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Social media can be somewhat of a battlefield, and, to some degree, companies are being attacked from all sides. On the one side, there’s a battle being waged with social media platforms as they attempt to monetize themselves by reducing the organic reach in an effort to make businesses pay for exposure. On the other side, companies fight for eyeballs with the content they pay for posting.
However, the content that most social media users really care about is user-generated content. Those witty status updates, baby pictures, vacation pictures and videos, will almost certainly trump the engagement and reach of any content that a brand could ever produce and pay to post.
What drove social media users to these platforms in the first place? How did they become so popular?
The answer is that they provided a convenient way for people to engage with their friends and family. These networks enable people to communicate and share their lives instantly, regardless of the location of friends and family – be it next door, across the country, or even in another country. Family and friends can stay connected with each other and share their lives in a way that, historically, no communication platform ever provided previously. In the beginning, people did not join a social network to view ads or get sold anything, and this is still the case today -- yet that’s exactly what most businesses attempt to do on social media platforms.
The single most effective piece of social media content is one that is relevant to the user -- that has meaning to them. They care and engage with it. They share it. They appreciate it. And, if it comes from someone they know, it will get viewed. But how is a business able to compete with that content – regardless of whether they pay for the exposure or not?
The answer is simple. Rather than trying to cut through the noise and compete with it, why not develop a symbiotic relationship with that content?
Find ways to integrate into the content social media users care about – namely content which includes their family and friends. It’s not a hard concept. Buying a car is a significant event in most people’s lives. Many will share that life event within their networks. Dealers who make a conscious decision to find creative ways to integrate themselves into this type of content will benefit greatly by becoming a part of this event.
For example, the next time you sell a car, take a picture of the customer taking delivery. Capture this special moment in other creative ways. Now, get this to the customer featured in the photo and they will do the rest for you. This is the very content that will break through the battle lines and find success in reaching the networks of the people most likely to be your next customer. Give it a try and piggyback your way to social media success through effective viral marketing that works.