In terms of online awareness for your business, social media is important for online marketing. Because at this point, all your smart competitors (big and small) know this and have hired social media specialists, tested and tracked social media campaigns, employed social listening or at least dabbled in some social videos. There are many ways to organically bolster your social media presence and be heard by more people, so today on National Be Heard Day, we’ll go over a few tips to help your brand break out from the white noise. For a more in-depth look on social media marketing and platforms to consider, you can continue reading my deep dive on social media here.
Don’t post for post-sake
National Be Heard Day lands every March 7 and is a great reminder to look at your overall strategy on social media. Most business owners post on their business pages occasionally, but it isn’t strategic.
Having a bunch of followers or likes for your brand is great, but it is ultimately a vanity number. Businesses don’t profit from likes – they profit from connections, leads, and the right customer who has entered their funnel. So, while posting a funny meme may get you 200+ likes, what else is your business gaining?
Instead, this funny meme (more likely a video in 2019) could be the start of your strategic campaign and through this entry point, you can begin qualifying which people to take down the funnel with your tailored content.
Listen to customers if you want to be heard
The more connected we are via technology, the value of personal touch will continue to grow. One of my favorite comments to find online is when an upset customer pings the company on social media, and then the company promptly responds to help. More than not, that customer is pleasantly surprised to even hear back, let alone have an issue handled on the spot.
What can this online dialogue do for your business? It can turn a frustrated customer into a loyal one. It signifies to others online that your brand is approachable. It humanizes your business – one that might make a mistake because no one is perfect, but is responsible and caring enough to take care of the problem with grace.
The hashtag – #
Hashtags have been utilized for some time now, but they are not out of style as there are multiple ways to use them for social.
Per Sprout Social, “Tweets with hashtags had 2 times more engagement than those without…”.
Hashtags still provide a suitable way for brands and users to push or discover content within a category. For example, on March 7 you will see a lot of #NationalBeHeardDay as it is a day specifically designed for small businesses to get their brands in front of more people. But that shouldn’t be the only hashtag.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of a consumer looking for something specific – let’s say a comfortable sofa for your home. What keyword(s) would you use? #HomeDecor has over 44 million posts associated with it on Instagram and many of them are from businesses. But #couchpotato has less than 1 million and #sofalife has less than 10,000 posts on IG. If your brand voice is consistently fun and humorous, I suggest using these hashtags because they can be found easier and would resonate better with your audience. Luckily with Instagram, you can combine a handful of hashtags to get the widest reach possible, however most marketers recommend 5-10 so as not to look spammy.
Be a trend or ride a trend
Hashtags are still important to identify trends as well, which your brand can capitalize on if the trend touches on your business. An early example in 2019 was the #10yearchallenge that began with social media users and then eventually businesses got into the mix. Office Depot, among other companies, took the opportunity to get their message out with the #10yearchallenge and it is one of the stronger organic posts to date.
Wouldn’t you rather start a trend instead, though? While much more difficult, starting a trend/hashtag could have effect for your business. Office Depot’s #ElfYourself is a great example because it has turned into a yearly trend, coupled with a fun app and a unique holiday card experience.
Remember, try to be intentional with what you do on social media. Your business will only benefit from your work if there is a goal and a strategy to get there. Here are a few rules before you set out on your social media adventure.
- Don’t oversaturate with hashtags
- Be relevant / irrelevant hashtags lends bad experiences to your name
- Stay up-to-date on what’s trending / act fast once spotted
- Be strategic
- If you don’t know what you’re doing, find someone who does
Let your business be heard today and every day!
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