Social Media Specs: What EXACTLY Should You Be Doing?
In this day and age, many businesses needn’t watch as much television to keep up with trends while scouting prospective marketing bases. Their customers skip commercials, stream the content, or pay for commercial-less service anyway. Now all the important developments happen in a more laconic form through social media, announced for the convenience of data collectors and trend academics. Other companies have begun to socialize their media where before their product had no structure to allow socializing. The art form of social media is just that, the communication, the socializing, an interpersonal exchange art that begins where it logically would; with chit chat, with passing something around that can’t be used up. Media producers cling to this inherently, as music does not expire and video images don’t only function for single sets of eyes. Media is social, and so social media becomes a hyper-purified form of media.
Now that we’ve published a blog on what you shouldn’t do on social media (You can read that here), we feel it would be remiss not to give the full scope of advice and tell you exactly what you should be doing. Like most things in life, especially marketable things, social media will supposedly work in your favor if you throw enough money at it in the right way. But if the depth and breadth of this almost infinite ocean that is social media doesn’t make that a daunting task alone, than the proportionately deep pool of marketing techniques one could theoretically employ makes drowning in these waters an almost tangible threat. Navigating this environment without losing money (or just as terrible, time) to these dark depths, and without the even worse potential misstep of actually damaging your brand is a journey to be carefully considered. Luckily, here are some experienced tips and truths about marketing your social media brand you can try without being eaten by the sea.
- Like Breeds Like
Picture this: Two posts are identical. One has the potential exposure of 100 followers, subscribers, or readers, the second has 1000. Which post is most likely to be more heavily shared? Similarly, a reader sees a shared post with 100 shares, or a second, identical post with 1000 shares. Which do you think the reader is more likely themselves to share?
The reality of social media is that like breeds like. The key word is “social”. People tend to follow the trend more than strike out into untested waters, cheer in a crowd rather than alone, watch the movie everyone else is watching. This can frustrate a creator of quality content from a start-up, but good content with vigorous market strategies guarantee this sort of exponential growth, and there are whole social media management systems like the ones we’ve discussed here that detail the ways you can grow this following to help produce the effect of like breeding like, authentically or aesthetically.
But in the interest of immediacy- if you’re a business, make a company policy. Everyone must have a Twitter, everyone’s twitters must accrue a following of people they know outside of work, and each account must retweet their company’s business account at least once a week. Even with only 10 employees, if each gains just 10 followers, suddenly there are 10 times more eyes on the product than before. And those are pathetically small example numbers. Think bigger, and you can see how far such simple, small steps can take you.
- The Best Follower is Actually Following
There is a large distinction between the number of Twitter accounts and the number of active twitter accounts- a staggering distinction. There are almost three times as many theoretically inactive users as active users, a ratio of 974 million to 241 million, meaning that, for a number of reasons, any follower you do not personally know has a better chance of being an empty number stapled to your followers list than a valuable subscriber. Services that allow accounts to buy phantom followers, automated accounts, old throwaways of personal users, all attribute to this army of phantom followings.
- Grow Followings Based on Intent (AKA Shotguns and Sniper Rifles)
An old saying when hunting for something is, “Ask yourself if you’ll do better with a shotgun or sniper rifle.” Quail hunters will tell you that hitting a bunch of birds is easier when you hit everything around them too, but big game hunters never expose themselves so much to allow that, and use more accurate, specific rifles to get what they are after. What sort of results are you going for? What sort of appearance are you trying to foster? Answering these questions will determine your strategy.
- Spend a Strong Dollar, Not Weak Pennies
This is not an endorsement to break the bank advertising on social media, though the fact is that good content goes nowhere if you don’t bring it where you want it to go. This is about accuracy. Just as the steps one can take to organically grow followers and garner attention can be related to shotguns and sniper rifles, so can the efficacy of paid marketing.
- Brand Storytelling
Who are you?
This is both a simple question to answer and a difficult answer to exhibit. When it comes to social media, it is important to treat your behavior and fashion the way people do in the physical world. In a digital world as new as social media, these nuances of character may seem difficult to perceive and delineate, but if we remember the specifically “social” aspect, it becomes easier to hold to a particular integrity, and not fall victim to the changeable tides of what is immediately trending. Incorporate only what fits your model.
This of course leads into…
- Standing Out
Whether this is difficult or easy depends very much on the story your brand is trying to tell. Some are easier to give that pop to than others, but realize that social media is, once again, a social platform. Being something others relate to and want to be a part of can help even the mildest of business brands become an essential part of the consumer’s scroll. Here’s a quick mini-list of some finer nuances you can incorporate.
- Photos receive more attention, more retweets, likes, shares, and favorites because one has no choice but to spend longer on them. Even an uninteresting picture, which comes less frequently than uninteresting text, must be scrolled past, which physically takes longer than text does for the size of it. Photos take up more room on the feed, like buying more real estate for the same price as buying less.
- Make a hashtag, and stick with it! Hashtags are the most pervasive of online branding techniques, linking users with an entire community of other users who share the same small expression.
- Don’t be afraid to sell something. There’s always a person on the creative end of a campaign, but giving your campaign a tangible, non-human element helps the user become a consumer automatically by separating the creator from the social product conceptually in the viewers mind.
- Get an aesthetic that fits your attitude, but more importantly, fits your target audience’s ideal aesthetic preference. This includes color schemes, selecting your linguistic style, and the demeanor of your promotion. Are you serious or casual? Are you fun, or are you austere?
To get a better handle on the specifics of social media, or to learn how to market better with it, check out the rest of our blog, leave a comment below, or check us out at Connatix.com.