Your brand might have a social media presence, but are you really being social enough?
Join the Conversation
What do I mean by “Join the Conversation”?
Essentially all I’m referring to is keeping up with current trends, holidays, and breaking news in order to contribute to the hashtag discussions on social media. If there are many people talking about something that is relevant to your business, then they’ll likely want to hear what you have to say.
For instance, on the day that I’m typing this, it’s #WorldAutismAwarenessDay . Appropriately, @WHO  tweeted about this day (which is trending on Twitter at the moment) and received 10x more likes and retweets than they typically receive.
Why? Because those that were interested in reading about Autism Awareness Day quickly saw the WHO’s tweet, and Twitter users appreciated their contribution to the discussion. They likely gained many followers from this since the tweet gained a lot of traction, increasing brand exposure.
Let’s take a closer look at other benefits of joining the conversation.
Shows That You’re a ‘Hip,’ Up-to-Date Brand
The first of these benefits includes showing users that you’re up-to-date with the times. Readers find it impressive if you’re knowledgeable enough about a hot topic to address it publicly.
Social media is dominated by millennials who have a very deep understanding of strict social media etiquette. If a brand is able to abide by this etiquette and amuse this demographic, their brand is very quickly seen as more attractive, with-the-times, or ‘hip’ (as the not-so-hip might say).
Wendy’s  does this beautifully. It’s easy to see why young people now see Wendy’s as ‘cool’ and entertaining, which increases the positive perception of the brand.
Wendy’s social media strategy is becoming somewhat famous now, because of their witty approach. Explore more of their edgy tweets here .
It’s common knowledge that repeated exposure to a brand increases a consumer’s propensity to purchase from it. Your post has the potential to reach thousands of people beyond your typical following, so take advantage of that increased exposure; it’s cheap advertising.
Chance of Virality
There’s a small chance that, if you craft a message that adds value, that your post will go viral. Although not something to count on, this could be highly beneficial. Lay the groundwork for it to happen, at the very least.
Even if you don’t go viral, the odds are good that your post will receive more engagement than usual because of how many non-followers that see your post.
How You Can Join the Discussion
So you’re convinced that you should be joining social discussions, but how can you find relevant ones where you can really contribute? Let’s explore your options…
The simplest way to find breaking news includes Facebook, Twitter, or Google News. Make sure you narrow the demographic targeting to see what your target customer is likely to be interested in.
Chime in with these types of posts:
Sympathetic: offer condolences to those affected by something tragic
Supportive: offer your support to someone planning on doing something heroic
Promotional: offer your services publicly to aid a cause
Check out fun holiday sites  to see when your bakery should be posting about International Cookie Day (yes, that exists. It’s on December 5th).
Plan promotional content around this day to fuel the conversation. Since people are already talking about this day, they’re likely interested in the topic, and will be interested in your relevant promotion.
Many will remember the Tide Pod trend  (epidemic?) where teens would pretend to eat Tide Pods, jokingly like a snack. This went viral for a brief amount of time, and hundreds of thousands were posting about it on social media.
This would have been the perfect time for a competing detergent brand, like Gain , to promote their pourable detergent, to give parents a less (I can’t believe I’m saying this) snackable detergent option.
A promotion like this would entail free exposure through the #TidePod hashtag and would likely go viral, as users would find it amusing that Gain is taking advantage of the bizarre trend.
Yes, it’s good to have a social media presence and post every now and again. However, if you really want to harness the power of social media, you should be using it to be social with your target customers.
This is the kind of practice that social media marketing teams use to make a big impact with a single post. Take advantage of the free exposure that comes along with being social. That’s what social media is for, after all.
Interested in growing a large following? Check out this blog on how to gain 10,000 Instagram followers in under a year .