By Elaine Bennett
All good things must come to an end. With the year 2019 just around the corner, marketers need to take a step back, re-evaluate their marketing efforts, and optimize their strategies for the following year. So far, the highlight of the year has to go to social media engagement, as every brand out there, both big and small, has implemented some form of social media engagement into their marketing strategies with fantastic results. Now, seeing how it’s becoming increasingly difficult to pierce through the veil of social media, due to the growing number of competing brands, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Followers, now more than ever, expect brands to engage them on a more personal level by providing them with value either in the form of entertainment or with some educational material. Therefore, we can safely assume that this trend will most likely carry its momentum even into the following year and now’s a good time as any to take a closer look at a few examples of how other brands have successfully integrated this approach into their own social media campaigns.
Hop on the hype train
By accompanying your branded content with the latest trends and hot topics, you essentially ‘piggyback’ on their rising popularity to fuel your own social media engagement. Denny’s Dinner is one such brand that continuously engages its followers on social media with witty posts and sassy memes to keep them engaged for days. For example, there was a popular meme on Twitter where viewers were asked to repeatedly zoom into certain parts of a picture in order to find a ‘secret message’.
Of course, this is all just a clever ploy to get you engaged and make you laugh at your own stupidity. Though, what makes this brand so ingenious is the way it integrates itself into these memes. Their jokes always have something to do with food and their brand, and this is what makes it so memorable; simple yet effective. So, stay well-informed and keep an eye out for hot topics currently trending on social media, Reddit, various forums and websites, etc. and think of ways you can fuse them with your brand. You shouldn’t forget about social media in the music industry because platforms like YouTube can also provide valuable information in comments.
Contests give your customers an incentive, usually in the form of giveaways, to follow, and interact with, your brand more frequently at a chance to win awesome rewards. Essentially, what it all comes down to is generating social buzz around your brand and sparking the interest of your followers, which in turn drives engagement and boosts brand awareness.
Sephora’s Sweet 15 campaign is a prime example of this as the brand used its 15th anniversary to reach out to its fan base and offer them a chance to experience an all-inclusive five-day trip to Costa Rica. The contest itself was fairly simple; followers just had to fill in an entry form on Sephora’s Facebook page and they would instantly become eligible to win the said prize. The beauty of it? Sephora knows its target audience all too well, as both the brand’s image and its consumers’ appeals are reflected in the luxurious trip offered as an enticement for engagement, and this is something other brands can also take away.
Learn to crack a good joke
In the realm of digital marketing strategies, social media is the perfect way to bring your brand closer to your customers. Depending on the type of business, you can integrate humour into your social media marketing campaign to engage followers and humanize your brand even further. The reason why this is a smart move is that social media today is absolutely flooded with promotional content and you need to do something entirely different in order to stand out. Hence, this strategy will not only provide your followers with a breath of fresh air but will also make them like you a bit more as a brand.
In addition, people tend to share content they find funny with others. Meaning, you’ll get more engagement out of them if you provide them with something that’s both original and entertaining. Brands such as Wendy’s and MoonPie are in a league of their own when it comes to cracking jokes and coming up with witty remarks on social media. Just take a look at their Twitter profiles and you’ll see what I mean.
Share stimulating statistics
Now, engaging on social media isn’t just about cracking jokes. You also want to educate your followers by providing them with fascinating data they’ll find interesting as well as useful. Generally speaking, statistics are the name of the game when it comes to enlightening your fan base; if you can turn your findings into an infographic, even better! Just make sure that the information in question has something to do with your brand’s industry or that it somehow appeals to your target audience. This way, you engage your followers by tapping into their curiosity.
Merriam-Webster is a fine example of a brand that utilizes educational material to engage its viewers. For the most part, they share compelling articles about the etymology, definition, and proper spelling of various words, but they’re also not afraid to post light-hearted videos, comments, or GIFs on their Twitter profile as well. Who said studying needs to be boring?
In real life, one of the best ways to get someone talking is to ask them a question. On social media, it’s no different. This is why, if done properly, a well-placed question can be a powerful engagement tool. For example, you can pose questions that address current issues (at the time of posting), such as the weather, the specific time of day, or even the (holiday) season to trigger a response from your followers.
What’s more, to really get the ball rolling you need to master the different types of questions you have at your disposal. Namely, you can ask close-ended questions, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank questions, and even existential ones like this one. Now, on a more serious note, you can always ask followers to provide you with relevant feedback; you’d be surprised at just how many of them want to be heard. At the end of the day, you can even post polls and branded questionnaires for them to interact with.
All in all, there’s still plenty of time for you to consolidate your social media strategies for the following year. Conduct some surveys, host a few contests, get in touch with the latest happenings, and pose the right questions to keep your followers engaged at all times. The worst thing you can do is to actually do nothing. So, remember nothing comes from nothing.
About the author: Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping Australian startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneur and help them on their business journey.