Social media is at the top of the priority list for most marketing departments these days. This is especially true for startups, given the low costs associated with organic social media when compared to more traditional (potentially less-effective) marketing techniques. However most businesses’ social strategy still sticks with tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts.
The problem is that by doing exactly what everyone else does, you don’t stand out. Take Facebook for instance: your organic posts only reach 2 percent or less of your followers’ newsfeeds.
But, if you go the extra mile and create an event, when anyone RSVPs that they are “going’ or even “interested”, all of that individual’s friends are notified and reminded as the event approaches. When you get on a live video, your followers are notified that they should join.
If we look at Instagram, the fastest-growing social media platform today, it gets even more interesting. While your posts compete with over 1 billion other accounts, when you use Instagram stories, you’re competing with only 40 percent of that number, as per an Instagram announcement three months ago that they had reached 400 million users on Stories. On IGTV and Instagram lives, while we haven’t yet seen published data, those numbers likely fall even more dramatically.
Furthermore, sometimes the biggest advantage of using the newest features goes beyond standing out from other accounts or even beyond the features themselves. Most new features come with special push notifications that the platform is using to make users aware of them. When you use one of these new, less-explored features, your users will be notified of this new content.
When you go live, your profile jumps to the front of the line on Instagram Stories and your audience gets notified that they should join. My Instagram lives get a 10 percent average viewership and convert 500 percent more than a standard promotional post.
When you upload an IGTV video, your followers get a large white or orange notification that is exclusive to your brand for a few days. Even if they don’t watch the video, they are seeing your brand and being reminded to check your profile.
Finally, a little known secret: Instagram GIF stickers (through Instagram’s Giphy integration in Stories) are a powerful secret weapon for brand awareness, and most brands don’t even know they can have their own. Branding Instagram GIF stickers with your logos, events or products can easily help you see 1 million views per month when uploaded with appropriate SEO, no matter how big your brand is.
There’s a lot of options out there, and it can get overwhelming. So start here: if you’re currently sticking to the old standard of posts and tweets, add one new social media feature to your to-do list — and don’t forget to cross-promote!
Manu Muraro manages social media for Hypepotamus and is the founder of Your Social Team, which focuses on social media training for small businesses. Before that, she worked in marketing and creative at some of the greatest southeastern brands, such as King of Pops and Cartoon Network.