Get Vocal, Get Local
Social media is such a powerful and revolutionary marketing tool. It allows brands to talk directly with consumers in unfiltered ways utilising a huge range of content types and styles, as well as listen to their real time feedback.
Australian and New Zealand audiences are globally ranked as some of the earliest adopters of new technology and social media platforms. Combined with their larrikin sense of humour and high levels of education, this makes social a primary medium for international brands catering to the market.
As both countries start to look at emerging from the global COVID-19 crisis in a relatively strong position, their travel markets are itching to start moving again. Connecting with Australians and New Zealanders has never been a better market strategy for international brands. Launching, and maintaining a social media presence can be a minefield, so here are five tips from the Gate 7 social team to help you create or refine a local social strategy.
1. Think Global, Post Local
In Australia and New Zealand, social media users are easily turned off by content that is cookie-cut for international audiences. Preference is shown to brands that make the effort to localise their content, voice and design to cater to local tastes and needs.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that everything needs to be created from scratch for the local market. Before you rush headlong into preparations for a brand new social media page built from the ground up, it may be more efficient, cost effective, and impactful to leverage key elements from the global page.
Since 2012, Facebook has offered a very powerful, but often overlooked feature, known as the Facebook Global Page. For a large portion of big-name brands, products and destinations, the platform allows pages to segment out sub-sections of their audience into individually-managed regional pages to give a more unique local flavour to content, while still accessing the resources of the global page.
2. Authentic Content
In the social media landscape, authenticity is king; Users are interacting with brands on a personal level and what they see must ring true and deeply reflect the key brand values that attracted them to follow. The strongest content strategy is focussed on bringing your strengths to life in your brand’s authentic tone of voice.
The same evaluation that you would have made of your brand’s values for public relations and marketing purposes will fit into a social context, with slight adjustments to be made to your voice, as you’ll be speaking directly to consumers over social media. Set out your “visual narrative” and define your general aesthetic, personality and tone of voice. These are the foundations of the content plan.
Create structure around your messaging pillars; what are the USPs you want to bring to life, the key messages you want to share with your audience? Built upon your content plan that will see you deliver these messages in a considered and consistent manner.
3. Measure Twice, Post Once
Establishing a set of KPI’s and measures and frequently checking in with these will give you the opportunity to learn what’s resonating best and adjust your content accordingly. This is a two way conversation, so you need to be listening to what your audience is coming back to you with.
The huge number of tools available to marketers on social media platforms mean that there is no one-size-fits-all, guaranteed strategy home-run for your brand. The ever-evolving algorithms that rule the roost of Facebook and Instagram also force marketers to continually experiment with their content strategies to maximise results. Keep researching what works for others, but remember that there’s nothing better than your own historical data.
4. Build Community. Boost Engagement. Rinse. Repeat.
Upon launch, your focus should be on building up an audience of fans and followers. Put budget into background ads that will spread your content to a broad audience that you can refine down to people interested in your product or service.
Once the foundation of your community has been achieved and the initial growth surge has subsided, moving to create highly engaging content, responding to followers and fans with comments and sharing similar content will push up your engagement rate. A higher engagement rate then boosts your positioning in most social media platforms’ algorithms, and in turn leads to a higher growth rate with followers.
5. Bring All Your Friends to the Party
The best part of social media is that it is inherently interconnected, both for the average user and for commercial pages. As a brand you can directly interact with other brands, public figures and influencers, and leverage their social capital, audiences and content creation skills to boost your brand’s own profile.
Engaging with an aligned brand or commercial partner can be a very beneficial way to expose your message to a like minded audience. Consumer competitions, activations and sponsored posts in partnership with known and trusted local brands can facilitate you becoming a part of the conversation with that community and expand your reach and following in the process.
Working in partnership with influencers who are appropriately selected for their like minded audience and their skillful content creation is another impactful way to make a splash on social media. A great many influencers will go the extra mile to produce incredible content for a brand that appeals to their interests, and they have a loyal following which gives them great sway.
A final, and far less expensive method of leveraging other pages’ reach is to simply interact with similar pages, with comments, likes and shares, effectively tapping into the conversations others are having with your target community.