Wednesday, September 30, 2015
And, there are a bunch of ways for any advertiser to get the job done on a minimal budget.
How do you stand out? How do you prove you’re different?
Be the individual you are. Tend your fire so we can see it.
Take advantage of the following methods to make your social media content sizzle.
1. Make it a game
We play games with each other throughout our lives.
But let’s talk business gamification. The Executive Editor for IGN, Scott Lowe, identifies two key components of gamification for business:
- Unification: “Merging the action with the reward, instead of burying it under UI layers or even within a separate application”
- Careful Consideration: Understanding the user’s motivation for playing the game – “The user needs to feel personally invested in successfully completing the action that results in the gamified reward”
A network like Facebook is an excellent platform for gamification.
A famous example is A&E’s Parking Wars game.
The end result of this effort to market the show Parking Wars was a total of 1.5 million users.
The experience was unified because the user didn’t have to leave Facebook to access the game.
In terms of consideration, why are “users” on Facebook to begin with?
Parking Wars was so successful because users could play with friends. There’s nothing quite like social motivation.
2. Make viral tweets
Going viral is the Holy Grail of social motivation. And Twitter is a good place to seek the Grail because it’s so easy for users to retweet what your content.
As with everything in the social media world, there are no absolute predictors of what will go viral. Humans are an unpredictable bunch. But we do a lot of research, and there are tools.
One of these tools was developed by researchers at Cornell University. They developed an algorithm to predict what will be retweeted, and a program to determine which wording is more likely to garner retweets.
The key takeaways are:
- Don’t be shy: Ask for a retweet
- Know your audience: Speak in their language
- Write newsy headlines: Create buzz
- Words matter: Express emotion
- Name names: Rep your crowd
3. Get visual
Words are important, but if no one can see you, your words won’t mean as much. On any social media platform, getting visual is a must.
The photo-sharing app Instagram is the fastest growing major social network, with 26% of U.S. adults among its users.
On Twitter, tweets with images get 150% more retweets.
For brand pages on Facebook, posts in the top 10% include photos. These posts account for 87% of total interactions.
Compile a big list. Then use a tool like the Post Planner Viral Photos feature (disclaimer: it costs $7) to filter out the images that have gone viral.
Naturally, you’ll adapt. You’ll learn from the stuff that has gone viral.
And then you can get down to the business of creating and curating your own visual content.
4. Create memes
Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington found you can predict the virality of a meme by analyzing the structure of its retweet network.
Early on, if the meme is retweeted by a more diverse community of users, it’s more likely to go viral.
The researchers were able to use this analysis to predict which memes will go viral with over 60% accuracy.
When you create memes and infographics for your business, think diversity. Create images someone would want to look at even if they know anything about your business and niche.
The main intent should be to entertain and educate – not advertise. Advertising is the result of just how damn good your content is.
Google “free meme maker”.
Imgflip is just one of the many options. For our purposes it should do fine.
Choose to upload your own image. Or choose from the list of images directly below the button.
After you’ve uploaded the image, add text at the top and bottom. You can even choose to add a scumbag hat. (Author confession: this is a meme of me with a scumbag hat.)
Check the “Private” box if you don’t want it floating around online (probably a good idea so you can control dissemination). Play around. Then hit “Generate Meme”.
5. Create infographics
Canva and Venngage both have great infographic apps.
This template’s called “Sweet Blue”. You can access a template easily after hitting “Create Infographic” once you’ve logged in to Venngage. Or you can start from scratch.
When you’re in template mode, single out a section by clicking on it.
Then click delete up top. Next, drag over the Title Text box from the left.
Then insert yours.
Just like with memes, play around. Add interesting info and images.
Again, the most important thing to remember about infographics is that you are competing with loads of informative and entertaining content.
Attempts at blatant advertising should be shunned. Attempts at slighting the competition should be equally shunned.
6. Create videos
Facebook now places videos at the top of News Feeds, prioritizing this type of content over any other. They play instantly when you scroll down the screen.
In a recent development, Snapchat plays video ads too.
This is one more way, out of hundreds, to differentiate yourself on social media.
But how? Loads of advertisers use videos. You’ve got to learn from the best.
Joshua Hardwick, Managing Director for video production company ShortyMedia, has 4 Rules for a Video to Go Viral:
- Evoke emotion: Stoke the fire
- Portray your brand without overly promoting: Be clear about who you are
- Have a marketing plan: Lead the viewer to a possible point of sale
- Have concurrent branding/marketing efforts: Don’t make a video in a vacuum
These rules could apply to any type of content marketing.
There really aren’t scientific formulas for this. Where we’re going there are no roads – just great social media content.
So let’s all sit down and watch a favorite, excellent example again. And again. And again.
Guest Author: Daniel Matthews is a writer, part-time social worker, and musician who loves to explore topics ranging from technology to business culture and psychology. He has written for Social Media Today, Triple Pundit, Smart Data Collective, and YFS Magazine, among others. You can find him on Twitter @danielmatthews0
from Jeffbullas’s Blog http://ift.tt/1YOE0qb
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6 Ways to Ignite a Social Media Content Fire
Simply too many brands use social media as a free advertising platform where they can sell, sell, sell. While the drive to push sales on whatever platform available is admirable, social media (as most of us have realized by now) plays by different rules. It’s not like broadcast television, where you buy spots on primetime, talk about your brand, and see sales walking in the door.
