Kara Lauder, founder of the Kader Boot Co in Australia, got a major marketing and awareness boost when she was asked to feature her boots in the Oscar gifting suites. When coupled with social media posts like this, it worked a treat for her brand:
In fact, her social media content and marketing has enabled her to grow her Facebook and Instagram audience and, more importantly, her customer base.
How is it that some brands seem able to score wins on social media while others flounder and die?
Having scoured social media channels and watched various brands, it seems to us that there is a recurring theme with the brands that repeatedly score wins on social media. Here is the secret: To get the best results on social media, you need to be social. In other words, you need to demonstrate each of the following seven characteristics. Also, discover nine tools to help express those characteristics and get the best results from your social media content.
1. Be helpful and add value to a community
Author Jay Baer introduced us to the term Youtility in his book of the same name. He uses the term to refer to marketing that is designed to help the audience, not to hype the products.
For example, UTEC (a university in Lima, Peru) created a billboard that produces drinking water out of the humidity in the air.
A key part of being helpful is to be able to understand what your audience is concerned about, what they need, and what is already being talked about. This is where a tool like Waaffle can help.
Waaffle is an easy-to-use platform that aims to put you in control of all aspects of your social media strategy. From creating custom feeds to measuring audience engagement and everything in between, Waaffle is one of the best social media aggregation, analysis, and publishing tools currently available.
Waaffle’s best feature is perhaps its campaign creation tool, which allows you to keep an eye on what your competitors and audiences are sharing, so as to give you a competitive edge. For example, you can enter a competitor hashtag and get a better picture of what’s going on in your industry—which can then fuel and inform your future social media strategy decisions.
2. Be visual
Consider the following stats:
- Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content.
- Four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it.
- According to an Animoto survey, 76.5% of professional marketers and SMB owners who have used video marketing said it had a direct impact on their business.
So, creating visual content can really boost your results on social media. It used to be difficult to create good quality visual content without the help of an expert designer. That is fortunately no longer the case. Tools like RelayThat and Animoto help make the process quick and easy.
When it comes to simplifying DIY image design, RelayThat has unlocked the secrets and enabled just about anybody to easily and quickly create professional designs for their marketing campaigns.
This is also a great time-saving tool for marketers who are tired of designing new images repeatedly from scratch. With RelayThat you can upload your unique “brand assets,” which you can then use to generate new designs easily, all with the unified look and feel that your brand is seeking. Plus, with a RelayThat subscription, you also receive access to more than 350,000 textures, icons, and photos to use in any project. With these unique and beautifully designed images, you’ll be attracting attention on social media newsfeeds in no time.
If you’ve ever had to create a video for a social media marketing campaign, you’re probably well aware that even a short two-minute video can take days or weeks to produce. Animoto strives to make video creation easier and more intuitive than ever before with its easy-to-use platform.
Simply upload your photos or video clips, then customize your video or slideshow. Use Animoto’s wide selection of professional features, ranging from commercially licensed music to voiceover features, pre-built storyboards, and more. With Animoto, it’s easy to create an eye-catching and polished video that you can share on social media literally within a matter of minutes.
3. Be found
If you have a brand or a business, the only reasons you are on social media are to be social and, more importantly, to be found by those with similar interests. To be successful you have to stop random acts of hashtagging, and instead limit yourself to a few hashtags that help tie your campaign content together.
Hashtags were first used on Twitter and have now spread to Facebook, Google+, Instagram and other platforms—including LinkedIn, which experimented with them for a while. They are used so widely and commonly that they have become a part of everyday language to describe moments and events.
This widespread level of acceptance of hashtags means that people could be typing in your hashtag on a Google search on Twitter. In other words, your content will be viewable by anyone with even a passing interest in your hashtag, regardless of whether they are part of your audience or not.
So how can you stay on top of this trend and the influx of user-generated content related to your hashtag or brand? That’s where a tool like Tagboard comes in.
It’s no secret that user-generated content is key to making your brand stand out, and social media platforms provide no shortage of rich user-generated content for sharing! Still, curating and displaying this content can be time-consuming and cumbersome without a tool to help you through the process.
This platform allows you to pull user-generated content from any number of social media sites, turning it into your own branded social marketing content with just a few clicks. All you have to do is enter a hashtag to search, and you’ll immediately be able to select which posts you want to feature (and where). Two great examples of places to share user-generated content are on large screens at venues and events, and directly on your website!
4. Be organized
Research by Impact shows that the percentage of B2B and B2C marketers that have a documented content strategy is almost the same as the percentage of marketers that claim their marketing strategy is very effective.
This isn’t a coincidence. Having a documented plan is crucial to content marketing success. One tool to help you with this is an editorial calendar. Or a social media management tool could be used if you are focused exclusively on social media channels.
An editorial calendar provides a timeline of what content you will publish, and when. You can even use it to note details such as the type of content being published on any day, or when it will be published to social media.
The calendar helps content teams and other stakeholders (such as writers, publishers, social media managers, and executives) all to stay on the same page about content marketing cadence and topics.
