Promoting your brand through traditional advertising is like a play or performance. But marketing through social media content is like a party. That’s what Buzzfeed’s Jeff Greenspan and Mark Lacher had to say at the SMW Conference in New York. Yesterday, we looked at their list of what not to do at the party. Today, we’re looking at their list of what you should do.
- Listen. Be aware of what people are talking about around you. What topics are up for discussion? What is your target audience concerned about? Keeping these things in mind can help your own content feel more genuine.
- Really listen. Don’t just pay attention to what people are saying, but how they’re saying it. Does your audience express themselves with pictures and gifs? Quick bytes of info? Longer blog posts? Meet them on their level.
- Think about your true reaction. Your brand has its own identity. When things happen in the world around you, either in real life or online, take a moment to think about what your brand’s most natural response would be in that situation. Respond in a way that’s consistent with your brand’s values and established personality.
- Don’t worry about being perfect at the party. Your job is to produce content to promote your brand. If you obsess about making sure every piece of content you produce is flawless before you release it, nothing will ever get finished and you’ll end up spending the whole night lurking alone by the punch bowl instead of interacting. Just create the best content you can. If there are problems, you can fix them later.
- Remember, there will be other parties. If you have some content that isn’t working in a particular setting, or if you miss the opportunity to release something, don’t worry about it. Keep it on file. You can always bring it out again later and retool it for a different platform or a different situation.
- Take risks. For regular marketing, there are long, complicated approval processes before you can release anything. But the Internet is different. First of all, it’s innovative, and second of all, it’s fast-paced. You have the opportunity to try new things and explore new avenues for making yourself heard. But trends come and go very quickly. If you take the time to go through a rigorous approval process on a timely piece of content, you could miss your window. So be prepared to take risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
- If you ask people to leave the party, it should be for a good reason. With regards to driving people back to your website, make sure you have a clear, specific purpose to offer them, and make sure it’s something that they’ll enjoy or be interested in. As we mentioned in last week’s post, just constantly telling people, “Visit our site! See what’s on our site!” without a specific motivation can get annoying.
When push comes to shove, just remember: social media is about connecting and interacting. It’s through those connections that you can promote your brand. So rather than focusing on the promotion, focus on the connections and you and your brand will be the life of the party.