Social media has evolved over time and today it is that much harder to stand out of the crowd. It isn’t just about posting some text with a link and hoping that your audience will click it, read it, like it and ultimately re-post it. It takes much more finesse to craft the right message geared to the right audience. With these 6 tips you will be on the right track to grow your online presence. And if you need more make sure you sign up for our newsletter to get a Free copy of How To Rock Social Media – 25 Essential Tools & Tips for Biz & Bloggers Guide + get entered into great contests & giveaways!
Tell a Story
Audiences respond to genuine, personal and compelling stories. Organizations, companies and brands need to focus on creating content that will resonate with their audience. A good way to tell a story is through its people. Whether it is consumers, patients, volunteers, staff or partners, make sure you build those relationships by allowing these stakeholders to have their say. It is far more interesting and engaging to read about a consumer being helped by your company than the organization simply advertising and promoting its services. A volunteer testimonial or a day-in-the-life of a staff member blog post can show people the human side of your company. This is also a very cost effective way to use your existing resources. Check out TIFF’s Facebook post for National Volunteer Week to see how they acknowledged the work of so many year round volunteers.
People respond to visuals far better than plain text. A recent Buffer study shows that tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than without, 89% more favorites and 150% more re-tweets. That is a huge incentive for you to get creative. Here’s a summary chart they used:
Use all the tools in your company’s arsenal such as pictures from events, volunteer profiles and staff photos to include in your online content. If you have the funds, invest in a good camera and take it along with you to important events. If not, use a good cell phone camera and use free online software such as Gimp (similar to Photoshop but free) to fix any issues such as blurriness or wrong lighting. It’s easy to use and available in Linux, Mac and Windows.
Another creative idea for content is infographics. Easily display important statistics that your audience cares about in a visual snapshot. You can use your existing software such as Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to add text and graphics or use one of many free online programs that can create content for you such as Canva.com or Infogr.am. I used Canva to create my website logo, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube covers and various info graphics for my clients. I also used it to create custom Pinterest graphics.
Here’s one of my Pinterest graphics created with Canva.
I used Infogr.am for some additional info graphics as well. You can still create awesome graphics even if you have the free versions.
Here’s an example of a great info-graphic.
One of the best ways to attract audience is with great videos. These can include footage from your events, staff parties, thank you message to volunteers or a fun way to launch a campaign, contest or promotion. If you can afford a professional videographer then you can make sure your videos really stand out. If that is not in your budget, there are programs out there and tools you can use to do it yourself or have one of your staff do it. Incorporate your videos from office parties, programs and various interviews with volunteers and staff. Put it together in a 30 second to 1 minute montage using programs such as Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Lightworks (some learning curve is necessary) or web based programs such as YouTube Editor. Here’s a an overview of some great video editing programs: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-free-video-editing-software.
For a good read on video storytelling in your marketing videos check out Social Media Examiner.
Engage Your Online Audience
To increase your audience’s engagement rate create content that gives them a voice. Ask questions, post surveys, create contests and give your audience a way to interact with your organization. This type of content will also show your stakeholders that their opinion matters to you and they will be much more inclined to share it with their followers. A great survey creator tool is available at Snapsurveys.com.
Attach a ‘Call to Action’
Another way to increase engagement is to attach a ‘Call to Action’ to your online content. Include action words such as – Please Re-Tweet, Please Visit Our Facebook Page, Please Like Our Page. You can also give people an extra incentive to engage with you such as offering a fun contest with a prize going to the most engaged audience member. The prize can be something you already have in your stock such as promotional items or an item from your valued partner or sponsor. The sponsor can promote the contest to their audiences and therefore further increasing your online reach.
Publish Your Findings
Once you have gathered all your findings do not forget to let your audience know how you did. Post a visually creative statistical image to illustrate your survey results on all your social media platforms.
Also, make sure you announce the contest winner to your online audience to legitimize your contest. That way you can entice people to participate in one of your future polls or contests.
Your Take Aways
Growing your digital audience and engagement is a work in progress but you can take these 6 easy steps right now. Many of them can be done quickly and are not cost prohibitive such as using the free online tools and software. Let your creative juices run wild! Collaborate with all your stakeholders to generate great stories supported by visually engaging content. This will help you stand out from the crowd.
Let me know your tricks and share your success stories in the comments below. I love to work with people & brands to help them master social media so feel free to get in touch with me if you want to collaborate.
Want more tips? Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to receive your Free copy of How To Rock Social Media – 25 Essential Tools & Tips for Biz & Bloggers Guide + get entered into great contests & giveaways!
Love this post, thanks for sharing. I have used a number of these mediums in the past and I find video gets the best response. I think I need to start creating and using infographics especially as these fit really well with pinterest and I have one of my largest group of followers there. Thanks again, very helpful!
Thanks Neil for your kind words. Yes info graphics work very well. I use them all the time for one of my clients. They’re great attention grabbers. I’d love to join your Pinterest group.
Great tips. I have already implemented almost all of of them into my blog posts. The others I am still working on. Thanks for the link on the video editing program. I am actually thinking about starting a YouTube channel and this would come in very handy!
