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Organically shared Facebook content is the new marketingBy
By Punit Shah
Marketers have one goal for their campaigns, regardless of which industry or vertical they work within: reaching the right audience with timely, relevant content.
It is clear that mobile and social marketing strategies are playing a more significant role in marketing campaigns than ever before, and these strategies are continuing to evolve along with new technologies.
Landlines have become a relic for most households and people are now more reliant on mobile devices.
As a result, many marketers are looking for new, innovative ways to reach their target audiences than typical methods such as advertising or direct mail are capable of, while also avoiding restrictions by reaching consumers directly on their mobile phones.
The biggest opportunity for marketers this year is through shareable Facebook links.
The visibility and ability to easily share and spread content on the social giant is the best way to get in front of targeted audiences with messaging around your company and its products and services.
While paying for sponsored posts will only get content in the newsfeeds of people who have shared likes or interests, the natural spreading of organic content is much more likely to make an impact and create buzz for your brand.
Encouraging your company’s biggest fans to share your content allows you to reach a larger audience – Facebook research shows that the majority of the site’s users have averages between 2.9 and 4.2 degrees of separation – at minimal costs.
Having the content promoted and shared by these real customers gives your message more legitimacy than a promoted post.
So how can companies leverage text and email marketing to encourage their loyal followers and fan base to help spread the word and elevate favorable, organic content to their friends and followers on Facebook?
Step one: Choose an article that is timely, relevant and engaging to your target audience. The content can be either created internally or a third-party piece that paints your key message or thesis in a favorable light.
Step two: Send a text message or email to your target list with a link to the content that encourages them to share among their own network on Facebook.
Step three: Use the below best practices for the best chance at hooking and engaging your followers.
Now that you know the basics, here are tips for making the most out of this new marketing strategy.
Content is king
Pay attention to what you are sharing and encouraging followers to share.
Make sure that the information you put out there is relevant and can provide value to a large audience – whether that is tips and how-to articles, or detailing how exactly your product or service can affect your target’s bottom line.
Consumers want to share content that is useful to them, and that they think others will find useful as well.
Do not just send out mass messages asking your followers to share an overview of your company or campaign – find content that articulates the value that consumers can get out of using your company.
For instance, political campaigners may want to push out a piece that highlights how a candidate’s campaign personally affected a family.
Timing is crucial
This tip is important regardless of the medium that you are using to communicate or the audience with which you are communicating.
Do not constantly spam your target lists with messages.
If the main purpose of the message is to get your followers to share content on Facebook, make sure the article will resonate with the majority of them, and limit to one or two messages per piece of content.
If the content is truly relevant to your audience – which every piece of content shared should be – they will want to share it with their friends and family to start a discussion.
When using as an ongoing strategy, stick to sharing a maximum of one article a week.
Encourage a call to action
Your message should include an easy way to share a link with various social media platforms. But marketers should also encourage followers to engage with their networks about the message.
The content you share should spark lively discussions among your key audiences to get more eyes on that original piece of content.
The goal is to have your target audience spread the message in an initial wave who then, in turn, get their networks to share with a new wave, and so on.
The natural buildup of audiences is the key in this strategy, and another reason why it is so essential that the content you are sharing is engaging and thought provoking.
MARKETERS SHOULD leverage the power of Facebook and their followers’ own networks to maximize the reach of their campaigns.
All you need to test out this strategy is relevant content, a target list and a text or email platform to reach them.
Punit Shah is cofounder and chief product officer of CallFire, Santa Monica, CA. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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