Media research firm BIA/Kelsey estimates social media advertising revenues will reach $9.8 billion in 2016. Since its StumbleUpon beginnings in 2002, social media has provided a low-cost avenue for building brand awareness with the ability to target markets by location, behavior and interest.
However, you can’t drive home a message if you can’t be found online, and increasing “clicks” doesn’t automatically convert to sales. Bombarding users with unsolicited ads when they really just want to keep up to date with the lives of their friends will not have them liking you or your page. Understanding the nature of social media is key to successfully reaping its benefits in your marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing expert Sujan Patel, in a piece for “Entrepreneur,” points to 10 companies that have successfully utilized Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by appealing to emotions and providing useful information in entertaining formats. Denny’s, Old Spice and Staples engage followers with funny, quirky campaigns. NASA and GoPro excite fans with sensational media. Pampers plays on the sentiments of new parents. What lessons can be learned from these successful campaigns?
Exploit Opportunities To Strike At The Heart Of Your Market
Using an emotional appeal to embed your message in consumers’ minds certainly isn’t new, but social media platforms vastly increased the depth a campaign can go. A TV commercial showing how happy a couple is with the bathroom remodel completed by John Doe Construction may begin to build a little name recognition, but imagine what John Doe could do with a Facebook page. Images of a peaceful sauna retreat built by John Doe sets a mood; videos of a fun party on a deck, built by John Doe, sets another. Through social media, John Doe is now someone consumers feel they know personally, leading to more business relationships.
Keep It Lively To Keep Your Brand Alive
Social media users don’t want pushy marketers invading their social life. People go to these platforms for the stories they offer. Get your story out there. If it’s good, it will be enough advertisement. Keep it fresh by varying content. Use a mix of images, videos, infographics and articles. Share relevant posts; interact. Post content users will want to share.
Add Value Through Promotions And Discounts
Use social media to keep followers informed of current sales, new products and events. Offer promo codes and in-store discounts to your fans. People need a sense of belonging. Your social media followers should feel they are part of your tribe. Give them access to perks that accompany this membership.
While it is easy enough to get started in social media, building up your presence takes time. Be consistent with your posting and the tone of your posts. If you have several different people in your organization contributing, make sure everyone understands the purpose of your campaign and the voice you want to use. Think in terms of the long run, and over time your following will grow.
This article was written by Gillian Burdet for Small Business Pulse