So, you’ve created awesome, clever content for your organization and you want to share it with the world. It’s thoughtful, it’s striking and it’s… lost in the overwhelming amount of content on social media. How can you make it stand apart from the noise that users are scrolling past?
Fortunately, there are a few tricks in social media that can provide some of the best “word-of-mouth” promotions for potential clients, maximizing your reach beyond boosted posts and into the feeds of people who your services might help, including social media influencers.
HOW TO IDENTIFY SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS
The first goal in this process is defining who a brand ambassador, or influencer, is for your business. Is it someone who likes you or follows you on social platforms and will share your posts? Someone who writes a glowing review of your product or service? Or, someone who will drive traffic to your store (physically or online)?
Hopefully most of these traits will apply to your definition of a social media influencer, but you only need one of those factors to make an impact with audiences you’re trying to connect with.
Track which users mention your brand or share posts on their own platforms (and what they’re saying about your products and services) using apps such as Hootsuite, Buffer App, Percolate or another social media management tool. This will enable you to see who’s frequently interacting with your content. Reach out to make the most of your relationship with them. After all, connection and community are what most users are looking for when it comes to supporting the brands they love.
Select a few key players whose influence on social media will extend to your potential market. These could be bloggers, popular entrepreneurs in the market you’re trying to reach, or simply, extremely satisfied customers. Connect and acknowledge how important their lip service is for the community that they are a part of. Showing your appreciation is key.
SPREAD THE WORD ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS
Understanding a community’s behavior on different platforms is important for figuring out what a social media influencer on that site looks like and how you can look for one who will vouch for you.
Determine which platforms make sense for your product, as you won’t need to be on every kind of social media. If you’re an insurance company, you likely aren’t targeting 13- to 18-year-olds on Snapchat. But, if you’re an ice cream shop with a special that’s piggybacking on an especially hot foodie trend, Snapchat might be right for you.
Be vocal and use effective language for that audience. If you find that two to three posts per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. aren’t resonating well with your target audience, change the game. Try different days, different times and the number of posts you’re sharing. Tag businesses who might be interested or the influencers you’ve tapped to assist you so that they can share the news with users in theirs feeds, as well.
Don’t underestimate the value of engaging with your followers and learning from them. You should generally stick to simply “liking” positive reviews or comments with the occasional constructive conversation starter (ie: “Thank you, Stacy! What in particular did you like so much about the triple moisturizer butter body cream?”). However, be sure to consistently respond to any negative user comments or posts.
Showing you’re committed to correcting experiences for consumers and that you want to create the most pleasant exchange possible goes a long way. Pinpointing problems and guiding users to solutions can swiftly turn a damaging comment into meaningful change for that customer’s opinion of your establishment.
Respond to what your customer base is looking for in terms of who they want you to be on social media (as long as it’s consistent with who you want your brand to be on social media). Be that arm of your business to interact with your following in the cyber world.
Don’t be afraid to engage with other users or brands on social media, even when they haven’t made the first move. Keep in mind that social media platforms foster communities; sometimes, that means initiating the conversation. Relationships don’t begin overnight, but with small steps that seemingly minimal contact can turn into a strong, community-oriented partnership.