There has been a lot of buzz recently about how social media is changing our brains – and possibly not for the better. Putting our personal feelings about the matter aside, there are a lot of opportunities for savvy marketers to take advantage of the constantly moving and changing social media landscape.
All of us out there compulsively checking our Twitter accounts, Facebook updates, or even emails are already addicted – the process of reading new updates releases dopamine in your brain, which is the same process an addict goes through when they get their fix (yes, really). While this might sound a bit sinister, it is important for advertisers to understand how social media works.
Build a lifestyle around your brand. If you know what types of content and the topics your target demographic is most likely to be interested in (and you should), curate the best examples or most interesting posts centered around those topics and share them. Done properly over time, this will result in your brand’s content being integrated into your followers’ lifestyles. For instance, Whole Foods doesn’t just post about their products and sales, they share recipes, links to relevant news articles, and more on their social media accounts. Their digital presence is the logical evolution of a lifestyle brand.
Time your posts for when your customers are most likely to check their various accounts. Think about when you are most likely to check your Twitter or Facebook – first thing in the morning, right after lunch, and before you go to bed at night are usually common times. Schedule your updates for when your users are likely to be jonesing for their next social media fix. Reference this visual.ly graph for more insights into the science of social timing.
Use social media for insights into your consumers. If you have been consistently Tweeting, blogging, Instagramming, and Facebooking on behalf of a brand, you probably already have a good understanding of what types of content resonate with your audience. If not, starting with a large variety of content types (questions, pictures, links, quotes, etc.) gives you a good base to determine which posts are being shared, “liked”, RT-ed, and starred. Then, follow up with reporting and analysis to see what works, what doesn’t, and use that data to inform the types of content you post in the future. Audience feedback should be a key component in developing content-marketting plans in order to deliver the content your audience prefers, in turn giving fans more reason to engage with your brand in the future.
This one is the most important – respect your audience’s time by not flooding their feeds with pointless content. While it may seem obvious, posting something that doesn’t follow the guidelines we just described just because you haven’t posted yet today is one of the quickest ways to lose followers and social media credibility – even the users who display the addictive behavior outlined above don’t want to be bored. They’ll be on to the next thing faster that you can hit refresh.
In conclusion – share something compelling at the right time, and only post if you have something valuable to say.