The advantages of using an editorial calendar include:
- Saving time on writing
- Makes it easier to schedule content and saves time
- Becomes easier to deal with planned and unplanned events
- Making collaboration easier
- Helps with the easy organization of creative assets
- Helping with the building of evergreen content and content which can be repurposed
- In determining what content works and what doesn’t.
Perhaps you’ve heard of CoSchedule.
CoSchedule aims to take every aspect of your social marketing strategy (including all your various campaigns) and house it all in one convenient place. It allows for every member of your marketing team to have access to campaigns and to collaborate within the platform in real-time, simplifying the workflow for most projects. Unique features include a nifty team dashboard, offering an update on every social media campaign at a glance. CoSchedule is also known for its powerful integrations and reporting tools, which help you to see which campaigns are performing well and which aren’t quite hitting the mark.
Looking for a way to manage and analyze all your social media accounts in one convenient place? Buffer is the tool for you.
This user-friendly platform allows you to access all your social media accounts from one centralized dashboard. Its detailed reporting tools help you see not only how each of your social media accounts is performing, and quickly, but how individual posts are performing as well. Buffer also comes with a built-in content scheduler, which is great for busy marketers. By simply installing Buffer’s browser add-on, you’ll be able to schedule your social media posts with just a few clicks (or taps from a mobile device).
Another social media account management and planning tool to consider is AgoraPulse, which prides itself on being a more affordable solution than many similar options on the market. AgoraPulse supports all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.
Some of the best features included with your subscription are the ability to post to all your social media accounts from one location, queue your posts, reschedule your best-performing posts, and tweak content as needed for each social media network on which you post. This is a great social media marketing solution for agencies, small teams, and customer service teams alike!
5. Be bold
Social psychologist Henri Tajifel conducted a study to assess the effects of social categorization on intergroup behaviour. He found that he could create groups of people around issues or values. Groups that would show loyalty to their in-group and discriminate against those who were not part of that group.
In business, you don’t need to have a physical enemy. It does, however, help to be bold and take a stance on issues that are close to your brand values. Your stance against a belief or idea should be something that your customers can identify with. In other words, you associate your brand with certain values that your customers identify with. It also means that you are:
- distancing it from other values
- differentiating the brand from customers who do not identify with those issues or values.
Creating your own unique content around this can be time-consuming. One easier and quicker option would be to curate the viewpoints of others who take a similar stance.
A tool like Buzzsumo can help you to find and curate similar topics.
Creating unique and engaging social media content can be a challenge for even the most experienced of marketers. At the same time, being able to continuously generate and post content worth sharing is an integral part of any successful social media strategy. Buzzsumo aims to take the guesswork and frustration out of deciding on topics by providing easy-to-use analysis tools that help you determine which content is performing best at any given time. With their content research tools, you can easily search for the most shared topics in your industry. You can even narrow your results based on date, language, word count, content type, and much more. From there, you can make more informed decisions about the types of content you put out.
6. Be interested (in what is being said on a topic or brand)
Research shows that 96% of people who discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ own profiles. So, businesses have to go beyond their own channels to monitor those conversations. In addition, they also need to gain insights and manage their brand health.
Social media is about being social. Part of being social is recognizing that you are not an island and that connecting with others is vital. So, be interested in others and maintain relationships where you can. Read their content, join in on conversations where appropriate, and remember people’s names.
Having said that, it can be hard to find and keep track of all the conversations that are going on. A tool like Brand24 can help.
Brand 24 allows you to monitor conversations and also allows for hashtag tracking. This unique social media content tool allows you to discover what people are saying about your brand, industry, and just about anything else, in real-time.
One unique feature of this tool is that it doesn’t monitor just social media platforms for mentions. It also monitors websites and other media as well. This gives you the most comprehensive insight because you receive updates in real-time. This, in turn, means you can respond to mentions and follow up with others quickly. Customer service functions are an ideal scenario for using this tool. The last thing you want is for a customer complaint to spread and gain traction on social media. Especially before you have a chance to carry out any damage control.
7. Be trustworthy
Consumer trust continues to decline. According to Edelman, only 37% of the public trusts company CEOs.
So, in an age where trust and attention are prized commodities, influencer marketing can play a vital role. Consider this:
- According to a study by Twitter and Annalect, as much as 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions.
- According to an Ogilvy Cannes study, 74% of people turn to word of mouth recommendations from their social networks for purchase decisions.
So how can you identify influencers in your niche who could help with your social media marketing? Tools like Buzzsumo can help.
Craft your social media content plan
New tools are constantly appearing on the market. To get the best results from your social media content you shouldn’t be testing tools out. In most cases, brands would be better-off focusing on being consistent and engaging on social media.
I hope the above tips and tools gave you some ideas for your social media. You won’t find a particular blueprint for social success that works for every brand or business. But you can plan and implement your social media content and ideas. Take some time, and make your social media content unique and inviting.