Social media marketing is more complicated than it looks. Here’s how to reap the rewards. Read more
custom-designed social media content
I’ll be the first one to tell you that social media marketing shouldn’t be your only strategy for building your business.
In my professional opinion, social media should be a finger on the hand of a larger marketing communications strategy. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can get away with a below-average presence on your social media platforms.
With an overabundance of professionals claiming to be social media marketing “gurus,” and organizations neglecting the importance of taking their digital presences to the next level, we’ve entered into the social media custom content crisis. Why? Because so few businesses are harnessing the power of custom content in their efforts.
Let’s explore what custom content actually is, why you need it and how you can use it:
Custom Content vs. Regurgitation
Imagine the difference between a delicious, chef-prepared-from-scratch meal and a TV dinner that’s been sitting in your freezer for a couple of weeks. That’s the difference between custom content and regurgitation.
It seems that most “social media marketing gurus” and businesses default to pulling out “TV dinners” when it comes time to scheduling content. This includes reusing graphics that were created by others and passing them off to their audiences as if they were the ones who birthed them. Trust me, your audience isn’t stupid–they know the difference.
Custom content is the love child of marketing research, photography/videography and graphic design. What do I mean by that? Check out the below graphic featured on the Coca-Cola Facebook Page. It demonstrates photography paired with graphic design elements (simple ones like typography).
I constantly refer to Coca-Cola in the social media custom content conversation because they nail it–and I mean nail it–each and every time. They’re constantly cultivating graphics, videos and photos that stand out and keep you coming back for more. [Read more…] about The Social Media Custom Content Crisis
Because of this, businesses rely heavily on the success of social media efforts, especially when complimenting overall communication strategies.
Here are five ways to help your social media marketing efforts be more successful:
1.) Understand Your Audience
First and foremost, you need to understand your audience in the following ways:
- The platforms they use
- What time of day they’re online
- What content they consume and share
With these discoveries in mind, you’ll be equipped to create extraordinary social media marketing content that will effectively reach your audience and carry your digital reputation forward. Businesses who don’t understand what their audience wants often share content that bores them and most unfortunately may offend them.
All too often we see businesses posting content that goes viral for all of the wrong reasons because it struck the wrong nerve. This is due to a simple lack of understanding.
2.) Unite Your Audience
Your audience may be composed of an eclectic mix of individuals and groups. Whatever you do, do not cultivate content that for any reason draws a divide between them. This will cause chaos, disharmony and ultimately harm your organization’s reputation.
That diverse body of people most likely follows your organization for similar reasons. Use your business as a common ground to make the world a better place by uniting your audience. I promise that you won’t regret it.
3.) Showcase Your Audience
Similarly, utilize strategies and mechanisms to gather photos and stories regarding that diverse audience.
There’s nothing that your audience will love more than to see themselves in action every now and then. It lets them know that you not only care about them, but are paying attention too.
Your business is a storyteller. You’re not just creating a one-way conversation about your organization and how great it is. You’re establishing a two-way communication intersection that highlights the bigger picture–your business and its interaction with the world and its audience.
4.) Give Something for Something
Your budget may be limited, but make an effort to give something away to your audience. Make sure it isn’t cheesy either–use your understanding of your following to select an incentive that is worthwhile and appropriate.
Also be sure to add a fun twist on this giveaway by making it an exchange rather than a plain freebie.
Are you giving away tickets to your show? Have your audience share their favorite memories of the show and select the top three.
Giving a $100 Visa gift card away? Have your audience show you a photo collage of what they’d buy–especially if it ties into your business.
5.) Use Custom-Designed Content
Regurgitating news articles and graphics made by other people is a sure way to position yourself as a follower–not a leader.
Your business needs to be leading your audience by sharing its own story. It may cost a few additional dollars to hire a graphic designer and videographer to make this possible, but I promise you won’t regret it.
Here are a few specific projects to invest in:
- Social-media-specific videos
- Guerrilla marketing stunts shared through social media
- Custom graphics for articles, quotes, products and holidays
Your audience will appreciate the fact that you care enough about your social media marketing to invest in high-quality storytelling mediums. Most of all, they will notice the difference.
Companies like Coke–who design all kinds of fun content surrounding the brand–stand out head-and-shoulders above the competition.
How is your organization leading the way to social media marketing success?