Looking for ways to connect with your audience on social media? You’re not alone.
Over 20 million Nigeria are Facebooking every day, that’s a bunch of numbers and that’s a really good thing. Not forgetting several other millions tweeting and sharing on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn daily.
What is bad about this, however, is the fact that businesses still struggle really hard to connect with a tiny slice of this huge audience.
In order words, there are the numbers, there’s a highly digitally adaptable market, so our problem as marketers and business owners clearly isn’t getting our products and services in front of people like the old days where traditional was king.
Our problem has now become getting people’s attention and keeping it till we can pass our message.
This singular reason has made several businesses waste money on ad spend.
With the ever-increasing number of interesting things demanding our attention on social media, your Job is more critical than ever.
Your primary goal is to cut through the noise, connect and retain your audience share of the crowd – then you can grow it.
It sounds simpler than it truly is.
Which is why I have compiled three (3) simple ways you can effortlessly connect with your audience on social media.
You should include these tactics on your social media strategy today and watch your business stand out.
1) Get to Know your audience
It’s OK to have a great product and deliver a perfect service, but your online content will not have any impact if you’re pitching to the wrong people.
Talking to 20 million people by simply guessing what each might like is simply a sheer waste of time and money.
How about you talk to just about 1000 persons in Abuja who are between the ages of 25 and 35, who like to use similar products or service like the one you offer.
This way you’ve narrowed to your real customers. People that truly have the tendency of finding your value proposition inviting.
You can get this data in a couple of ways.
By studying or spying on your competitor’s page, by joining relevant groups and studying the conversation, and also by using audience research tools like Facebook Audience Insight.
This is not exclusive as you can decide on an approach that suits you.
Look at your analytics
Once you’ve identified your audience through the preliminary research and have started engaging, there also lies a great wealth of data for you to tap into and create even more targeted contents for your audience.
Facebook page insights, Instagram insights, Twitter analytics etc. These are easy to use tools that allow you to look at your audience behavior.
Image: Instagram Analytics Dashboard.
Find out what content they like and the one they hate.
Publish more of what they like and yank out what they hate.
This also reveals the content type that resonates better with your audience, is it video, infographics, images, podcast,…
These give you the confidence that you’re creating something that people want to see and engage with, and not wasting your time and resources on creating something that only you likes.
Survey your current customers
There’s no better way to guess what I really want than asking me directly. Surveys are a big component of content marketing best practices.
This is why you need to consider running a survey of your current customers.
Apart from asking what kind of content they may like, you can also ask what their preferred social media channel is.
From this survey report, you may uncover other prime content types which you haven’t harnessed.
It’s also not technical, you can use the free Google Forms to collect answers.
Spy on your competitor
If you think you’re going to scratch the surface of success while shutting the rest of the world out, then think again.
My prayer is that you don’t open the door to discover that you’re on the only one on that planet.
Do not copy your competitors. I can’t say that strong enough. But, do not ignore their sweet spot.
There’s something they are doing that’s attracting people (your customers inclusive).
You don’t have to fight them especially where a budget is a factor, rather, look at what they’re doing and do it better in your unique way.
There’s not a perfect marketing strategy. That’s why even big brands like Amazon in the US and Jumia in Nigeria still tweak their strategies and tactics every now and then.
So don’t think there’s no opportunity for you because there are.
Facebook provides you with the opportunity to spy on up to 5 of your competitors. You can see how many posts they make per week, how much of engagements they are generating, by how many percents the page is growing or declining an so on.
This is also a great way to measure your performance.
2) Tailor your content
Now that you know who your audience is, where they live and what they’re interested in. You should create contents that are tailored towards your audience’ needs.
Produce content they want, not what you like
An important point to note is that you are not creating these contents for yourself, but for your audience. So quit boring them with all the professional jargons and address their pain points.
These sound simple but I see it all the time when running social media and website audits.
As little as these might sound, it can hinder you from growing simply because people don’t just understand how your product or service can help them get out of their current situation and get them to their after state (desired state).
Quit talking features – that’s your problem, and nobody cares.
Talk benefits – that’s the customer’s problem, and they will do anything to get out of pain.
Be social about it
WhatIs.com defines social media as the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.
What I particularly love about this definition is the community-based input and interaction.
A lot of brands and business managers just jump on social media to scoop sales, without acknowledging that people belong to a community and would most likely buy from their clan.
So here’s my advice for you.
Build a relationship with your audience, participate in discussions, be like them, solve their problems – first, identify with them in a way that sweetens them, don’t be rude – everybody likes to be respected.