Social media instead demands a symbiotic relationship between brands and their fans. (highlight to tweet) You will only drive results from social media when your fans truly like you, identify with the values you project, and derive value from the content you publish.
Here we shall discuss a few ways to move your business beyond “sales” mode into to true “relationship” mode.
Discover Where You Stand
When you work on shaping a distinct brand identity to influence your audience via social media, you first need to know what they think about you now. You need to know how aware they are of your brand, its offerings, whether they perceive your brand positively or negatively, how your competitors fare in the same space, and so on. This allows you to make more informed decisions, as opposed to shots in the dark.
A tool like Mention offers you the ability to listen in on conversations about your brand and its related keywords across the web. Using Mention, not only do you get to hear in real time what’s being said about you online, you even get to participate in these conversations directly.
An interesting feature of Mention is that it allows the right people to engage with an audience in discussions that are taking place somewhere else. For example, a technical question on Quora can be answered directly from within the tool by your product manager, while a promotion-related query on Facebook can be tackled by your marketing manager simultaneously.
Mention allows you to track and analyze your brand’s position over time, helping you judge the effectiveness of your social media efforts.
Another powerful tool is Talkwalker, which corrals all online activity surrounding your brand in a single, searchable place. Choose your search terms (your company name, your industry niche, potential content topics, etc.), and watch related posts appear alongside easy-to-understand engagement data. You can even sort results by engagement statistics or tweak your search terms to monitor your competitors’ activities.
Talkwalker also provides handy “hashtag cloud” visualizations, which illustrate activity surrounding related hashtags. Whether the hashtag is an official part of your campaign or fan-generated, you’ll be able to track its use over time and any positive or negative sentiment attached to it.
Free Up Precious Time with Auto-Scheduling
Posting content on a regular basis is critical to showing up on users’ cluttered social media feeds. A post or two a day may seem relatively easy to do, but will have pretty much no impact on your fans. The odds of your lone post showing up versus thousands of others put up by friends, family, and other brands fighting for your users’ attention are pitiably low.
While Facebook is getting all the negative publicity for low (or no) exposure, the problem is especially compounded when it comes to Twitter. How many 140 character bursts do you need to get your followers to react? How do you manage to craft and publish multiple “interesting” or “engagement-inducing” tweets every single day?
Enter Tweet Jukebox. All you need to do is divvy up your content into different “jukeboxes” or categories. Tweet Jukebox then uses this content to automatically post tweets as per a schedule you decide. You can store thousands of records per jukebox, ensuring that you never run out of things to tweet
The best part is, when a user mentions your brand online in a tweet, you can thank every single one of them (automatically).
As you can see in the screenshot above, Tweet Jukebox comes with a free built-in Jukebox with quotes that can be directly posted on Twitter at the click of a “Tweet it Now” button. They also have an interesting “Jukebox Store”—a little like the iTunes store—where they feature hundreds of Jukeboxes that users can download and use for free. The service even allows users to create their very own content, store them in Jukeboxes, and share them with the Tweet Jukebox community.
Still short of content? Tweet Jukebox also goes back to older tweets and reposts them with a fresh twist. So much for social media being a time hog. With the chore of posting and scheduling multiple times a day taken care of, you can now focus on the more important task of creating and curating great content that your users will love.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the channels you monitor and fill in a single day, Sprout Social offers a solution. This social media management tool’s standout feature is its single, streamlined feed—a blessing for any manager who’s tired of juggling multiple tabs and menus. From your dashboard, you can auto-schedule posts across all major social platforms. Free social ROI reports help take the mystery out of how those posts performed.
Get Credible Spokespeople for Free
Talking up your brand on social media is good, but getting important people talking about it piques your audience’s interest and takes your brand visibility (and eventually acceptance) to a new level. Advertising professionals have known for decades what social media marketers are only just realizing: A celebrity endorsement is social media gold for your brand.
HARO is one such tool that will help put your brand on the New York Times front page (It could happen!) without you spending a penny on any of it. HARO (or Help A Reporter Out) connects journalists in need of interesting new content with content experts who need a platform to publish their stuff. This synergetic equation means that you can offer interesting and novel content that features your brand to reporters looking for their latest scoop.
HARO sends you alerts about journalists in need of “sources” or content experts in specific areas, and you can reach out to the ones that match your skill sets. The credibility of the journalist in question automatically lends credibility to your product and gives your brand an opportunity to be featured on respected platforms that it may not have been able to get on otherwise.
Deal with Customer Issues in a Jiffy
Getting face to face or screen to screen with users in real time is an option that no marketing platform other than social media offers. Then why relegate the critical function of CRM to traditional channels like the phone or email? Companies that have invested in CRM via social media regularly reap the benefits of instant and engaging conversations with customers instead of plain old complaint resolutions. You should, too.
Nimble is a social CRM tool that allows you to offer customer care over social media platforms with ease. Nimble does a bunch of things exceedingly well. It builds detailed customer profiles by collating data from various sources: Outlook, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
It tracks step by step every interaction you’ve ever had with each user, thus offering a clear portrait of every customer. This rich customer data helps you respond to them in a more meaningful way, on the platform they are most comfortable with.
Conversations across platforms all come to one location, creating a unified inbox from where you can respond to every customer input instantaneously.
Every seasoned salesman knows that it’s not rock bottom prices but the strength of relationships that they build with clients that will see them through. Use social media as a tool to build relationships instead of hard selling to them with every post.
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4 Steps to Boost Your Social Media Engagement
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