6 Ways Interactive Content Can Power Your Social Media Marketing
81% of all small and medium businesses presently use social platforms (source) to reach out to their target audience and build relationships. And why not? Every day, more and more people are turning to social media. According to a global stat published by We Are Social, social media users grew by 121 million between Q2 2017 and Q3 2017! But does more always mean merrier? Maybe not, especially when it means growing competition! Simply put, more and more B2B and B2C marketers are using social media marketing. If you really want to stand out then you’ve got to think differently! Think interactive!
A social media user is inundated with numerous click-baits on their news feed. On Facebook alone, about 2.5 million new pieces of content are shared every minute. This content overload has made users increasingly immune to boring, passive content posts, ads, and unsolicited advice. They dislike direct advertising and yearn for exciting and fulfilling experiences like a quiz or a calculator. In other words, to captivate them you need to power your social media marketing with interactive content. This will help you create more opportunities for interaction with your prospects, lure new followers, re-engage existing fan base, and familiarize them with your business. To top it all, you will also gently nudge them deeper into your marketing funnel. Let’s see how you can do that.
#1 Publish it on your Social Timeline
In 2015, Facebook influenced 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases as compared to 36% in 2014. This increase clearly points to the fact that if you engage social media users right, nothing can keep you from converting them into customers! Since social media engagement is the key here, it is a good idea to include more interactive experiences like an online survey in your social content.
People are quite done with unidirectional flow of information reflected in blogs, e-books, and white papers. They want a more immersive and dynamic experience, which interactive experiences promise. So how about posting more of interactive-cum-educational-cum-fun quizzes, calculators, and assessments on your timeline. You will see the number of shares, likes, and comments skyrocket (think viral)! You will also notice an increase in social media click-throughs, so you can direct more users to your website to continue interacting with them! Look at BuzzFeed! They get 75% of their website traffic from social media!
Twitter is no different. 33% of Twitter users follow a brand and 79% of users are likely to recommend brands they follow. Some of the ways you can include interactive experiences in your Twitter feed is by tweeting a quiz, a calculator, or an assessment link. You can also pin your tweet so that it stays atop and doesn’t drown under other tweets. Furthermore, when you are drafting the tweet try to keep it under 100 characters, preferably in a question form as they are 21% more likely to be responded to. You can also ask for a retweet as you will then have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted.
#2 On Facebook’s Custom Tab
Have you seen newspapers and magazines with a dedicated section for sports, lifestyle, editorial opinion, etc? A custom tab on Facebook is exactly the same. It loads inside Facebook (no redirections) and you can display pretty much everything that you want there. It appears alongside the default tabs like ‘About’, ‘Likes’, ‘Events’, ‘Video’, and other social apps that you may already have on your page.
While you can totally publish interactive content on your timeline, we think interactive content deserves a standalone spot on your business page. One of the advantages of giving it the hot spot on your profile is that it won’t drown under the weight of other posts on your timeline! Also, 91% of B2B buyers like to consume interactive and visual content. So, it makes sense you make it easy for a Facebook lurker (and your followers) to be able to spot interactive experiences easily on one of the tabs. They would love to engage with you through a piece of content they most prefer! You can learn how to add a tab on your business page with the help of the video below.
#3 Think Ads
a. Use in PPC Advertisements
You can take your PPC ads to the next level and make them irresistible for your audiences using interactive experiences. Reason? Interactive content converts 2x more than passive content! In fact, research also suggests that internet users pay more attention to interactive ads. So, it’s a good idea is to use interactive content in social media marketing as your ad’s CTA. However, make sure you test different versions of the ad. It will help you understand what’s working and make the most of your ad budget. Optimize your ad by using strong industry keywords. Get them curious so that they take action and close the curiosity gap! Promise them an experience that is engaging and entertaining.
b. Facebook Lead Generation Ads
Facebook lead gen ads are helping businesses make mobile signup process easier and faster, thus reducing drop-offs. In fact, it has reduced the user journey to just two-clicks! With that taken care of, all you need to get the user to ‘click’ your ad is to plug in interactive content. It’s a sure-shot way of making your business stand out among the numerous posts and click-bait ads a user sees every day.
Upon clicking the ad CTA, a pre-populated lead gen form will pop-up on the user’s mobile screen with information that they have already shared with Facebook like their name and email address. If you want to gather more data you can add more fields. The newly generated leads can be synced with your CRM and your sales team can begin taking necessary actions. But, what about the interactive content we promised them, you ask? You can add a link to these experiences on the screen that users see after submitting their information. You can also redirect them to a landing page or your blog where you’ve embedded the interactive experience.
Learn more about Facebook ads in this video:
c. Sponsored Posts on Facebook
Why boost a post when you can actually publish it for free on your timeline, right? That’s because there’s been a steep drop in the organic reach of Facebook posts over the last couple of years. In 2012, only 16% on average saw page posts in their newsfeed, which dropped to 6.5% in 2014 and to 2% in 2015! Fewer people seeing your post means fewer likes, clicks, shares, and comments; all of which result in fewer conversions. Sigh! So, if you really want to reach your target audience, start sponsoring your content. And, not just any content but interactive experiences.
By boosting interactive experiences you will not only increase its visibility to your followers but also generate interest. After all, interactive content is educational, attention-grabbing and it converts! The living proof of it bringing results is a quiz created on Outgrow by a digital startup, TAG Livros. The quiz had just one question and a simple landing page which increased its completion rate. When they boosted the post on Facebook, it generated 900 likes/reactions and 120 shares! This wouldn’t have been possible by just sharing it on the timeline!
d. Re-engage with a sponsored message
A sponsored message will help you re-engage with your prospects. This message can only be sent to those who you have already connected with over messenger. All you have to do is choose sponsored messages as a ‘placement’ in ads manager or the Ads API.
