It’s (almost) the year 2015—pretty much any brand you can think of is on social media. Our strategies have evolved from getting people to “Like” us to enter a giveaway, to engaging an audience with great content. Here are 4 ways that brands can refine their social content engagement strategy to generate the biggest impact in 2015.
#KILLIT with emotion
When people scan social sites, they’re looking for content that resonates with them. Content that makes them laugh, makes them cry, gets them fired up…essentially, content that evokes feelings and emotions.
Yes, sales and coupons are great, but those can be fleeting or short-lived tactics and don’t earn the consumer’s heart. This approach may earn their wallet for a brief period, but without great evergreen content to back it up, there’s no reason for them to stay engaged with the brand.
In 2015, focus on sharing content that really makes your audience feel something; whether it’s laughter, compassion or that they’re smarter after consuming it. It may take more time and effort to understand what really makes your customer tick and to evaluate what content works, but all of this work will eventually lead the consumer to emotionally invest in the brand. Then, when they’re ready to purchase, the brand will be top of heart, mind, and wallet.
#KILLIT by becoming a content publisher
This isn’t a new idea, it’s just one that requires dedication and hustle. On social media, brands aren’t just competing with their competitors, they’re competing with every person, publisher and other brand for newsfeed space, so it’s crucial to adopt a publisher mentality in order to stay top of mind and produce valuable content.
Publishers develop their ideas for content first, figure out what form (video, infographic, article, etc.) it will take, and then they amplify it where it makes sense. Conversely, brands tend produce content to fuel amplification strategies (eg, they need 5 photos for Facebook, 2 videos for YouTube, etc.).
In 2015, put your effort into creating an overarching idea and making it interesting/valuable/emotional/worthy of your customer’s time. Next, decide what medium makes the most sense to bring your idea to life—maybe it’s a video series supported by an infographic. Finally, give it legs by amplifying it on the right channels—the video lives on a blog and YouTube, and there are snippets of it posted to Instagram and Facebook that drive back to the blog. The infographic also lives on the blog with links coming from Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter posts.
Now, with just one idea, you have several versatile pieces of content to fuel your channels and tell a cohesive story.
#KILLIT by listening and adapting
Nowadays, you’re most likely listening to and monitoring what customers are saying on social media, but are you actually putting your insights into action? Yes, we provide reports with word clouds, topic trends and sentiment, but are we actually making the necessary changes to help affect the consumer’s experience at a business level?
Remember, social media is only one factor when it comes to the impact of what users are saying—it actually starts with the brand experience; whether it’s in-store, on the website, with customer service, etc. For example, are you consistently seeing complaints about functionality or flow of your site? Are customers upset about the amount of time it takes for customer service to resolve an issue?
For 2015, use your social listening insights to see what business changes you can make to improve the consumer’s experience at every level, which will affect how they talk about your brand on social channels.
#KILLIT by remembering that trust and loyalty don’t happen overnight
The big question with social media is always ROI. Is it worth it to invest in always-on, kick-ass content if you’re not seeing instant results? Quite simply, the answer is yes, but it will take longer to show its value and that value may not be strictly quantitative—how can you truly measure if you’ve earned a consumer’s heart?
However, when content performance is integrated across social and SEO metrics, results are a bit more tangible. Reporting on metrics like engagement, reach, quality traffic driven to the brand’s owned properties, as well as sentiment, are great ways to track the path to earning the consumer’s heart.
So finally, in 2015, let’s remember that trust and loyalty are more of a marathon than a sprint, and it may take months or even a year to truly see the business impact. We all want to see results instantaneously, but as someone wiser than me once said, the best things are worth waiting for. So while metrics like engagement and sentiment may seem “soft,” they are tracking to a user becoming loyal and emotionally invested in the brand.
Brands will always fight for space in their customers’ social feeds. Use these guidelines to take action now to refine your social content strategy in 2015, so come 2016 you are on a path to evolve and advance engagement that results in true business impact.
View the Rosetta Consulting white papers “Customer Engagement from the Marketer’s Perspective” and “Customer Engagement from the Consumer’s Perspective.”