There are several Social Media techniques you can use which will help you build and maintain a good online marketing campaign. There are the obvious techniques and the not so obvious. Lately there’s been a surge in the number of companies using ‘cheeky’ techniques that enable them to get more followers or likes on social media platforms.

So, how exactly is this done?

Facebook Competitions

Thousands of Facebook users spend several hours each day on social media platforms. Companies are really starting to benefit from offering contests to Facebook fans; Search Engines, in particular Google, promote websites that are active and have a good following via Social Media platforms.

Some companies have started to offer a Facebook competition package to companies keen on social media. Companies can have the competitions to last between one and four weeks, depending on requirements. More often than not, the longer the competition lasts, the better. Longer competitions usually mean that links have more time to get shared by visitors, meaning greater exposure through word of mouth.

In the near future, there will perhaps be an even greater surge in the number of companies that use this method to attract more followers and in effect not only getting more exposure, but a website that eventually fares well in search engines.

Twitter

With Facebook users creating competitions in order to get more likes for their company page and in effect ‘cheeky’ or ‘bending the rules’ in terms of Social Media Optimization, then there’s no reason why Twitter users can not do the same to help their build their Twitter following. Huge discounts for Twitter followers, giveaways available only to users that follow a company’s twitter account and support/deals available only through twitter are some of the techniques used by companies on Twitter.

Unlike Facebook, where the new feed algorithm makes it even harder for a company to send updates to all its fans, Twitter still allows a company to get the word out to 100% of its followers. Regular posts, however, are key on both platforms.

Use Social Media Images

In addition to creating competitions to get more followers or likes across social media platforms, there are other SMO techniques that can be used that will help build a good, strong following.

Using images when building an online marketing campaign, is very useful and a great way to engage with your audience. Images are pretty much underestimated, as they have more of an effect on an overall campaign than people realize; would you build a website without images? No, as it does not keep the visitors to the website engaged for very long and therefore, will more than likely leave the site pretty quickly. In this case, the audience is not engaging with you and your company, and is therefore, similar to not having images built into your social media campaign.

Image Relevance

Images used on Social Media platforms should be relevant to the message you’re trying to get across, without being stereotypical or patronizing; this can have a bad impact on your overall Social Media campaign. The way to avoid this is to look at what other images companies are using, which will provide you with a good indication of the types of images you need to create a good campaign.

Realistic Images

One thing that stands out across successful online marketing campaigns, in terms of images used, is that images used are more often than not are natural and more realistic. For example, clothing companies are using images of people that are more realistic, as apposed to those found in glossy magazines. This is perhaps due to the images connecting to their audience rather than being in a ‘fantasy world’.  Another reason is that companies are finding it much more cost effective to use normal people instead of paying for professional models. I’m not suggesting for one minute that there’s a problem for companies using models in images, but more and more companies are steering clear of doing so for reasons already mentioned.

Pitfalls

However, like with most things, there are pitfalls to using ordinary people in images also including; many brand advocacy channels pay customers to have them included on the image, which does raise ethical questions. Also any brand or company using images with ordinary customers on them must ensure that they fully explain and cover how exactly the photos will be used and where. Privacy issues is also a downfall, for example, if a person gives authorization for the company to use an image of themselves, there could be others in the image that haven’t and therefore is a breach of privacy laws.

Next Step for Using Images

The next logical step for brands and online companies to pursue is to pull Instagram and Facebook photos as part of their online marketing campaigns. This is because images are increasingly becoming the way that people communicate online. However, brands and companies must ensure that they are aware of the privacy issues, regulations and communicate effectively to their customers. This could be the way forward in the not so distant future.