In marketing, no industry is inherently boring. Some just lack as many good stories.
Still, if you think you’re stuck with a dull or dry industry, here you’ll find five tips for bringing some life into marketing it on social media.
Tips for Promoting a “Boring” Business on Social Media
If no industry is dull, then what do you call a construction or chess-selling business? Unless you’re passionate about insulation materials or collect chess sets as a hobby, it’d likely be a hard sell to call these niche industries “interesting”.
Well, there’s your answer – passion. It creates a good story. You need to tap into, if not your own, then someone else’s passion.
Here are five ways to do just that if you’re a social media marketer.
Reach Beyond Your Core Audience
Ever heard of the Kevin Bacon game? Or maybe tried “Six Degrees” on Facebook? If not, the idea is that all people are separated by an average of six connections. And with how social media is progressing, Facebook reckons it’s even fewer than that.
Whether it’s six or three, the six degrees of separation theory shows that everyone has someone in common. In marketing, this means you can advertise beyond your core audience – to their network of friends, family, or acquaintances.
Focus on content that your audience would enjoy sharing with their network. It may be something entertaining, but could also be useful, like an educational webinar.
Here’s an example – an article about choosing the best spot to dig up a pool. Someone in your audience used your services to build a patio, they aren’t about to build a pool as well, they don’t even have the space. But they likely have a friend who was thinking about getting a pool and could benefit from this information.
Maybe even use your services?
Marketing to larger networks via your core audience is a good way to strengthen your social proof.
Analyze Your Platforms and Produce a Plan
Do you know where the majority of your target audience is hanging out? If they use Facebook and nothing else, venturing into other platforms might be in vain. On the other hand, if they tend to stick with Instagram, attracting them with Facebook contests probably wouldn’t work.
Usually, people of all age groups use at least a couple. YouTube included.
Remember, each social media platform caters more to certain formats and audiences.
Then, there’s also the issue of which platform works best for your business. Getting back to the construction business example, having an optimized LinkedIn profile is great from a company’s perspective.
LinkedIn is useful when you are hiring people, but not so much when you need to showcase your portfolio. Instagram and Facebook have the features for adding images and selling products or services integrated into the social environment. Better yet if you can launch a YouTube channel to show your work in action.
Construction is quite a visual business, so here’s another example – a legal firm. Stiff and suited up. Yet, you can find YouTube channels where legal advisors react to movies or cases, ad Instagram accounts that post law-related memes.
Creating a Plan
Once you piece together all the information about your platforms — a happy medium between what’s best suited for your business and where your audience likes to hang out — devise a plan.
Here are a few things to consider:
- What’s your goal? Outline what your marketing efforts should achieve.
- What’s your audience like? Use social media insight tools or use email management tools to send surveys.
- How often will you post? Create a publishing calendar and organize it by platform, preferably with marketing tools.
Be True to Yourself While Trying to Satisfy the Audience
How does this translate to doing business?
Your customers and followers might love memes, but don’t let that turn your business account into a meme channel.
There are many tools to help you find what’s trending on social media, such as BuzzSumo or Reddit. You can even see what’s trending on Twitter. But none of the trendy topics relate to your field, talking about them isn’t worth the effort.
On the other hand, there are many trends that most businesses can incorporate into their content.
Here’s where you can exercise storytelling. Talk to your employees and learn what topics they are passionate about. If you get a trendy topic that’s relevant to your area of expertise and a passionate employee, it’s a winning combination. Moreover, you get to put a face on your business – subscribers like to see real people.
Find Ways to Be Topical
A great way to widen your outreach is via newsjacking – aligning your content with current events to improve media exposure.
An easy example is when companies wish good luck to players right before sports events like the Super Bowl or the Olympic games. You could also cheer for long-awaited movie releases.
Such events are predictable, but you can also use tools like Meltwater to eavesdrop on hot topics on social media. Just make sure to determine a few things before starting:
- Choose a platform for posting. The content should be tailored to the platform you’re using.
- Write a story. Make it short and research just enough to get your facts straight or you won’t be able to post it on time.
- Check your story. Read it once or twice before posting to make sure there are no grammar mistakes.
- Promote the story. Post your story to relevant channels. You can also send it to your newsletter to divert email subscriber traffic to your social media.
Put a Human Face on Your Brand
We’ve touched on this point already. But, it does help you better connect with the audience.
You can use a few strategies to achieve that:
- Humour. Nothing works as well as lighthearted comedy.
- Interaction. Engaging in conversations with your audience helps learn more about them and build a connection.
- Engagement. Respond with complete phrases/sentences, not just emoticons.
Excellent Examples of Brand Marketing on Social Media
The tips mentioned above sound good in theory, but how do they fare in practice? Let’s dive into a few examples of stellar social media marketing. Whether you think of these brands as boring or not, there’s something to learn in each case.
Social media marketing is just about your products and services. MailChimp is a good example of how you can add a human face to your brand – show your culture.
Instead of trying to sell its email marketing features, Mailchimp uses its page to share stories about employees. And after the Covid-19 hit, they even started a spotlight campaign to uplift businesses.
Back in 2018, the UK branch of KFC got hate for their fries. Clients thought they were tasteless and soggy and hastened to share their opinion online. Or, they just didn’t enjoy that the food chain changed the recipe.
KFC clapped back with the Ain’t No Small Fry campaign.
The campaign is a brilliant case of using humor and engaging with the audience, even if the feedback was negative. In turn, KFC managed to increase sales.
Here’s the boring example you’ve been waiting for – an insurance company. You might think, what could be fun about such a complex topic? Yet, Axa makes insurance more accessible with simple explanations.
Mr. Clean is a fine example of newsjacking. Back in 2017, the company released an advert during the Super Bowl that sparked debates about whether it’s creepy or humorous. But it was certainly entertaining and gave the company good media coverage.
The public perception of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is challenging at best. Their website is mostly used for troubleshooting travel questions.
But TSA’s Twitter and video content is a fantastic case of giving the audience the content they like to consume, while also staying on-topic. Their Twitter page is filled with images of confiscated and you can also find a YouTube series called “They Brought What?” Both channels follow the concept of raising awareness about travel control. Yet, it’s quite entertaining to follow.
Any brand can benefit from social media storytelling. Keeping the audience entertained helps focus their attention on your brand for long enough to make a purchase. And creating sharable content can help you spread your reach beyond the target clientele.
Achieving this is only possible through planning your content activities and testing across different platforms.
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Now introducing Social listening. Try it for free.