How to Start a Conversation on Social
We talk a lot about how brands can find and leverage existing conversations on social — but what if you’re trying to start a whole new conversation? It can be hard to get your voice heard when there is very little noise about the problem your product is trying to solve, or you’re just starting out in an already-crowded space and want to change the dialogue.
This applies to you if your brand:
- Is trying to fill a need people or organizations don’t know they have yet
- Is trying to disrupt preconceived notions of how to solve a problem
- Is trying to extend the reach of knowledge about the issue/your brand to untouched audiences
Here are five techniques which will help you begin a conversation on social.
Get Bold with Your Social Messaging
Whether you choose fear, uncertainty, and doubt or playing on simple curiosity with eye-catching visual content, you need to get bold with your social strategy coming out the gate.
— Dollar Shave Club (@DollarShaveClub) May 17, 2016
If your soon-to-be-customers don’t know that they are lacking something, how will they know that they need to buy your product or service?
— Asana (@asana) May 17, 2016
Lead your social messaging with content which begins asking questions (and linking to blog content providing the answers) that will nag at your target audience(s).
Find Your Target Audience(s)
And speaking of target audience(s) — do you know who they are? Understanding your target audience means:
- Understanding how your marketing personas translate on social
- Knowing which network(s) your audience(s) are most active on, and focusing your efforts there
- Knowing which content those target audience(s) are most likely to engage with and react positively to on those social networks
- Targeting your social ads and content to different audiences, as specifically as possible. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all provide really incredible tools for doing this
Those first three bullet points can be discovered through social analytics. The fourth bullet point requires applying those findings to your individual network targeting practices.
Then Find Your Influencers and Partners
Once you know who your target audience(s) are, you can find the appropriate influencers and partners to get your social conversation started, and help you tell the story you want to tell.
For instance, upscale athleisure brand Outdoor Voices is trying to disrupt the women’s athletic wear market right now. It has been posting a series of Instagram photos with its trademark hashtag #DoingThings, tagging the handles of various wellness brands and relevant influencers in each post. This is a remarkably sophisticated leveraging of the Discover feature on Instagram, as well as a smart way of associating Outdoor Voices with other brands which target a similar demographic but are non-competitive when it comes to products for sale.
Invest in Social Ads
And be sure to target well, especially if your brand wants customers in various audiences.
When you’re initially trying to spread the word about your brand and its mission, you’ll have to pay to play in the current social climate, and ensure you’re not wasting money by touching people who won’t be interested.
Direct Traffic to Your Site
And make sure your site makes it immediately clear what you do and why you are relevant.
— birchbox (@birchbox) May 5, 2016
This means you should be building out a robust blog and solid landing page on the other side of those links.
Make Your Content Intensely Shareable
Lisa Frank isn’t exactly starting a new conversation (those hot pink unicorns have been around since the ’90s), but the brand is experiencing a renaissance, especially on social, and making themselves a part of a whole new generation’s conversation.
Need some extra tools for getting your brand’s conversation started? Download our Complete Social Media Conversation Analysis Guide below.
Learn about the complete social analytics solution
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I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.