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5 tips to engaging and entertaining audiences on social

Emma Worth, Creative Social Strategist at Ralph, shares her top 5 tips for engaging and entertaining audiences on social media…

1. Become a Fan

To truly create an emotional connection with your audience on social, you need to share their passions wholeheartedly. That means living and breathing the brand and becoming as obsessive as they are. Ok, we can’t all take that as far as our tattooed Social Manager for Matt Groening’s Disenchantment, but we can take time to understand our audience and their lives. Because, if you can fully grasp your audience and master what they want from the content they consume, you’ve solved the first piece of the puzzle. This, in-turn, means they’ll engage and share more as a result. If they like quizzes, give the people quizzes!

2. Speak Your Audience’s Language

A bulletproof tone of voice is perhaps the most important thing for shaping your brand on social. We believe there are two considerations that you need to mould your brand TOV.

i) The language of social : Social has a language of its own, so embrace it in a way that fits your brand and your audience. Sometimes, we celebrate the language of social and memes so mercilessly that it goes beyond parody.

ii) The language of your audience : We have to continually be flexible with TOV dependent on the communities we’re trying to connect with. Going from the fabulous to the cynical.

But sometimes we might not inherently ‘get’ our audience. So for that, there’s comparative linguistics. Taking one data set of language and comparing it with your target audience’s use of language online, by filtering through AI – in order to find out the unique way they communicate, so you can speak that way too.

3. Create Content That Fits

The golden rule? Don’t feel pressured to be present everywhere, all of the time. Consider individual platforms and the way audience’s use them, and if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Ensure content fits seamlessly within the brand experience or play with functionality to subvert the experience. Consider also, the world we live in today: a ‘now’ world. Practically everything is on-demand and accessible. Social and our audience is ‘always-on’, so our content should be too. We shape and prime our messaging to be in-the-moment and for the now, reacting in real-time and only dropping content when an instant action can be taken.

4. Engage One 2 One

It’s easy to be seduced by big numbers. But don’t forget the little guy. Treat your community as individuals to build stronger relationships. Yes, we’re talking about our good friend, community management. This type of instant connection between brand and consumer is often overlooked, but it nurtures each and every one of the tips we’ve outlined so far.

Become their biggest fan, communicate with them in the way they communicate with you, share their enthusiasm, sorrow or excitement, and be present in the places they are present to show you’ve taken the time to consider their investment in your brand.

But don’t consider this as a boring daily checklist strategy. These relationships can be super playful, they can show empathy, be darn right sassy, or prove you share common ground; but most importantly, they can generate even more organic engagements from other individuals – because your audience wants to be a part of your conversation.

5. Capitalise on your community

Brands grow through incremental reach, so whilst it’s great to foster your community, it’s essential to aim above and beyond, using your passionate audience to make and break trends, creating reach outside of owned channels. This can be as simple as a Tweet that reflects the mood of your audience or using social to mobilise your audience to take part in real world events to spread your message far and wide.

GUEST BLOG: Overcoming marketing isolation

Marketing has been transformed over the past two decades, evolving from a primarily creative, somewhat fringe activity to a core corporate function, defined by metrics.

Yet while the ability to demonstrate ROI may have added discipline and improved marketing’s board level credentials, there is a significant downside to the reliance upon individual, task based measures. It is not just the CMO who is frustrated by the inability to join multiple sets to diverse metrics to gain a deep understanding of the true operational impact of marketing; individual marketers operating in task basked silos are completely blind to the role they play within the full marketing and sales funnel.

For generations now raised to expect instant gratification and an ability to contribute, these data silos are damaging morale and contributing to employee churn – resulting in ever less successful marketing teams. Data may have redefined marketing and provided essential proof of value but the tide is turning.

Without a real-time view of data gathered from all aspects of the sales and marketing funnel, which underpin a relevant dialogue with sales and, critically, build a far more motivated and engaged team, the gains in reputation and corporate value could be rapidly eroded, insists Marc Ramos, Chief Marketing Officer, SplashBI

Providing the complete picture

From Pay per Click (PPC) to email campaigns, social media to content generation, every marketing role is now supported by an extraordinary depth of data, often in real-time. But how effectively is marketing working as a whole? Is marketing delivering the quality and quantity of sales leads required? Despite the proliferation of data, the vast majority of resources are siloed – from sales automation tools to Google Analytics, data may support day to day campaign management but it delivers little, if any, valuable and actionable insight to the CMO.

From the CMO’s desire to identify and remediate problems in real time, to the Sales VP’s requirements for a better dialogue with marketing and the corporate need for accountability, siloed data sources, however deep and however fast, fail to provide the complete picture. And that is unbelievably frustrating, not only for the CMO but for individual marketers. The current real-time data sets offer a marketer great insight into campaign performance; but if that insight stops the moment the leads are handed off, and the overall company objectives are not being hit, the model is clearly flawed. Isolated individuals, however well they perform within their own remit, lack the motivation and engagement that is essential to achieve long term success.

Analysing full funnel data

It is a real-time understanding of the links between each marketing element – and hence data set – that delivers new levels of accountability and visibility between marketing and sales and vice versa. What leads have been delivered to sales and how effectively have sales closed those leads? Where, what and how is this affecting the overall corporate objectives this week, month, quarter or year? With visibility all the way to the CEO, when full funnel data is pulled together, analysed and reported on properly, the entire organisation can be held accountable.

The ability to leverage a pre-built business visualisation of the complete marketing funnel is a revelation. Encompassing web traffic performance and PPC, email campaigns and social media response, a high visual, real-time view of the entire funnel changes every aspect of the CMO’s activity – from real-time campaign tweaks on the fly in response to a drop off in specific performance to the day to day management and motivation of staff.

This latter point is key: while deep, cross business insight will improve the relevance of marketing metrics and enable effective targeted response, this complete, end-to-end view can also re-centre the marketing team by overcoming task based isolation. By creating marketing goals that are inclusive of sales performance, the business can consider and understand the performance of individuals as part of the whole and vice versa: for the first time each individual can understand the value of his or her marketing role to the overall business.

Taking individuals out of their task based siloes not only makes it far easier to focus on the best leads but, more critically, it provides context to day to day activities, context that is fundamental to building engagement and motivation. For the CMO dealing with the constant challenge of staff retention and the fear of losing great talent, adding cross-organisational business insight, including sales, finance and HR data, to full funnel analytics can also be a revelation.

A pre-built visualisation can provide a better understanding of the issues created by a multi-generational workforce of baby boomers, Generation X and millennials; or identify those managers who retain and get the best value from their talent. Essentially, with the ability to rapidly explore diverse business information, the CMO has new insight to support the creation of a true marketing team, rather than a number of isolated individuals, – a team that shares the same business vision and works effectively together.