Not every business is ultra fun, engaging, creative or intensive but that doesn’t make it impossible to promote such business on social media. At first, it will seem like your business might be too boring to market itself. But, don’t let that fool you into thinking that you can’t have exciting content for your social media channels, particularly on Instagram and Snapchat.
There’s a wealth of information that could be used for online communication, especially social media. With so many companies that share your trouble of not having the top-notch business when it gets to attracting the audience, there’s plenty of examples where these types of companies completely crushed it.
Learn how to use social media marketing as a potential sales channel for your business with these 4 superb strategies and expand your communication to Instagram and Snapchat.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses to reach their target audience online. Great marketing on social media can result in significant success for your business, creating loyal brand advocates and even driving leads and sales. However, to be successful with it, businesses have to develop a good strategy for each of their platforms. Most popular brands on social media are the ones that know what their audience needs. With Instagram and Snapchat being the most engaging social media platforms right now, businesses are bringing creativity into their Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
Instagram and Snapchat for Businesses
All together, Instagram and Snapchat attract around 700 million daily active users. With video views greater than Facebook’s, Snapchat now has more users than Twitter. In other words, Instagram and Snapchat have large audiences to whom you can market your brand. As both platforms share several common features, function and advertising components, businesses are engaging both audiences to ensure their social media marketing is achieving the best results. They’re creating new content and repurposing their existing content to grow their audience on these two platforms.
One of the common features on Instagram and Snapchat are stories. How should businesses use this tool when everything they create for it will disappear? Well, stories offer business users something they could strongly benefit from - exclusivity, personalized approach, and brand awareness. Although such content disappears in 24 hours, to be successful and enjoy these three benefits that stories provide, businesses are advised to have a strategy even for their stories.
So, what are the best strategies for businesses which don’t have the privilege to present a rock star brand but are eager to take their communication one step further? Check out these four strategies and find the one that suits your business and marketing goals.
#1. Humor Provides Smiley Faces and Boosts Engagement
Indeed, laughter is the universal language we use to express our enjoyment or agreement with a certain situation. With humor, it is possible to bridge the gap between various languages, cultures, and demographics. So, it’s not a surprise that funny memes are so widely popular and are reaching large audiences on social media. Moreover, various studies have shown that using humor in your social media content can make it viral.
There are three main effects of using humor on social media for your audience. First, it creates unity. We usually laugh when we’re with other people and it brings us a sense of belonging and familiarity with them. Second, laughter triggers an emotional response such as happiness. When we laugh, our body produces endorphins which make our body relax, boosts the immune system and helps relieve stress. Third, by using humor, your brand becomes memorable. Besides creating a positive feeling, it can create positive memories as well.
So, maybe your product is not funny or that interesting by itself but with the right content, you will have no problem making your audience feel positive. Entertaining a wide audience can be very challenging and it’s not enough just to use humor to have great content. An excellent example is The Honest Company which specializes in baby products that are ethically made and environmentally friendly. They use their social media posts to entertain their audience. Obviously, they’re doing it well as they have 894,000 followers on Instagram.
2. Sex Sells Better - Even on Social Media
Besides humor, there are, of course, plenty of strategies you could use to create engaging content on your social media platform. Another one is by using “sex sells” approach. We all know at least one beer commercial with an attractive woman enjoying the attention from all men surrounding her. The same logic can be applied in the social media world as well.
However, there is a line between using sex to sell a product and sexualizing people for advertising purposes. As there were a lot of brands who crossed this line, businesses need to be careful when using such a strategy. Yes, it can be fun to see a post with “sex sells” philosophy but make sure you’re not going too far with it. After all, your consumers are human and they will respond if they feel like you’ve insulted someone with your content or tried to manipulate them. Be careful!
People might enjoy your content if you published once or twice a content with an erotic tone but if you’re playing this game only with that card, they will lose interest. An example of a company not crossing that line is Frank Body, a coffee body scrub brand from Australia. The company uses their social media to entertain and flirt harmlessly with their female audience.
Not to mention their official website is full of flirtatious, sexy content which women apparently love as Frank Body has only one goal - to entertain.
3. Bringing Emotions to the Table
A good marketing strategy always makes you feel something. Happy, sad, motivated, nostalgic, safe, adventurous, etc. The same is with social media marketing. If people are feeling any of these emotions while going through your posts, you’re on the right track. We all share our emotions online whether it’s through memes that make us happy, quotes that make us nostalgic or videos that make us emphatic to other’s lives.
Businesses are doing the same thing. They’re creating content on social media which will make their audience feel a certain feeling. According to Bleacher Report from 2017, there is a strong correlation between an emotional reaction and social media shares. Those who are producing strong emotional engagement to branded content are also driving the highest rates of shares.
One of the brands that knew how much emotions can impact their social media audience is Letterfolk, a small business of handcrafted felt letterboards. With their content on Instagram, they’re constantly motivating their audience to be more creative, innovative, productive and live a healthier life. They’re funny, thought-provoking and relatable. For their 308,000 followers on Instagram, they’re creating content such as this:
4. Include Your Audience
Interacting with your followers through your content is a very powerful way to raise your brand awareness and improve your marketing and sales results. Involve your audience as much as you can in your photos, videos, and captions. They want to feel like a part of your story. Talk with them through your captions and try to reply to each comment on your profile. Your audience needs to know how much you appreciate them.
After all, you are creating all these content on your social media for your audience. To be successful at it, you will have to find a way how to include them in your communication. It can be something simple like asking for their opinion. You can even ask them to share their experience with you which you will later repost on your account.
There are various ways you can include your audience but the most important thing is to make sure when you choose this strategy, you really commit to it. Don’t start including your audience and asking them to participate and then, all of a sudden, stop replying to their comments.
An excellent example of a company which recognized what their followers would appreciate is AriZona Iced Tea. Their target audience is mostly young population living an active, colorful life. As they realized their audience is not interested in branded images and videos, they decided to try something else with their Snapchat account. The majority of their followers enjoy extreme sports, like skateboarding, so they decided to invite Brandon Bonner, a famous skater, to join their team and share content from his perspective. Needless to say, their Snapchat followers were thrilled with his content.
With millions and millions of active users every day, it’s not a question whether or not businesses should be present on Instagram and Snapchat. The only real question is how. To create a strong, efficient social media strategy you shouldn’t mix these 4 superb strategies. When you choose one, stick to it.
Your audience will start recognizing your conversational tone and content style and that way you’ll start raising your brand awareness. They don’t have to know your strategy to determine whether your content is beneficial for them. That’s why you should first determine what you want to accomplish with your social media content and then start working on your strategy.
Melissa Burns is a marketing consultant in Focused Agency and an independent journalist. Content marketing, business innovations, and technology are central topics of her articles. She started writing with a single goal of sharing her expertise with other people. Melissa also provides workshops for start-ups and small businesses.