If you see someone sitting with their smartphone out, tapping away at the screen, chances are that they are using a social media service of some kind. And it’s not just millennials that are obsessed with these platforms; Facebook is a bigger hit with those in their 50s and 60s.
For businesses and brands, this means that the best place to engage with customers is via social media. But with so much competition out there, how can you stand a chance of earning attention? Here are a few tactics to try out in 2018.
Create Video Content
It’s no surprise that video is one of the most engaging forms of content you can produce if you want to get noticed online. Video streaming eats up the majority of internet traffic worldwide, with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube generating hundreds of billions of viewing hours each week.
Sure, short form video has fluctuated in popularity over the years, with Vine ending up on the scrap heap. But there is evidence that engagement is actually easier to earn with longer clips, which makes it worth investing in video content which pushes the envelope in other ways.
If you can get people tuned into your products and services through video, your message is more likely to stick. And the widespread support for playback across all major social platforms means it is eminently sharable.
There’s a lot of debate around the issue of providing proper credit in the social ecosystem. All too often content creators and influencers get overlooked when a brand shares their work and doesn’t even mention them. So it’s a good idea to be one of the good guys, not just because it’s ethically sound, but because it can actually help with engagement.
If you reference someone else’s work, use it as inspiration for your own social content, or share it wholesale via whatever means, tag the creator. This simple act is polite, but also alerts others to your organisation’s existence. And customers may even be interested to find out more about the people you tag, which means more clicks and likes will come your way.
You can even tag customers in posts that you think will be relevant to their interests. There is so much power in this strategy, when used effectively. And if you’re concerned that it’ll be hard to give credit where it’s due, Google is your friend. Most content creators and influencers are very visible in the search results.
Some brands use social accounts in a slap-dash way, creating and sharing different types of content which doesn’t necessarily do much to develop a specific personality. And while it might be tempting to move from tweeting a funny GIF one minute to sharing the latest industry infographic about market share the next, this isn’t going to do you any good when it comes to engagement.
Customers will prefer consistency, both in terms of the content you share and the tone of voice you use in all of your social messaging. And there are a few ways to get this right.
If you check out the Casumo Twitter feed (an online casino company), for example, you will see a coherent use of appealing animations and images which share the same overarching style. This ensures that followers know what to expect in their timelines.
McDonald’s takes a similar approach in terms of consistency, albeit with a different tone to reflect the personality of its brand. Even if you are not impressed with the content it offers, you can’t deny that it sticks to its guns.
Set a Schedule
This has long been an important part of managing a social media presence, but scheduling is still something that plenty of businesses and brands ignore.
There is an art to firing off a post at exactly the right moment, and delving into the underlying analytics will let you work out not just which types of content earn the most engagement, but at what times you are likely to attract the attention of customers.