Social engagement strategies such as contests for crowd-sourced content, influencer engagement, activism and corporate collaboration can help your business stand out among the sea of voices online.
Let us help you create the perfect social media strategy to fit your company’s specific needs.
Does your company’s social media presence match your brand personality and identity? With nearly 50 percent of the world engaged on at least one social media platform, and over half of that population utilizing social media to explore product options, maintaining a consistent online presence with your audience can make a world of difference when trying to influence action and encourage conversions.
Understanding the need for social engagement is only the beginning, however. It can be difficult to find the right voice and the right messaging for your brand, and we want to help.
There is a myriad of different campaigns available at your disposal, but that doesn’t mean they will all be right for you. Let’s explore some of the most common, and successful, types of campaigns that can make your company stand out among the sea of voices online.
1. Try User-Generated Content to Engage Your Audience
One of the best ways to engage your audience is to invite them to share their experiences with your brand. User-Generated Content (UGC) campaigns work to your advantage in two important ways: Audience participation creates a deeper feeling of investment in your brand, and the burden of content creation will not fall entirely on your shoulders.
While UGC campaigns may seem like a more commonly used tactic for B2C companies, there are plenty of ways B2B companies can benefit from this social play.
When Hootsuite, a social media management platform, wanted to make a splash, they created a contest for their users to send exciting snapshots of their unique office spaces under the hashtag “#IWorkFromHere.” Promising participants a chance to win a flight to anywhere in the world, users were quick to flood the company’s social platform with gorgeous photos that will now forever be associated with Hootsuite’s platform.
Another fantastic way to gain traction is to encourage previous, or current, customers to share their satisfaction with your products through engaging video testimonials.
The best part is these do not have to be top-of-the-line production-quality pieces. In fact, having customers tell their stories from their iPhones can add an air of authenticity to their story.
Tip/best practice: Still having trouble getting traction on social? Ask your employees to get the ball rolling by sending their own content.
2. Use Influencer Outreach to Supplement Your Follower Count
While UGC focuses on a high output of content from “regular” members of your audience, influencer outreach utilizes those in your community who are already established as highly active social media users. Studies show this strategy can yield incredible results, with a return 11 times greater than traditional marketing strategies.
The secret sauce of this campaign is sending your message to users without seeming overtly advertorial or pushy. This can be especially helpful when your business is trying to expand its reach but doesn’t necessarily have the follower count to do so.
Typically when we think of an influencer campaign, we picture celebrity endorsements. But this doesn’t have to be the case. A great strategy is to get your employees involved. Energy sector leader Landis+Gyr used employee advocates with high follower counts to explain their company’s focus on customer satisfaction, product superiority and corporate values.
Of course, if you can land a celebrity to promote your product, all the better.
Tips/Best Practices: When reaching out to influencers outside of your company, have specific strategy goals in mind, and be sure to take into account the platform this influencer shines on.
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3. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility to Inspire Your Community
Against the backdrop of the #BlackLivesMatter movement globally, now is a prudent time to examine what values and societal traits your brand stands for. Companies are no longer just entities that make and sell products and services, they are expected to be engaged members of society and responsible contributors to the world.
Using advocacy marketing to engage your audience can build customer loyalty and boost brand awareness, while also setting a positive example for employees and customers to follow.
But with any CSR program or outreach, authenticity is key. Social media is not kind to those who seem to be exploiting a social issue because it’s trending. It’s far better to build a campaign around a cause that is associated, even tangentially, with your products or services. Even better if it’s related to a corporate social responsibility agenda you’ve already established.
In 2018, when US President Donald Trump enacted a travel ban, AirBnB launched a social campaign under the hashtag “#WeAccept,” which included a compilation video of employees urging the need for global acceptance, and a promise by the company to provide short-term housing to those in need.
Because its business is built on travel and lodging, the social media community found AirBnB’s call to action to be authentic and the results speak for themselves. #WeAccept earned 87 million impressions and over 33,000 retweets in a single night.
Tips/Best Practices: Be sure to internally audit your company for any contradictions to your advocacy campaign. To strike the right chord, it’s important your brand be invested in your call to action from top to bottom, or at least have the proper communications plan in place to explain how you will be addressing any inconsistencies.
4. Develop Partnerships and Collaborations to Expand Your Reach
Partnerships between companies within, and outside of, your sector can be great opportunities to market new product innovations and broaden your social media horizon by taking advantage of each other’s existing communities.
This can be especially helpful for companies who want to rebrand their product to engage a new generation of users.
Take Cisco, for example. The IT, networking and cybersecurity powerhouse partnered with Live Nation, an entertainment company, for a joint social campaign.
The posts show existing customers how Cisco biometric and internet products can be used in creative ways, expanding Cisco’s marketing reach to an entirely new palate of young customers outside of the traditional IT sector.
Tips/Best Practices: When collaborating with other companies, try to create a lasting strategy that can be recurring over time. One-off Twitter conversations are good, but both companies will see greater benefits if you can create something that will have more staying power.
Social media is here to stay. New channels, such as the popular video sharing platform Tik Tok, are popping up and catching on like fire.
Just like fire, social media may seem inherently volatile and chaotic, and when used incorrectly can be detrimental. But with the proper knowledge and handling, it can build empires.
We’re here to help stoke the online presence for your brand. Are you ready to get started?