That’s sounds great. I’m glad you found these tips helpful. I’m currently working on a video post as well so that’s a great area to get into. I think you should definitely start a YouTube channel and I wish you great success with that.
There’s some great tips in here Kasia! Thank you – I especially liked the tips on a call to action. Never really knew what to do with that lol.
Yes Clarice a ‘Call To Action’ is a must. Otherwise you’re missing out on an opportunity. Glad you find these tips helpful 🙂
Finesse is right! It’s more than just words. I’m considering the use of video more and more, just need to push myself out there and take a chance. Can’t find out what would happen if I don’t start right? Thanks for the tips!
Agreed. Video is something I need to get into more. I just started my own YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn855t4Jl7F4z3hDvxSoKmA?guided_help_flow=3 so I will do more videos in the future. Glad you liked the tips!
This was a very good post. I know there’s always something to improve upon with a website. Even if I know a little, I know I don’t know it all. There’s always something new to learn 🙂
Glad you found it helpful Jacqueline :). Cheers!
This is very helpful! I would love to create a survey for my audience asking them what kind of content they want to see but I’m having a little trouble wording it… Any suggestions for a self-help blog for millennials?
Hi Caroline, a survey is a great idea. Try doing it through SurveyMonkey it’s free. As for content for Millennials I found this helpful post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-perlis/what-do-millennials-want-_b_10257926.html Check it out for some ideas. I’m not a Millennial (I know hard to believe lol) but I would definitely suggest writing about some tips to survive this changing economy. This generation is facing a lot of issues i.e. financial, job security, global issues, security and such. These topics should get you started. I hope this helps at least a bit 🙂
I really loved this post, thank you. Also, I am from Toronto 🙂 And I never knew about Infogr.am even though I am totally aware of the concept of Infographics. Thanks again, I’ll be re-reading this post until it soaks in.
Hi fellow Torontonian :). Great to connect. So happy you found this post helpful. I love infographics and I had fun making them both through Canva and Infogr.am.
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Great tips. I am checking to make sure I am doing what I think I am doing and then adding in new tips.
Awesome. Glad you liked the tips. Have a great week Elise!
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Great advice, I think I’ll check out Canva. Looks interesting.
Yes, Canva is a great tool. You definitely should check it out!
These tips are great. I always get a better reaction to my posts the more personal they are. I also like posts like that. I need to start using some more of your suggestions.
Absolutely, in total agreement here. Social media must be personal otherwise it seems like you’re just taking at people.
Great post! I was not aware about info graphics, would love to experiment with my next post. I mostly use Canva, and I agree, video caters to a large amount of audience, but I have been trying to overcome my fear and post a Video blog soon. That is on my to-do list.
Oh I totally understand Kirti. I’m a bit shy on video as well but I realize that I definitely need to do more of it.
Good helpful advice. I guess if you don’t ask for a share or a like, you can’t expect it. I think videos are so great. I find that curiosity helps engage people and they feel more like they “know” you.
I agree Lisa. It doesn’t hurt to ask right? Videos are definitely the most popular medium now.
Great tips! I’m definitely working on my visuals!
Awesome Felicia. I’m sure they will help a lot.
You’ve given me more ways and ideas to enhance my blog and social media pages. I really appreciate these social media strategies. I find them so helpful. Thank you very much!!
You’re absolutely welcome Mercy. So happy to be of help to you 🙂
Still the best practices for social media today. I need to work on telling stories – I feel that when I write captions or blog posts, it’s formal and informative.. get-to-the-point type of writing. Maybe it’s good for blog posts, but not so much for Instagram or relation building
Absolutely Sarah, stories is what attracts people. Thanks for checking out the article.
Ur tips are great. Info graphics, visuals and videos are a great way to attract more audiences. Agree with u 100%. Gonna share this with some digital marketing students 🙂
That’s great to hear. Thanks for sharing it with your students ❤️
I’ve been trying to get into videos but I definitely need advice on what devices to use. Those are all great tips !
Yes video can be tricky. Glad you found these tips helpful.
So true! All these strategies are very important for a successful online business/blog/page. I struggle with the videos though. While with everything else I’m quite satisfied of the way I deliver, videos are a pain in the @ss!
I know Niki videos are the hardest. It’s something I struggle with as well.
Very helpful! I need to get better about videos and calls to action, always room for improvement!
Absolutely, we all learn and grow over time.
Wow. didn’t realize Brazil was the fastest growing country on Facebook!
Yes, apparently so 🙂
First-rate tips right there! Creating a solid digital presence takes time, but with the right tatcics it all works out in the end! 🙂
Definitely Tahna. Glad we’re in agreement here.
For me social media is still a rocket science.
Oh no worries Anna, I’m sure in time it will be more easier. Any questions, let me know.
Great tips. Really helpful. Loved the post!!
Thanks so much Fatima 🙂
Great article! I just wanted to note that your link to Windows Movie Maker points to a known scam and is NOT the genuine installation page for this software. My understanding is that the installation files remain available at winmoviemaker.com.
Oh wow Steven, thanks for letting me know that. It’s amazing how these scam sites can look so legit. I have updated the link to reflect the correct website. Cheers 🙂
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