Are you still looking for a way to connect and communicate with your prospects online?
Tired of having to compose tweets, long Facebook posts, wordy LinkedIn responses?
Heard about Pinerest? Instagram? Tumblr? How does taking a picture, uploading it and being rewarded with new followers sound? Good, I guess. Let us show you how to these social media platforms that deliver some of the best ROI possible today.
Many businesses now aim to attract and retain customers by sharing experiences.
The spread of social media has allowed the average business to tap into shared customer experiences. From personalized messages sent via Twitter’s direct messaging to customised sweepstakes for a particular demography on Facebook, businesses are getting as close as they can to their customers on social media.
Social media is a constant wave of two-way communication, with brands vying for customer engagement, views, clicks and trying to build up communities. Customers, on the other hand, constantly provide feedback, whether negative or positive.
Studies have shown that we digest visual information better than text based content.
Cue the rise of the internet movie memes and funny cat videos; we just instantly ‘get it’, regardless of what the message is. Therefore, what better platform to use to quickly pass marketing message across than through image based social sharing? The exponential growth in the number of users on Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram are all examples of how fast people have adopted this type of social media.
Tapping into trends, marketers have known for decades that you customise your message according to the current season. The subtle hues of orange that accompany Halloween, the pristine white and reds that adorn shops and sites at Christmas, the blazing yellow and dark green colours that have festooned timelines all over social media this World Cup.
Marketers have merged the two phenomena and developed winning campaigns this World Cup season. The following are a few examples of big brands using picture based social media platforms to do their marketing. Take a page from their marketing playbook and see how successful your campaigns will be.
- Interact with Fans – Post pictures that show the human side of your business. Social media is about connecting with real people on a more personal basis than simply posting pictures of your company logo or stock ‘business’ photos. If you have to use stock photos, a little Photoshop editing to personalise it, will go a long way to jumpstarting the conversation.
- Show How your Product works – Nike is doing an excellent job of this, in this world Cup. The animated film pitting the world’s best footballers versus the ‘soulless’ clones, was a straight pitch of their new Mercurial Superfly soccer boot. While this was a video, the stills from the video were shared on Pinterest and Instagram, and received thousands of likes. I mean, who wouldn’t want the boot ‘endorsed’ by the world’s greatest football showman?
- User generated content – Just look at how fast fans and non-fans were able to throw up memes celebrating Brazil’s knockout, the Suarez incident and even Tim Howard’s goal keeping. With some of those pictures receiving over 100, 000 likes and retweets within days, what would that do for a brand based promotion? For brands, user generated content carries the implication of a customer endorsement.
- Post photos that don’t have anything to do with your business – Weird concept, right? True, but posting pictures that tap into the ‘feeling’ people get when they use your product is as effective as actual product shots. Starbucks does a wonderful job of this with their coffee art pictures on Instagram. Their pictures, not necessarily of the product, elicit feelings of warmth and friendship in prospects and customers.
- Brand consistency is key – Before you go posting willy nilly, you need to have your branding strategy dialled in. How do you want customers and prospects to see you? Whether it’s by your hashtags, design, colours, whatever you choose, be consistent across platforms. The World Cup is spread among four major branding options. English speaking folks use the hashtag #WorldCup or #Brazil2014. The Spanish use #Brasil2014 and the Portuguese use #Copa2014. Whatever you call it, we are talking about the beautiful game.
- Tag Everything – Taking pictures and posting them to platforms, is only half the job done. Add hashtags so that they are easily found by people searching for related content. ING Bank uses multiple social media platforms masterfully. Everyday they post four of the best goalkeeper saves from the previous days match. They invite fans to vote for their favourite and winners are selected. The images are posted on their Facebook and Twitter pages and linked to via hashtags.
With Pinterest users pinning over 3, 000 images per minute, your ability to reach a global audience is almost unlimited.
Pictures generally do not need words to convey their meaning; this allows them to be appreciated across the globe and across language barriers.
Big brands with deep pockets are taking advantage of social media to market their products. As a small business, you can do the same if you follow this 5 point checklist. Haven’t got enough time? Let Search and More’s wizard marketing team help you tap into trends and create a campaign tat delivers.