5 Ways to improve your outdoor social media reach
- March 29, 2016
- By Adam Preston
They say there’s no such thing as “bad publicity.” Aha, but PR can only take you so far — whether it’s entertainment, politics or business — because if you don’t offer something of value, you will soon be forgotten.
If your hunting/outdoors business or brand relies heavily on social media for PR and/or new business leads, you need to become a master at reaching the most eyeballs possible with every effort you put forth. If your social media pages exist just to be part of the conversation, you’re not optimizing anything. In fact, you’re probably falling behind. Here’s a primer on how to reverse that trend and get yourself on the fast track to total optimization.
1. Adopt an All-In Attitude
The easiest way to improve your reach on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Periscope et al, is to promote, promote, promote. You don’t need to be active on all of those pages, but if you are, make sure you’re promoting all of them everywhere. Include social media buttons and badges on everything you post; on every piece of content that goes on your website; in press releases … anywhere your customers, fans or friends will find it.
Let’s face it: Social media and self-promotion are really one in the same. You’re there because you want to promote yourself in some fashion. Take full advantage of that.
2. Repeat After Me: Content is King
The mere mention of the word “content” sends a shiver down the spines of old-school journalists probably in the same way it did when folks used to refer to articles, photo essays and commentaries as “editorial.” Whatever the case, content is what drives your engine, whether that be media (images, articles, etc), professional services (repair/ installation) or retail products (hard goods).
People follow you on social media not so much because they “like” you, but more so because they like what you do. Maybe you produce the world’s best archery rests. Perhaps your company is No. 1 in the truck accessories business. You will improve your reach by providing content on social media that resonates with the people that like what you stand for. Feed that engine and provide them with content that they will embrace and share with their networks.
3. Provide Real Incentives
Curating the Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Linked-In connections and YouTube subscribers is Job 1. Retaining them is Job 2. This can often be accomplished through sporadic yet meaningful incentives that you offer only to these customers. In retail, this could be a one-day customer appreciation discount that’s only applicable to that medium. A general incentive for all fans could be a free download that’s available only on your website.
Enlist your creative teams to devise incentives that not only speak to your audience but resonate with them as well. What will trigger a response? Sometimes only trail and error can answer that question.
4. Control the Message
Social media reach is maximized via consistency. As mentioned in Part 3 of this blog series, themed days of the week can be very effective in driving traffic. Increased traffic leads to viral tendencies, which improves your reach. Dig into each platform’s analytic programs (“Insights” on Facebook, for example) and learn which tendencies your audience leans toward. For example, on Twitter, shorter Tweets that include hashtags are typically two times as likely to be retweeted.
Another tip: Don’t dilute what you or your brand is about just to get some quick hits (and improved reach) on social media. This harkens back to search engine optimization taught us more than a decade ago: quality content trumps quantity. Another example: If you’re all about serious instruction, stick with that theme when, say, creating videos for your social media pages. Flip and funny might gain you more viewers on YouTube, but realize that Google’s algorithms are more geared toward instruction and problem solving.
5. Always Be Interacting
As previously stated, don’t jump into any social media platform unless you intend on being there (and active) for the long haul. The best social media managers devise ways to take every interaction from a fan to the next level. This might be as simple as “liking” or commenting on every user post on your page. Or, it could be as involved as directly engaging with a hostile customer. What happens, if done correctly, is the brand’s presence is strengthened by what is (hopefully) a resolution or confirmation that your business, brand or service is truly a cut above the competition.
Hands-on interactions drive your social media reach by word-of-mouth, but it goes even deeper than that. The built-in algorithms recognize that you’re “all-in” based merely off of your interactions with your fan base. The payoff is a larger fan base of engaged fans.
Editor’s Note: This is Part 4 of our exclusive 5-part series on improving your brand’s social media success. Coming next week is Part 5: The Top 3 Social Media Time Drains & How to Deal with Them.