Monday, 12 January 2015

How to Break Through the Social Media Clutter

Social media use is growing by leaps and bounds every day and popular networks like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are among some of the most crowded corners of the internet. Let’s look at some stats:
●     Social media spam rose 355 percent in the first half of 2013
●     Between 5 and 11 percent of Facebook accounts are fake
●     Twitter adds 11 new accounts per second every day
●     YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video of every minute of each day
With so much happening so quickly on social media networks, is it even possible for brands to stand out and get noticed? Yes! And it’s easier than you think with these four proven tips:
1. Keep it real. Make sure your content is a reflection of your brand’s image and tone, but don’t let the message get lost by posting a constant stream of marketing-speak. Make sure you engage with followers on a personal level and let them see the personality of your brand. Respond to mentions, answer questions, and talk with customers about what’s on their mind. Use your social channels as an extension of your customer service strategy.
Your social media fans expect to see some ads and sales messages in your timeline, but they’ll quickly tune you out if everything you post is an attempt to part them from their hard-earned money. Use data analytics to determine what’s most important to your customers and make sure to talk about those things on social media. Your followers will appreciate knowing you’re tuned in to the things they care about and not just looking to make a quick buck. 
2. Give as much as you take. People follow their favorite brands to stay on top of sales, get coupons, and find out about new products. Smart brands maximize that attention by providing extra added value to customers across social channels. They share tips and best practices, offer advice, and point customers to new ways of using their product or service.
Clever brands also take the time to pen thought pieces designed to discuss or educate on topics related to their industry. For instance, a snack company may go viral with a thought-provoking essay on living gluten-free or a video on how to bake delicious vegan cookies. Be sure to give back to customers at least as much as you hope they’ll give you.
3. Help facilitate connections. One of the best things about achieving prominence on social media is that it allows you to help others make connections. Coca-Cola’s recent marketing campaign helped ease the “first day of college nerves” by providing soft drinks with special caps to students. In order to open the beverage, people had to walk around and find someone holding a bottle with a matching cap.
Coca-Cola filmed a campus where some machines were located and the subsequent YouTube video has been viewed 8.8 million times. This is a fantastic example of a brand using its social clout to bring people together and facilitate connections.


4. See and be seen. Not all your fans and customers favor the same social media channel so make sure you have a presence on all the popular social networks so people can find you easily. Remember that it’s important to take the time to create content specific to each network. Not only do the posting Terms of Use differ from platform to platform, but users have different expectations as well. Your instagram followers expect to be wowed visually while your Facebook fans may respond better to fun quizzes.
How do you break through the social media clutter to reach your fans and followers? Let me know in the comments!

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