Most PR pros know the ins and outs of social media. It’s an absolute must in the digital age.
While we may be savvy pinners and engaging Instagrammers, we often miss one of the most valuable social media marketing resources of all: the site’s interface.
Instead of just posting regular updates, you can get creative with your social media by using the site’s unique assets, such as photo click-throughs or location links. This will catch your audience’s attention and, in some cases, align with your key performance indicators.
Here’s how you can think outside the social media box as you plan your brand’s Vine, Facebook and Instagram strategies for 2015.
This week, Ad Age shared how Lowe’s is using Vine’s “tap-to-stop technology” in its “How To Tap Thru” series. The Vines offers quick, six-second demonstrations for home improvements.
By incorporating Vine’s tap-to-stop technology, the audience can pause the tutorial to follow along at home. For example, in this Vine, Lowe’s shares how to build a fire pit in 10 very quick steps.
This tactic can be used across multiple industries. Do you represent a grocery store chain? Implement a tap-thru series for recipes. Do you work for a clothing line? Use Vine to share tips for putting together an outfit. It’s simple, but sometimes simple is the best option.
As one of the oldest social media sites, most citizens of the Internet, not just PR pros, are well-versed in Facebook. The site’s album option is a popular feature because people (and brands) love to share photos.
What if a brand could turn that album feature on its head for an exciting new promotion strategy? Instead of only posting photos, try using that click-through feature to tell a larger story.
For example, if you work for the aforementioned grocery store brand, you could unveil the top 15 foods purchased in 2014 in a Facebook album using photos with a text overlay. You could end with a coupon redeemable on your website, or tease people to your website to see the most popular food.
Another option: If you’re launching an e-book, provide a snippet of it (perhaps the first chapter) through a Facebook album. With the click-through feature, it’s like they’re flipping from page to page. If the content is valuable enough (which it should be if you’ve published it) fans will click right through to your site to download the rest.
I love Instagram, but as a marketer, the lack of hyperlinking capabilities is frustrating. To counter this, more and more brands are offering specific promotions through individual posts, then directing the audience to profile pages for a direct link. That means they’re updating their profile link multiple times per week.
I tried that out on my own behalf to see how it would work with my marathon fundraising efforts, and it was a success. I received a new donation within the hour! Here’s a snapshot of what that post looks like: â Brands are even using the location tag within posts to share the call to action, such as “shop today’s deal, use link in profile.”
Here’s an example of how Asics, my beloved running shoe brand, is using this tactic (note the location tag on the top right, which mirrors the call to action mentioned above): â
Social media is an incredibly useful tool for brands. It offers unprecedented opportunities for customer interaction. When you go beyond the typical posts and fully use the platform’s offerings and interface, you can surprise, delight and engage with your audience even further.
Have you discovered tips and tricks for other popular social sites like LinkedIn or Twitter? Please share.
Stephanie Vermillion is a senior account executive at Wordsworth Communications, a public relations agency in Cincinnati. Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn and Twitter (@SMVermillion). A version of this article originally appeared on her blog.