It sounds obvious but social media marketing and advertising should first and foremost be ‘social’. Social media works best when it’s interactive, fun and conversational with a personal touch. Automating posts that push products won’t cut it in this information-rich, content-driven age. People use social networks to feel a connection with other people, to be inspired, entertained and informed. They want content that’s authentic, useful or entertaining. Brands therefore need to be careful about what they share in order to get engagement. But how best to do this?

Here are our top five tips:

1. Use photos and names of staff and contributors

Think about who you follow on social media. Are you more likely to engage with a ‘logo’ or a face? Would you follow someone whose story and interests you relate to, or a brand? Encourage staff to contribute and focus on their personality, interests and expertise.

2. Relate products to personal experience

People relate to people and their experiences and recommendations. Sell products and services in the contexts in which they help people or make their lives better. For example imagine seeing an ad for a product, let’s say inflatable sofas, with just a plain product image. Compare that to seeing a images showing people enjoying a day at the beach in comfort on a sofa that inflates in seconds with a video demonstrating how it works. Which is more engaging?

3. Use a personal tone

Keep it relaxed and personal. Don’t use convoluted words or ‘business speak’. Short and breezy copy works best, don’t be afraid to type as you’d speak and convey your personality.

4. Show ‘behind the scenes’

In our experience posts from behind the scenes get great engagement. From the ‘shop floor’, staff events or in the office. The human side of businesses is often more interesting than slick impersonal posts.

5. Use follower content

It’s not necessary to constantly create new content – in our experience sharing followers content gets great engagement. We ran a Facebook competition for a client in the food industry which snowballed into a hugely successful campaign with people sharing photos of their culinary creations. We used their content to give our followers ideas and inspiration. They loved it!

We speak social

We ‘get’ social media and digital marketing. We have years of experience producing tailored strategies and campaigns for a huge range of clients.

Get in touch to find out how we can engage your target audience.

By Anna Chatburn, Digital and Social Media Director at MediaSmiths.