Social media marketing has become a challenging “game” for brands. Despite social being more relevant than ever, organic reach isn’t just dropping, it’s plummeting. That makes things difficult for brands that are prioritizing native content over paid ads to reach their audience. In spite of the fact that social platforms are making it difficult to reach your target audience organically, people are still inundated with an overwhelming amount of branded content.
There’s a lot of noise out there. The only way to take advantage of the reach you do have is to create social media content that really makes an impact. Here are four hacks to make your content resonate on social.
1. Be ready to respond to breaking news quickly
“Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” This Tweet by Oreo came out right as a blackout delayed the Superbowl for more than 30 minutes. Needless to say, the timing made that tweet go viral.
Turns out, it wasn’t just luck and good timing. Oreo had a social media team actively watching the Superbowl. Their job was to look for meaningful events that they could use to reach out to their audience. One clever content creator found that moment and made something out of it.
This is where being on top of things that are relevant to your audience can really help. If you’re the first to share breaking new, or to leverage a trending hashtag, you’re going to get the attention and engagement that latecomers are not. To do this, subscribe to relevant news feeds. Set Google Alerts for topics that are relevant to your audience, and be otherwise actively on the lookout for news and events that are of concern.
2. Initiate a conversation
“It’s best to think of social media as a conference table, not a podium,” said Bogdan Stevanovic, founder of Aquare. “Content that initiates conversation is going to travel further than content that is simply broadcasting your thoughts. Focus on content that gives audience members a chance to share their own thoughts.”
A poll is a great tool for seeding a conversation. Not only will people answer the question you’ve posed, they’ll also engage with you and one another over the topic you’ve chosen. Your job is to find a topic that really sparks interest, then be an active participant in that conversation.
Reddit may be one of the most underutilized social platforms for brands, and AMAs are one of the key reasons why. AMA stands for “ask me anything”. These are live Q&A sessions that people host on the Reddit platform on one of the many AMA subreddits, /r/IAMA being the most popular. Anybody can host an AMA. Celebrities have done it. So has president Obama. Many brands have as well.
3. Add more emotion to your posts
Emotional content gets a reaction. It earns shares and comments. Think about it. What is more likely to make you share something than a post that makes you laugh out loud, that brings tears to your eyes, or that motivates you to take action. Take a look at the most viral Facebook posts recently. Now look at the tags associated with them. Amazing, inspiring, and heartwarming come up time and time again.
Everett Vane, co-founder of func.media, a powerful player in the digital marketing space, said that “Impactful content goes beyond compelling visuals – you want to create an emotional reaction with all the content you’re creating. This will help you build a lasting impression with the consumer that can make them return time & time again. When you only have a couple seconds of the viewers attention, this connection can make all the difference. Not only is emotional content compelling to a viewer – it’s also extremely sharable. Before you can expect loyalty, you have to tap into what is important for your audience and establish an emotional bond.”
To use emotion in your social posts you can:
Engage in storytelling.
Share your human side.
Use the right visuals, text and music to paint an emotional picture.
Encourage your audience to share their stories as well.
Use Live Video
Leading brands and digital marketing agencies are using live video to increase their organic reach. It’s one area that doesn’t seem to be nearly as impacted by the downturn of unpaid social reach. Live video draws people in. It makes them feel as if they are a part of something important, and it encourages them to participate.
Use live video at events, to share behind the scenes content, or simply to give live updates on topics that you think will interest your audience. Remember that great hosting is really important. Recruit someone who is outgoing and has a great camera presence.
Finally, be sure you’re well prepared to handle traffic in case it shoots through the roof. Increased visitors from these social campaigns can slow down or even crash your site if you are not prepared for the traffic spike. So what can you do? Cache and compress your website resources to minimize load times for viewers, switch from a shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server or even to the cloud and use a content delivery network(CDN) to bring your site closer to users.