Let’s take an example. Imagine you are a dealer for used cars. Someone expressed an interest in buying from you, but the conversation didn’t go anywhere after the first round of chat. You can give them a shout-out using a sponsored message. Your audience will see messenger ads on the home screen of the messenger app on their mobiles. Instead of saying, “Hey, are you still interested”, you should send them a message with a “How much you can save buying from us” calculator link. Display comparative results so that they know that you were right about them saving money!
e. Click to messenger ads
The click to messenger ads redirects your prospect when they click on the ad to a messenger chat. Say, you are an SEO expert and want your prospects to avail your expertise for a minimal fee for a 15-day period. Draft an ad copy stating the same but withhold some information which you can reveal in the chat. Once they start chatting with you, you can respond with: “Thanks for clicking on my ad! I’m glad you have expressed interest in knowing more about the offer. The minimal fee that I am going to charge is $80, but you can continue to leverage benefits by switching plans that suit your budget after the trial period. While you are still deciding, why don’t you calculate “How much it will cost to hire compared to having an in-house team”. Another good example of this social media marketing technique is, “Should you hire a PPC agency or go in-house?”
#4 Optimize your Facebook messenger
As per Facebook data, more than 2 billion messages (people-initiated and automated) get shared between businesses and people every month! Moreover, 56% of people prefer messaging over calling customer care. The question now is: are you making the best use of FB messenger for your social media marketing? If not, then you should immediately enable messaging for your business page and spice up your initial conversation with the help of quizzes and calculators!
a. Welcome them on your page
You can send an instant welcome message to someone who is interacting with your page for the very first time. Your page’s greeting will appear even before any messages exchange happens between you and your prospect. For the message to strike a chord with them, use a friendly tone. For instance, if you are a real estate agent, you can say, “Welcome to X! Are you looking to buy a house? You may want to begin by taking the “Am I ready to buy a house?” quiz. By redirecting them to a quiz you keep the prospect entertained and engaged with your brand. You can then steer the conversation based on your chat with the prospect.
If you’re running short of calculator and quiz ideas for boosting social media marketing, you should definitely give our Idea Generator tool a try!
b. Use instant replies
What is the first thing you do when you meet someone? You greet each other, right? Thanks to technology, you can do the same on your Facebook business page through instant replies. Instant replies are messages that automatically get sent as the first response to an incoming message. Even though it’s an auto-response, It not only helps you set the tone for your future interaction but also lets your prospects know how soon to expect your reply.
An example of a good instant reply (made more effective using interactive content) for a tour and travel company: “Hey! Thank you for reaching out to us! We will touch base with you within six working hours or even surprise you in the next couple of minutes! In the meantime, why don’t you take our “Which city should you holiday in summer?” Talk soon!” As you can see, try to write an instant reply in the same manner as you would speak in person.
#5 Connect with prospects and peers alike: Post interactive content in comments
Recently we stumbled upon a tweet by Arteen Arabshahi wherein he posted a link to a cheat sheet to a marketplace evaluation calculator. The users could use it by inputting values in the excel. Although it was a brilliant resource, we found that it was a little difficult to input values for all the questions in the excel sheet.
To reduce a user’s effort, we thought of converting the excel content into a calculator. We then posted the link to the calculator as a reply to his tweet.
Arteen was pleasantly surprised to see how easy the calculator was to use!
You too can do something similar. Although you don’t have to necessarily create new, interactive experiences, you should definitely post your existing quiz or calculator in relevant posts as comments.
The keyword here is ‘relevant’ because we don’t want you to spam people. For example, let’s imagine you are an architect based out of Texas. Courtesy social media listening, you came across a tweet by someone asking about how much it will cost to redesign my home in Texas. Ideally, instead of hard-selling your services, you can give the prospect a calculator link that answers the question. One such calculator can be “Find out how you will save by hiring our firm to redesign your home” or a “Find out the cost of redesign” calculator. Get the drift? This will essentially position you as a problem solver and help you generate more leads.
While we are talking about comments, keep in mind the comments on your blog too. Actively monitor comments and respond timely.
In fact, the importance of social media monitoring should not be undermined altogether. In simplest terms, social media monitoring tracks comments, mentions, followers, trending topics, and more. Brands just getting started on social media can use these tools to respond to customer complaints, build brand advocates, and send/receive feedback from users. Savvy social media marketers may even extract ideas for future content or blogs from interactions on social media. Monitoring this activity makes everything simpler.
#6 Group Marketing because it takes two to tango!
Another way you can gain visibility is by posting your interactive content on groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. So, get around to actively searching for niche groups that have decent followership and cater to your industry. Usually, closed groups are where quality conversations happen. It is better to start off by becoming a member of these groups because there are fewer chances of being exposed to spam content.
Once you join the shortlisted groups, start observing the group activity closely. Don’t start posting links to your interactive content straightaway. Spend a few days interacting with the group members. Don’t say, “good post” or “I second that”. Instead, post thoughtful comments that add value to those reading the blog and interacting in comments. It is such comments through which you can actually establish your expertise. Once you’ve made your expert opinion heard only then start sharing your quiz and calculator.
Overall, getting your fans to engage with your brand is critical for your success on any social networking platform! As you would have guessed, one way to do so is by integrating interactive content with your social media marketing strategy. However, if you are already doing it then we’re all ears to hear your experiences! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Antara Agarwal is a full time marketing consultant at Outgrow. She can be found packing her bags for her next trip, often to the mountains. And in one of those bags you will always find a half finished book she’s been struggling with for months.