While scrolling through my Twitter feed yesterday, I began thinking about the bulk of content being posted and how indifferent I was to most of it. Before I realized it, I had already scrolled through hundreds of posts, without batting an eye.
If this is standard practice for me, I think it’s safe to say that it’s standard practice for your customers as well. So what’s a marketer to do? Standing out in a sea of content is getting harder and harder. And with 60% of a marketer’s time devoted to digital marketing activities, as reported by Smart Insights, how can you ensure your messaging is standing out in the crowd?
Here are three data-backed tactics you can implement in your social media strategy to ensure success:
1. Be in tune with your audience, whoever and wherever they are.
Most marketers draft messaging targeting B2B or B2C. What about thinking B2H—business to human? Or take it a step further and think H2H—human to human. How often are you writing content with the thought of communicating the same way you would to a friend or co-worker? Probably not often, but messaging this way, especially on social media, is simple, straight to the point, informative, and delivers results.
According to Forrester, today’s customers distrust and resent one off campaigns that interrupt or intercept them—which is why your marketing should feel like a natural conversation with your customer. Consider presenting a link to your blog with the message, “Hey, this is worth the read, I learned…A,B,C.” If I’m interested in either A,B, or C, I’d click through because it’s a recommendation telling me exactly what I’ll learn, in the same way I’d check out a referral from a friend. So think human to human. Look past your computer screen or mobile device and remember that at the other end of your Twitter feed is a human being.
Speaking of mobile, it can’t be an afterthought in your social strategy; it needs to be at the forefront. In fact, 60% of all internet activity in the U.S. originates from mobile devices and about half of all internet traffic now flows through mobile apps, according to CMO Council. So how can you optimize for mobile? Keep your messaging succinct and to the point, and make sure that your image will translate well on a smaller screen.
2. Graphics are a must-have.
Pairing your content with relevant images is an easy way to increase engagement. On average, when content is paired with images, it receives 94% more views than content without relevant images. Think beyond stock photos and consider using memes and gifs with your content. Using graphics may seem like an open palm, place against forehead suggestion, but I’m always surprised at how many posts on social are missing such an important element.
There are several free resources you can use to create your own images, such as Canva and PicMonkey to name a few. If you are traditionally posting to social without images, incorporate images and see if your engagement goes up. And if you’re going to share images, ensure you are using the correct dimensions. Meeting dimension requirements for each channel helps you avoid ending up with cropped, ill-fitting images.
3. Incorporate videos into the mix.
Here’s a staggering statistic. Ooyala reports that by mid last year, mobile video plays were up 74% from 2014, a phenomenal 844% from 2012. And this trend isn’t going away. We live in a video centric culture. Cisco reports that by 2019, video will account for 80% of global internet traffic, with nearly a million minutes of video being shared every second. Just take a look at this Vine video from Intel, which has garnered over 39k Loops, or playbacks.
Most interestingly in Cisco’s report is the increase not only with produced content, but also live streaming. With live stream, brands provide a more real and authentic side, allowing you to connect with your customers like never have before. Live streaming is unedited, unfiltered, and real. It puts a face on your business, providing a sneak peek behind the curtain, so to speak. With live streaming, there’s no reading off of a cue card, just real conversation, providing a H2H conversation marketers haven’t had access to in previous channels. Live video platforms like Periscope, Meerkat, Blab, and SnapChat are changing the way we communicate, and in turn, the way we can market.
Social media provides an open platform for communication between brands and customers. With the right assets to drive attention to your content, you’re sure to stand out in the noisy digital landscape. Have you had success with incorporating personal, mobile-optimized, or visual content into your social media marketing strategy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!