How do you harness social media to drive engagement? According to founder and managing director of Zazzle, Simon Penson, the best social network for a business’ commercial needs is Facebook.
Penson was giving a presentation on the first day of a4uexpo Europe in Amsterdam titled, Forget Google's Games. Grow Social into your Primary Traffic Source, where he described some of the best types of content to engage with consumers on Facebook.
Below are 10 of the best tips from this session.
1. Images Work Best
Updates to most of the top social platforms have meant that images are now the centrepiece of their offering, Facebook included. Just like in print media, faces capture our gaze. It is ingrained in the human psyche to interact with other people and with social media you can take advantage of this instinct.
You need to be clever if you’re going to start a competition on Facebook. Don’t just give away an iPhone or an iPad. Think about your core audience. Target their likes. For example, if your followers are rugby fans, why not give away a replica kit?
3. Exclusive Offers
Discounts aren’t anything new, but by combining the exclusivity element with social media’s reach, you’re giving your audience the feeling that it’s receiving something special. Your audience is likely to share the offer because they want to show off being a part of that group, or they might just want to help out friends.
Create some interactivity. Polls enable you to get people involved in the content you’ve developed. In doing that you’re sure to elicit some good engagement from your social audience on Facebook.
5. Curate Content
Not everybody has the resource to consistently develop their own content. There is an alternative and that’s curation. It can even work better if you don’t share your own content all the time.Why not prove that you’re open and perhaps a thought leader in your marketplace?
The social conversation iis constant. It’s happening all the time and alway evolving. You need to be on top of it and know what the people you care about are talking about. Get involved, but not necessarily in a commercial way. Help people and they will convert for you.
One rule doesn’t apply to all circumstances when it comes to timing. You need to utilise the main benefit of social media, which is that it’s almost real time, so test it yourself. Test the waters. Trial different content at different times, note what’s engaged with more and construct your content strategy from that.
Take Vine and Instagram for example. The top social networks are clambering over each other to ensure they’re in pole position. Share, one of Facebook’s key metrics, can come into its own because video is one of the top media types to be distributed in this fashion.
7. Involve the Brass
The higher the management you get involved in a social sense, the better. Even if it’s only a webinar or Q&A. Externally it can be perceived that you have nothing to hide and grows trust. Internally, social can still be frowned upon, but with a CEO involved you can win hearts and minds.
Once the domain of the corporate boardroom, under the guise of video conferencing, you could argue that Google has transformed webinars with Hangouts. It gets across your character as a brand because you have nowhere to hide. They’re the closest thing to a face-to-face meeting.
Content flow can be really important from a strategy standpoint. You must have variation in what you post. Have really big ideas like campaigns that might include a survey, interactive infographic, or something else that you can build outreach and investment around. It only needs to be three or four times a year.
There may be a time when you need to target content specifically to a region, whether that’s nationally or internationally. For example, job seekers are only interested in specific areas of the country and feeding them more accurate content will only increase engagement. It’s a simple concept that very few sites have implemented.