Recently, Twitter has been testing some new features, and one of them is displaying recommendations of who you should stop following on Twitter. It’s basically a list of people you’re currently following, but since you don’t engage with them regularly, it could be interesting for you to unfollow them, in order to improve your Twitter experience.
There’s something interesting about that. In fact, it’s a really good example of the importance of creating engagement on social media. Engagement which is created through quality, targeted social media posting. And that’s, of course, the case for brands in particular.
Because today’s customer is tired of mass marketing. People want to read personal and relevant messages, messages that are worth losing some of their precious time. Let me talk to you about two keys to a more successful social media marketing strategy.
Why defining your target audience is the key
Posting for a non-defined, generalized audience, will most likely not have the effect you intended. After all, your brand is interesting to a specific kind of people, who have their own specific characteristics. Social media advertising provides you with tools to define a certain kind of audience, based on age, gender, hobbies, relationship status and so on. Use them. I mean, if a 14-year-old kid is asked if he or she would maybe be interested in buying a subscription to your daily business newspaper, was your ad really worth the money?
It’s important to realize that different audiences act in different ways. Get to know your target audience! Why do these people connect with you? Discover what they like. What they talk about. What they expect from you as a brand. How they behave on social media. When, and only when you possess this precious information, you can start creating valuable posts.
I know what you’re thinking. “Well, uhm, really nice theory you got there. But what do I actually have to do now?”. It’s simple: by doing what you were always told not to do as a child: talk to strangers. Start a conversation with your target audience, and turn those (current) strangers into specific people, people with certain needs, interests and desires. Dare to ask them how you could improve you social media presence.
Your target audience feels like their opinion is appreciated and valued on one hand and you, as a brand, are now in the possession of a valuable source of information on the other. It’s a win-win situation.
Why providing quality to your target audience is another key
People are lazy. So good chances your target audience will be as well. Their time is limited, so make sure that what you are posting is worth investing their precious time. Let’s take a look at ourselves: we only spend time to things that offer us something in return. We spend time eating, because we’re hungry. We spend time shopping, because we (think we) need new clothes. We spend time playing CandyCrush, because it makes us feel like we are actually good at something, for a minute. Therefore, you need to make sure that you create posts that are helpful, entertaining, surprising, or fulfilling any need your target audience might have. Posts that offer your audience something in return.
So never annoy or, even worse, exhaust your audience by just bombing random content, of which you’re not even sure if it’s actually interesting to them. Because when it comes to social media advertising, quality always trumps quantity. Spend more time at generating less content. The trust people put in your brand depends on the quality of what you’re saying on social media, and -definitely- not on how often you’re posting.
Besides, you don’t want people to just see your post. You want them to engage with it. Like it, share it, leave a comment, tag their friends. Research revealed that the average consumer is exposed to 362 ads per day, but that only 12 of them provoked a certain kind of engagement. So don’t just strive for views, strive for engagement. You can easily make them do that, just by providing relevant content. And how?
Stand out. Be unique. Be different. Be interesting. Be creative.
It may all sound like the umpteenth motivational Pinterest quote, but let’s take them serious just for once. When posting on social media, don’t follow the mainstream and try something new from time to time. The ‘think outside the box’-principle, you know. But, always stay consistent. Be consistent, not only on the time that you post, but also in what and how you post. Which doesn’t mean you have to be all monotone or boring. Just try to hold on to your own style. Because that’s what made people follow you, right? So, besides being creative and unique and stuff: be you.
Sh*t, I think that just sounded like another cheesy and cheap Pinterest quote.