There’s no doubt that social media has its entertaining, engaging and even informative sides. For many of us, our lives probably wouldn’t be quite as interesting without that steady stream of memes, family photos and videos that are there to greet us whenever we log in.
There’s so much out there to grab our attention and distract us. But for marketers and business owners, this means constantly shouting “Iceberg ahead!” as we navigate the overcrowded social sea, trying to get our brand seen and heard.
The ability to not just stay afloat but to make the right number of waves can have a huge impact on the success or failure of your business. So today I’ve got a life raft for you — five promotional strategies for your social media campaigns to take your business from passive to proactive.
1. Content Distribution
You need to be where your customers are, and your customers are likely on social media for much of their day. But which platforms are they hanging out on? They may be scrolling through videos and commenting on pictures, but they are also discovering products and services (like yours) that they can use in their day-to-day lives or to help their own businesses.
So make sure they’re able to discover you — not just by showing up in their feeds but also by engaging with customers and prospects. This will help you stand out from your competitors and may help encourage your audience to open their digital wallets.
To better leverage content distribution on social, you need to go beyond throwing a link into your Facebook post and calling it a day. If you have a blog you’re promoting, take a few key takeaways and repurpose them into a set of memes. Don’t just distribute one piece of content one way — distribute one piece of content 10 different ways and measure your impact.
2. Direct Messaging
Social networks have always been ideal for mass communication, but more recently, messaging capabilities have been powerful when it comes to helping businesses connect with customers.
Direct messaging capabilities have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. For example, as reported in 2017, Instagram Direct attracts more than 375 million users a month. Businesses can take advantage of this attention by leveraging chatbots, programmed with answers to FAQs, to ensure prompt responses to customer queries.
A survey by Facebook on the subject found that 69% of consumers say messaging a business in this manner increases their confidence in the company’s brand.
3. Video Advertising
In the first quarter of 2020, Facebook had 2.6 billion monthly users. When strategizing an advertising campaign, it’s unwise to ignore that gigantic bullseye presented by social media or fail to leverage the full range of possibilities that these platforms offer. You must understand your audience, as each social media site has its unique demographic profile.
Facebook is trending older these days, but platforms like Instagram and TikTok are attracting younger generations. Regardless, when it comes to advertising, there is one trend across all platforms that continues to capture everyone’s attention and inspire action: video.
A short, well-made video, spotlighting your products, services or even your team, can be a gamechanger, and there is more than one way to leverage this trend:
• Vertical Video: People are increasingly using their mobile devices, usually held in a vertical orientation, to view their social media content and the video content that goes along with it. Try creating (or editing) your video in a 9:16 (vertical) aspect ratio for effortless viewing in social feeds.
• The 3-Second Rule: Start off strong and present your most gripping messaging at the beginning of your video. In today’s fast-paced world, your audience is not going to wait more than three seconds to be impressed.
• Text Overlays: Usually social videos are muted by default, so people are likely to miss your fantastic voiceover. Adding text overlays ensures that your message gets across — even in silence.
• Live Videos: Facebook has noted that live videos attract six times more interactions than standard videos. Shooting a live video, like a product overview, can be powerful content that you can “boost” afterward for additional promotion.
Social media reviews on platforms like Facebook have a bigger impact on businesses than you may think. In fact, Facebook is only second to Google when it comes to online reviews in terms of volume. One study has shown that 94% of consumers have refused to patronize a business after reading a negative online review. So monitoring and growing your social reviews helps ensure that your brand is putting its best foot forward.
Make it part of your post-purchase process to ask your customers to write a social media review if they’re satisfied with your products or services, especially if you are “social selling.” Many consumers won’t think to leave a review unless you ask and aren’t aware of the value that a positive comment can generate for your business.
5. E-Commerce Functionality
Social media is also proving adept at streamlining purchase processes and getting consumers to click “confirm order” with fewer steps between discovery and conversion.
