How can you stand-out from competition who also are creating equally gripping content and use the same social platform as you to promote their products / services as well? Its a tough one, isn’t it?
Imagine this – Your business has ‘X’ number of likes, and ‘Y’ number of followers. You follow a process called “abcd” everyday or your social media head does something similar.
Are you truly harnessing from the social media power or do you feel you are only rubbing the surface of it?
Last quarter Facebook passed 1.19 Billion monthly active users, 874 million mobile users and 728 million daily users. (Source)
Twitter has 236 million users, 72.8 million Pinterest users (of which 80% are women) and so on.
Simply posting and blogging will not serve the purpose. You don’t need a large team or a huge budget as long as you are a smart maverick. Know that organic growth caters to your dream of serving the customers who is genuinely interested in your product. While Social media increases your Citations which is very important for your SEO, it also helps build a relationship and branding with your customer.
Here are some ideas I have collated from my experience that will help you use content as a marketing weapon and clearly if done right should take your business to the next level
1. Dont share anything and everything. Find the perfect Timing.
What might be vastly interesting to you may not be a ground breaking thing for your customer. Segment your audience and their behaviour first. Its very tough to deliver the right message at the right time, its very tricky. For example, on Valentine’s day, everyone is giving away something wonderful in the form of content. How about you first find, two weeks in advance, on how many of your users are single, what is their major browsing time (filter by user age group, under 30), city, places, interests from your social media team. Find out a week in advance how many would be interested in celebrating Valentines day, get a deep grasp of their demographics. And then program your content to be close to what they would like to read or know or listen to.
How does your customer journey down the sales path? knowing this can get you more clarity on the type and timing of your content
Follow the below “1-7-30-4-2-1 Rule” for basic content rhythm- There has to be a regular pattern that is driven by data. this can be specific to your business, however, logic and data should define this rule and you should stick to it.
2. Answer to the “Why”s.
Why does anyone use search? According to Google, there are three reasons why your customers use search engines. 1. Navigating 2. Seeking information 3. Transacting.
Why should you use Social Media?
- Marketing 2. Branding 3. Trust/Customer Relationship building
Why should a search engine rank you up?
- Your content meets closest to the search by the customer
- Search engine algorithm believes you have more relevant search to what is being searched
- Many people talk about you online (Links and Citations)
When you answer to these, you will start creating the type of content your readers would like to know about.
Else your new awesome video may not garner the numbers you expected it to reach.
While creating great content is hard-work, tying content with science behind social media is smartness. Get smart and then get social.
3. Build an Email subscriber list
How do you tell people that you have a great product or a service? Send them an email straightaway? NO!
Give them a free ebook, ask them to enter their email id so you could give them a link to download their ebook. Or a free t-shirt, free something that excites your customer. If you want to spend on ads, then you may as well budget something more powerful.
Phase 1: Promote your ebook with short posts and blog on social media
Phase 2: Build email subscribers
Phase 3: Repeat Phase 1 with a new ebook or a freebie
Phase 4: Send great content to your newly built email subscribers list
For example, if you are a stock broking company, give a free ebook on investing in the right way or financial planning, or a research on stocks.
This not just gives your customer an impression of your strength and expertise in your domain but also retains your brand name in his mind, shares the ebook with his known associates and has a 100% chance of reaching out to you for a paid service if you have a call to action section included in your ebook.
With a growing email subscriber list, you can get a traffic boost with every weekly email you would send with content rich information which is specifically of interest to your customer.
If you think spending Rs.5000 on social media for 50 – 100 likes (assuming some may even unlike), instead, think of this – you may spend Rs.199 and get 25-30 T-shirts and run a contest. Give away those 30 t-shirts with your logo and a twitter/facebook handle. On an average if a person wears a t-shirt for 9 hours, works in an office with more than 100 people, they see your brand name more than 85 times a day. 85×100 = 8500 chances of you getting a Facebook like or a Twitter follower from just one guy / girl who wears your t-shirt. With 30 people wearing it, you have as many as 255000 chances, all in just Rs.5000.
T-shirt is just an example, if you think Rs.199 is too high then – Think of a paper use-and-throw Tea cup, people see the cup 13 times before finishing their tea/coffee in 4 minutes. One cup can cost less than Rs. 5. Now do the math similar to the above example specific to your case.
4. Calendar it and Campaign it
Maintain a editor-calendar and a content bank. During peak hours, share more content, it can be articles, video, ads, banners, promotional contests etc., and during non peak hours share limited content.
Peak hours are those that are triggered by real life events like a sports event, political or a celebrity news etc.,
Research says – When a common real life event is triggered, social media activity is up by 600%.
The above are very few of those many hundreds of things that can be done using social media. As a social media incharge, only those who understand their customers’ needs better will harness the power of social media and then union with quality targeted content