Keeping your website fresh and exciting can be challenging. You can write a weekly column, profile employees, or share exciting company news. But inevitably, some weeks it will feel like you’ve written every blog in the world, updated every employee profile, and are simply out of content ideas.
To top that off, with the proliferation of social media channels, every company is expected to keep a constant flow of current and interesting updates coming – Facebook statuses, Twitter posts, Instagram pictures, and even Snapchat stories. How are you supposed to generate all this content and still run a business?
The answer may be that you don’t need to create all this content – at least not on your own. Instead, imagine fostering customer relationships that generate content for you. Since you’ll rarely encounter a disconnected customer – whether at the dinner table or through a software service – why not incorporate such relationships into your social media presence?
To launch your new social media strategy, you’ll need to create some basic digital infrastructure, much of which you likely already have. Set up Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, or your social media channels of preference, and make sure you invite your customers to them.
From there, introduce some hashtags. Hashtags can be used for company branding as well as for specific campaigns. For example, you might ask that clients who use your product tag any relevant Twitter posts with your brand hashtag – typically just your company name or a slight variant. Since Facebook also uses hashtags now, you can extend this strategy across platforms.
You’ll want to get these social media channels up and running with plenty of internal content before you turn them over to your customers, but even internal content can have a similar tone. Turn over your Twitter to employees in different departments and ask them to post about why they love their job with a hashtag like #myjobbestjob. This sets the tone for the kind of customer generated content you’ll be requesting.
Another great way to increase activity on your social media accounts is to hold a contest. Hashtags are great for contests – ask users to highlight their favorite aspect of your software with #favoritefeature (or #favoriteflavor for all those cafes out there). You might also ask them to share a screenshot or picture of the post’s topic.
Asking customers to post photos for a contest and to tag your Instagram is especially effective for real world businesses like restaurants. People love taking pictures of their food, so encourage it! You can even add a note to your menus, including your handle or hashtag.
Make It Count
Customers love seeing their content used to support companies they love, so make them the force behind your social media presence. In many cases, you won’t be asking them to do anything new, just to identify their content for you. In return, they get 15 seconds of fame and maybe even bragging rights.