Social Media Marketing
December 6, 2013 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Traditional marketing says blanket your market with repetitious ads for the new people who haven't seen it. I have a project I want to promote and attract attention to. Although I won't send out a tweet or a post every minute, should I make repetitious posts on Social Media too? Is there a good balance?
posted by CollectiveMind to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
No, because anyone following you will be spammed to death and immediately block you, stop following you, and/or report you for spam. It's called "social" for a reason.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:21 AM on December 6, 2013 [6 favorites]

The reason that ads are blanketed and repetitive is because they are delivered alongside interesting content. Your social media presence *is* your interesting content in that medium. You can certainly repeat phrases and themes, but blaring out the same constant patter is not a good strategy. Posting things that are of interest to your interested consumers is the right strategy. Consider your social media presence more like PR, and not direct marketing. You are talking to the consumer who is already interested in your product (otherwise, they would not have liked or followed you!). Repetitive ads are - as you said in your question - for the new people who have not seen it, whom you are trying to entice into learning more about you. Nobody subscribes to advertisements. The only people who will see your social media marketing are people who have subscribed to you. (Or people who repost what you post, which they will only do if it is SO INTERESTING OMG EVERYBODY WILL THINK I AM COOL IF I SHARE THIS). You want people to opt-in to follow you, not to run screaming from your updates.
posted by pazazygeek at 9:26 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Friends of mine who do this do so in non-annoying ways by posting maybe twice a day, and using different language/focus in each post. So the morning post may be something like "New [thing] about [thing]!" and the afternoon/evening post would be more like "Interesting discussion/links over in the new [thing] about [thing] that I mentioned earlier."
posted by rtha at 9:52 AM on December 6, 2013

I recently did a Kickstarter campaign.

At first, I felt like you. I really didn't want to spam all my social networks with constant mentions of the Kickstarter and begs for money. I restricted it to once every couple days.

Then I started getting messages from people who already supported me TELLING ME to post about it more.

I started doing a daily post on multiple social networks. It helped a little.

Then I started doing a few per day, and that helped even more. (I targeted my posts to people who surf Facebook in the morning, and people who surf Facebook in the late afternoon.) I posted more frequently to Twitter, because Twitter moves a lot faster.

Towards the end of the campaign I enlisted friends to help, and we all FLOODED all our social networks with any mention we feasibly could short of outright spamming people.

I learned a few things through this experience.

1. Keep in mind that, if it's a targeted campaign like a Kickstarter, this is all going to happen for a short time only. You're not going to have to spam people forever. And even if some folks are annoyed, there is an end point to the campaign.

2. Keep in mind that, in the minds of other people who aren't you and aren't completely living and breathing your project, you exist only vaguely on the periphery of their thoughts. If there's an action they need to take (visit my site, watch my video, donate to my fundraising campaign), they need to be reminded about it A LOT OF TIMES before they actually remember to do it. I feel like there's a critical mass of number of times to hear about something before it stick's in a person's mind. Meanwhile, most people will insist that this isn't the case, and that they DON'T want to hear about things a million times. Guess what? They're wrong. They do. If they don't, they absolutely won't remember your project at all.

I would also say that it's not spamming if you're targeting people you have reason to believe will be interested in your project. Don't email everyone in your contacts; instead find a likely audience and send them information they'll likely be interested in. People like to hear about new stuff they might enjoy.
posted by Sara C. at 10:03 AM on December 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

Also, I found that mixing up the types of content I sent out made it easier to avoid the "spam" feel. Rather than tweeting out the exact same begging tweet every two hours, I would rephrase things or play on different angles of my project (but still include the same link of course). And, of course, I do other things with Twitter, so not every single tweet was a plug for the project.

On Facebook, I used a few different strategies. I would try to find content from around the web that related to my project, or I would use content that I already had related to the project. So I'd post a bunch of behind-the-scenes photos, and then remind people that we were doing a kickstarter to make more episodes. Or I'd find an article about women in nerd culture, post a link with a little commentary, then remind people to support my project if they wanted to see more positive portrayals of female nerds in the media. Presumably my audience is already interested in content like this, so it's not seen as "blanketing them with repetitious ads" but as stuff they'd want to see anyway.

Having a separate Facebook fan page for my project helped solidify who my audience is and gave me a place to put content like that. However, during the Kickstarter I definitely hit up my regular Facebook friends, too. I was surprised how many people were interested in my project because it was coming from ME, and not so much because they had a pre-existing interest in the project itself. Don't discount this! (That said definitely be careful with spamming your Facebook friends.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes on Twitter, No on Facebook.

Facebook posts have a much longer lifespan, and the Facebook algorithms take a dim view of repeated posts. Tweets, however, last all of an hour. Hardly anyone is going to notice a repeat tweet since most people are not there 24/7.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:20 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Posting to social media means nothing if there is not engagement. How many Twitter followers and Facebook Likes? How did you get them? Do you already engage with them? Do you have any other "communities" you can leverage (typically a clean email list)?

If you don't have much of a presence in social media right now, in the short term (ie for this campaign) it may be a better idea to focus on PPC advertising.

The Facebook platform is really good (awesome targeting), really cheap, and really easy to learn how to use.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:29 PM on December 6, 2013

Should you make repetitious posts? No.

Should you make repeated yet varied posts all on the same topic? Sure!

IMO, the more organic and different you can make them, the better. I follow various people who occasionally have Kickstarters up or something else for which they want to whip up attention. The ones who make it sound like they're actually writing the tweets, I keep following. The ones who make it seem like they're copying and pasting the same stuff again and again, I drop.

A good example: Roman Mars (@romanmars) recently concluded a Kickstarter for the 4th season of 99% Invisible. If you check his Twitter stream, it all sounds like him, even when he's tweeting repeatedly about what was going on with the Kickstarter.
posted by Lexica at 7:00 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, Facebook is actually changing their algorithm right now, so it might be a rocky place to work something new at this moment.

But generally, the rule of thumb has been that any given FB post is only actually seen by about 1/6 of the people who like your page or friend/follow you. Despite some conspiracy-minded gripes, that's probably merely a mechanical effect of how many people log in and read stuff every day, how many just accept the 'top stories' news feed, and so forth.

A lot of the feeds that are successful do try to keep their content in your face, but yes, with some variation. They might say "For those who didn't see this earlier, there's a new X in the Y with a Z", for example, or "Did you miss our popular post on Wednesday about A, B, and C?" That's a way to soften the 'spam' blow for people who DID see it. Or they will find different ways to present the same exact outbound link, like if they have a shop where you can buy three different books, they'll feature a different book in the post but you still end up on the same page where you have the option to buy all three. It's a bit of an art.

In the end the most successful FB pages I see are the ones that truly engage with people, getting them to like and share content, or comment on posts. There's a hardware store nearby in a town, population 5000, that has 5000 followers. Obviously some of those are the surrounding area, and they got that way by being human, engaging, and real, with daily posts about ... hardware. And this is basically a guy doing it himself, who's in his fifties or so, and just learned by doing.

Roger Ebert, R.I.P., was also pretty brilliant at using Twitter -- saying hello to new followers, engaging people in discussions, answering questions. It's all fairly obvious when you think about it.
posted by dhartung at 9:02 PM on December 6, 2013

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