Social media is an animal. Nay—it's a beast.
It's a loud, hairy, wild, moody force to be reckoned with, constantly changing its path and its prey. However, as dangerous as it may seem, it can (and should) be tamed to serve you personally and professionally.
Unlike traditional advertising, social media provides instant response, immediate visible traction, and real time reporting. And unlike other digital marketing, it allows for direct engagement and influence with the end user/customers/audience.
But with such benefits come options. What to post? When to share? How often? How to reply?
At Americom, we battle these issues on behalf of brands and companies on a daily basis. We fight through the barks and bites of likes, retweets, and reviews with a set of learned, adaptable practices for maximum efficiency. And we're happy to share some with you here:
TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE
As our Digital Marketing Director, Blake Royer, preaches—Know Your Audience. Get a firm understanding of whom you're chasing.
Understand their behaviors, their values, their challenges, and their environment. Look into what, when, and where they're most ready to entertain your messages. Know what's competing for their attention. Then you'll have a firm(er) grasp on which platform is best to interact with them and how.
If you're having a bake sale, would you set up shop at 7 AM in front of the gym? No! Never! Folks who work out at 7 AM are on a mission, and they are in no mood to be tempted by sponge cake. They have a purpose for being there, and so should you. Set up around lunch time or afternoon snack time, and aim for locations of leisure and high foot traffic.
The same approach goes for social media.
If your target is 18-25 year old females, choose wisely. Instagram and Snapchat consistently rank high for this younger generation. If you have a product to dangle in front of these millennials, hit 'em hard around 3 or 4 PM with something short, concise, and visually attractive.
*21% of Twitter users and 30% of Instagrammers are between 25 - 34 yrs old. This age bracket is unique in that they're older than our classic millennials, but younger than Gen Xers. This crowd grew up with online shopping, but much of social media wasn't a part of their life until adulthood. This indicates some key shopping behaviors and online expectations unlike the other demos. These factors help in creating the right type of content and choosing the right platform to attack.
WHERE AND WHEN
When should you post? As with everything else in life, there's no one simple answer.
Research from Oberlo.com shows that posting on Facebook during the weekend will largely be your best bet for highest engagement. However, posting your content may get more visibility between 1-4 PM.
A good mix of the two is Sunday afternoon at 3 PM. Why Sunday? At Americom, our experience tells us that most folks are at home winding down from a either big dinner or a big outing, and this is their time for distancing themselves from others and getting some prime "me-time." After church, after the big game, after the big meal—specifically for 25-34 year olds who make up 58.3 million users on the platform.
Got a story to tell with it? Try about 10 PM when their guard is lowered and they have time and attention to digest your majestic essay.
Scrolling through Twitter at school or work is doing more than you may think. **Tweeting during lunch Mon-Fri can actually increase your engagement—especially on hump day. This fits in with our theory that both students and adults alike are digging into their Twitter feeds while chowing down for lunch. Taco in one hand, Twitter in the other...
But it's not exclusive to Twitter. Studies show that Wednesday from ***11 AM - 1 PM is the best day to post for Instagram. That's where 31% of our 18-24 year olds choose to play and post.
YouTube is a little different, though, as studies show the prime hours for uploading new videos to be between noon and 4 PM on Thursday and Friday.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
If you think boosting your post is "advertising," then you're doing it wrong.
Branding isn't just throwing ad dollars towards a clever line or attractive post. It's a calculated mission, crafted to showcase the best of your values, strengths, commitments, and it’s a reflection of your audience.
In a world where pretty much nothing is "original" anymore, it can be difficult to create something new and fresh. Don't try to be someone else. Just do you...or at least, the best version of you.
Share your story, humanize your brand, and be something no one else can be—you.
Think about other company brands and personal brands. What makes their posts on social media special? What makes their content interesting?
For example, if you are the one person on the planet who doesn't follow Wendy's on Twitter...what are you doing with your life? Wendy's is known for replying to followers, toying with other brands, and even engaging haters with humor and sarcasm. They started a "National Roast Day" where the fast food old-fashioned burger chain will reply to people and roast them, resulting in a lot of attention from their customers.
Get colorful. Get out there. Get attention.
Use videos, GIFs, memes, and other visuals to attract and entertain your followers. A little entertainment leads to a little more attention. Once you have their attention, you can communicate your brand on your terms.
They don't call it eye candy for nothin'. We're all guilty of furiously scrolling through our feeds, too lazy or too rushed to stop and read. But a funny video or interesting photo? It's like a big STOP sign for your rambunctious retinas. It's also important to stay up-to-date with social media trends to capitalize or counter attack. Unfortunately, these trends change on the regular...
For example, videos or animated GIFs are becoming more and more expected, not just wanted. Instead of a wordy post that links to an image or video, show the image or video.
One of our clients has historically performed well with polished, sharp, branded images. But thanks to the law of diminishing returns, we knew we needed to plan for the next phase. Without investing in any more time or equipment, we began turning our graphics into animated graphics for this brand. Once a month or so, we'd introduce these into the feed. They were immediately well-received and we started to stack more and more in the mix. Adding variety keeps the attention without breaking ranks from brand standards.
You can't always create. But you can definitely connect.
Our creative team likes to say, "Be a thought leader. If you can't do that, be a megaphone for others." The point is to bring value. Don't be burdened with the thought of always being the value "creator." No one expects you to corner the market on only the good ideas. Be a connector for others. Bring the good, entertaining, interesting news from your world to others. Be seen as a source for the good things on your platforms.
Credit those that you share, and let others know that you bring the goods even if you're not always inventing them. Variety — your followers want it, your fans deserve it.
ARE YOU UP FOR IT?
Don't be a meme! Let Americom do the thinking and help elevate your social presence!
These fundamentals are just the beginning. At Americom Marketing, we dig deep into social media and digital marketing for an array of clients of all industries, posing and answering these questions in every click. We approach social media advertising and management with purpose, creativity, and responsibility.
We put our learned methods and best practices into play with these questions at the foundationlevel to build and chase our goal: to help you gain awareness and revenue.
TAME THE BEAST
Likes, shares, retweets, reach, frequency...It's a jungle out there.
But with these elemental questions and tips, you can be armed and ready to tame the wild beast.
We challenge you to think about your vision, your brand, and your audience from even the simplest of posts to the most complex social strategies. It’s a jungle out there, but Americom is here to help.
by Madison Bell, Americom Marketing