4 Ways to Provide Value on Your Social Media
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Today, everyone and everything (and every dog) is on social media.
With so many accounts on so many platforms social media is shifting from a novelty to an over-saturated market, and this shift is consequently also shifting consumer behaviors and mindsets. Now consumers are following accounts they consider worthwhile, and they can easily move on from your profile to your competitor's in a single scroll. If you want to get and keep your audience’s attention, you need to consistently provide valuable content.
Pro-tip: As you create content always always always remember your target audience. These are the people interested in buying your products and using your services after all, so you should be creating content that’s made for and marketed to them. Understanding your target audience is important for every business - make sure your business masters how to get better at talking to your target audience, especially on social - read all about our tips here.
The goal for businesses on social media is to have an engaged audience and an account that people come to for fresh, valuable content.
Here’s 4 ways to provide value on your social media:
1. Give Exclusive Discount Codes & Deals
People love saving money...and that’s why promo codes and sales are a great way to provide value on your social media accounts. Most businesses already offer deals every now again, but leveraging this via social media is a super effective way to appeal to a larger audience.
First and foremost, rewarding your followers with exclusive deals makes them feel special. Not only does this reward justify their following, but the satisfaction of being "recognized" for their "hard work" is elating. Air quotes because it's not difficult but they did choose you over thousands of other accounts. By creating codes exclusive to social media you can generate buzz about the perks of following, increase your following, and drive sales from those who follow you all in one swoop.
Whether you choose to feature these deals on all of your business’s social media accounts or just one of your accounts, make sure your decision is a tactical one. Depending on which platform is the most successful for you or which one(s) you’re looking to grow, harnessing the value of providing discount codes and deals can work in your favor.
If you want to follow marketing trends, consider using Instagram Stories. With more than 500 million people using this feature every day, advertising your discounts and deals on Instagram Stories is a great way to leverage it to your advantage. And if you decide to take the promote your Story, here’s our cheat sheet on how to make a killer Instagram story ad. You’re welcome :)
2. Provide Helpful Information
Social media is your platform to entertain, educate, and get real with your followers. So if your business is doing something really cool behind the scenes, share it!
Testing out a new recipe? Keep your customers in the loop. Selling clothes made from organic cotton? Post about it. Using locally sourced ingredients? Spread the word. Donating a percentage of your profits to a good cause? Don't keep it to yourself. By sharing knowledge about your business/staff/company culture/what's important to you, you’ll keep your followers interested and engaged on a deeper level...which results in word-of-mouth recommendations and of course, sales.
Fresh Catch Poke Co., for example, is great at providing helpful information. They often share informative nutritional posts that spell out the ingredients they're using + the health benefits behind them. Remember, when your consumers feel informed it makes them feel good about their buying decisions and ultimately more connected to your brand.
3. Give Opportunities to Win Free Stuff
Know what else people love? Free stuff. The logic is simple: People love to win. People love free stuff. People love to win free stuff. Not only can successful Instagram contests raise brand awareness and boost follower counts in a short period of time but they can also foster greater brand-consumer relationships. After all, you are giving them free stuff.
Here are some facts about the benefits of Instagram contests according to a study by Tailwind.
Accounts that hold Instagram contests grow their following 70% faster than accounts that don’t
Instagram contests get 3.5 times as many likes and 64 times more comments on average than regular posts
TL;DR: Instagram giveaways can be *very* conducive to your overall social media marketing goals. And since running a successful giveaway on Instagram is a bit of an art form, here are a few helpful #protips.
4. Provide a Platform for Your Customers to be Heard
Everyone likes to know that others care about their opinion, so it makes sense that providing a way for followers to make their opinions heard is a huge source of value. There are lots of different ways to get feedback from your followers on social media: ask your followers questions on Facebook, use the ‘Ask Me’ feature on Instagram Stories, create a poll on Twitter, encourage followers to comment their thoughts on your posts. With so many ways to can get people talking, don’t be afraid to get creative!
Pro-tip: Getting feedback about what your target audience wants can help you make real life business decisions. Some local clothing brands implement this by asking “which do you like better A or B” on Instagram Polls before placing a order for the upcoming season. Other things you can ask: What’s your favorite local band? What local beers should we tap next? Would you take this class if we offered it?
Here’s an example from Step Out Buffalo where we asked our followers for brunch recs. This 1) helps us come up with ideas for content creation, 2) gets our followers interested in our brunch articles, and 3) makes our audience feel as if their opinions and contributions are shaping the content we produce...which they are. It’s a win-win-win.
With this tip, it’s important to keep the platform(s) you're posting on in mind, because no two platforms are the same. Think about the type of content your followers will engage with on whichever platform(s) you're creating content for. For example, Instagram is image-driven and Facebook encourages conversation. Read more on platform-specific content here.
Looking for more helpful content about social media?
Check out our other articles here for free tips & tricks!
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