions, and network. According to a 2013 poll of hundreds of job seekers—performed by career and talent development consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison and cited in an article on Forbes.com—48 percent noted that they are active on social networking sites on a daily basis.
Give your audience targeting strategy a tune-up with tips from our free guide: The Pre-Targeting Advantage.