Internet Marketing

McLellan: Why are you being social?

It’s pretty tough to consume a marketing book, blog post or podcast today without being told that your business needs to be active on social media. That’s a little like saying, “tell an appropriate joke” without any context of where you are or who your audience might be.

Without context, social media activity is simply more noise. Like all good marketing, we should start with your why. What are you trying to accomplish with your social media activity?

There are plenty of options, and it’s tempting to check them all. But, at the very least, put these in priority order so you know where you should concentrate your attention. Are you trying to:

  • Create brand awareness among people who aren’t familiar with you?
  • Generate brand love and loyalty?
  • Drive traffic to your website?
  • Increase conversions on your website?
  • Capture email addresses?
  • Reach people in proximity to your physical location?
  • Encourage your fan base to share your content?
  • Promote your Facebook page as a destination?
  • Position yourself as a thought leader in your industry?

Again, it’s fine to want to accomplish more than one of the goals above. But you must have a clear understanding of which goals matter more. Sooner or later, you’ll need to make choices based on that hierarchy. Keep your list of goals in front of you as you map out your editorial calendar and check back to make sure the story ideas are on target.

No matter what your primary goal is, your intent is to grab your audience’s attention and freeze their thumb. Our thumbs are the 21st-century remote control. They’re how we scroll through content, interact with different opt-ins and react to what we’re consuming. 

No matter which social media channel you’re using, you need to create some visual interest to avoid the scroll. Even if you’re telling a story and you’re inclined to just use words, remember that visuals have a drastic effect on social media interactions. Keep these facts in mind:
When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retain 65 percent of the information three days later.
Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3 times more than other any other type of content.
In an analysis of over 1 million articles, BuzzSumo found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images.

When you’re creating a post or social ad, ideally the visual should dominate. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t marry visuals with words. Just be mindful of how we all skim. Bold headlines and tight copy should accompany a single strong visual. 

Always remember the old rhyme “facts sell and emotions tell.” In most cases, your social posts are more of a first date than a marriage proposal, so tell stories, stir up our emotions and make your audience feel something. 

The key to being effective on social media is understanding why you’re there freezing their thumbs once you’ve caught their attention.

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