It’s easy to get a social media page rolling, especially if you have the time and desire to give it your all. Yet, you’ll soon find that a pretty placeholder is not enough to achieve your business goals and make the investment worth your while. The true measure of social media success is what the experts call “engagement.” In other words: how many fans of your page are liking, commenting and sharing your social media content? The more people perform these activities, the more your brand will come up in their news feeds and the news feeds of their friends to extend your company’s reach. This is word-of-mouth advertising at its finest.
We find this to be an ongoing challenge too — especially when you’re in a “dry” industry like insurance, parts manufacturing, finance or marketing where people may not be as excited about sharing your news as they would be on Starbucks’ page or The History Channel Facebook. Yet, it’s possible to make even the dullest industry captivating on social media with the right know-how as these businesses clearly demonstrate. What’s exciting about a microprocessor or a credit card company? Not much, but Intel and Visa are among the 10 most engaging brands on Facebook. Here are 8 tips that may help you too!
1. Be conversational.
One of the big pitfalls businesses run into is imagining that everyone is as interested in their insular worlds as they are. The truth is — overly promotional announcements about corporate news is as boring as it gets! Sadly, no one cares. Instead, spark a conversation that others can join. For instance, Cisco invited their audience to share photos of their network cable designs, which solicited 682 likes, 144 shares, and 22 comments!
2. Use special dates to your advantage.
Every day plays host to a holiday, awareness week or event. Find ones relevant to your business and audience and generate conversation. It doesn’t hurt to offer a special promotion exclusive to your social media friends for these special days either, as you can see from Kate Spade’s Halloween promotion — which got 1,455 likes and 726 shares.
And let’s not forget the photo that broke Twitter due to 2 million+ shares in mere hours (it now has over 3.4 million Retweets and 2 million favorites). Combine the viral power of celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Kevin Spacey (and so on..) with the power of perfect timing as millions of viewers are tuning into the Oscar’s and you get an image that breaks Twitter b/c of extreme viral social sharing!
You can conduct your own survey or poll to create original content for your page. Ask for photo submissions for a contest. Ask people to “fill in the blanks” to end a sentence. Ask people to vote on a poll question. Often, people love sharing their ideas online, especially if it only takes a moment. Oracle’s post included an interesting statistic about CEOs, marketers and ROI that got 86 likes and 24 shares.
4. Look for quotes — preferably ones with vivid images.
Everyone loves relevant, sage-like words of wisdom that put some of their feelings to words. These posts tend to get a lot of likes and shares. When choosing a quote, you may find something that fits the day, a particular mood, a relevant topic, a person within your niche, or your industry at large. Ideally, try to find a way to tie the quote into your corporate culture or business. You can also post a quote and ask for people to share something relating to its content. Sometimes you’ll find people just appreciate your sharing something helpful — like when Hubspot quoted Seth Godin on Pinterest to receive 27 favorites and 140 re-pins.
5. Share an interesting news story or blog post.
Run a Google News search to find a buzz-worthy news story. In our niche, we’re always looking for relevant news stories with keywords like “social media,” “marketing tips,” “blogs,” or “online marketing.” Keep in mind that social media sites are also the ideal vehicles for sharing your own original blog content. For instance, Disney got 19,723 likes, 408 shares and 347 comments on their blog about “The 20 Most Romantic Disney Movies.”
6. Make people laugh.
Memes and videos are some of the most-shared content on social media sites. Search YouTube or look up “keyword meme” in Google Images to find content. Dunnell’s Premier Winesshared this Someecards meme to get 38 likes and 57 shares, which is great engagement for a page with just 2,000 fans.
Sharing helpful every day tips can be very share-worthy. Wal-Mart gained 541 shares, along with 2,985 likes and 219 comments from this post about household uses for citrus fruits. Notice how they didn’t just “set it and forget it.” They also commented back to their fans, thanking them for sharing their tips.
Try to use your social media as an extension of your customer service department. Answer FAQs. Give consumers behind-the-scenes glimpses of your products. Share new features in quick, visual, easy-to-grasp ways. Let fans be the first to know about the benefits of a new offering. These posts can be a little self-serving, so you will want to spread them out and plan to share the most interesting news only. Here Samsung got 338 shares and 8,687 likes by letting people know about one of the cool features of their Galaxy Note Pro.
Within 24 hours NASA gained 1951 +1’s, 446 shares and 197 comments on a Cosmos post on their Google Plus page. Notice the longer description that helps educate their Google+ readers on studying light waves. Along with the longer description they show an interesting image that is also educational.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, try signing up for Google News Alerts and let the topics come to you. Sign up to the RSS feeds of industry blogs or websites to see what people are buzzing about. Keep tabs on your biggest competitors’ pages to see what they’re blabbing about and contemplate how you can do it better. Subscribe to YouTube channels in your niche and see what’s new each week. Add friends on Flickr, Pinterest and other photo-heavy sites. The key to great social media posts is sometimes just time and connections. If you feel your business is lacking both, contact us to put your social media marketingon auto-pilot!
Inbound marketing consultant and CEO at Mod Girl Marketing, a digital marketing firm that utilizes inbound strategies to help modern companies grow and thrive! Contact me to learn how my consulting services can help take your company to new heights.
Hi, I'm Mandy McEwen and you've landed on my blog. Thanks for reading! As a coach, consultant, trainer and founder of Mod Girl Marketing, my passion is helping people like you thrive. Whether you're looking for a trusted business marketing advisor or you need a fresh perspective on your inbound campaigns, I'd love to help!