4 rules Grubhub follows to drive social media success

The company’s senior manager of social media says online marketers must put consumers first, think of each platform and prepare with mobile devices in mind. Consider these takeaways.

Social media users are hungry for excellent, captivating content.

With more than 2.3 million followers across Grubhub’s and Seamless’ social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the food-ordering services dish up tasty interactions and keep fans coming back for more.

You don’t have to deliver restaurant dishes to tap into social media’s power, however.

Mallorie Rosenbluth, Grubhub’s senior manager of social media and influencer marketing, shares four takeaways for social media marketers looking to boost their online strategies:

1. Make mobile-friendly content.

More people than ever before are using their smartphones and tablets to access social media platforms and content.

Rosenbluth says that in 2018 accessing social media platforms through mobile devices increased while logging on via desktop decreased. Mobile apps comprised 70 percent of people’s time spent on social media. The popularity of social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, coupled with sleeker versions of Facebook Mobile and Messenger, continues to add to the growing mobile craze.

“With such strong mobile numbers across the board, thinking mobile first is one of the most important components of developing a content strategy,” Rosenbluth says.

Crafting content for smaller screens isn’t just about providing text and visuals that are easily skimmed. These interactions shape consumers’ experience with your brand.

Rosenbluth says:

Even more important than what the content includes, it’s all about how the content is formatted. For instance, a completely horizontal video shared on Facebook is not the optimal sizing for how most people will be viewing and interacting with that content piece. You should be thinking about mobile-optimized specs right out of the gate—so, your content should be either completely vertical, if you’re playing your media exclusively on mobile devices, or an aspect ratio that will play to the vertical nature of the phone greater than a more narrow aspect ratio of traditional placements (consider a 4:5 aspect ratio to look great on all devices).

Test your content for mobile friendliness, whether you’ve created an article, image or video. Each will look different on your desktop versus mobile devices, so it’s important to check that the sizing and formatting translate properly before you publish.

You might be tempted to test your sizing on your desktop, especially if you’re already working on one, but Rosenbluth warns that not checking your content on a phone or tablet can lead to mistakes.

“Ultimately, you should imagine that every piece of content you’re creating is going to be viewed on mobile [devices],” Rosenbluth says.

2. Tailor your content to each social media platform.

 Each online platform offers different features and caters to different demographics.

Rosenbluth says:

Social platforms are not all the same. Users engage with content differently on each channel and they interact with friends, families, and brands differently, as well. It’s critical as a social media and content marketer to understand how people are spending their time when they’re logged in to the sites.

Blasting your messages across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube will probably have the opposite effect that you hope to achieve: Instead of boosting your reach, viewers will click away on videos, images and text that doesn’t fit the platform (or their interests).

Rosenbluth says:

… [Y]ou have to adapt the execution of your content to fit [user] behaviors. I always stress that it’s the execution of the content you have to alter—not the core idea behind the content.

It’s important for your content efforts to be cohesive, but Rosenbluth suggests doing so by placing a powerful story as your “hub” and then using several types of content to tell that story as the “spokes” leading out from it. These “spokes” can include videos, images, interactive quizzes and more.

Match the content type to the platform and user behavior, and you’ll find that you can better reach consumers across social media platforms. Repurposing your storytelling efforts also offers you additional content that you can then share with other departments, such as your co-workers in employee communications or advertising.

Keep in mind platform differences when you measure your efforts. Though Rosenbluth employs Sprout Social as Grubhub’s social media monitoring and reporting tool, she and her team also use online platforms’ native analytics to provide marketing insights and better provide customer service.

“Facebook and Instagram insights in particular are great tools and resources,” Rosenbluth says. “Marketers should get really comfortable with these features before looking at additional tools with lots of bells and whistles.”

3. Increase engagement by being friendly.

Every digital communicator wants more engagement. Start interacting with social media users who already love you and share your content online.

Thank those that tweet your organization’s praises and consider re-posting excellent images taken by consumers (with their permission). Those small moves show social media users that you’re paying attention and value their opinions, which can go a long way in fostering a strong and active community.

Rosenbluth says:

On Instagram, look through the photos you were recently mentioned in or got tagged in. Leave a comment or a like if it’s appropriate. People really want to feel that the brands they love, love them back. Acknowledging this kid of shout out goes a long way.

Rosenbluth says interacting with fans “seems easy,” but many brand managers miss that crucial step of engaging those who are interested in conversations, missing out on increased buzz and brand ambassador relationships.

Ensure that your social media posts are conversational and show off your organization’s personality. Employ your brand voice and follow social media guidelines, but don’t stick to a script.

“No one wants to feel like a response back to them was just a [copy-and-paste] job,” Rosenbluth says.

4. Think like a consumer.

 Along with using a conversational and relatable tone, make sure you’re not spewing marketing messages into an already cluttered digital landscape.

“Think about the value you’re providing, and how your content is going to get someone to stop, act (watch, like, comment, share, click) and remember you,” Rosenbluth says. “Create stories and value—not ads.”

By not overtly calling out your organization’s current promotions and offerings, you offer consumers the chance to learn and interact with your brand in ways that intrigue and delight. With each positive experience, a consumer is more drawn to your products and services—and is more likely to trust you (also boosting your brand’s reputation).

Rosenbluth says:

At the end of the day, social media marketing requires us to take up the same space in a person’s feed that their friends and family do. When you think about how you can get a marketing message in front of your target audience, you’re already behind.

How can you get into the proper mindset of putting social media users first? Think like them.

“Take off your marketer hat and put on your consumer hat,” Rosenbluth says.

You can learn more rules of the social media road, including secrets to boosting engagement and crafting outstanding mobile-friendly online content, by joining us at Disney World on March 6-8 for Ragan’s Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing & Corporate Communications. Rosenbluth will speak, along with presenters from Major League Soccer, Mall of America, “Good Morning America,” Wendy’s, Twitter and more.

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