Are People Talking About You?

Recommendations of friends are trusted more than any other form of brand marketing. This is true for consumers of all ages. Social proof, a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation, also factors in. Bottom line, getting people talking about you to their friends is a powerful way to market your business.

People love to hear, watch and share stories with the people who they are connected to. The story features on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Google encourage users to share their choices and experiences.

How do you become the topic of these stories? Deliver products, services, and experiences worth sharing.

People Are the Basis of the Best Stories

People value authentic human connection in a brand experience. So, your people need to be at the heart of your storytelling. Tell stories about your people, both personal and business-related. Your audience will be interested to get to know them.

Be Visual

Create opportunities for visual connections to your brand. Post pictures and videos that tell your story. Offline, create photo ops that anyone can use to share an experience related to you.  This can be something that is part of a brick and mortar experience or even the packaging or presentation of your product. Make both something people will want to share.

Creativity Wins

As you create text, images, and video, be creative. How can you tell your story in a unique way? Can you find another perspective? What haven’t you talked about before.

Often, businesses avoid the things that people ask about the most because they are not “on message.” Embrace your audience where they are. Start where they are to capture interest and then use your story to take them to the place you really want them to be.

Be Consistent

Tell your story, but stay focused. Be consistent in your brand messaging, keywords and imagery. Keep all your content connected. Your great stories should build the larger picture of your business.

Relationship Building with Social Media

Every business needs to develop relationships with a target audience. Whether the goal is to develop advocates, sell services or encourage other specific action, social media is a great tool for relationship building.

Here are five ways to use social media to connect.

Listen and learn.

Social media lets you listen to the people in your target audience. Listen to get a clear picture of their needs. People share a lot if information on social media. You can understand them much more deeply than age and gender.

Build trust.

Social media is two-way. You get to do more than see what people post. They get to do more than read your content. You can engage. Comments, likes, shares, etc. create two-way exchanges. People tell you what they like and what they want. They gain a level of trust in your authenticity and that you care.

Target precisely.

Social media lets you target your audience and give them the right content directly. You know who they are and what they want. You can speak directly to them and their needs.

Drive website traffic.

Use social media to connect people to your online home base – your website. There you can really hone your messaging. You can present your brand exactly how you want. You can create a path for people to move from awareness to deeper connections with you.

Increase revenue.

Social media improves your bottom line. It enables you to connect with your target audience. It gives you a platform to convert those contacts to the actions you want. With relationships established, you can sell products and services, prompt action, and convert toward other goals.


Up Your Insta Hashtag Game

Hashtags are a key way that Instagram users find content and engage with trending topics. As an important way for Instagram users to discover your brand, hashtags are a necessary component of your strategy on the platform.

You need an Instagram strategy and, within that strategy, you need a hashtag approach. Here’s how to get there.

Research Trending Topics with Your Target Audience

You need to know which topics and hashtags are trending with your target audience. Identify topics that are of highest interest to your audience. Narrow to the conversations that are most relevant to your brand.

You may find that different hashtags are best for subsets of your audience.  Consider different hashtag strategies for each of these sub-targets so that they see your content.

Plan for Quality Over Volume

Instagram algorithmically selects posts to reveal within a hashtag based on recency and quality. Users can also downvote posts. This can get you in trouble in the platform if you use a ton of hashtags that really aren’t applicable.

Focus your strategy around consistent posting of relevant content using hashtags that are meaningful to your target audience.

Draw from Experience

Look at the social content that has performed best for you and the hashtags used in that content. Put together a content calendar based around events, interests, and seasonal topics of interest to your audience.