Never before have people had the access and ability to get their content out there and have a worldwide audience using Social Media Marketing. The democratizing force of the internet has changed the industries of Media, Commerce and Communication by putting it directly into our hands. Sounds great in theory.
But with everyone suddenly having a voice of equal measure, it begs the question. “How do I stand out from the crowd and get my Social Media Marketing noticed without the ridicule?” We’re so glad you asked!
We know a thing or two about Social Media Marketing but here’s 5 ideas to get you started.
Understand your audience
Most people can relate to sitting through an awkward instructional video, forced smiles and out of touch buzzwords. These all add up to an uncomfortably off the mark result. It may seem obvious but it’s not an easy thing to get right. Companies that have advertising budgets larger than some island economies still manage to screw it up.
Think of Microsoft’s proposed Windows 7 launch parties, trust me, you don’t want this kind of Viral Marketing.
Did their Marketing agencies version of Donald Draper take a sick day when this idea was tabled? Nothing says new operating system like some fumbling party games, dubious potluck casserole and inappropriate sweater hues. But hey, at least Windows 7 mostly worked unlike Windows ME.
You want to know who is going to use your products or services and how are they likely to use it. It’s not a bad idea to do some research beyond “hmm let’s have a tupperware party except for software! Get it?”. Get your tone right. It’s vital you don’t pitch to the wrong market because if it’s not relevant or relatable it will only hurt your brand (and your feelings, aww) when it’s ridiculed.
Channel your inner FanBoy/Girl
We mentioned getting the right tone for the products or campaign, here we explore that further. It’s clear when someone knows next to nothing about the product they are selling and no one likes being patronized to by someone less knowledgeable than themselves. At best your audience is going to switch off at worst they will go hostile.
So how to avoid this?
Okay imagine the last conversation you had with someone that was a fan of a product, movie or band.
They talked with genuine passion about the subject, they seemed to know a lot about how it works or what makes it unique to them. The enthusiasm they felt for it is kind of infectious, right? They were obviously sold on it and they were unconsciously trying to sell you on it too. How does this Jedi mind trick even work?
- Passion for the concept.
- Knowledge about the subject.
- Sharing it in a meaningful way with others.
Although a distinction should be made between a Fan and a Fanboy as illustrated below.
Much research has been conducted on Fanboy/Girl behavior and why it occurs. People instinctively gravitate towards others that share their same beliefs and sensibilities. There is even a reward/pleasure stimulus in the brain when people talk with like-minded people about their shared fandom. The dark side of this is it can make fanboys blind to the faults of their product and the advantages of the competitors. It is better to approach as a Fan rather than a Fanatic to not alienate your wider audience. So get people that understand your product and campaign and find points to share that get them excited.
Use the correct language
After watching that keynote try extracting yourself from the seat you have no doubt cringed deep into. Let’s see how we can avoid looking like stereotypes from an 80’s sitcom. People are able to spot things that don’t ring true for them in an advertisement or a presentation, especially in reflections of your targeted customer. It’s telling your audience and customers this is how you see them. “Am I fairly represented by one of these dumb-asses” you wonder?
The ability to understand and be passionate about your product is one thing, but being able to communicate with your audience in a meaningful way and not annoy anyone is an art. Think about that instant cringe reaction when a company is using “that hip lingo all the kids are twerking to on their dank google machines” this season. If it sounds like your granddad reading Nikki Minaj lyrics aloud then they’re doing it wrong.
So how do we make engaging content that speaks the audience’s language? Well you can always ask us or failing that the next best thing is get to know who you want using your products or services and talk to them. Then pay attention to what they say, not just the radical and bodacious words they use but the underlying personality of who they are as a cultural cross-section.
Use the correct Social Media Marketing channel
When it comes to advertising on Social Media it’s a little like the Wild West. For many it’s still unknown territory and saying the wrong thing can get you tarred, feathered and run out of town. Considering Social Media has been in use for well over a decade, why is it still a risky proposition? Think about most other forms of advertising, they are static and there isn’t the ability for anyone to attach a comment directly back to that advertisement.
In other words, ‘when you point at someone you have 3 fingers pointing back at yourself’. So in the above example, just like those Facebook feed arguments you find yourself grabbing the popcorn to watch unfold, the same rules apply for companies and advertisers. As tempting as it can be to just spam your advertisement to as many different Social Media streams as possible, do some research first. MOZ offers some excellent analytics information on your Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media streams. You can get information on their demographic, localization and time zone to help craft the most relevant message.
Relatability & shareability
So now you know:
- What makes your audience tick.
- How to speak with passion about your product.
- How to speak to your audience without insulting them.
- And have picked an appropriate Social Media Marketing medium.
What do you say to your audience?
First off your audience has to be able to relate to it.
Next it has to be of enough value to them to want to post it themselves or share it with others.
Then, have you created something clever or funny, amazing, insightful or ingenious?
Spend a little time browsing what is getting shared and why.
If you are even thinking about using a meme, make sure it’s viral and fresh (or dank as the kids are calling it these days) and that you actually understand its meaning and format.
Use knowyourmeme.com as a resource, it tracks both its popularity and time it has taken to go viral.
So in these 2 examples we have Jean Claude Van Damme’s scrotum shrivelling Volvo ad followed by the CGI Chuck Norris version. The Van Damme advert inspired a VFX company to create the Chuck Norris version as an xmas card to its customers. This was reported widely by many news sources with reference to the original advert for context. Chuck Norris already being a meme then being inserted into another meme created synergy of epic proportions. This illustrates how to leverage off another meme as long as your version is just as meme-able.
Navigating the high seas of Social Media Marketing can cause nausea and occasional attacks from sea monsters but when used properly it makes the internet your oyster.