In the last five years, social media platforms have added at least a billion users in total. The increase in social media content produced and the need to curate better feeds for users has driven social platforms to reduce organic reach. According to
According to this study, a Facebook page with over a million followers reaches only about 2.27% of that following on an average. Brands need to boost their content to reach their target audience. As marketers, you can’t bank on only organic reach to do the job.
The following is a list of six powerful ways to boost your brand messaging to reach your target audience on social media.
Have you partnered with your business partners, fans and well-wishers for content yet? According to this Nielsen report, they have the potential to transform your marketing results. Word of mouth recommendations are not only the most credible on social media, but are also more likely to result in conversions than other means of outreach.
One of the easiest ways to kick start a social media advocacy program, is with your employees – who can be seen as one of your company’s more powerful marketing resources. Large multinational organizations like Adobe and IBM have already run employee advocacy programs and seen remarkable results. Along with employees, you can also partner with customers and partners who may not have large social followings, but are capable of driving desirable results for you. The people who don’t have large followings but can help you elevate your business can be referred to as micro-influencers or brand advocates. You can build powerful content promotion programs by activating your brand’s micro-influencers.
1. Only 18% people trust brand influencers, while the remaining 92% trust brand advocates
The distinction – Brand influencers are popular and everyone knows them. On social media, people are likely to trust more in recommendations made by other people like themselves, than ones made my popular influencers.
2. About 89% people are influenced by what their friends and family have to say about a product
1. Build a list of potential advocates – enthusiastic employees, happy customers and people who mention you on social. Reach out to them with your advocacy plan. You can offer incentives to motivate people to join your program. It could be discounts on your product/service to customers and partners, and exciting rewards to employees.
2. Share specific guidelines to govern your program and connect your advocates to your content.
3. Figure out in advance how you will monitor and track your program.
1. You can use a social media monitoring tool like Brand24 to identify people talking about you often on social media and then reach out to them to turn them into brand advocates.
2. You can use an advocate activation tool like Klout to prompt your customers and fans to mention you on social.
3. You can use an employee advocacy platform to connect your users to your content and enable them to share it on social.
When your promote your content on social media, you are reaching out to your current, already existing audience. To capture “fresh eyes”, you need a reach that extends beyond your content and web properties.
You could use social media content distribution platforms or apps to make that reach available to you.
1. Paid advertisement on social media platforms
You can pay to reach a wide range of your target audience on social media sites. It is important however, to consider which social media sites to focus on. While SnapChat has most of younger crowd, Twitter’s largest growing demographic is the older crowd. You need to focus your resources on the sites that host your target audience.
Also consider each social media platform’s ad set-up before placing your advertisement. For instance, Twitter’s in-stream ad blends into its background very well, and is a nice, non-intrusive way to share your content with your audience.
2. Content distribution networks like Klout, DrumUp and ViralContentBuzz
You can suggest your content on content management and amplification apps like Klout, DrumUp and ViralContentBuzz. Doing this will enable other content seekers to find and share your content. Content discovery tool DrumUp lets you promote your content by suggesting it to the most relevant audience based on the keywords set by them for content suggestions. ViralContentBuzz offers users content amplification in exchange for sharing other users’ posts.
Klout puts your target audience in touch with your content, enabling them to share it, earning you a large number of shares.
Social media posts with images receive about 650% more engagement than posts with just the text. The human brain is visually inclined, and visually communicated information is likely to stay in a person’s memory longer than textually communicated concepts. That is why the scientific community urges schools to teach with visual aids. There is no better way to draw attention to yourself amidst social media clutter, than with a strong visual aid.
1. Infographics – Infographics are liked and shared 3X as many times as any other type of content.
2. Videos – 51% of marketers world over, name video as their best converting form of content.
3. GIFs – GIFs let you express your personality on social media. They can increase your social media page appeal and overall engagement.
1. Tools like Visual.ly and PiktoChart can make it very easy for you to create infographics for your social media pages. They work on the drag-and-drop format, letting you choose from thousands of professional appearing pre-made templates to fit your content in
2. There are tools like PowToon that can simplify video making for you, or you could outsource the job to a freelancer or job posting site.
