Perfect Social Media Marketing Recipe? Equal Parts Posting and Interacting
Most companies agree that social media marketing is important. What they don’t as easily agree on is how this marketing should be done. "Content marketing" is a hot phrase right now. At the same time, the concept of “social media engagement” is rising in popularity. This trend towards engagement can even be seen in the beginnings of the presidential election this year!
While our firm likes to focus on engagement, we recognize the importance of original content creation and that an engagement plan works best when there is also a strong content plan in place. Planning social media marketing is like making soup: we must add the right measurements, heat it to the proper temperature, and stir for the correct amount of time!
Original content is the staff of social media
Posting is great for thoughtful reporting of company events, company news, product promotions, contests, deals, and relevant news/current events. These posts are like the chicken stock and hearty potatoes of the social media marketing soup. Regular pre-scheduling of these types of posts in a tool like Hootsuite keeps the brand’s social media presence current, relevant and helpful. This is a good foundation for a brand’s social media presence. When creating posts, always keep users’ needs and interests in mind.
Offering general information from third parties helps build brand trust. A post can occasionally be promotional without breaking down brand trust. When using Facebook ads, a post actually should be relatively promotional for the ad to be most effective.
Interaction is the flavor enhancer of good content
Marketers believe that good, targeted content will catch and hold audience attention. But that audience has to first know this content exists. Content is the meat...but interaction is the pepper, salt, little noodles, chopped carrots, and green beans that make someone want to take a slurp.
The interaction is the way you attract people to your digital content. The smell of simmering spices can only reach so far--often, you’ll have to shout, “hey, come into the kitchen!” Simply posting is not enough. Waiting “for them to come to you” in the midst of the content overloaded internet could leave you hanging for a long time. Here’s how to use interaction practices to build your network with the right people, who are hungry for your insight and information.
Social media is often viewed as another ad posting channel and vehicle for information sharing. But, that’s only half of social media’s marketing potential. In our experience, no matter how great the content is and how frequently you post, growth of a brand’s social media presence is slow--if not stagnant--without interaction.
There are many ways to increase social media engagement. The basic activities brands can perform are: following accounts, commenting, liking, and sharing others’ posts. To be sure you are interacting with the right people about the right things, you will need to keep insights about brand users in mind. Interaction is strategic, targeting specific users through searches and then conversing with them about their interests as they most relate to your brand. The biggest value of interaction is to offer a personal approach instead of being promotional, and to build trust as people recognize your genuine interest in their needs.
Directing users to the brand site is important. However, if there is no valuable or fresh content for them to latch onto once they reach the page, the building of relationships, brand awareness, and brand reputation will stop there.
One great format for on-site content is original blog posts that can offer more polished, content-rich, and detailed perspectives, along with product and company information. Interaction offers the real-time, personal aspect of social media. Together, interaction and content creation make for a delicious social media marketing soup. Bonne Appetite!