What makes a social media post engaging and viral?
Social media usage has hit the roof across the world. As of the last quarter of 2016, Facebook had more than 1.70 billion active monthly users. Micro blogging sites like Twitter enjoyed a monthly active usership of 317 million and the newer kid on the block Instagram also had an active usage of more than 500 million. The numbers are equally staggering when it comes to India. The high levels of usage of social media is not the only reason why companies cannot afford to ignore this platform. There are various other reasons why social media marketing services cannot be ignored today.
Importance of Social Media Marketing
In a world where everyone is shouting to be heard, social media sites provide yet another platform where companies can make themselves heard. This increases exposure to the right kind of audience.
Studies have shown that the lead-to-close-sale rate is 100% higher in the case of social media marketing than in the case of outbound marketing. The audience that you are talking to is in a more receptive state of mind when viewing your post in a social media context and therefore the probability of conversion is higher. Linked to the website, social media marketing efforts help increase search rankings for the site too, thereby helping in the overall SEO effort.
Unlike the standard ways of advertising, social media lends itself to brand loyalty. It helps in building a community of fans. The two-way nature of social media ensures higher levels of engagement enabling valuable feedback and marketplace insights from their customers.
Social media can also aid in growing business partnerships with complementary businesses that are non-competing. Associating with suppliers, journalists and other stakeholders becomes a breeze.
Guidelines to Create an Engaging Social Media Posts
Communicating with your consumer is not an exact science. While there are some guidelines, tips and tricks, there is no foolproof formula for success. This means that you will need to review and adjust what works best for your audience and industry and make corrections as you go along. Here are some tips that we recommend you start with, for better and faster success:
Understand you audience: This first thing that needs to be done. You need to know whether they are the kind who love a joke and understand sarcasm or whether they are likely to enjoy TBT (Throw Back Thursday) kind of content (something that is becoming increasingly popular these days!). Only when you understand the pulse of your potential customer will you be able to speak to them in a language that they will appreciate and relate to.
Ask questions– There is no better way to engage your audience than to ask them their opinion. Not only does this make them feel important, you can also get valuable information in this manner. You do need to choose your questions well based on what you know about your customers!
Talk about what’s hot and trending – It is pertinent to plan for at least one spot in a week for a trending topic. You can find out what is trending by analyzing data on Google Trends or looking at what is trending on hashtags in microblogging sites.
Share something useful –Help your customers with tips and tricks related to your business. It does not directly have to be associated with your product. The more you are perceived as genuinely helping your customers solve ‘their’ problem and not merely selling your product, the more you shall be respected as a brand. Be watchful of the comments to decide whether a specific type of content works with your audience or not.
Encourage debate – If you can think of a Q&A or survey post that can spark off a healthy debate among your fans, let it happen. The more they talk among themselves with you as a moderator, the more fun it will be. When your customers are happy around your brand, the rub off effect will surely follow!
Adapt to different social platforms – There are various social platforms that people use, the most common being Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. While a similar post can be shared across platforms, it is pertinent that the posts are modified based on the platform; something a social media marketing company can easily do.Adapt yourself based on the mindset of the audiences in each of these platforms too.
At the helm of all the content that is created, using social analytics tools is the key. Social analytics tools provide valuable data and help in understanding which posts are doing well in your specific area of business. Social data includes aspects such as the mood of your market, relevant issues that are trending, operational metrics for specific posts that you have used in the past and competitive analysis too.
A social media marketing agency can often take on these tasks in a more efficient manner than someone trying to manage these aspects of social media marketing individually. Properly written posts, well clicked photos and professionally shot videos can go a long way in defining the reputation of your brand, leading to conversions too.