As a social media manager, having one of your posts go viral is like hitting a home run. It’s like when you find the sweet spot on the bat and watch the ball rocket over the fence. When the ball hits the bat, if feels so easy and effortless. Why can’t it be like this every time you’re at bat – or in our case, with every piece of content we post for our clients?
Why can’t they all go viral?
Well, they can’t because people are fickle. The mood and vibe among your fans changes daily, and, as a company or business, you need to do some careful social listening. A few weeks ago, after all the shootings and other tragedies in the news, we created a simple post to take people’s minds off of current events – and struck gold. People participated, tagged their friends, and generally enjoyed playing along. It wasn’t a contest, and we weren’t giving away product or services. It had nothing to do with the dealership we were posting for. It was just an opportunity to take a minute and be heard. It’s been over three weeks, and that post is still getting engagement!
We have a few secret ingredients that always seem to attract engagement, but overall, the recipe is clear:
People love being heard.
They love to talk about themselves, their experiences, and the things that are important to them. As we manage our client’s online presence, it’s our job to listen and be aware of what the fans are saying and what information they need and want to hear.
Give and take.
We can’t scream at the community to buy, buy, buy all the time. There has to be give and take, just like any relationship. And that’s what we do, and what we’re best at creating. We build relationships with our clients so we can understand their business culture, their employees, and their community. We like to know what’s important to the people we work for so we can translate that honestly through their social media presence. Using that knowledge, we then can build relationships with the fan base, create client engagement, and raise the top-of-mind awareness in the community, so that when people are ready to purchase that new car or get their oil changed, they will think of our dealerships – because as fans, they have a relationship with them.
Remember to have fun.
After all, it is “social” media! People will engage with silly posts, because everyone needs something to make them smile.
Not every “fun” post will work for every dealership or business we represent, so we take a lot of time and interest in learning about each client and their community. We are centrally located in the mid-west, and have clients all over the country. Every market is different, and every culture needs to be uniquely represented. So we make a point of getting to know our clients, their employees and to visit the community. We don’t believe in the “cookie-cutter” approach to social media – that’s boring and a waste of your newsfeed!
So ultimately our magic sauce is just … us. It’s our time and energy, plus our commitment to each client to understand their goals, employees and culture. Plus, it’s also the killer wit and razor-sharp sense of humor of our highly SCP intelligent managers. I mean, who knew you could ask your fan base to create a kid’s name out of a few letters from dad and mom’s names to come up with some silly answers? Who could have dreamed the challenge would circulate for weeks, with everyone having fun making up names? Crazy, right? Sure. But it was fun and lighthearted, and sometimes your newsfeed can get a little too deep or monotonous. It can be nice to engage in something that is a fun distraction.
Ask yourself: Do the people you’ve hired to handle YOUR social media understand you and your goals? Do they even know where you’re located? Do they make an effort to get to know your employees and what’s important to your community? At SCP, we do. We strive to locate the individuality that makes every business unique and seek ways to set our clients apart in the community. We ensure that their social presence doesn’t get lost in the background noise, but stands out in the social world so it can educate the buying public, engage them, offer them a reason to shop at our client’s dealership or business, and/or simply make the community smile.
Many ingredients go into hitting a viral home run, and sometimes it takes a lot of luck with timing. But the most important thing to remember is the human touch. Listen, give and take, and have fun!
Beverly Boatright is the co-owner of Social Climber Pro and SCP Auto. The company has been instrumental in developing social strategies and powerful email campaigns. Beverly has a diverse background as a small business owner as well as taking over the golf course that her father started. She knows firsthand the struggles that business owners face daily and she implements social campaigns targeted at reducing that pain point for the owners and staff of small business as well as auto dealerships.