There’s a war going on, and you may or may not have heard of it. But it still keeps on raging, and the flames of war don’t show any signs of stopping.
We are talking about the war to win audiences’ attention, where the soldiers are online marketers, and the ones trying to dominate are businesses.
Queue dramatic war music here.
But man, all jokes aside, it sure is hard for us as digital marketers to live in this fast-paced world. Attention span has dropped, and people just switch brands here and there like there’s no tomorrow.
So you might be asking, “How do I get my target audience’s attention, but still stay on top of their minds?”
How else? We use one of the most powerful tools we have and run down the competition with it: Social Media!
Wait, we already do social media, but it’s not really doing much for us…
Then you might be doing it wrong, or you haven’t fully optimized your social media strategies in order to grab people’s attention.
There’s a method to the madness we call social media, and we’ll be happy to share these with you!
1. Audience Research
Social media isn’t just about posting something and expecting that there will be leads knocking on your door.
Proper social media strategies involve a lot of research on:
- What types of content work for your audience
- Their target demographic
- Which social media sites they often hang around
- Their reactions to the content you post
The first and last point might sound the same, but they aren’t. And the fourth one might just be the hardest to get data on.
Again, people have short attention spans, and we want them to notice us. But the question is, what reaction would you like them to have after they notice you?
Would you like them to just leave a like or a comment? Would you like them to like your page afterward? Would you like to sell something to them after they like your page?
All these things need to be researched, and knowing how your audience works is imperative in achieving success in all your social media efforts.
2. Create Effective Content
This is something that most businesses got wrong.
A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners think that just by retweeting or reposting something, they are being “active” on social media, and they will have tons of followers flocking their accounts.
If you are one of these people, stop immediately.
This is not just about creating content. It’s about creating buzz on a certain topic, being a thought-leader, and a useful resource around the keywords and topics that relate to your brand.
People’s attentions are so fickle these days, so originality is incredibly important in your content creation process. It takes massive amounts of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in order to make this work.
But trust us when we say that this is all worth it, as people generally like things that they haven’t seen or heard before. They tend to keep in mind the brands who separate themselves from all the same riffraff they see every day.
But being original is hard nowadays, with all the stuff being posted on a daily basis all across the web. Which is why we move on to…
Several years ago, a series of videos called “Everything is a Remix” came out, and for a lot of marketers that watched it, that video changed how they look at things.
It gave rise to the idea that creating something out of nothing is hard today, and that we should look at what worked in the past to see what worked.
But it isn’t the same as rehashing content or copying something directly.
Remixing means that you create something new by borrowing ideas from what worked before.
If you have seen something working for a competitor that works, why not remix their works and make it your own?
For example, you see three Facebook posts from three of your competitors that look and say almost exactly the same thing, except for a few points.
What you could do here is analyze how their audience is reacting or what commenters are saying about it. Is there something missing that they didn’t cover? Are people asking questions that your competitors aren’t answering? Was there a different angle that you can approach from and expound on?
This will allow you to stay on the trending topic, but at the same time, it will feel original to your audience.
Not only that, but your audience would love it since they will be getting something out of it, which actually bring us to the next point.
4. WIIFM – Everyone’s Favorite Radio Station
This is short for, “What’s in it for me?”
If you want to create something and show it to your target audience, then you must answer that unspoken question they ask.
That is why the first point — Research — is so important.
When posting something that you’d like to get your target audience to interact with, you need to show them that by engaging with your content, they would get something out of it.
Will they get their own engagements when they share it with their friends? Or will they win something when they “leave a like, comment, and share?”
You need to plan this all out before posting something if you want to get your audience’s attention.
Always keep in mind that people are instinctively selfish creatures, and by catering to their selfishness, they will return a favor in the form of their attention.
Speaking of likes, comments, and shares…
5. Engage Your Audience
Almost all social media networks out there have “like” and a “reply” or “comment” functions. In Facebook’s case, they have the reactions and the comment system. In Twitter, you have the like (via the heart icon) and the “Reply to Tweet” functions.
Do you know why they have that?
It’s because they know that the whole purpose of their sites is to have one person go and engage with another person. Hence, “social” media: a mass medium that allows people to get socially engaged with one another.
With that in mind, does your current social media strategy involve you replying to people’s comments? Or let’s make it as basic as possible, do you even talk to your audience directly?
This is how engagement differs from brand to brand, and it determines the success of their social media campaigns.
In order to be on top-of-the-mind to your audience, you need to know how to create calls-to-action on your posts, which lets them interact with your posts. You also need to engage and reply to people that show interest in your posts.
Remember, people like it when they feel special, and the easiest way to do this is to get downright personal and talk to your audience if you feel the need that they want to get talked to.
And this brings us to our final point.
6. Be Human
Have you ever heard of influencer marketing?
It’s a type of digital marketing strategy that is extremely popular nowadays due to the appearance of “influencers” on social media platforms.
These are YouTubers, Twitch streamers, Instagrammers and [insert social network here] power users who have amassed an audience significant enough to be likened to an almost celebrity-like following.
And do you know why they are popular? It’s because they do all of the above, but in a manner that is as human as possible.
They talk to their audience directly, ask questions, and actually reply to them on social media.
Being human pays off greatly in the form of your audience wanting to talk to you more.
When you do this on a consistent basis, not only will you get their attention, your audience will now want you to notice them. And that has to be one of the best things that can happen to your brand.
Getting attention and staying on the top-of-the-mind of your audience is not an easy feat. Especially in this age of information, where everything flies past our heads as fast as possible.
Here’s a recap so you can come back to this post every time you need to remember something:
- Research – Get the proper data on what works for your brand. Information is power, and you’d like all the power you can get in order to stay ahead in your industry.
- Create – Learn how to create content, hype, and awareness for your brand. Without the knowledge of how to create this, you can forget about getting your reader’s attention.
- Remix – In the perspective of content, if you can’t create something entirely original, learn how to remix existing works into something that looks new.
- WIIFM – Stands for “What’s in it for me?” a question your audience often asks and is up to you to answer.
- Engage – Know how to talk to your audience, something that sounds simple but is actually really hard to do.
- Be Human – Try to stay as down to earth as possible, as people like to give their attention more to people who talk to them.
If you find yourself struggling to make time to do these things, then you might want to check our social SEO services. We strive to do all these and more for our clients, so do reach out to us.
We also want to know your thoughts! If you have done all of these before, do let us know in the comments on how well it went for you!