Marketers work extremely hard at expanding their visibility on social media. Without strategic maneuvers, content reach on social media is limited, also affecting the potential to convert.
The reasons for limited reach on social media are simple. Let’s consider the scene on Facebook.
- Too many posts compete for a place in a person’s feeds. Facebook sees over 4.5 billion content pieces a day. (Source)
- The chances of a post entering someone’s feed is limited to the number of fans of your company’s page.
- People spend more time on social reading content shared by their connections than content shared by commercial entities.
Here are 3 simple but super-effective tactics and tools that can help.
1. Engaging employees to promote content using an employee advocacy platform
Your employees are also your brand’s best advocates. They could also be your best way of amplifying your promotions on social media. With the right employee advocacy platform – like Circulate.It, DrumUp Employee Advocacy Platform or Kredible, you could create an infallible system for brand content reach and impact on social media.
The best brand advocates are people who believe in the product they are promoting. The best brand advocates are also “people like me”. Studies have it that people trust people they know more than they do advertisements, or other sources.
If you have 1000 employees, and your employees have an average of 500 connections on social, encouraging them to share brand communication would create 1000*500=500,000 views for you on social.
Instant amplified reach. But of course, nothing is immediate with social media management. There’s some amount of structuring and perseverance involved in getting you to where you want to be.
If you consider applying employee advocacy to your organization, the first thing you’ll need is a plan. You’ll also need answers to the following questions.
- Why should your employees share brand content on their accounts? What’s in it for them?
- How will you train them to share the best way possible for your brand?
- What goals will you set for your employee advocacy program?
- How will you measure results?
- How will you build a self sufficient and smooth functioning program that demands less effort on your part?
There are cool employee advocacy apps that help you manage and drive the program. These apps have built-in gamified leaderboards to encourage participation, common content streams accessible to employees that you invite and analytics to help you measure results.
You can give your employees content recommendations on what to share and monitor their performance all on the same platform. Managing the entire program on one platform can make the process a lot easier for you.
Gamifying the program can help you generate the excitement amongst employees that you need to make employee advocacy successful. The employee with the highest points could win tickets to a movie, or the next basketball match. Trophies and recognition are also great motivators. According to this study, recognizing employees’ work increases their productivity.
When running a program like this one, you cannot do without training – training prevents unnecessary blunders and hangups. The best part about employee advocacy training is that you could get different departments involved in it – your tech department could teach their colleagues how to operate the tools/ social media platforms you choose to use. Your marketing team could elaborate on why employee advocacy is necessary and how everyone’s participation could really help the brand grow – team activities are great for bonding and productivity. Your HR team could tell your employees how to build relationships using social media.
The potential of a great employee advocacy program is actually boundless. It is as successful as you choose to make it.
Go for it, and don’t forget to put your goals and metrics on the blueprints. You should ideally know both of those before you begin implementation.
To ensure smooth running it’s also good to have representatives among your employees at various levels. Pick a person who’s a team player and gives out positive vibes – that’s what you want reflected in your employee advocacy program.
Remember to also implement a pilot to test your employee advocacy program. The pilot should include a few employees and different types of content that you want promoted. During the test you should identify which content types or themes are most popular among the employees who participate and the shares they receive on social media.
Once you identify a working formula that is highly likely to succeed, you can implement the program company-wide and city-wide or country-wide if you have multiple centers of your organization.
2. Serving up content trending in your industry on your social media pages
If you serve people delicious, hot, melt-in-your-mouth pizzas, they’ll keep coming back for more!
Like the pizza which you can make based on one really good original recipe, you can also push out great content fitting one initially designed theme-outline – your brand’s content curation blueprint. You don’t have to always create your own content, you can curate and syndicate content as well, for possibly better results.
Benefits of good content curation –
- Positions you as a Go-To Resource in your audience’s mind
- Helps you stay on top of developments in your industry
- Lets you build relationships with the people whose content you curate
- Helps you manage social media marketing with less effort
It’s a good idea to balance creation, curation and syndication of content where ideally 65% should be created, 25% curated and 10% syndicated. That 25% of curated content is crucial, and a lot can be accomplished with it.
The idea is to give the audience in your niche’ everything they could ask for on your social media platforms so they don’t have to go looking for it elsewhere.
