Lessons we’ve learned from social media marketing
Social media marketing has exploded in popularity the last few years. The rise of a different kind of marketing strategy reflects the changing needs of the digital audience. So what have we learned from it? What does the audience of today need and expect from content marketing?
Visual is everything
Unfortunately for us copywriters, a picture says a thousand words. And a video says even more. With the popularity of sites like Instagram, Vine (R.I.P.), and Snapchat, plus the intense focus on video for old hat social sites like Facebook, video is set to be (and currently is) the next big thing.
So remember - the eye eats video first, and that may be all it eats.
Spice up your copy
That’s not to say that all copy is redundant. Copywriters just have to adapt to an audience with an ever-decreasing attention span. Whereas before you may have had a paragraph to grab and hold their attention, now you get a line and maybe less. Learn to strategically work your copy in with visual cues and eye candy breaks.
Put important information under eye-catching visuals and it's more likely to be read as the eye jumps down the page. Keep sentences short and punchy (the digital reader should never labour to read, because they'll just stop). Jazz up your sentences with bolding, italics and quotes (but don’t go overboard with this - it’s pretty obvious).
Get specific or get out
Your audience should be highly specific. If you cast a wide net on social media, you’re likely to catch nothin’ but an old boot. The more targeted you get with your audience, the more targeted you get with your language and outcomes. Marketing your content will reap a better ROI if you’re able to target your audience persona down to where they live and their interests.
While they may seem a little arbitrary at the time, audience personas are incredibly valuable once you jump on Facebook Ads Manager and drill down into the specifics.
Drop the corporate jargon
This should be obvious. People are saturated, everyday, with way too much information. We’re becoming better and better at filtering it out. Particularly on social media, where most users go to do just that - be social. It’s a curious realm of private, semi-private and public interactions all in the same space.
To get under the shield you need (almost counter-intuitively) to assimilate to the landscape. Be social, personable, casual and relatable in your copy. Override the knee-jerk reaction to fall back on corporate speak.
That’s not to say your company, overall, should err on the side of casual copy. But social media is a social space, and should have a tone guide integrated into the company manual. Take steps to understand the boundaries within the platform, and how to push them without being weird.
The audience is king
Your audience have more power than ever before to make or break your brand. Don’t be inauthentic. Don’t underestimate them. Make sure you take all online criticism and complaints seriously, even if it bothers you, because you really don’t want a public roasting of your business to go viral.