Social media has become a major tool for marketers. But even though most small businesses use social media, it doesn’t mean they’re using it effectively.
For instance, only 45 percent of marketers think their Facebook strategy is effective, reports Social Media Examiner. In addition, 92 percent of marketers aren’t sure which social media tactics work best, and 88 percent don’t know how to measure their return on their social media investment.
To use social media effectively instead of just wasting time and money, you need an effective strategy. Here are three lessons to be learned from brands that have effectively used social content publishing to start a conversation with customers and build long-term relationships.
Over the past decade, Dove has used social media to rebrand itself as a personal care brand as well as a company that is committed to helping women realize their beauty potential. Dove’s social media makeover is an outgrowth of the company’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.” After finding that only 4 percent of women consider themselves beautiful, Dove began focusing on helping women feel comfortable with the skin they’re in.
In 2013, Dove broadcast this message through social media with a viral video called “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” that used drawings from a forensic sketch artist to show the difference between the way women describe themselves and how others see them. This won Dove support from other important promotional partners, such as the Girl Scouts. The next year Dove and an alliance of charities, businesses and trade associations launched a new campaign to help change attitudes toward body image and put health above appearance.
As part of its ongoing campaign, Dove also launched an effort to combat negative advertising associated with health and beauty marketing with an “Ad Makeover” initiative that allowed Facebook users to replace depressing ads about topics such as weight loss with uplifting messages. The campaign reached 5.5 million women, motivating 50 percent of female visitors to leave a message and increasing its Facebook mentions by 71 percent.
Direct-selling business Amway is another company that has gotten a big boost from social media content. After using the direct-selling networking model successfully since 1959, Amway found itself facing new competition from online direct sellers in the wake of e-commerce. Meanwhile, the company’s distribution force was aging. For instance, only 30 percent of its Australian distributors were under 30 in 2010.
Amway turned this around by taking its traditional marketing material online and combining it with a social media outreach to young audiences. Amway’s social media campaigns are supplied with content from the company’s blog, which provides visitors with practical information on topics related to Amway products, such as haircare, makeup and cosmetics, skin care, vitamins and supplements, and healthy living.
By using this type of content to reach social media users, distribution of Amway’s content has reached an audience fifteen times larger than was previously reached by the company’s print magazine. Over 50 percent of Amway’s Australian distributors are now under 30, and the company has a growing presence in countries such as China, India, Japan and Korea as well as in North America, where Amway ranks among the top 25 private companies in the U.S.
Restaurant chain Denny’s is another brand that has built a social media presence through well-crafted content. The company posts humorous content that sounds like it was posted by a breakfast-loving teenager rather than a corporation. The content aims to mimic the experiences customers might have while eating at Denny’s, so they associate the brand with positive memories.
To achieve this, the company hires creative people with backgrounds such as writing and film to develop content. The strategy has paid off, too. Denny’s has over 850,000 likes on Facebook and over 200,000 Twitter followers, and it has an average engagement per post of 1,800.