Instagram’s Shoppable Posts offer one compelling example of this growing trend. This feature allows businesses to place tags in an Instagram post — showing, for example, a snazzy pair of shoes for sale — linking directly to a page that contains detailed specs about the item, including its price. Facebook provides a similar option to tag products shown in photos and videos. Only social media gives consumers (and brands) this level of opportunity to tap into “impulse shopping” in the digital ecosystem.
Social media is only going to grow, improve and evolve, so brands need to grow, improve and evolve with them. In today’s virtual world, very few businesses can still make a splash without a well-managed social strategy that takes advantage of the unique tools and capabilities available via social media platforms. So, start with one of the strategies above, test the waters and set sail — the sales will speak for themselves.
Twitter Moves to Next Stage of Testing for its New ‘Status’ Indicators
Do you struggle to provide adequate context within the 240 characters allowed for tweets?
If so, then you’re in luck, as Twitter’s developing a range of tweet status indicators, which will eventually provide a simple way to add another element to your tweeted message, which could help to better communicate meaning and intent.
Or not. As shared by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, this is the current listing of Twitter status options in testing:
Pretty unique combination of possible status alerts here – a mix of trending sayings and popular activities. Users won’t be able to create their own status, you’d have to use one of these presets – which is a little restrictive, but it could be handy? Maybe.
Twitter’s been testing out its Status indicators for a while, with the original list of status options, which Wong also tweeted back in July, including a few that have been culled as part of this expansion.
As you can see, when you add a Status, it will be displayed above your tweet, and below your username, adding immediate context to your message.
Status indicators would also be searchable, with users able to tap on a status indicator, which will take you through to a listing of all the tweets that have applied the same activity.
Really, Twitter’s actually been testing Status markers out since 2018, when it previewed this format for the option.
The idea, at that stage, seemed to be to help people list events that they were attending, which users often do already by adding the event hashtag to their username. A status indicator would make this easier, while also helping people connect around said event – but since then, Twitter’s revised its approach to the markers, making them more of a topical sorting option to help users find relevant activity and engagement opportunities.
Which, I guess, they could facilitate.
Maybe, by tapping on ‘Picture of the Day’ that could become another engagement and discovery element, or by tapping ‘Hot Take’ you could find more tweets to interact with, and add your own opinion.
It could be a handy way to sort tweets by topic, which could be beneficial. Maybe, though I’m not sure that it’s going to have much of an impact on overall tweet engagement.
Twitter’s been working to add in more content sorting and discovery tools over the past couple of years, including Communities, Circles for private chats, and topics in the Audio tab. Twitter also added and the capacity to follow Topic streams back in 2019, which it had hoped would give users more ways into Twitter discussions, and to find interactions more relevant to their interests.
For more regular users, those probably aren’t particularly useful – but for new users coming in, they could be important, as Twitter isn’t overly intuitive for people when first starting out. This has been an issue for the platform since forever, and these types of additional discovery measures could help to address this.
If Twitter can integrate them in an effective, engaging way.
The problem on this front is that Twitter’s topics algorithms are still fairly basic, with the tweets shown to users within topic streams often being off-topic, even offensive, because they’re being displayed based on basic keyword mentions and total engagement with each tweet, not on relevance.
Which is why the Spaces/Audio tab isn’t attuned to your interests, based on usage, why the ‘Who to Follow’ display is never locked into users you might be interested in. It’s all too basic, and in this sense, Twitter has fallen behind other platforms on algorithmic sorting and alignment.
Which is why it’s now seeking more manual intervention, by letting users add status markers to categorize discussion.
Which seems like a backwards step, given that other platforms are becoming increasingly good at showing you more content based on your interests, without you needing to do anything other than use each app.
But maybe, it’ll become a thing, and provide another way for Twitter to boost engagement.
There’s no official release plan in place for Twitter’s status updates as yet, but they’re likely coming very soon.
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