Whether it’s an Instagram account, a Facebook page or even Snapchat, starting a social media account means starting with a blank slate, no content and no audience – and this can be daunting! More often than not users won’t know about your account unless it’s brought to their attention. So how do you get people to see your page, get them to follow and keep them interested? There is a bounty of ways to attract people who are already interested in your brand without the dreaded advertise-y feel that is ever so obvious on social media.
Keep it casual
Social media was first and foremost created to facilitate social interaction, connection and sharing. While just about any topic is up for discussion online, advertising and marketing content needs to be carefully adapted to fit a social media setting. You’ll quickly lose the attention and trust of your audience if your posts consistently feel like a straight up advertisement. Keeping things casual and conversational is one of the easiest ways to avoid being perceived this way!
The caption of this Somersby Cider post on Facebook makes reference to the film Mean Girls. It’s casual, conveys a sense of humour and makes it seem like the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. This kind of tone is far more likely to resonate with the young market on social media than a traditional advertisement.
Frank Body is a body scrub brand that simply nails their voice online. Their captions are all written in first person from the perspective of Frank, a persona based around the name of the product. The brand frequently has witty and cheeky captions that engage their audience in a way that is funny and feels miles away from an advertisement.
Create a hashtag
Hashtags are fantastic because they unite many voices around a certain topic, cause or brand and having an engaged community around your brand or product should be the goal of any successful social media marketer. A good hashtag is simple yet unique and makes reference to your brand in some way. Once you’ve decided on your hashtag, get into the habit of including it in all of your social media posts and encourage your audience to use it when they’re posting about your brand too.
MasterChef Australia has a fantastic online community surrounding it. As you can see their hashtag #MasterChefAU is listed in their Twitter bio and it's included in each of their tweets. The hashtag is also very popular amongst viewers who use it to join in on the conversation about MasterChef on Twitter and Facebook while it’s airing.
User generated content
So you’ve made your account, you’ve filled it with great content and you’ve got a great hashtag that your audience is using. Another fantastic way to engage your audience and encourage a community around your product is to take advantage of user generated content on Instagram and Facebook. This works especially well for brands that have a product that customers love to talk about online, typically products that are trendy or visually appealing.
Here you can see Grill’d Burgers encouraging their audience to use the hashtag #grilld on their photos taken in store. From here the brand has reposted a photo that a customer has taken and tagged with #grilld. This is a great way for the brand to get content for their social media but the chance of being reposted by the brand also acts as an exciting incentive for customers to share their Grill'd photos online.
As a brand, don’t forget that your hashtag isn’t the only place to find content to repost. Be sure to also check Instagram and Facebook locations as your customers will often include these in their posts too!
Work with the algorithm
Facebook (and soon Instagram) are geared with algorithms that favour viral and highly engaged with content. Instagram will be slightly different in that the content will still be from users you choose to follow as opposed to Facebook’s newsfeed which shows a large amount of content that your friends have engaged with. In any event, as a business on social media you may become discouraged by the lack of engagement on some of your posts.
Having a good effective caption on an Instagram or Facebook can work wonders. Have you ever been scrolling through your feed and read a caption that has made you stop and think? Research has shown that asking your audience a simple yet meaningful question is one of the most effective ways to get them engaged without making them feel like they’re looking at an ad.
You can use up to 30 hashtags per post on Instagram which pushes your content into a wider audience than your immediate followers. No one likes reading a caption that is filled with dozens of hashtags so one simple solution is to post your hashtags as a comment underneath the caption of your photo. This way you’ll still get the reach and tap into new audiences by using hashtags, but you’re sparing yourself from the unsightliness of a tag heavy caption.
With some of these tips you’ll be on the path to creating a successful social media presence for your brand in no time! Remember, don’t take your social media too seriously and have fun with it!