No such thing as a free lunch?
We hear the term ‘Earned Media’ these days but what does it mean? Traditionally, when you put an advert on T.V or in the newspaper it vanishes in front of its audience. Rarely they may tell a friend about this amazing advert they saw but generally speaking not. Everything you get in TV land you pay for. As they say ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’.
Social Media throws this right out the window. Now the aim is to put it out, pay for a little to get it going and hope it flies. And when it flies you have just earned yourself free media exposure facilitated by those who needed to tell their friends about you. So there is such thing as a free lunch.
What makes all this happen is virality. You tell a story that people want to pass on. So next time your sitting down to plan your social media campaign with dreams of earned social media in mind these are 5 tips to get your head around. Remember social media success is about having the right mindset and becoming part of the fun.
5 mindset tips for to be successful on Social Media
1. Stop Advertising: Think of it, your sitting in the pub with a group of friends and a guy comes up trying to sell you a new watch. Everyone gives him the sign and wants to punch his lights out. How dare he interrupt our fun! Well guess what, Facebook and other social networks operate just the same. It’s people having fun with their friends and you better not interrupt with your cheesy slogans and bland ideas of how life could suddenly become blissful if you changed your washing powder. People are on social networks to interact, be entertained or get information. Maybe you should start becoming part of that and not trying to interrupt it.
2. Know who you want to talk to: This is paramount to engaging any group. Lets face it, you don’t have the same conversation with your granny as your rugby mates. Know who your talking to and what they like to talk about is an obvious must but often missed. The best way to set a platform for this is develop personas for each of your target audiences. What are the interests, behaviours, and activities they like? When you know what people are like it’s easier to talk to them. Even on social media.
3. Think of chocolate cake: I did a experiment recently to test a theory I had on what people like, share and comment about on social networks like facebook and twitter. It goes back to a basic fundamental human need to be liked. People share things on Facebook because they believe it reflects on them well and the person they want to be perceived as. When we share something intellectual it’s because we want others to see our genius, when we share something rude it’s that bad boy in us all. So back to my experiment, I posted 2 pictures to the same audience 1. A picture of a chocolate cake and 2. A nice but normal looking meal. So who got the most shares? Of course, it was the chocolate cake and by 10 times the level of social engagement. And why? Because everyone likes to be naughty. Next time your designing your social media content strategy make sure you use plenty of chocolate cake.
4. Establish Characters & Themes: When writing a book it is best practice to establish your theme, characters, and plot first. Having all these in place is vital to act as a creative platform for the communication you will ultimately post on social networks. Also, your audience will get to know your ways and grow an affinity with you. For brand campaigns it is vital to set themes for engagement and consistently use these as a inspiration for engagement. Just like a brand message user engagement can flutter around one core essence or conversation that reflect well on your brand.
5. Be as creative as you like: The days of people chanting your carefully crafted cheesy slogans are over. It’s time now to start treating people as the fun creatures they are. The Internet generation are informed and free thinkers and don’t want to engage with anyone watching their p’s and q’s. Agreed there has to be certain parameters of respectable but beyond that there is nothing wrong with talking to social media in their language.
The Social Media Opportunity
Now next time you plan a social media campaign get in the right mindset. For small and medium sizes business that don’t have the budgets of the larger brands there is a huge opportunity to level the playing field by understanding the social media environment and thinking creatively. The better you can connect with your audience the less you pay for what you get.