Companies will spend thousands and thousands, if not millions and millions, marketing themselves each and every year. They may take out adverts in newspapers. They may purchase a few TV spots. They may even get product placement in movies. However, any marketer worth their salt will tell you that the most effective marketing is one of the cheapest. This is ‘word of mouth’. If you can get people talking about your company socially (mainly through social media channels), you will enjoy a far bigger boost in business than any other form of marketing.

On this page, we will share 5 tips to create a measurable social boost to get you started.

1) Feature your Fans and Talk Back

Your fans are one of your biggest assets. People wish to feel loved. They want to feel cherished. People do not wish to feel as though they are dealing with a mindless corporation. They want to know that you care about them as a person.

Many companies will feature their fans quite heavily through their social media channels. It shows that they love people being passionate about their company. In addition to this, people will always try to go ‘above and beyond’ to be featured and this can create a decent social media buzz.

If fans talk to you, talk to them back. Again, they want to feel as though their opinion matters. Make them feel that way. If you do this, you will find that more and more people will access your social media channels, or even discuss you online, about how well you treat your fans.

2) Gamification and Giveaways

The vast majority of large companies will engage in gamification or giveaways on a fairly regular basis. You only have to take a look at your favourite social media sites for this. Perhaps the main reason as to why these companies engage in gamification and giveaways is down to the fact that for the minimum amount of investment, you can look forward to your brand message being shared pretty rapidly.

Let’s say you are running a promotion heavily linked to gamification. Providing it is planned well, people will constantly be spreading your message to their friends and family. Many of these friend and family members will catch onto the game too, who in turn will spread it even further. Before you know it, you have plenty of people heavily invested in the promotion that you are offering and talking about it.

Of course, gamification is a touch difficult to set up on a meagre budget. As a result, many companies will engage in giveaways instead. For instance, you may just give away one of your products. It does not matter whether the prize has a huge amount of monetary value or not. If people think they have a chance of winning, they are going to talk about it via social media and other avenues and that will in turn lead to a huge social boost.

All of this can be easily measured. With the right technology, you will easily be able to see how popular your efforts are. You will actually be surprised at just how quickly a small company can get their message out there with these techniques.

3) Blogging

Blogging is an absolutely brilliant way to engage with your fans, providing it is done correctly at least. Blogging will allow you to easily share topics which you feel are relevant to your fan base. If you produce a decent blog, people will keep coming back for more and more. You will be able to measure this by taking a look at your site statistics.

This is not the only reason as to why you should blog, however. You see, people love to share their favourite content through social media. If you produce a top quality blog, people will share the content that you produce. You can easily measure this via the amount of social media shares you get.

4) Humanise Your Brand

As we mentioned at the start, people do not wish to deal with a mindless corporation. They want to know that they are dealing with real people. If you view the social media accounts of some of the largest companies in the world, you will find that many of them sign off their social media posts with the name of the person writing it. Why? Well, because it adds a human element to the post. It shows that your company cares enough that somebody has taken the time out of their day to actually answer the concerns of your fans or customers.

Humanising your brand may work wonders in the long term too. How many times have you seen some ‘witty’ responses from staff members being discussed in the news? Quite a few! This will lead to a huge boost in the number of people discussing your company, all of which is measured.

5) Monitor your Fan Feedback

Finally, fans want to know that they are being catered for. You, therefore, always want to keep up to date on what your fans are saying about you. Your fans are your greatest asset, after all. Without them, you have nothing. So listen to what they have to say. If multiple fans suggest changes, then listen to them. Let them know how you are willing to improve in the future. They will love it. They will talk about. You may even wish to craft very specific social media around the feedback of your fans. After all, if they are talking about it, it is likely that what you are saying is going to be fairly relevant to them.

An example of a company that is known for engaging with fans is Virgin Atlantic. You may have heard about this, but the company listened to its Twitter fans and set up a recent campaign called #FITFOO – Flying in the Face of Ordinary – that saw their fans receive free special deliveries. The deliveries included a wide range of things, from soft drinks, to sandwiches and even free lifts to work. The aim of each was to improve their fan’s days. This resulted in hugely positive media coverage for Virgin Atlantic, who in turn managed to become the coolest airline overnight simply by monitoring their fan’s days.

Of course, you may not have the resources of a Virgin Atlantic, however, monitoring your fans will still give you a social boost. So listen to your fans and work with them to create some buzz.