Cutting Through the Social Fog
7 Web Visibility Tricks for Internet Professionals
These days, brands typically turn to
social networks to grow their audience
base and capitalize on the millions (and
in Facebook’s case, billions of) active
monthly users. With such a large prospect
pool, there are thousands upon thousands
of businesses also clamoring for these
users’ attention (and dollars). That said,
it’s not enough to just establish a social
presence. In order to cut through the social
fog and be found by users, brands must
continually work to increase their visibility.
Here are seven ways to do just that.
1. Fly with a Partner(s)
Most businesses already have contacts with other
enterprises, and when leveraged in the social
realm, these relationships can be mutually beneficial.
Whether it’s combining forces to throw an
event, run a contest or simply share each other’s
content, both brands will benefit from the extra
For companies with limited contacts, platforms such as Sideqik can assist with collaboration efforts and help businesses launch marketing initiatives together. This year, the Atlanta Film Festival worked with partners to increase its online buzz, according to Sideqik Co-Founder Kurt Uhlir.
“(The Atlanta Film Festival) works with 40-plus movies that are admitted to the festival every year, several theaters and brands,” said Uhlir. “The Atlanta Film Festival worked with dozens of these partners to run cross-promotions using Sideqik for the 2013 festival, and they were able to drastically increase the number of people talking about their festival online, and ultimately, it led to more ticket/pass sales.”
2. Soar with Cross-Promotions
Just as partnering up with another business can help increase brand awareness, so can cross-promoting a company’s social presence on other owned digital properties. For instance, if a business recently created a Pinterest handle, it should announce this to its Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Moreover, brands with buzz-worthy YouTube videos or jazzed-up Instagram photos should share that content with its other social networks, on its website and within email messages in order to reach a broader audience and attract new followers.
3. Get Seen with Visual Content
Visual content tends to resonate with social audiences
better than text-based posts. In fact, a HubSpot study
reveals that photos on Facebook Pages receive 53 percent
more likes and 104 percent more comments than
text posts, while a Simply Measured study found that
videos are shared 12 times more than link and text
This means that in order to increase engagement, brands should incorporate as much visual content into their posting strategies as possible, which can include videos, images or infographics.
4. Shine with Contests and Events
There is no better place to publicize an event or run a
contest than on a social network. Every time a fan or
follower enters the contest or talks about the event, they
are automatically increasing a brand’s visibility (whether
they know it or not).
According to Brian Coughlin, SEO and social media expert for eyeglass retailer Optics Planet, the company has used contests to increase its fan count by more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year.
“Sweepstakes and giveaways are a great way to increase your fan base and really engage your loyal following,” said Coughlin. “We’ve already run 14 contests in 2013, and we're trying to get one up nearly every week.”
It is important to note that a successful contest simply needs to be engaging, and doesn’t necessarily need to give away a big prize. For example, posting a “Caption the Photo” contest, usually gets people talking about a brand and engaging with the post — regardless if there is a prize or not.
5. Heat Up Social with Hashtags
Many platforms within the social-sphere (Twitter,
LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram) allow
members to use hashtags to mark keywords or topics,
and this feature makes it easy for social network members
to discover posts related to a specific subject.
That said, brands should be careful not to overdo hashtags, because it can come across as inexperienced or even spammy. In fact, Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per post, as well as only using hashtags relevant to the topic within a tweet.
While some brands do a good job at creating unique hashtags to start their own trending topics, others leverage popular hashtags so that their content is more easily seen.
6. Advertise in the Social Atmosphere
Perhaps the quickest way to increase brand awareness on
social media platforms is by launching a social ad campaign.
While not every social network offers advertising
options (yet), Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide
brands with a variety of ad formats and tools.
For example, Twitter offers a self-service advertising platform for small businesses, which allows them to launch promoted accounts and tweets, while only charging users when someone follows their promoted account or interacts with their promoted tweet. Conversely, Facebook provides a variety of ad formats including display ads, Sponsored Stories and Facebook Offers (visit wsm.co/FBADGUIDE for a comprehensive list), which can be used to help brands gain followers, obtain conversions and grow engagement. Additionally, Facebook advertisers can leverage the social network’s robust targeting options to ensure that their ads reach the right audience.
7. Guide with Social Buttons
Last, but certainly not least, since brands are directly responsible
for guiding users to their social pages, they
should include social sharing buttons on all of their digital
For example, e-commerce retailers will want to include a “pin-it” button for all of their products, so that their merchandise can easily be shared onto Pinterest. Furthermore, including social share buttons on blog posts and within emails will help increase the chance of content going viral, while including company follow, like and +1 buttons on a site’s highest traffic pages helps in growing a fan/follower base, as well.
Once these strategies are implemented, brand managers should monitor analytics to find out what content type resonates the best with their audience. By doing this, brands can tailor future content to receive better engagement, which will ultimately attract new fans.