3. You can source great GIFs from resources like GIPHY and GIF Bin.
Content creation is a time-consuming process, especially when you intend to do extensive research and create rich and super-useful stuff. Instead of doing this each time you create content, you can re-purpose what you create into different formats to reach your audience on multiple platforms. Blogging Wizard’s Adam Connell used this tactic on a popular blog post of his, and the infographic version received over 2000 shares and 22,000 site visits. The idea is to take one piece of content and convert it into as many formats as possible so you can tap multiple distribution channels.
a. Turn your blog post into an infographic and distribute it on social media platforms and infographic directories. You can use the most compelling ideas in your blog post on your infographic.
b. Convert your blog post into a slides and upload it to SlideShare and embed it on the relevant blog and social media posts. List your top takeaways and design one slide per takeaway with a powerful visual in tow for each.
c. Collate a bunch of blog posts related to a theme and turn it into an e-book. Your blog probably already has categories or tags. You simply need to collate the content under one category or tag, write a foreword and convert it into PDF format.
1. You can use Google’s Slides to create presentations. The app is super intuitive and has a ton of features that can help you add value to your share. For instance, you can quickly turn a study that you have mentioned on your blog post into a graph, making it more powerful and engaging.
2. You can use tools like Piktochart or Visual.ly to create infographics from pre-existing templates. You can distribute the infographic that you create on stock image sites like Flickr and Pexels, SlideShare and infographic directories.
According to Jayson DeMers, there are six social media practices that can help your improve your search rankings:
1. Growing your following – influencers have better visibility on social media. One of the factors responsible for the visibility is the size of their followings
2. Optimizing your social media posts for search – certain keywords can help your social media posts stand out in the clutter. You can also use hashtags/tags and @mentions on different social platforms to optimize your posts
3. Earning external inbound links – social links may or may not be affecting search ranking, marketers have different perspectives on this concept. Sometime back in 2010, Google admitted to considering the number of times a link is shared and the authority of the social media users sharing those links when ranking those pages
4. Engaging in local conversation – being active in your local community can lead to extra visibility on social media, by means of shares by complementary local businesses
5. Driving more social media shares – Larry Kim has proved that search engines consider social media engagement signals when indexing social media content
6. Growing your reputation on social media – increased brand awareness can drive more branded searches and in the process more non-branded searches
1. Make your content compelling and sharable – create your content keeping your target audience in mind. Consider their interests, concerns and motivators before you decide on your content. You don’t have to create all of your content, you could curate high-quality content that is useful to your audience. Also enable social media sharing buttons where relevant.
2. Build valuable relationships on social – you are only as popular as your fans are loyal. Engage your fans from kick-off and keep the engagement consistent. You could use well placed auto-responders to manage large social media followings.
1. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords being currently searched
2. You can also use a hashtag tracking tool like Hashtagify to find the best hashtags to optimize your content for search
3. You can use a social plug-in tool like SumoMe to enable social sharing on your blog
A few years ago, you could post just once and reach a good number of your audience members. Today, organic reach is limited. You can’t get away with posting your content just once. To optimize your reach, it is best to identify the best times to post on each social media platform and set your top performing posts on repeat schedules.
There is a general rule on the best time to post on every social media platform, but that doesn’t have to apply to your business. You could test each platform by scheduling one post to go out at different times on different days to identify when you’re likely to receive most engagement.
Generally, people are most active on Facebook on Thursdays and Fridays about mid-afternoon. Experts advice posting on the platform 5-10 times a week.
Tweets perform best on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Five times a day is a good Twitter frequency, considering the speed at which Twitter feeds move.
Similarly, every other social platform has an optimum time and frequency of posting that you can find on expert write-ups.
1. You can use a social media scheduling app to set up posts in advance and simplify the task of post multiple times to your social media pages
2. You can store content on content curators or libraries to have a reserve of content to use when required
3. You can refer to one of these posts to identify the best times to post on social media
4. You can use social media analytics tools like Quintly or Google Analytics to identify the best time to post on your social media pages.
With the number of social media users increasing, your business opportunities and the challenge of reaching your target audience both increase. You can’t achieve the results you desire with the same approach, but with brand advocates, content distribution platforms and search optimized social media posts, you can increase your reach and achieve your social media marketing goals.
To summarize, here is how you can amplify your brand messaging on social media –
1. Invest in micro-influencer marketing
2. Use content distribution platforms and apps
3. Accompany social media posts with powerful and engaging visuals
4. Re-purpose the content that you create in multiple formats
5. Invest in search optimization
6. Post when your audience is active and post more than once
Disha Dinesh is a Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content agency. Her interests include social media and content marketing. When she's not writing, she's on the hunt for social media trends and inspiration.