Using Dedicated Social Posts to Build Outdoors Brand Awareness
- March 9, 2016
- By Adam Preston
No matter how hard we try, even the best-oiled machine won't run automatically. Optimum production requires maintenance and regular monitoring. Such is true for any social media campaign, especially one that relies on a dedicated post or posts.
What Are Dedicated Posts?
Savvy social media managers have quickly adopted email-list management tactics as part of their social efforts. The past decade has seen a huge shift away from traditional marketing tactics toward email name acquisition, targeting and direct marketing. At one time, if you had a good email list and a halfway competent marketing manager, you could not only reach your customers more easily, you could actually sell them something.
Email lists begat dedicated email sends, i.e. direct marketing pieces built around a single product or message. Then everyone got a little bit too greedy. As open rates declined, lazy marketers just kept hitting the send button. Customers were inundated with (at best) thinly veiled sales propaganda. Eventually, those customers tuned out what was probably their favorite brand in that category.
Enter social media. Over the past five years, a new kind of "dedicated post" has appeared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube. However, instead of being a straight-up marketing pitch variety, these posts are built more around brand awareness and loyalty than link-backs to ecommerce pages.
Realtree® partners are masters at brand awareness because they realize the importance of selling the outdoors lifestyle first. That lifestyle includes a varied demographic that is loyal, trustworthy and committed to securing the same attributes for future generations.
Where to Start
Maybe you're a dealer, distributor or retailer of Easton® arrows, LEM® sunglasses, Jostens® jewelry or Chevy® pickup trucks. Or maybe you're a service representative, sales professional or archery shop owner. At the end of the day, nothing happens unless you move the needle in a positive direction. You can do that through dedicated social media campaigns for certain days, weeks and months throughout the year.
Most brands, companies and individuals start out by taking baby steps with dedicated social posts by focusing on things like holiday events and themed days. Examples include "Favorite Fan Friday," "12 Days of Christmas," and "September is XYZ Month." The idea behind any dedicated post should be to:
1. Generate excitement
2. Create awareness
3. Retain interest
It might seem simple, but don't be fooled. It's a lot of work that requires advanced planning and follow-through. One-shot days are relatively easy to plan and pull off, but the most successful brands are the ones that map these days out at least 6 months in advance and align them with meaningful (not random) events. Ongoing efforts (a week or even a month) require precise planning and messaging. The biggest fail will come when you start a "September is XYZ Month" and then fail to follow through after the second week. Your fans will notice it and call you out on it.
Frequency and Distribution
For starters, map out a modest plan that includes, say, six single-day events and one month-long campaign for the next two fiscal quarters. Which branding messages are most important to you? What are the most exciting attributes of your business or brand? Pick two and go with them. Next, identify a few days or events that make sense for deployment.
Keep your single-day hardcore messaging to random days throughout the year. Perhaps your message is "Bowhunting is Life." Run with it and work that in several dedicated posts in the months leading up to archery season. However, shy away from editorializing on holidays, especially Memorial Day and Independence Day. If you feel compelled to post on these days, keep them generic and to the point. "We Remember" with a post of an American flag, along with your brand in small type, is sufficient. Go any farther than that, and you risk turning off a segment of your fan base.
Review and Reload
Dedicated social media posts should be reviewed for analytics and adjusted for future campaigns. Remember, the main focus should be about generating awareness and excitement. If it's not working, reload and try again until you find the messaging mix and deployment days and times that work for you.
Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 in Realtree’s exclusive 5-part series on improving your brand’s social media practices. Click here to read the series’ blog, How to Track Your Outdoor Social Media Successes and When, Why and How to Schedule Your Social Media Posts. Check back frequently for future posts. Next up: How to Improve Your Reach.