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social media how toAre you talking only about your business on social media?

Do you want to publish other types of updates to engage your followers?

A common myth about social media marketing is that every post needs to directly contribute to your business’s bottom line.

In this article I’ll share seven ways to get people to remember your business and make your social media efforts successful.

seven tips to improve social media

Use these seven tips to improve your social media posts.

#1: Develop Relationships

Relationship posts establish social media as a place where people can have conversations with your brand, rather than just be marketed to. If you want to be successful, it can’t be all about the sell.

These types of posts are a bonding opportunity through a show of goodwill, humor and imagery. For example, share a humorous quote, interesting fact or cool graphic. Or all of the above.

The Daily Sip, a digital wine publication under the parent company Bottlenotes, posts humorous images for wine drinkers almost daily. The one below received more than 2,000 likes and over 800 shares.

the daily sip by bottlenotes facebook image post

The Daily Sip’s posts are designed to engage the wine-loving community. The outstanding results deserve a toast.

These images create a sense of camaraderie for the wine lovers. Even though they don’t promote the Daily Sip publication directly, they establish Facebook as a lively community and welcoming hub for like-minded wine enthusiasts. Most importantly, they amount to vast exposure for Bottlenotes.

Construct engaging posts that forge a relationship between your brand and your audience.

#2: Boost Credibility

As with relationship development, credibility posts don’t directly ask your audience for anything. These updates may not get as many retweets, likes and shares, but that’s okay.

Instead of engagement, posts that boost credibility have a different goal: they aim to establish the brand as thought, service or product leaders in their geographic and professional communities.

Share company news and press releases, media bits, other interviews and appearances at industry events. The tweet below from Accenture is from a conference.

accenture on twitter

Accenture’s tweet from an industry event is a great example. Nothing says credibility like a higher-up chairing a panel.

While you may not see an immediate ROI (return on investment) for these posts, over time they’ll enhance brand awareness and position your company as an industry leader. That means when the time comes to ask your audience to take action, they’ll trust you enough to do so.

#3: Invite Conversation

Posts that invite conversation have a clear and friendly ask: “Talk to us.”

This is one of the most streamlined and effective ways to open up your social media platforms for two-way communication, which is a surefire way to solidify your social media relationships.

Create posts that ask your audience for their ideas, opinions or even advice.

This fun post from eHarmony, which included a photo, asked the question: “Who is more stubborn? Women or men? And why?”

This query was something lots of people have an opinion about. It received nearly 300 likes, almost 100 shares and more than 200 comments.

eharmony on facebook

eHarmony took a simple photo, asked a simple question and got a ton of feedback.

Customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that’s engaged with them in memorable discussion than one that’s solely advertising.

#4: Share Blog Content

Don’t struggle to constantly come up with new content for your social media updates. It’s not only okay to repost and reshare your best blog content, it’s encouraged.

It’s completely acceptable to repost content you’ve already shared; especially since things tend to get lost in those constantly shifting, ever-competing news feeds.

The #ICYMI hashtag (In Case You Missed It) is a simple way to tell your audience you’re reposting something you think they should see.

the next web hashtag post on twitter

The Next Web is one of many companies that uses the #ICYMI hashtag to call attention to reposts.

Repost and retweet articles that performed well historically, as well as good content you want amplified as much as possible.

#5: Share Curated Content

For brands to be successful on social media, they need to offer value to their audience. In other words, no-one is going to pay attention to you on social media if you do nothing but advertise yourself.

Be an ongoing source of timely and relevant information in your area of expertise, regardless of whether you’re the original source.

A great example, and on a channel not often associated with content curation, is Chobani’s Pinterest account. A yogurt brand associated with healthy living, Chobani caters to its audience with tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They use their Pinterest account to share recipes, workouts, inspirational quotes, ideas for setting up your kitchen and more; and most of these are repins or pins from other sites.

chobani boards on pinterest

Chobani shares healthy lifestyle–related content, most of which is curated from other sites, on Pinterest.

If you’re a B2B business, you’re likely already reading about industry news, resources and insights on a daily basis. When you find significant material, take a few minutes to share it on your social media channels.

If you’re a B2C business, think about the kind of information your target audience would be interested in, and curate content around your customer demographic.

#6: Comment on News and Events

Write posts that reflect what’s going on in the world. This doesn’t always mean simply curating news stories and sharing them with your audience, although that’s one way to go. A more effective tactic is to find ways to integrate current events with your brand.

For example, Nike is just one of the brands that posted about the World Cup last summer.

nike on instagram

Nike’s World Cup post was completely in line with their brand.

Nike’s post is subtle and the text is minimal. Yet the overall impact is extremely powerful. That’s because Nike was able to successfully combine a timely event already at the forefront of everyone’s minds with their brand image of empowerment, athletics and reaching personal goals.

Look for things to post that connect your brand to news and current events, without jumping too far out of the box. That means if there’s not a natural connection, wait for the next thing to come around.

#7: Make Calls to Action

In a nutshell calls-to-action posts ask your audience to do something. That can be anything from liking a post and entering a contest to sharing a photo or making a purchase.

The goals of a call-to-action post are to increase engagement (like, retweet or share a photo) or enhance your business goals (make a purchase, join a list for lead generation or attend an event).

For example, this hashtag campaign from the University of Wisconsin-Madison invited students and faculty to share photos of the campus’s fall colors under the hashtag #uwfall.

uw madison hashtag post

The University of Wisconsin-Madison created the #uwfall hashtag campaign to increase engagement and get their students and faculty into the autumn spirit.

UW-Madison’s campaign built an animated online community among their existing, offline university community. Although the call to action was “soft” (engagement rather than sales or lead generation), it still contributed to the university’s ultimate brand goals by growing their Twitter following and promoting togetherness among the school’s community. And social media is all about developing brand awareness and community.

Conclusion

Social media marketing is not about selling and posting random content. Brands need to engage with their fans and followers in a number of different formats. As a result, they’ll build relationships, brand reputation and community over time.

What do you think? What kinds of social media posts would you add to the list? What has worked well for your business? Tell us in the comment box below!

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