As the internet continues to grow beyond our wildest imagination, it has become its own world filled with sprawling metropolises for every topic, forum, community, or game. In this nebula, social media platforms are a unifying feature—billions have a social media account, if not multiple, connecting us from all corners of the world.
Social media is also a modern language for companies around the world—it’s a way to communicate and bond with customers, on a local and global scale. Because of this, strong social campaigns have the power to truly resonate with viewers. Think of the taglines and jingles you remember from commercials or television programs of your youth. They’ve stayed with you for decades, even if they’re no longer on air. Powerful social media has the same effect, but at a much quicker pace.
Create Your Inspirational Framework
When conceptualizing your own social media campaign, before working on your campaign-specific strategy, take a step back and try a new exercise. Think about what has been inspiring you lately? What color schemes, trends, cultural movements, graphics, shapes, and textures have felt fresh and innovative to you? Take a moment to consider these and track down their sources.
One place I find inspiration for social media posts is IBM’s Instagram account. They host a fiery, eye-catching social media presence, catering to their technical customers, but speaking to current trends and culture.
When you scroll through Twitter and Instagram, absorbing buckets of beautiful, curated content, what resonates with you the most? What companies do you want to be associated with? Who does your brand pair well with? If you’re campaigning for a specific industry, such as retail, do you want to be known as a small boutique, or a Nordstrom competitor?
Use these questions to lay a framework for your campaign. Knowing your inspirations can only strengthen your posts. Create a mental image for your brand, and the reaction you want to receive, before developing social posts to help ensure your campaign is engaging.
Know Your Platform
One mistake that many marketers make from time to time is using the wrong social media platform for their campaign. Your LinkedIn audience is most likely not your Facebook audience, and knowing that difference can make or break your social posts’ engagement and popularity.
Each platform features unique user demographics and psychographics, distinct traffic patterns, and even different post requirements (like character count and image size)—all things to carefully consider when building out your content, graphics and captions.
Instagram is typically a place for a younger crowd—more than 70% of Instagram’s users are under 35. So it’s a great platform to present colorful, vibrant, or provocative posts. People spend their mornings, lunch-breaks, and afternoons at home scrolling through their feed. As Instagram’s algorithm continues to change (no longer in chronological order!), your posts have to work harder to stand out in the crowd.
Twitter is a place for everyone (330 million monthly active users!). Posts that perform the best cater to the latest internet humor or feature multiple images. Tweets go viral every day, and can feature a joke, an interesting quote, a meme, a controversial video, or a four-photo slideshow of something captivating. This is the place for on-the pulse posts that excite and engage your followers, so think outside the box!
To most millennials, Facebook feels like a thing of the past, but today there are still 2.41 million monthly active users who fall into every age category. If Facebook is your go-to platform, chances are you can find your target demographic amongst its users. The posts that perform the best on Facebook are those with images and video, so make sure to include interactive elements in your campaign.
LinkedIn is a different beast altogether. LinkedIn is for connecting and networking with business-minded users. It’s been described as a place where “most fortune 500 decision-makers and executives like to spend their spare time”. LinkedIn timelines are filled with performance updates, long-form articles, and new job opportunities. Posts that are marketed to a specific industry, customer, or investor should feature bright graphics to stand out from a more generic newsfeed, and offer a direct call to action, such as “read our latest blog article” or “sign-up for a free demo”.
Listen Before Launching
Connecting with your target audience and learning to speak their language is the best way to develop a cult following. Get to know your followers by being a consistent “social-listener”. Check up on your engagement and the direct mentions of your brand. Then, respond to comments, questions, and direct messages. Test success factors such as the time-of-day you post, style of your post (static, animated, interactive), and post length to see what techniques gain you the most consistent engagement.
As you better understand what makes people engage with your posts, it will be much easier to create content that resonates. A real-life example of this concept is Extra Mile Marketing’s recent work with Cedar View Dental, a local Washington dental practice. Before managing their social media profiles—Facebook and Instagram—they had an untapped audience, waiting patiently to participate. Due to the nature of their family-style business, Cedar View’s social media followers were full of happy patients with positive testimonials, family members who knew the story of the business by heart, and friends who were excited to see the practice grow. By pulling inspiration from “gentle dental” practices that focus on providing comfort and above-and-beyond patient care, using “pacific northwest” color schemes and imagery, and drawing on the personal connections that followers had with the business and its owner, we were able to create a standard flow of engagement from month to month that made viewers feel seen and heard.
Creating a strong social media platform isn’t easy, but these three key steps will help ensure you build an engaged following:
If you need help creating your social strategy and putting it in market, we’d love to help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are 3.2 Billion active users on social media every day.
90% of social media users are millennials