To understand what your audience wants, or what your industry’s audience is reading or talking about on social, you could use a good social listening app to monitor the playing field.
Real-time monitoring apps like Social Mention allow you to eavesdrop on what people are saying about your brand, industry or any topic across the internet. When you figure out what they’re talking about, what they’re looking for and what they seem to like or dislike, quickly jot these down before proceeding to your themes outline.
Then make a list of topics that constitute everything related to you brand. For instance, if you’re a fashion E-commerce platform, you could cover – fashion trends, accessories, great looks, celebrity inspired looks and everything along that line of thought. These could be your themes list.
Using those themes, how many types of content can you share? You could curate blogs, quotes, infographics, graphs, Gifs, videos and more. People like variety and populating your social media accounts with useful content in varying formats can help you keep it fresh.
The substance in your content also matters. Make sure each of your shares has valuable takeaways – actionable tips, knowledge, humor, inspiration are some great takeaways.
Once you’ve made a list of topics, formats and takeaways, the next step is to create a content calendar.
Calendar apps like Google’s calendar let you mark dates for events and set reminders for them. So all you have to do is sit on one day every month and slot a theme for each day in a cycle.
For example, the fashion E-commerce platform’s content curation calendar could something like this:
Trends, accessories, great looks, celeb inspired looks – and then repeat – trends, accessories, great looks, celeb inspired looks and so on.
There’s a certain appeal to fresh and newsy content, so while sharing you’d do well to share the latest must-read stuff in each of your themes.
After you’ve created a content calendar, another step that would simplify things for you, is deciding a set of credible sources for quality content – influencers, newsletters, blogs. Do this and you won’t have to hunt every morning, you could just take a quick glance and the list and get cracking!
3. Visually appealing to your social media audience with interesting images
With the rising volumes of text on social, a perfectly placed visual is an excellent relief from the monotonous flow. You need visuals that communicate feel.
Visuals are an excellent means of capturing the essence of a concept. It has also been discovered that the human brain processes images 60,000 times quicker than it does text. Internally, over 90% of all communication sent to the brain is visual. This is why teachers are encouraged to use visuals as part of their learning plans.
If you really want your message to stay with your audience, team your wordplay with stunning images. There are a 100 ways to say something, visually as well.
If you consider creating images to be a hard task, use an app to simplify the process. Apps like Canva use simple drag and drop modules and pre-designed template selections to help with the image making process. You don’t have to be a designer to create great images. You could glean ideas from existing images that you can pull up on a Google search.
The visual content territory is vast. Take the example I mentioned in the beginning of this blog for instance, the employee advocacy example. How many ways can you spin that visually?
1000 employees, 500 connections each on average = 500,000 views
You could do that with a graph or infograph, a short video or a cartoon! Or simply express the concept with a visual. All you need is the idea of how to do it, and the internet is full of ideas!
Infographics are doing particularly well on the internet these days. If you’ve looked at them closely, they are not as complicated to make as they appear. All you need are – well researched statistics and a reliable, intuitive app that can help you translate your thoughts into visuals.
Graphics apps like Piktochart work really well in creating components for your infographics. They are easy to use, all you have to do is pick from pre-existing templates, fonts and graphs to put together the concept you want to explain. The results beat the efforts in this case.
Image you are the reader, would you prefer reading 2000 words or taking it all in via an image? The answer’s a matter of personal choice, but it’s always good to have both formats for reasons discussed above. Let’s make it clear. Visuals aren’t substitutes for written content. You need elaborated written content to explain certain concepts, visual can’t communicate all the details.
Which is why you should look at it this way: Say what you can with the visuals and say the rest with your words. Try to make them supplement each other. It’s just like your supervisors would have suggested you make presentations at some point of your academic lives, don’t put all the words down, and don’t rely on just the visuals, you need a healthy mix of both. If you can evoke emotion with visuals that’s even better for your company page’s performance on social media. The goal is to grab peoples’ attention and hold it for as long as possible.
Anyway, there are lots of ways in which you can approach the task of giving your brand a better presence on social media. But harnessing your employees’ voices, providing all-inclusive and useful content on your pages and sprucing up your social media accounts with excellent visuals are three fundamentally rooted ideas that can help you really make a performance shift. Remember, you know your brand best, so take these ideas, but use your knowledge to make them your own when implementing them.