5 Ways to Stay Original on Social Media
Changes in social media trends encourage brands to innovate and implement cutting edge technology to get their message across. Many brands have been using social media as a large part of their strategy, but it is important that your efforts don't go stale. Keeping up with trends and reinventing your content strategy is important if you want to stay fresh and relevant in our quickly evolving digital landscape.
1. Constantly brainstorm and experiment with new content ideas
While you may retain your current customer base by repeatedly posting the same type of content, it may not impress your incoming leads (who evaluate you against your competition). A brainstorming session with your team is a great way to determine how you can attract more leads and foster engagement on social media using new and different types of content
Organize a meeting with your sales, marketing, and even customer service teams to find out what prospects and existing clients are saying about their interactions with your brand. Use those conversations to create new content! You never know what type of content is going to resonate best with your target audience.
2. Ask for customer feedback and suggestions
Your clients are valuable resources that you should utilize to tweak and improve your strategy. Simply asking your customers what they would like to see from you on social media (help videos, contests, testimonials) will give you some great ideas for content. After all, the most successful social media accounts involve dedicated clients and brand ambassadors, or in other words, your tribe. If your content is interesting, they will be more willing to share it. Some examples of this include the Lay's campaign, "Do Us a Flavor," and Coca Cola's "Name on a bottle" campaign.
How can you ask your customers for feedback? You can go about this many ways including surveys, webinar polls, posting a question on social media, adding in a custom field on a signup form or simply ask your sales team to do some investigation!
3. Don't underestimate or undervalue the element of surprise
Surprise and originality make social media fun and engaging. Personally, I think that posts with a little edge are a great way to catch attention and attract a few more eyeballs on your content. Sometimes it's a good idea to take a popular topic or hashtag and run with it. BUT, make sure you put it in context so it makes a slight connection with your topic or brand-even if it's a little off the ball. Social media is about getting into conversations with people you may not otherwise have been able to reach. So, get a little ballsy and surprise your audience!
4. Evaluate your strategy (ongoing)
How do you improve your strategy and processes if you aren't constantly evaluating and changing it? There is only one way to see an effect with your social media strategy...and that is trial and error. Definitely try out different forms of media, targeted content, and campaigns to see what is resonating best with your targets audiences.
Whether it is weekly or monthly, look at your engagement metrics and see which posts are performing the best. You cannot leave data analytics out of the equation because they are extremely useful. Use an analytics or engagement measuring platform such as GreenRope or social media specific such as Sprout Social to measure clicks, time spent on a page, and much more. These numbers will be important - especially to management.
5. Compare, adapt, compare...
It definitely goes without saying that you should always compare your social media efforts to those of your competitors. Performing a competitive analysis is a great way to gage how you measure up to your biggest competitors. Perhaps they are on a platform you have no presence. Or, maybe your direct competitors are getting high engagement rates on infographics, which you don't currently use in your social media content.
Once you see where your competitors are, you can better understand your strengths and opportunities in the market.
Staying original in this fast paced digital environment is hard to do. It definitely takes commitment and most importantly, remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. My best piece of advice for anyone trying to stay original on social media is: Get comfortable with trial and error because the only way you'll successfully stay relevant, innovative, or edgy, is to get ballsy with your experiments!
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