That way, they see you are part of their clan and are more likely to patronize you.
Sure, everyone is talking about how important visual content is in your strategy. But did you know that including images and videos in your posts make your content (and your business) more:
d) Memorable, and,
Let’s look at statistics:
– Posts with images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
– Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
– Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.
– Visuals in color increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
– Tweets with embedded images get 18% more clicks, 150% more retweets, and 89% more favorites.
You might as well take advantage of images to create more engaging content. Social media platforms interpret content with more engagement as more popular.
Each social media platform has its own algorithm that determines the frequency and priority of content.
However, it’s safe to say that the more popular the content, the more likely platforms show it to users
3) Be human
There’s something I do every time before I hit the publish button on social media and every other channel. I switch seats and I become my audience. Then I ask myself;
How does this post sound? Robotic? Harsh? Annoying? Ambiguous? Cheesy?
I think of every possible emotion the post might create and I even seek opinions from others in most cases.
The reason is that the post is going to be read by a human being like me and I’ve got only one opportunity to create a lasting impression on that person’s mind. It has to count.
You can do same and see how human your post will become.
Have a face and a voice.
Every word should resonate because every alphabet has a sound. When two or three alphabets are pronounced together, that is music!
Your posts should be music to the eyes and heart of your audience.
People don’t respond to faceless images but are intrigued with pictures. Don’t make your posts abstract and dry like you live in space.
Let people actually place a face to the name.
A good example is the EFCC’s twitter handle. What readily comes to mind is ‘the eagle’.
Whatever face or voice you choose, let it be consistent. Don’t be an eagle today and a lion tomorrow. Yes. both animals represent strength in the animal kingdom but not in posts and content.
Developing a brand voice is something you build into your strategy. Let people know what to expect from you.
At ContentMarketer we use the “we are & we are not ” approach. We set a voice and tone for what we are and what we’re not.
This guides how we write and share contents on our platforms.
Respond to engagement
So a friend told me that she ran an ad and she got leads. I was excited, that was great news. Inquisitively, I asked, “nne what did you do with the leads?” and then came the shocker, her “nothing”, “they just commented on my post, I have been too busy to respond to it”.
One of the characteristics of human beings having a convo is that they talk with each other not one person talking at the other.
Your business needs that human convo touch. Don’t just post stuff and jump on a train to sokoto, ignoring the conversation going on around your brand.
Listen, watch, engage and reply were necessary to any buzz arising from your post, if possible, set an alarm or engage a chatbot ( we can build one for you). Whatever you do, just make sure to respond to every buss arising from your post.
You are building a relationship with your audience when you communicate and you are always there when they ask a question.
One-on-one conversation is very efficient in building relationships and closing sales on social media.
You don’t know it all
This is the tough one, but it’s the simplest and very efficient in trust building.
It’s hard enough to know and admit that you don’t have all the answers, especially when people see you as a perfect entity.
A recent example of being human and admitting that you don’t know it all is the @firstbankngr tweet that stirred up their large audience.
Of course, there were mixed reactions, there were fallouts, a lot of customers thought it was way over the borderline, well the bank thought so too.
The tweet proves that no one can be perfect. Always be ready to accept constructive criticism and learn from your audience when necessary.
You will be surprised that you can learn how to make better posts from the feedback of your audience.
And when you do make a mistake, acknowledge it and apologize. Sometimes that is all that is needed to make it right with your audience.
After all, no one knows it all.
First Bank took the human touch game to a whole new level and that crushed it for me, when I read the press release and the apology tweet, I fell in love with the bank afresh.
Not just me, other customers too.
Being human goes beyond the pain, it also gives you the gain of working with humans.
Your audience is your asset, it cost you money, time and efforts to acquire them, so keep them safe.
It is important that you know your audience. Not everyone is your audience, so it might irk your audience if you’re generic.
Get personal with them. Connect with them. Ask what they would prefer.
Don’t always be about sales, people hate salesmen. Be about friendship, people love to be cared for.
Be the goto person. If you’re relevant, people will search for you. Learn. Be broad. Don’t be blank when your customers need answers. Do your best to always stay ahead of information.
Remember, you are the class teacher. Don’t disappear, Be present.
Don’t be a robot, be a real person and when you make a mistake, acknowledge it, apologize and make it up by making sure it never happens again.
Lastly, no one is infallible. We don’t know it all. Be ready to learn, unlearn and relearn.
I am willing to learn how you have been connecting with your audience on social, we’d love your feedback.