6 Ways to Improve Communication with your Audience on Social Media!
In this WOI 101, we will look at 6 simple tips to enhance and improve your communication strategy. These tips will help you to improve your communication, reach, and impact with your target audience.
1: Know your audience before you communicate
This sounds obvious, however, it’s common to speak to “everyone” in social media marketing without truly understanding your customer and meeting them “where they are”, ideologically speaking. Social media metrics tempt brands and individuals into the “likes” game – more likes, more sales, right? Not always. What matters more than ever is the community you build around your brand and the conversations that follow. It’s not always a numbers game. That said, what you can measure, you can manage, and you should look for 5% growth on social media each month as a good indicator that you are speaking to your audience in ways that resonate with them. As a guideline, brands doing a reasonable job on Instagram can expect an increase of 6% -8% per month. That’s 3 times what’s usually seen on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. So if you’re a brand, we suggest aiming for 6% growth per month as a strong goal. WOI clients typically achieve between 5-10% growth per month when engaging our services and making use of our tips.
2: Have a consistent brand voice
Your brand’s “voice” should be rooted in your values, mission, and purpose, and executed with your audience and their preferences in mind. Run an internal exercise to figure where on the formality scale you need to sit, how candid you can be, what level of expert language you can use or should avoid, how playful you can be, and so on, and stick with it. Remember that your audience will become accustomed to the way you “speak” and any large deviation from this throws off the relationship. That said if your voice needs adjusting to meet the needs of the brand and your audience, make those changes. The key is to avoid large shifts in “brand personality” but a subtle evolution and maturation is usually a good thing. Copywriting should be focused on great content that your readers will love as first priority, with keywords and SEO taking a subtle (but important) back seat.
3: Customer research at the core
This is linked to point 1, understanding your customer. Chances are, you have a good idea of who your demographic is and isn’t, but do you know their latest views, wishes, desires, turn-offs, and general preferences? Keeping in mind that consumer trends are heavily weighted on interaction and active participation in your brand, we should be asking our customers what they want from you. A great, safe, easy way to do this is via Instagram Stories with interactive voting buttons, Q&A’s, and polls. This is a fast way to gauge what your audience wants more (and less) of from you. That takes care of pipeline products and new initiatives. For data on existing campaigns, projects, products, and services, refer to your analytics to, for example, check which blogs or posts are the best performing. If a blog is not performing as expected, try adjusting its title and keywords before you move on to writing something new. We should be adjusting and updating existing content as often as creating new.
4: Consider the bigger picture when expressing your opinions on social media
It’s good to have confidence, conviction, and a compelling story but keep in mind that your audience may hold different views. Again, it is important that we show our audience that we understand them, and we can be helpful in providing solutions/advice/experiences/support, etc. There is a fine line between engagement and alienation, and this often lies in being too heavily aligned with one view to the detriment of evidencing a wider understanding of complex issues. Whilst this is more relevant to individuals speaking on behalf of themselves in a personal blog, over say, a corporate brand, opinions need to be carefully considered before being released into the wild west of the internet. Opinions are good – they speak to “your” values and therefore (hopefully) the values of your audience, however, they are also risky and can put off as quickly as they delight. The easiest solution is to ensure you are well informed on any topic before joining the conversation. Then, go for it with conviction, knowledge, confidence, and an open mind.
5: Avoid selling to your audience on every social post
Constant sales content in your communications and captions is off-putting and will lead to unfollows and low engagement. Promotional content should be 1:4 along with inspirational, informative, educational content. Remember that your audience wants more from your brand than just what you sell. They want to understand your values, purpose, mission, vision, and how you operate. Depending on the brand, you should have ample opportunity to speak to each of the communications/content pillars, sharing stories, insights, and ideas that are related to your product without directly selling. Reducing your sales content will make its impact greater when you do share it. Less is more!
6: Communicate your USPs – unique selling points and differentiators
Often, we are so “close to” our brand that we make assumptions that others understand it. However, it’s important to clearly communicate what makes you different. Getting to the core of your USPs is challenging, especially in a competitive market where there may be multiple similar brands. A good starting point is your values, purpose, and whatever solution or experiences your brand offers. How do we want people to feel when they engage with the brand? What value does the brand have to offer? As the brand’s founder, you probably have a lot to say on this topic. Try to distil this into one or two sentences. Then try to distil even further. When you reach a word or a phrase that defines your core offering, you are in a good place.
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You may also be interested in reading:
Branding vs Marketing – What’s the Difference?
Seven Essential Steps in Creating a Communications Strategy that Works