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Bark Shares Some of the Keys to its Social Media Success in New ‘Social Skills’ Series

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Bark Shares Some of the Keys to its Social Media Success in New 'Social Skills' Series

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This could give you some helpful notes and inspiration for your social media strategy.

Last year, Facebook launched a new brand tips series called ‘Social Skills’ in which it interviewed social media leads from several big brands to get their key advice on generating engagement.

Social Skills is now back for season 2, with the first two episodes now available online. The second episode in the new season looks at Bark – the makers of ‘BarkBox’ – and how it’s driven huge numbers with its social posts.

There are some great tips – here are three of the key notes from Bark’s Alexis Nelson.

Tailor content for each platform

This should really go without saying by now, but every social platform is different, and the audience on each will open that specific app with a different intent. In general, people may be looking to be entertained or informed, but the actual delivery, via content style, trends and approach is different. People don’t come to TikTok with the same mindset as Facebook.

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As an example, Facebook says that the Bark team use Facebook to dive deeper into topics through blog-style posts, while on Instagram, they focus more on “sharing visuals that excite and inspire with short, but sweet, post captions”.

Leverage user-generated content

UGC can be a key tool in building community, generating engagement, and activating your social media presence in a range of ways.

Used well, UGC enables you to acknowledge your most passionate and dedicated fans, which can help to strengthen their connection to your brand and products, and see them advocate on your behalf to their own network. That can have a compounding effect, and it’s worth considering how you can acknowledge your most enthusiastic supporters to build on your efforts.

Facebook notes that Bark has established a system to help them easily identify and share their customers’ most engaging posts.

“Behind this system is a hashtag strategy that encourages customers to include the #barkbox hashtag when posting content. Since starting the hashtag, it’s been mentioned over 4 million times on Instagram alone.”

That provides a constant flow of new, brand-aligned posts and content, which Bark can re-purpose as needed, fulfilling both content and community-building purpose.

Of course, Bark is at an advantage here, given its popularity and subject matter (Nelson notes that the #BarkBox hashtag sees thousands of posts each month). But still, it’s worth considering how you can make the most of UGC to boost your presence.

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Create memorable moments

This is one of the areas that Bark has truly excelled in – and its idea is not some big-budget, high-concept strategy that can only be executed by big brands.

As explained by Facebook:

“Every year, the company launches a social campaign to make it seem as if their Facebook and Instagram accounts have been hacked by every dog’s biggest enemy: the neighborhood squirrel. Between the engaging content and playful messaging, this year’s campaign helped generate over 6 million impressions on Instagram and a bump in subscriptions.”

As you can see here, for a set period of time each year, Bark posts a series of updates from seemingly aggressive squirrels, who demand food via the Bark social accounts.

It’s simple, funny – and importantly, it’s repeatable, giving Bark ongoing content, year after year, iterating on the theme.

Of course, Bark, again, benefits from being a brand that’s already aligned with something that brings joy – this approach wouldn’t work for, say, a bank. But the idea is that through even a simple, playful thematic shift, you can generate buzz about your brand, and inspire engagement and sharing.

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It’s not necessarily easy to come up with something so shareable, but maybe, by thinking through common elements, you could come up with a similar campaign approach for your business.

These are some good notes, and while they won’t all work for every business right away, they do provide some food for thought for your strategic thinking.

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LinkedIn Adds New Features for Company Pages, Including Post Templates and Link Stickers

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LinkedIn has outlined its latest batch of updates for Company Pages, most of which had already been previewed in some capacity, but are now being rolled out on a broader basis.

First off, LinkedIn’s making its new post templates available to all company pages.

LinkedIn post templates

As you can see in these examples, LinkedIn’s post templates, as they sound, provide a range of visual enhancements for your LinkedIn updates, which could help to make them stand out in feeds.

LinkedIn originally launched post templates for individual users last month, but now, it’s making them available for Company Page updates as well.

As per LinkedIn:

Create engaging, actionable LinkedIn content easier than ever with customizable templates, available directly in the LinkedIn app, with no third-party tools required.”

I mean, I don’t know that these types of posts really fit with LinkedIn’s professional approach. But then again, as many have noted, LinkedIn is increasingly becoming more like Facebook anyway, with more personal posts and updates that are less focused on professional aspects.

And that seems to be working – LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft keeps reporting ‘record levels of engagement’ in the app every quarter, so maybe this is actually a good, valuable addition.

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We’ll see how people feel about it when every other LinkedIn ‘thinkfluencer’ is posting using these templates. You can access post templates in the mobile app by tapping the ‘use template’ option in the post composer menu.

As an addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making its new link stickers available for Company Pages too, which could help to drive more direct response to your updates.

LinkedIn link sticker

On another front, LinkedIn will also now enable all Company Pages to pin comments beneath their brand posts.

LinkedIn Pinned Comments

The rollout for this feature also started last month, with some users seeing the option to pin comments in the app.

That could be a good way to spark more focused engagement, and highlight top fans, while you could also use this to simply boost interactions by pinning the comment with the most engagement at the top of the reply chain.  

As a reminder, LinkedIn Company Pages can also pin an update for similar purpose.

Finally, LinkedIn has also added a new Our featured commitments’ section for Company Pages, where brands will be able to showcase their most important values.

“Increasingly in today’s market, job seekers are evaluating potential employers based on their values. They’re interested in knowing where companies stand on issues that are important to them, such as DEI, work-life balance, sustainability, etc. To provide greater insight and connections, LinkedIn is enabling employers to highlight these commitments on their LinkedIn company page to define their talent brand and values.” 

Brands will be able to include up to five commitments in their featured commitments section, while you’ll also be able to host content that demonstrates the same, all of which will be displayed in a sub-panel in the ‘About’ section of your Page.

These are some potentially handy updates, with the link stickers and pinned comments standing out as likely the most valuable additions for LinkedIn page managers.

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Post templates I’m not as sold on, especially for brands – but then again, there may be ways to use these templates to improve the presentation of your posts, and maybe, that’ll increase overall engagement.

You can read about all of LinkedIn’s latest company page updates here.

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