The idea of starting a social media campaign can be intimidating. While you might already have the skills you need to be successful on social media, you might not know how to apply them. Instead of thinking “I’m going to start a social media campaign,” think, “I’m going to make new friends.”
Making friends is far less scary than “marketing on social media.”
Here are my five secrets to social media success — in friendly terms.
- Make friends like you always do. First and foremost, ask. If you don’t ask people to be your friend, they may not ever think of it themselves. Just like you ask your new neighbors to dinner, ask your customers, “Do you like us on Facebook?” or, “Can I take your picture with your new widget for our social media?” Integrate social media with your company culture, marketing, and office. Successful campaigns aren’t about one person doing it all. It’s a group effort, so encourage employee involvement. Social media is about people, relationships, friends. Create a common vocabulary and a “dos and don’ts” list of posting for your staff, and then encourage them to share. Another thing — use your current marketing to your advantage. Post a sign next to your receptionist, or write in sidewalk chalk outside your door. Put social media in your on-hold message, invoices, email footer, and anywhere else your customers or target market may see it.
- Make friends with the “in” crowd. Become part of the “in” crowd for your business. Look for companies you admire, and then make strategic alliances with those who have an active social media presence reaching your target audience. Then be their best friend. Follow them and share their content. Tell them that you’re sharing it by tagging and complimenting them on their quality contributions. Treat them the way you want to be treated: like a friend.
- Be original. Take a picture of what makes your company unique. Social media algorithms love pictures, and they know when content is replicated. If you post the same photo twice, it won’t be shown as well the second time. Make sure your words are original.
- Expect sharing. Not everyone knows what it means to be a good friend. Share your expectations with your social media following, especially your regular supporters on social media. Ask them to share your content.
- Do it for real or don’t do it at all. Be fully invested with your social media friends. Interact in a timely manner and post new content on a regular basis. It’s hard to maintain a good following on social media when you’re just occasionally talking.
Think of social media ads like a networking group. They can help show your content to new people who may not have reached you on their own.
Many companies follow a rule of thirds when posting content:
Brand awareness and personality. In-the-moment, fun, and brand-related content. Highlight employee birthdays, share photos of happy customers, tell a story about the bird that just flew into the office. This is storytelling content sharing who you are.
Promotional posts. Specials, coupons, events, blog post highlights, and newsletter promotion all fall into this category.
Industry news and “in” crowd content. Share blog posts, news, and other content interesting to your followers. The compliments, shares, and retweets you give the “in” crowd’s content counts towards this third.
Monica Pitts is the chief creative director of MayeCreate Design.