Written by Ashley Smith
Even if you don’t work in an advertising agency, your company probably has a social account… and chances are, your boss wants it to be better. I’ve seen social accounts for local Mom-and-Pop shops, college dining halls, and even signs at the doctors office asking me to like their pages in the internet world.
Now in all honesty, it’s not going to make or break the bank for your local hospital to have a huge Facebook following… people will still visit regardless of how much engagement their images get. But for a local shop, or a company on-the-rise, a well-established social channel can be the difference between, “Um, what is this weird place?” and “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of them!” Here’s how you can get to the latter.
Step one: do your research. And I mean, tons of it. The first part of this is knowing your target audience. One of the biggest mistakes clients often say is that their target audience is ‘everyone’, or that ‘anyone’ can enjoy their shop/store/product. One of my favorite proverbs is, “If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither.” Having a clearly defined target audience is the launchpad for any great brand to succeed, and if you aim for everyone, you’ll hit no one.
Once you have your target audience, get completely immersed in their culture. The lingo and slang they use, social channels they visit, times of the day they are active, their interests outside of your product. All these things will help you craft messaging and content that will speak to your audience. Your posts will be more genuine, and you’ll start to see the beginnings of growth.
Step two: take your own photos. Re-blogging and posting images by others is a great way to get a foot-in-the-door, so to speak, and can help raise engagement once in a while. But once you have a steady group of followers, it’s time to take the steering wheel.
Quality imagery with pro photos can be the difference between ‘Eew.’ and ‘Ahh!’ Invest in equipment that can handle the challenge. This doesn’t mean breaking the piggy bank and throwing all your savings into a pro piece, but it should be important to you. (We’ll keep this short, but for more info reference our Photography blog here.)
Step three: give credit. If and when you do repost, it’s important NOT to pass this off as your own work. There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting caught trying to pass someone else’s content off as your own. That’s cheating! More importantly, in the professional world, that’s called getting sued. And nobody wants a paddlin’ from the courts. But even more importantly than that..
Giving credit creates a dialogue between you and your consumers.
It’s a way of saying, “Hey, I see what you’re doing, and I think it’s cool! Also, I think you’re cool! Let’s be friends!” This is infinitely better than, “I saw what you did and I’m gonna say it’s mine. This belongs to me now.” Nobody likes that person. Give your online peers the credit they deserve, and you’ll come out on top because of it. Think of it as a symbiotic relationship. (But more like those little birds that sit on the rhinos, not so much the Venom and Spiderman approach.)
Step four: be patient. This is by far the hardest of all the steps in your process here. Social engagement doesn’t happen overnight. If it did, everyone would have millions of followers. Social media growth takes time, and any advertising agency that tells you differently or guarantees results is lying to you. with social media, there are no guaranteed results, and viral videos have no formula.
Remember, you’re constantly one good post away from being launched to the top, and also one bad post away from being kicked to the bottom. And if you’re overwhelmed after reading this entire article, then good! We did a good job of explaining it. Social Media growth can be a challenging endeavor, but also one that can greatly pay off in the long run. Luckily for you, your friendly neighborhood Jacksonville advertising agency is here to help! Check out our Social Media services here, and if you get into a rut, give us a call. We may not have a signal in the sky, (we’re working on it..) but we’ll save the day.